'General Hospital' Heading To Primetime?
Update: A source told The Huffington Post that Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment, and Vicki Dummer, head of ABC's Times Square Studios, are looking at various angles for the show.
"General Hospital," the last soap opera standing at ABC, could be moving to primetime. According to a new TV Guide report, the network is looking at a possible summer primetime run for the popular soap.
After Katie Couric's eponymous talk show debuts in September 2012, the network will be giving back the last hour of daytime to its affiliates, meaning ABC has three hours to fit four shows into: "General Hospital," "The View," "The Chew" and "The Revolution." "General Hospital" is poised to get the ax if "The Chew" and "The Revolution" -- the two lifestyle programs that replaced "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" -- perform well. "The Revolution," which premiered on Mon., Jan. 16 reportedly lost nearly 20 percent of its predecessor's audience. ABC has maintained it continues to support "General Hospital."
"General Hospital," which reportedly costs $200,000 an episode, would be much cheaper to produce than a regular primetime drama. EW notes CBS has had primetime success with "The Young and the Restless" in the '90s. Between 11 and 13 million viewers tuned into the "Y&R" nighttime specials.
Frank Valentini, who most recently served as executive producer of "One Life to Live," moved to "General Hospital" after "One Life to Live's" online move was called off.
"I look forward to this next exciting chapter working with the wonderful cast and crew of 'General Hospital,'" Valentini said in a statement in December. "This is an incredible opportunity for me to extend my passion and expertise for daytime television as I continue my relationship with DATG and become part of an extraordinary team in 2012."
"One Life to Live" ended its historic 44 season run on Fri., Jan. 13, but its legacy will continue on "General Hospital." Valentini is bringing in four "OLTL" veterans, Kassie DePaiva, Roger Howarth, Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson, to reprise their "One Life to Live" roles as part of a new storyline.
"We have a very exciting story planned for the citizens of Port Charles, with Sonny Corinthos at the center of it! I am confident viewers and fans alike will be excited for the arrival of John (Easton), Starr (Alderson), Blair (DePaiva) and Todd (Howarth)," Valentini said in a statement. "Incorporating characters from 'One Life to Live' continue the legacy of the show as we weave them into 'General Hospital.'"
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