Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who is responsible for bringing up General Hospital’s ratings?


Here’s the loaded question of the week: What’s bringing up GH’s ratings?

I know, I know, this could get ugly.

Why you may ask?

‘One Life to Live’ fans believe they’re bringing up the ratings.

‘General Hospital’ fans believe OLTL actors are taking over the show and GH vets are bringing up the ratings.

And fans of both? They’re just relieved that they still have one soap to watch.

The big GH news this week was that ratings jumped 53,000 viewers over the week of April 30 to May 4. Ratings are also up 29,000 viewers from last year. GH is no longer the lowest rated soap. That honor goes to ‘Days of Our Lives.’

So, let’s look at it objectively, point by point. What things could be driving the ratings gain?

1. The paternity of Sam’s kid was revealed – and it was Franco. Fans can debate back and forth whether or not Heather changed the paternity test or not. I don’t care. That’s not the issue. What is the issue is that Jason reacted badly and the Morgan’s marriage continues to crumble. She’s been pushed in more and more scenes with Michael Easton’s John McBain and this could be responsible for a portion of the ratings jump. Easton and Kelly Monaco were infinitely popular on ‘Port Charles’ before it was cancelled and fans are reacting favorably to their pairing.

2. The dancer scandal was “solved.” Sure, the big showdown didn’t happen until a week later, but viewers were finally clued in that Ronnie wasn’t just a dirty cop trying to frame Sonny. He was also a woman beating freak who took Lulu. If I’m being honest, though, I don’t think this had a lot to do with the ratings increase. As much as I love Lulu and Dante, no one really cared about the stripper story.

3. Kate went bonkers. This happens every week now so it really wasn’t a big surprise – or a big draw. Sure, the big sex scene with Kate and Johnny was finally upon us – but I don’t really know anyone that was clamoring for it. Kate’s DID story is actually dividing fans – not uniting them – so I don’t see that being a big reason for an increase.

4. Todd and Tea were getting ready to hit town. Sure, it was the week before, but fans might not have realized that. They might have been catching up on storylines so they wouldn’t be lost when Starr was reunited with her father and Tea and Todd came face-to-face on the screen. I think this was probably part of it – but it couldn’t possibly be all of it. I will be curious to see this week’s ratings, though. If there is a significant jump, fans can’t deny the appeal of having at least a few OLTL actors on the canvas – especially Roger Howarth.

5. Kristina Wagner returned as Felicia. Felicia was a very popular character at one time. The hatchet jobs the writers have done on her over the last five years is horrible. Felicia’s return – so far – has been anticlimactic. She’s really only been in a handful of scenes. I think a curiosity factor on what Wagner looks like could have accounted for some of the jump.

6. The writing is bringing in new fans. No one can argue that the writing isn’t better now than it was under Garin Wolfe. Sure, we’re stuck with this awful DID storyline that is eating up a lot of screen time, but the rest of the soap has definitely improved. For it to be the writing, though, GH not only has to hold on to the gains but build on them.

7. Steve got arrested for murdering a patient off-screen. I’m just joking. I just wanted to see if anyone was paying attention. I know no one cares about this.

The important things to look at over the next couple of weeks are how Howarth’s return to the fold permanently affects the ratings and can GH continue growing – and not fall backwards.

If the ratings continue to climb, GH fans have to admit that OLTL fans are helping the soap.

On the flip side, OLTL fans need to stop goading GH fans and clamoring for useless characters like Natalie, Dani and Jack to join the soap. We have enough OLTL actors right now. I will admit that Todd and McBain fit into Port Charles seamlessly. Wedging more OLTL characters in, though, is not a good idea at this time.

Finally, we also found out Jason Cook has been let go from GH. He says this works out for him because he had other projects in the works. Matt never really caught on with fans, so I’m not surprised to see him go.

However, with his departure, I can’t imagine them repairing Maxie and Spinelli. It failed the first time, it would be worse this time. I would not be surprised if they send Maxie off canvas with Felicia, though. I have no knowledge of this happening mind you – it’s just a feeling.

If that happens, and they bring on another OLTL actor or actress, GH fans are going to revolt. And they’re going to have a right to.

So far, the influx of OLTL actors hasn’t displaced anyone. If they start firing GH actors to make room for OLTL actors? Honey, look out below.

What do you think? What’s responsible for the GH ratings revolution?


4 Comments:

OpenID 8262a59a-9d28-11e1-89c1-000bcdcb5194 said...

I have been a loyal GH watcher for over 30 yrs. The last 5 or so have been extremely difficult to watch. The mob storylines that were popular in the 90's are just plain boring & the charcters of Jason, Sonny, Carly & Sam have been monopolizing the canvas. The decimation of the Q's sure didn't help.
The last couple of months have been a breath of fresh air. I never watched OLTL but Todd & Mcbain have brought a new energy to the show. HAving NEVER been a fan of the charcter of Sam & who finds "JASAM" dull as dishwater...i'm finding that KM is shining in her scenes w/ M.E.
I hope that the writers continue to surprise us & get back to the GH of old. Rebecca Herbst (who was just nominated for a emmy) should be utilized more. Becky is GOLD. on a selfish note... I think the ratings would soar if they brought back little Jake Webber!!!! I say good start writers!!!!

May 13, 2012 at 11:26 AM 
Blogger SaveOurSuds said...

I think that there are a lot things that are pulling up the ratings right now. Good writing and dialog, bringing in popular characters both from OLTL and GH past, the actors have been stepping up their game, characters that were dull are getting personalities, greater balance between the mob and others, scenes between families, etc. I also think that creative team and actors have been doing a great job of creating some positive buzz and promotion.

May 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM 
OpenID Katherine said...

I think it's the fact that stories have actually moved some. GH didn't have stories before the new writers took over, in my opinion. I still see room for improvement. I think the mob side characters still get too much air time, the pacing needs to be better, some GH fan favorites like Elizabeth, Alexis and Lulu have no real story going on. Alexis and Elizabeth are two very attractive single women with no romance nor story and serve to prop mob characters mainly. Elizabeth, a pretty young woman who is single has not been even kissed in over two years. Alexis has not had a love interest in years. I don't understand that at all and hope for better since One Life to Live managed to give their vets love interests. Women make up a large portion of the viewers and while appreciate intricate, cleverly woven plots, & even action filled drama, wouldn't mind some romance.

May 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM 
Blogger Brandy said...

I will NEVER admit that OLTL fans saved the show. Ever. Not after how I and other GH fans, who were OLTL fans too but were loyal to GH, were talked to and harassed by OLTL fans. I don't care if RH is some soap sex god, I personally don't like his acting or Todd Manning. Nor do I like ME as McBain because that character just stinks and is worse than watching paint dry. If they really wanted to capitalize on KeMo and ME's chem, they should have brought him on as a new character and love interest that's not worse than Jason. One thing I have liked is that Tea is now on. FL's portrayal is amazing. Yes she can be over the top and annoying but I'd rather have her over Starr, (who can get lost never to be seen again) and McBain.

I've seen improvement in the storylines and the pacing, which is still slow as snails RC takes too long with reveals and getting to the point, but the balance is still disgusting. This DID crap and Sonny/Kate/Connie crap is not what viewers want to see. RC's opinion that viewers, especially the majority that are female, are stupid is insulting. He has made of mockery of mental illness and rape. Woohoo, more dark, depressing, misogynistic storylines where the women are incapable of doing anything themselves and having to put the men on pedestals. Does RC not realize a HUGE majority that watch his writing are female? I don't get it...

I give big props to Frank though and the cast and crew. You can tell Frank is really working his tail off to improve GH after the train wreck that was JFP/Frons/Guza/GW. Something as simple as improved lighting so viewers can actually see the sets and the actors has made a huge difference. O'm at a loss if the show is oh so much better. I still can't get past the "I HATE WOMEN" that screams from GH (the past 12+ years) and OLTL that I get from RC. There's no romance, no cuteness, nothing. I like angst, drama, fights, all that but there has to be balance. And there is none. Not between drama/romance or "mobbies"/"non-mobbies". I was looking forward to Elizabeth and Ewen dating and growing closer and possibly a storyline for Alexis, and Mac but it looks like those balls have been dropped. Only thing I am looking forward to is Todd hooking up with Carly, just to stick it to the rude OLTL fans. :)

May 13, 2012 at 8:44 PM 

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