The ratings are out for the week of August 17th-21st and as difficult as this is to report, the iconic General Hospital hit new lows in key demos and ended up in fourth place of all four network soaps in those categories.
However, the series remained in third place in total viewers ever so slightly with 2,492,000 as it’s tally, while fourth place DAYS is only 88,000 viewers behind. GH’s performance is down -257,000 total viewers from last year at this time. If DAYS scores a strong week in the next few ratings reports, it could overtake GH for the third spot.
But, it’s the lone ABC soap operas performance in the key women’s demos: 18-49, 18-34, and 25-54 that is most troubling. GH hit an all-time low in the 18-49 category in total viewers – making it the third week in a row that show has attained a new low there. In the 18-49 ratings share, GH has tied a new low in the category and that makes for its 18th straight week (4 months) of lows. General Hospital is in last place in the 18-34 demo with tying a record low in the ratings share, while they are in last place in total viewers in the 25-54 demo.
A decision to make a head writer switch from executives at the top, and some behind the scenes restructuring have been the order of the day to try to get GH back on solid ratings footing. Being that GH is the only remaining ABC soap, here’s hoping that when the new writing regime comes in and stories are laid out and begin, that they’ve got compelling material to back it up that will pique the interest of the viewers. In addition, GH should benefit from summer being over, which is also the time of year that generally has less people tuning-in to television.
Let’s also hope ABC helps GH during the day-part with surrounding programming, which has suffered in the years since the cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live and the once staple ABC Daytime programming block. Meanwhile, the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Syndication wing is hoping that the Tyra Banks anchored talker FABLife, premiering September 10th will help bring some viewers to the afternoon block.
On another note: The Bold and the Beautiful lost the most viewers for the ratings period of any soap opera losing -188,000 from the previous week, which saw Maya (Karla Mosley) and Rick’s (Jacob Young) wedding. View the entire ratings picture courtesy of SON here.
So, do you think General Hospital can have a big rebound in the weeks ahead? What do you think can help GH out of this ratings doldrums? Share your thoughts below!