ABC's last standing soap will continue on the air for at least another year. Though ABC doesn't officially announce renewals for its daytime drama, numerous sources have reported that show has been given the go-ahead to continue production.
Reports Deadline's Nellie Andreeva, "I have learned that, not surprisingly, General Hospital will continue next season."
Of the four remaining soaps, General Hospital is the only one that is owned outright by its broadcast network. Because of that, there are no licensing and distribution contracts to negotiate. However, since ABC doesn't make announcements about renewing its soaps, the network misses out on much of the buzz that's generated by renewal announcements: CBS announced in mid-January that it had renewed The Bold and the Beautiful through 2015 and The Young and the Restless through 2017. NBC officially renewed Days of our Lives through 2016 earlier this week.
Two years ago, the future of General Hospital looked grim. ABC had canceled All My Children and One Life to Live, and GH was bumped out of its timeslot by Katie Couric's self-titled talk show. Rumors circulated that the network wanted out of the soap business completely.
Katie never caught steam with audiences, and the show will end its two-year run this spring.
Whether it was the new timeslot or fewer soaps to choose from, General Hospital's ratings steadily climbed. The show is now on track for its most-watched season in seven years.
In related news, General Hospital's head writer, Ron Carlivati, has announced that he's signed a new contract with the ABC soap. For more on that story, click here.
General Hospital debuted on April 1, 1963, and is the longest-running soap currently on the air.
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