The rumors of Port Charles' demise continue to swirl, however, a show spokesperson insists that PC isn't going anywhere… at least not yet.
ABC has committed to air the ratings-challenged soap through at least the conclusion of its next 13-week story arc, which will run from January through the end of March 2002. The show will feature a special one-month holiday story arc for the month of December.
While PC's ratings remain on the bottom end of the soap spectrum, there is marked improvement. According to ABC, the show's ratings are up 34% from a year ago and PC shows the fastest growth among all daytime programs.
In spite of the growth, industry magazines continue to report that ABC is developing a new daytime program to take the place of Port Charles. In August, Electronic Media reported that ABC was developing a reality-based program called "Last Resort."
Port Charles has faced ratings challenges since its debut. Though ABC gave the show a two-hour primetime debut, not all ABC affiliates agreed to pick up the show. Many local stations had already found ratings success with talk shows, news programming or courtroom shows. For some of these stations, it wasn't an issue of just changing the schedule; many had contracts with syndicaters that required them to air certain programs at certain times. Therefore, Port Charles was relegated to the wee hours of the morning on some stations and others simply opted not to air the show at all. With fewer stations airing Port Charles, the show's ratings are naturally lower.
ABC has declined to speculate on the future of Port Charles other than noting that the show will continue to air through the conclusion of the show's sixth book. Whether or not this book is PC's final chapter remains to be seen.