Saturday, March 17, 2012

TELEVISION: Can ‘General Hospital’ be saved by the demise of ‘The Revolution’?

There’s some new buzz regarding ‘General Hospital’s fate.

Soap Opera Network has put out a statement saying that they have learned “via sources” that ABC has been quietly informing their affiliates of the pending cancellation of ‘The Revolution.’ For those that don’t know, ‘The Revolution’ is the show that took the 2 p.m. slot from ‘One Life to Live’ in most markets in recent months.

It’s no secret that ‘The Revolution’ has been under performing in key demographics, especially compared to the inflated numbers OLTL was boasting right before its cancellation. It’s important to remember, though, that the show is much cheaper to produce than OLTL was.

In what can only be described as a brilliant public relations movie, Katie Couric announced within the last few weeks that she would prefer ‘General Hospital’ to be her lead in when she takes over the 3 p.m. time slot in the fall. She cited lagging ratings with ‘The Revolution.’

Now, personally I think she was hedging her bets and trying to head off frustrated soap fans that were ready to turn on her if GH was cancelled. I have no proof of that mind you, it’s just a feeling.

No other mainstream media outlets are carrying the news of the imminent cancellation of ‘The Revolution.’ That is they’re not carrying it as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17.

I messaged a local WXYZ reporter (that’s the ABC affiliate in the Detroit area) I know here and asked her what she had heard. She said she hadn’t heard a thing. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but she says she thought she would have heard if that was the case.

What do I think? I’m hopeful that GH will get moved to the 2 p.m. time slot but as a realist a couple of things bother me about this news tidbit. The first is that no one else has picked up on the story. You would think that TV Guide (at the very least) would have something on this. The second is that I would be surprised if ‘The Revolution’ is cancelled before the six-month mark. I’ve never actually seen the show, but ABC is usually more patient when cultivating their daytime lineup.

So, what should we (as fans) do?

Now is the time to write ABC and tell them how you feel. And, when I say write, I mean write. Snail mail is given a lot more heft than emailed messages. And those online petitions people keep trying to start? Yeah, those don’t count for anything. You need to write a short message that is to the point and doesn’t include irrational threats and emotional outbursts. Be as adult as you can about the situation.

The other thing to do (and as a rampant complainer myself I know this is hard) is to try and refrain from constantly fighting with other fans – whether it be about ‘One Life to Live’ characters, your favorite couples or no-talent recasts. We need to be united right now, not fighting amongst ourselves.
This is the time when we can make a difference. We need GH’s ratings to go up and stay solid. As my part of the process, I promise not to make fun of Michael Easton’s lack of talent, mullet issues or his resemblance to a horse (okay, that was the last one) for the foreseeable future. I guess you could say I’m giving up complaining about my last remaining soap for Lent.

How about you? What are you willing to give up if it will save ‘General Hospital’?


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