The new Katie Couric talker, 'The Katie Couric Show,' has been in development for over a year. ABC has just announced the date and timeslot for the new talk show -- September 10, 2012 at 3 PM.
Just what we need. Another talker. What's at risk here is General Hospital. 3 PM is when GH airs on the east coast (it airs at 2 PM Pacific time, so Katie could very easily take over the 3 PM slot which is currently occupied by The Doctor Oz show on the westcoast. But then, where would Dr. Oz go?)
However, the east coast is what matters here and General Hospital fans are worried that the last remaining daytime soap opera on ABC will fall prey to it's other daytime dramas, All My Children and One Life to Live, getting cancelled in favor of cheaper-to-produce reality faire.
It seems as though ABC has decided it wants out of the daytime drama business. They have hired execs who are well-versed in reality programming, and although they just brought over several fan favorite stars and characters from One Life to Live to General Hospital, to a boost in GH's ratings, the writing could still be on the wall. Some pundits are calling the One Life to Live/General Hospital crossover nothing more than a "stunt."
The bleak news for ABC is, however, that fans of One Life to Live and All My Children have not tuned in to the replacement shows, 'The Chew,' and 'The Revolution.' Instead, they are seeking their daytime entertaiment in other network's soaps, tuning in instead to NBC's Days of our Lives and the CBS daytime line up, which includes 'The Talk,' one of the first reality shows to replace soaps when CBS cancelled Guiding Light several years ago. Ah yes, it's a tangled web.
So far, ABC has not announced the cancellation of General Hospital. According to Roger Friedman, an entertainment contributor for Forbes Magazine, "the folks at ABC Daytime–or what’s left of it–are scared to death to announce the end of 'General Hospital.'" Which is more than understandable given the fan uproar and out cry when All My Children and One Life to Live were cancelled. Then head of ABC Daytime, Brian Frons, ulitmately did not renew his contract (ah hem), when it came up for renewal early this year. Was it because the network never actually asked him back, or because he feared for his life, as fans resorted to nothing less than death threats after his move to cancel their favorite soap operas.
Friedman,whether a fan of soap operas or not, is certainly not a fan of the two replacement shows. He calls The Revolution "the god awful filler advice show," and notes "Both 'The Revolution' and 'The Chew' (at 1pm ET) are unwatchable and unnecessary. They look like they should be on a UHF channel. (You’re too young for that reference, so let’s say on an outer cable station, like 151.)," yet this is what ABC daytime is offering it's audience. Read more of Friedman's commentary here.
Whether ABC will rethink it's decision to air 'The Chew' and 'The Revolution,' and cancel either one or both of those, General Hospital could be a goner this fall.
Fans, as you can imagine are rallying. A new online petition has been created. Soapdom encourages all soap fans to sign.
We will continue to monitor this situation.
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