Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney ABC Television Group, announced that SOAPnet has ordered Season Two of its top-rated original scripted drama, “General Hospital: Night Shift.” Thirteen episodes, to be taped in HD, have been ordered. Production will begin in June 2008, and the series will premiere in July and air Tuesdays at 11:00 p.m. The series, which is the network’s most-watched of all time, is a storyline extension about the lives and loves of “General Hospital’s” favorite characters during the nigh shift at the hospital.
“Growing the ‘General Hospital’ franchise by expanding its storyline on SOAPnet was a great success. Each series compliments the other and drives viewership across both networks. In its first season, ‘Night Shift’ brought over a million new viewers to SOAPnet,” said Frons. “In addition to meeting our viewers’ needs with a great series, we are also proud to offer Season Two in HD, as our affiliates are looking for more and more HD content and added value.”
The second season of “General Hospital: Night Shift” will feature favorite characters from the first season, some new faces, as well as the return of legacy “General Hospital” characters. New this season, the continuity between stories on “Night Shift” and ABC’s “General Hospital” will match. Fans had a bit of trouble the first season, as veteran General Hospital viewers were taken out of their story by the new storylines for the same characters on "General Hospital: Night Shift." Soapdom applauds the network in hearing the fans on this one.
The series will focus on the ups and downs of life for the hospital staff, as they cope with life and death situations that reflect their own personal struggles. In its freshman season, “General Hospital: Night Shift” was record setting, ranking as the net’s most-watched original series of all time in Total Viewers, Women 18-34 and Women 18-49. Competitively, the scripted spin-off ranked No. 5 in the hour versus all basic cable in core demo Women 18-49, an impressive feat given the channel’s midsize distribution. Moreover, “Night Shift” virtually doubled previous-year time period levels in Total Viewers and Women 18-49, and garnered double-digit percent increases in Women 18-34.
New to “General Hospital: Night Shift” this season are head writer Sri Rao and executive producer Lisa De Cazotte. Rao is best known for his character-driven relationship dramas, including “What Goes On” for MTV Networks and the off-Broadway play “Precipice.” De Cazotte was the former executive producer of NBC’s “Passions” and has served as a producer on ABC’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” She also served as a supervising producer on “Sunset Beach” and as coordinating producer on “Santa Barbara.” Jill Farren Phelps and Bob Guza Jr. will continue their duties at “General Hospital” as executive producer and head writer, respectively. Neither of their schedules could accommodate both productions this season.
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