Deep Soap: ‘General Hospital’ Renewal Chances Better Thanks to Failure of ‘The Revolution’

'The Revolution's' Ty Pennington and Tim Gunn with Guest Co-Host Toni Braxton (Photo: ABC)

Two weeks ago we reported that Katie Couric told ABC executives that she wanted “General Hospital“, not low-rated talk/lifestyle/weight-loss hybrid ‘The Revolution,” to be the lead-in for her new talk show, which will premiere September 10.

Now, according to Deadline, the network is listening. The entertainment news site reports that “The Revolution’s” declining ratings are on the verge of getting it canceled.

The show has consistently gotten much lower ratings than the soap it replaced, “One Life to Live,” losing about 40 percent of its viewers in the Women 18-49 demographic. It hit a record low the week of March 12, with only 1.33 million viewers and an 0.5/3 rating among Adults 18-49. 

That’s the opposite of the trajectory a new show should have. The same week, “General Hospital” had 2.25 million viewers and an 0.9/6 rating. By comparison, ABC’s other new show, cooking series “The Chew,” now does nearly as well as the soap that it replaced, “All My Children,” with production costs that are a fraction of those of a scripted drama.

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Deadline reports that, “The network’s executives don’t feel strong enough about the middling newcomer to kill its only remaining daytime drama for it.” Bolstering “General Hospital’s” chances of survival are the show’s recent creative improvements since former “One Life to Live” executive producer Frank Valentini and headwriter Ron Carlivati took over the show and the strong ratings for the week of March 5, when beloved character Robin (Kimberly McCullough) died. (Reports of her death, like many on soaps, were revealed this week to be greatly exaggerated.)

ABC announced the cancellations of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on April 14, 2011 — a day that will always live in infamy for soap fans. The network will reportedly make its decision about next year’s daytime line-up around the same time this year. If Deadline is correct, in a couple weeks soap fans will get the good news that “General Hospital” will be picked up for another year.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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