'General Hospital' survives and thrives in era of dying soap operas

NEW YORK -- You might remember the days when daytime network programming was filled with soap operas.

That may not be the case now, but fan favorites like "General Hospital" have survived and thrived in an era when it looked certain that they wouldn't.

A new era began at "General Hospital" just before the show celebrated half a century on the air when new producers took over to try and save it.

Two other soaps had just been canceled back in 2012, and fans feared their beloved "GH" might be next. But that was then, and this is now.

Call it the wedding that wasn't, as Sonny Corinthos said Carly had been lying and cheating, and the dominoes will continue to fall for this couple, and for others, for the rest of November.

Ryan Paevy and Laura Wright have come to expect fireworks during so-called sweeps months, when local ratings are closely measured, and the numbers have held steady ever since the 50th anniversary of the show gave the show a big boost.

Nobody was cheering three years ago when this soap opera faced "an uncertain future," according to a trade paper, and that's when the fans cried foul.

The cast and crew credit their executive producer with making sure the doors of "General Hospital" stayed open.

Frank Valentini introduced story lines that were more believable, and he gave us a better mix of newcomers and veterans.

Different generations are watching together again.

More than a quarter million people in the Tri-State Area watch "General Hospital" on ABC 7, and many more on the "Watch ABC" app. Nationwide, the audience is past 2.7 million, so "General Hospital" isn't going to close down anytime soon.
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