General Hospital fans, I fear the writing is on the wall. Last week's announcement that ABC is giving the GH 3:00 p.m. timeslot to Katie Couric's new talk show in September 2012 seems a harbinger of things to come. But I'm not giving up, and neither should you.
I had planned to discuss this with Dan on Soap Central Live last Friday, but there was an "incident" involving a fire and a blackout at the station, and the show was cancelled. Nice try, Helena Cassadine, but I'll discuss my thoughts on the Couric development here, instead.
An ABC spokesperson stated that the network "continues to support" General Hospital and that the Couric talk show "does not mean the inevitable cancellation of General Hospital." Really? Because it sure feels like it, when ABC has already cancelled two of its three daytime dramas and plans to yank GH from the timeslot it's held for more than four decades. Is ABC's plan to "support" GH all the way down the cancellation road?
ABC is encouraging us to keep watching the show because there is still plenty of time to increase ratings between now and September 2012. However, I believe they think that has about as much chance of happening as Sonny Corinthos ever leaving the mob. Otherwise, they wouldn't have a show already lined up to replace GH.
I could be wrong. Perhaps, the network truly is trying to give GH a chance to get its ratings up and save it from the chopping block. The optimist in me wants to think that's the case. They've already made big changes behind the scenes by firing head writer Robert Guza, and I'm hearing rumblings that some familiar favorite faces may be returning to the show, which will please viewers.
With All My Children and One Life to Live already cancelled, I have to admit I've been nervously awaiting news that GH would suffer the same fate. This latest announcement seems to indicate that GH's future is in jeopardy. It certainly feels like the network has given up on scripted daytime dramas entirely and that cancellation is imminent, despite the declarations to the contrary.
But we can change things, GH fans. The power is in our hands. If we get the ratings up to an impressive level, then the network has no choice but to keep the show.
The good news is that according to a recent TV Guide interview with new head writer Garin Wolf, he seems to be ready to give many fans what they want. (Yes, I know you can't please everyone.) Wolf said that he wants to restore storyline balance, use character history, and give Alexis a storyline, plus he hinted at returning the Quartermaines to prominence and other character returns. Sounds like a fantastic formula to lure back former viewers to me.
Wolf has nothing to lose. The show is staring down the prospect of cancellation, whether the network is saying it or not. So I say pull a Hail Mary and shake things up. I previously wrote a "how to fix GH" column at the beginning of the year , and Mr. Wolf, please feel free to pull any item from that list and run with it. Jason heading back to the Quartermaines is a start! (Hasn't Jason already done every possible mob storyline and Sonny, too, before him? So, at this point, it's just redundant.)
What can fans do to save the show? It's simple. Watch GH. That's what you can do. People equal ratings, and that's the only hope GH has right now. The network executives can't argue with numbers, and if we get good storylines, I think viewers will return to General Hospital. If not, I'm sure Katie Couric will have no problem filling our beloved timeslot.
What do you think, Scoopers? Does ABC intend to include GH alongside Couric's new show and its other planned talk shows in a daytime lineup? Or is a General Hospital cancellation inevitable, and they just aren't telling us yet? Click the Feedback option at the top of the page, the Email the columnist link at the end of my column, or you can just click here to send me your thoughts.
I had to back up my DVR twice this week because I thought I had lost my hearing. Jason Morgan said that he was thinking of quitting the mob. No, you didn't read that wrong. Oh happy day! I've been begging for years for Jason to get out of the business. Now, if it will only come to fruition. Creatively, Jason leaving the mob opens up so many storyline possibilities, plus it tells us that he loves Michael enough to show him a different way of life. When Dante told Jason that he was as arrogant as Luke, thinking that the mob wouldn't hurt Michael the way Luke's drinking hurt Jake, I was shocked. These are not conversations I ever thought I'd hear on this show.
Jason leaving the mob also would boost Sonny back to prominence. Argue with me if you want, but tough guy Sonny has been weakened because Jason seems to do all his dirty work and handle all the "business." With Jason out, Sonny could reclaim his title of number one sexy, powerful mobster in Port Charles. (Sorry, Johnny Z!)
I like Sam, but I don't understand her. What kind of woman would encourage her boyfriend, with whom she wants to have children, to stay in a life of crime? She has watched the Corinthos kids be shot, kidnapped, raped, almost blown up, etc., due to mob connections, so why would she want that for her family? And her argument that Jason would still be a target, even if he got out, made no sense. Why would anyone care about him, if he's not a threat? I'm stunned at Sam's mafia cheerleading this week. Stunned.
Speaking of the Davis girls, I so enjoy their sparring with Sonny. A couple weeks ago, it was Kristina who made me chuckle, and this week it was Alexis. When she mistakenly believed that Kristina had run off to marry Ethan, Alexis and Sonny had some unforgettable scenes. I forgot how much fun chemistry these two have. "You better get this plane moving, before you become a grandpa!" she quipped. I don't know which was funnier, the look on Sonny's face after that comment, or this little one-liner from Alexis: "I'm pretty sure if you take Ethan out, (Luke) is not going to want to be your friend anymore, and you don't have that many friends." Priceless. I can't wait for Monday's show to see what transpires when Alexis and Sonny interrupt Ethan's "wedding/divorce."
The casting department deserves a pat on the back for casting Ethan. His mannerisms are so eerily similar to Luke that it's easy to believe they are father and son. Not to mention, they both have had some questionable hairstyles: ponytails and a perm come to mind.
I was surprised that Lulu and Dante got busy at the Haunted Star. Even when it's closed, that place has more traffic than the Port Charles docks.
I know Luke has supposedly hit bottom, but I was horrified to see him with a hooker this week. Poor Tracy! She doesn't deserve that, or whatever disease Luke may inevitably give her.
I guess Anthony Z really does love his roses. It was a nice touch to see him wearing one on his suit this week, considering he yammers on incessantly about roses.
Poor Spinelli. I felt so bad for him, as Maxie abandoned him to hang out with Matt. I want Spinelli to get a love interest of his own, one that isn't his computer.
Maya's new man is hot. Sorry, Ethan, but I can understand why she was getting busy with the sexy doctor, um "cardiologist." But look at it this way, losing a Quartermaine wife and gaining a Corinthos "girlfriend" is a good way to guarantee screen time.
(Abby explains that she pushed Michael to choose a career outside the mob, but it probably wasn't the best idea, coming from her, a former stripper.) Abby: "Who am I to give career advice anyway?"
(Jason tries some of Spinelli's special beverage and gags.)
Jason: "This stuff tastes like water with grass."
Spinelli: "That's an apt description of jasmine green tea."