Most observers thought Katie Couric’s talk show, which will debut in September 2012, would replace “General Hospital,” the only soap opera currently airing on ABC. Instead, according to TV Guide, Couric has requested that the network keep the show on the air.
It’s not that she’s enthralled by former “One Life to Live” character Todd Manning’s visit to the soap. It’s pure business. Couric is reportedly concerned that having lifestyle show “The Revolution” as a lead-in will hurt the launch of her show. “The Revolution,” which replaced longrunning soap OLTL has been plagued by low ratings. The week of February 27, “The Revolution” averaged an 0.5 rating among Women 18-49, compared to GH’s 1.0. If Couric has her way, “The Revolution” will get the axe, and GH will move into its timeslot. ABC gave GH’s timeslot back to its affiliates so that they could use it to air Couric’s syndicated show.
Couric is also allegedly concerned that angry soap fans will boycott her show if they blame her for the cancellation of GH. Fans vowed to boycott both “The Revolution” and “The Chew,” which replaced “All My Children” last September. While “Teh Revolution” has struggled, “The Chew’s” ratings are on par with AMC’s.
GH had fallen to the bottom of the soap ratings pack, making the decision to cancel it seem like a no brainer from a network perspective. However, in the few weeks since new headwriter Ron Carlivati has taken over, the ratings have risen and on-line fan response to his creative changes which have included adding several OLTL characters to the cast and the returns of some of GH’s most popular stars from the 1980s and 1990s, has been overwhelmingly positive. During the east coast airing of Monday’s episode, two GH-related topics trended nationwide on Twitter: Todd Manning and SONNY. ABC also highlighted GH’s improved ratings in a press release last Thursday. Do these positive signs mean that there is a chance ABC will listen to Couric and save the soap? Stay tuned.
Catch Up on the Latest Episode of “General Hospital”: