Everyone has an opinion about the future of General Hospital. With ABC's recent spate of soap cancelations, many soap viewers feel it's only a matter of time before Port Charles goes the way of Pine Valley and Llanview. Die-hard supporters hope that a rejuvenated creative team and the floundering ratings of the network's recently launched lifestyle program, The Revolution, will help keep GH around for at least another year.
At the end of the day, though, the only person whose decision really matters is ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee. And for now, Lee is holding his cards closely to his chest.
During the Television Critics Association tour held earlier this month, Lee revealed that he hasn't yet determined the future of General Hospital in the network's daytime lineup. Moreover, Lee stated that he doesn't know when a decision will be made regarding GH's placement on the dial.
"We'll have to make a decision at some point, but I don't know when," Lee remarked. "We have not made a decision and we do not have a timeframe for that."
In September, ABC will launch Katie, a new talk show helmed by former Today show personality Katie Couric. The show, which ABC has announced will be seen in more than 90% of the country when it bows, will be broadcast in the timeslot currently held by General Hospital. All of the other network-controlled timeslots in the daytime lineup are currently occupied by other programs -- The View, The Chew, and The Revolution. Various scenarios have popped up including the cancellation of one of the network's new programs, the consolidation of both shows into a single hour, or canceling General Hospital.
Whispers have cropped up in the past week or so that General Hospital could be moved to primetime should its time in daytime be deemed over. A network source has confirmed that there is talk that GH could air during the summer months as a limited-run series.
ABC has, however, shown some indication that it hasn't yet given up on its last remaining soap. In December, the network announced that former One Life to Live executive producer Frank Valentini had been hired as GH's new executive producer. OLTL's head writer, Ron Carlivati, was also brought on board. Earlier this month, it was announced that several One Life to Live characters would be popping up in General Hospital stories as a way to, perhaps, boost GH's ratings.
An official announcement regarding General Hospital's status may not come until April.