GH Ratings: Demos May Need ICU… Maybe Not?
Fans Not Happy About Peter’s Return
Is there an emergency brewing on General Hospital? There is a lot to be said for ABC’s one soap opera. None of its peers are offering the twists and turns that GH does nor have they been able to keep up the pace. America’s longest running drama is able to tell stories that generally are anything but boring. However, the return of Peter, alive and in Nixon Falls? The response on Reddit has been one of full-on rage.
CArly and Jason Just As Upsetting To Many
The complaints don’t stop there. The recent on-screen blessing to Jason and Carly’s wedding by Anna in which the super-spy compared the mob duo to a younger version of her and Robert- I could feel #Soaptwitter’s stomach turn. Cameron Matheson’s arrival as Drew Cain has left a mixed reaction (I liked Billy Miller in the role, but more as Jake Doe than anything else. I can handle Matheson in the role and he’s likable enough thus far. I look forward to seeing him work with Finola Hughes.) with many viewers.
In total viewers, GH lost 75,000 viewers week to week going from 2.177 million to 2.102 million. That was a 3 percent decrease week to week, which in itself isn’t too alarming. In fact the number is down just 15,000 from the ABC soap’s season-to-date average of 2.117 million viewers. GH is, down less than 3% from the 2020-2021 season and has performed better compared to last season’s average than any of the four soaps.
Overall Audience is Solid, If Uneven
However, the soap has seen an uneven trajectory over the past few months, seesawing from increases to decreases. In May the ABC soap averaged 2.136 million viewers, was up in June by 40,000 viewers to average 2.176 million viewers, then down 67,000 viewers to 2.109 million viewers last month and back up to 2.144 million viewers this month. In that same span of time some of the highest rated weeks of this season have aired, topping 2.2 million viewers four times. On the flip-side some have underperformed, with GH dipping below 2.1 million four times. Still, GH is performing well above the series lows the show saw just after its return from the shutdown in August.
Something has to be said for consistency, the soap has performed in a narrow range between 2.029 million and 2.276 million since the beginning of October. Compared that to Y&R in the same time frame, where its peak of 3.523 million compares to the low of 2.993 million, B&B’s high of 3.067 million viewers compared to the 2.588 million and DAYS high of 1.947 million to the season low of 1.489 million viewers. DAYS had a gap of 478,000 viewers between the low and the high, B&B’s gap of 479,000 viewers and Y&R’s 530,000 viewer gap while GH has had just a 247,000 viewer difference since October.
Volatile Demographics Could Spell Trouble
The demographic numbers are not nearly as promising. This week in women 18-49, GH dropped to a .30 from last week’s .35 ratings- a drop of 14%. That’s also 14% below the season average of a .35. Season to date, the soap is down 21% in adults 18-49, the second biggest drop of the four soaps year-to-year. The soap has been stagnant the last three months with a .33 in the demographic- back in December the soap averaged a .39 rating, a level that GH has seen once in the last 5 months.
Meanwhile in women 25-54, GH dropped .03 from the previous week to a .54 from the .57, a less alarming decline of 5%. GH’s women 25-54 rating for the week was also just 5% below the season-to-date average of .57. The soap is down 17% year to year, compared to the 14% drop of Y&R, the 13% decline of B&B and the 27% drop that DAYS has faced. Still, despite warning signs, GH increases more than any other soap in total viewers, women 18-49 and women 25-54 in Live-Plus-7-Day viewing.
People Are Talking
The soap opera’s streaming numbers have not been released but one imagines they are just as strong. The soap opera also leads in the less mentioned social media conversation. Good or Bad, GH has the most active and aggressive community on Twitter as evidenced by the recent controversy involved stars Nancy Lee Grahan and Ingo Rademacher over vaccinations.
That recent uproar spilled into the non-soap press, whether or not that impacts the shows ratings will be next week’s story. In the end, nobody seemed to be discussing anything about As the World Turns, Guiding Light or Passions in any capacity before they ended. Whether GH can survive compared to how its former ABC neighbors fared remains to be seen. Something tells me GH may end up in the position that DAYS is now in.
ABC’s General Hospital and DAYS share a lot more in common than with CBS’ more traditional soap operas and generally appeal to a younger audience that seems to have abandoned the traditional network option of viewing their soap. However, both still outperform Y&R and B&B in DVR playback and we have implicit confirmation that DAYS is doing well on Peacock. I am really interested in seeing Hulu’s numbers for General Hospital, in the meantime I am cautiously optimistic.
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