Soap Opera Ratings: 'General Hospital's' Ratings Rise in Households, Total Viewers, and Women 18-49

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September 7th, 2012


via Soap Opera Network:

Week of August 27-31, 2012

Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 4,339,000 (-166,000/-86,000)
2. B&B 3,111,000 (-173,000/+384,000)
3. GH 2,661,000 (+215,000/+175,000)
4. DAYS 2,571,000 (-200,000/+208,000)

1. Y&R 3.4/11 (+.1/+.1)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (same/+.3)
3. DAYS 2.0/6 (same/+.2)
3. GH 2.0/6 (+.2/+.2)

Women 18-49 Viewers
1. Y&R 804,000 (-46,000/-27,000)
2. GH 626,000 (+52,000/-102,000)
3. B&B 600,000 (-45,000/+68,000)
4. DAYS 531,000 (-87,000/-113,000)

Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.3/8 (same/same)
2. GH 1.0/6 (+.1/-.1)
3. B&B 0.9/6 (-.1/+.1)
4. DAYS 0.8/5 (-.2/-.2)


Source: Soap Opera Network

Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Y&R = The Young & The Restless, B&B = The Bold and The Beautiful, GH = General Hospital, DAYS = Days of Our Lives.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

  • Richard

    Stacy, There has been a theory proposed on some sites for several years now that some of the soaps share some crossover viewers (i.e. that some viewers cross back and forth between GH and Days). Sometimes these sets of viewers watch both shows but some watch spoilers and stuff and go back and forth between shows tuning in and out when they see something they like going on.

    Days was full of excitement for 2 weeks and then some of that settled but GH picked up with the tweet to watch for something big, etc.

    I know the first discussion I saw on it was back during the Metro Court thing on GH where the ratings went way up during the stunt and then started to crash again afterwards.

    Plus many times people tune in for special events and then tune right back out. Like the ratings I posted last week for Feb around the time of Sonny and Brenda’s wedding. After that they started to fall again.

    The soaps have had a bad habit of the last few years writing big for events and making the show exciting and then they don’t know how to write everyday stuff to keep it exciting. So they go up for these stunts and then fall.

    Just look at all the viewers who tuned in for the final episodes of OLTL and AMC. I know many people looked at that as great and showed how popular the shows were. But if those folks had been tuning in every day then the shows wouldn’t have been cancelled. But it just proved that people wanted to say goodbye but that the show just couldn’t sustain them everyday as viewers.

  • JNewt

    Monday: 2.4/3,297,000
    Tuesday: 2.4/3,093,000
    Wednesday: 2.5/3,250,000
    Thursday: 2.4/3,044,000
    Friday: 2.3/2,869,000

    Monday: 2.1/2,827,000
    Tuesday: 2.0/2,671,000
    Wednesday: 1.9/2,467,000
    Thursday: 1.9/2,566,000
    Friday: 1.8/2,327,000

    Monday: 2.1/2,812,000
    Tuesday: 2.2/2,909,000
    Wednesday: 1.9/2,724,000
    Thursday: 1.8/2,508,000
    Friday: 1.8/2,353,000

    Monday: 3.5/4,615,000
    Tuesday: 3.6/4,668,000
    Wednesday: 3.3/4,250,000
    Thursday: 3.2/4,116,000
    Friday: 3.2/4,047,000

    What a week for the soaps especially on Monday and Tuesday. These were the highest numbers I’ve seen in a summer month in years. These were like 2006 numbers! Not sure what happened towards the end of the week though maybe Labor Day had a part in that.

    GH has built some great momentum going into their new timeslot, ABC is very lucky to still have GH on their Daytime roster.

    DAYS still looked strong but we’ll have to see how it bounces back after the slippage towards Labor Day. The soap has gotten very good.

    Y&R is building momentum with Daisy back in the picture now they seem to be putting the pieces with the new writing team coming about and for sister soap B&B just continues to be very consistent despite putting out the same storylines every single day.

  • JNewt

    2.9 million for GH WOW!

    I’m predicting 3 million for the new timeslot premiere.

  • Richard

    All of the soaps trended down toward the end of the week — all were near or over 500,000 viewers down.

    When we get next weeks ratings if the problem was Labor Day then they should all go back up. If it was just lack of interest then it won’t change. They do only get to count 4 days since CBS and NBC didn’t show their soaps and GH was a repeat.

    Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it can be a curse for the soaps when they don’t get a full week. Typically Mondays have been soaps biggest day of late and Fridays the worst.

  • JayTN

    It is interesting that both “Days” and GH were very close to one another to start the week and to end the week.

    I don’t know why some people are predicting a big surge for GH when it moves to its new time slot. It’s not like there are hundreds of thousands of viewers out there saying “I wish I could watch GH, but it comes on at 3:00 p.m.”. I don’t know about the individual days (it would take too long to research and I have neither the time nor the desire to invest the time or effort), but when it comes to the weekly viewer average, GH has only topped the 3 million mark twice since the start of the 2009-10 season (the weeks of Feb. 1, 2010 and Dec. 27, 2010).

    Richard…keep in mind that Y&R and B&B were only on for three days, taking both Monday and Friday off for U.S. Open Tennis coverage. Last year, it benefited both soaps as they both increased by over 200,000 viewers from the previous week. However, the gain was short-lived, as the following week, both CBS soaps dropped to what may have been series lows in viewership.

    Talking about wild viewer swings, consider this: Y&R has only had a weekly viewer average above 5 million once since the week of Feb. 7, 2011, and that was for the week of Jan. 16, 2012. During that particular week in January, Y&R had 5.06 million viewers. Less than three months later, for the week of April 2, 2012, Y&R averaged only 3.96 million viewers. So, Y&R bled more than 1 million viewers over a period of less than 12 weeks!

  • Joe Johnson

    Just imagine what GH’s ratings would be if they actually gave Felicia a storyline, too. People love that character and Kristina Wagner is still very very beautiful and a terrifically imaginative actress.

  • Richard


    I went over to the SON archive and looked. Pretty much all the shows benefitted from the Labor Day off last year but as you said Y&R and B&B the most. Days actually tied a low that week in one category.

    The week after Labor Day ratings, all the shows dropped big time. Y&R and B&B both set new lows and tied other lows. Days tied several lows that week too. The only gains across the board was Days was up in 18-49 that week and some of the shows were up in Girls 12-17. The rest were all pretty much minuses. Lots of them on the report that week.

    And then the 3rd week which was AMC’s final week, all the shows made a surge back up. Ratings can be weird.

  • Jeff

    Joe Johnson I totally agree with you. Felicia, Monica, Bobbie, and Mac having some major story or at least part of a major story instead of the constant airtime for Sonny, Sam, Jason, and Carly. Don’t get me wrong, those are great characters and very good actors, but the beauty of a soap opera with 30+ characters is so that everyone should have their time to shine.

  • Cath

    General Hospital has turned a corner right now. Shows you what giving viewers a compelling story will accomplish. The story telling on General Hospital has been good, for the most part, that ratings week and the week just finished. The problem is that the writers never seem to be able to sustain this kind of storytelling and disappoint the viewers and disrespect the viewers much more frequently.

  • Cath

    That Monday was Labor Day and people were home. Could have been a reason for the increase in viewership.

  • Richard

    Cath, Labor Day was not included in these ratings. None of the shows aired an original episode on Labor Day. B&B, Y&R, and Days weren’t even shown. GH had a repeat on Labor Day.

    The Labor Day ratings will not be out until next Thursday.

  • Richard

    Jeff, The problem is that those 4 that you listed have not been getting as much air time lately. Both John McBain and Todd Manning have been getting more air time than some of them. And even this last month and some other months Starr has been on more than Sonny. Even the new characters Joe Jr. and Ewin were on more than Sonny in August.

    Jason & Sam didn’t even make the Top 10 in episode counts in July. And Carly didn’t in June. And Sonny has been out of the Top 10 for a few months too.

    Yes they all needed to be brought down but right now the problem is not the 4 anymore.

    Some of the air time that has been given to the OLTL folks could have been given to Felicia, Monica, Bobbie or Mac.

    Just like they are bringing in another new cop character and they are already announcing that Blair is coming back. Yet they tell Zeman there was no money for her even though she was in the breakdowns.

  • Mike

    Whatever the argument, GH’s ratings are up!!! Yes!!! GH entertains and that ultimately brings in viewers. Is the writing perfect? No, but it sure is damn good. This is the week we’ve discussed for so long. September 10th is here. I’m sure GH will go full steam in the coming weeks and I can’t wait to see these numbers. Folks are paying attention and I’m sure there were some celebrations at ABC Daytime this past Friday. Let the respectful debates begin!!

  • Brad

    Yahoo released a new article talking about the new daytime talk shows. They stated that ABC is forking out $80 million for Katie Couric’s new talk show which is double the amount of any soap opera. They said that One Life to Live average over 3 million viewers in January when it went off the air. They said in order for Katie’s show to be good financially and profitable it would have to bring in 6 MILLION VIEWERS!!! Good luck with that Katie! They also said there wasn’t any loyalty with soaps—-no reason to DVR or watch everyday.

    Here’s the link

    Here’s what was said

    And then there is the soap opera factor. For years, daytime dramas ruled the lineup — and when Luke and Laura said “I do” back in 1981, a record-setting 30 million Americans tuned in. But soap audiences have dwindled — there are four left on the air — and talk shows are largely viewed as cheaper and easier to produce than soaps, which require actors, writers, and sets, among things. However, that isn’t always the case, as Soap Opera Digest columnist and Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter author Carolyn Hinsey points out.

    “The networks are being very shortsighted in canceling 40-plus year old soap operas for what have already proven to be lame talk shows like ABC’s ‘The Revolution,”‘ Hinsey tells Yahoo! TV. “There is no brand loyalty to a talk show, no reason to tune in, or DVR every day.” As far as talk shows being less expensive, “Published reports say that Katie Couric’s new show will cost $80 million, which is double the annual cost of any soap opera,” she says. And the talk shows replacing soaps haven’t exactly impressed in the ratings department. “Couric’s talk show will take the place in the ABC lineup of the failed ‘Revolution’ and the low-rated ‘Good Afternoon America,'” says Hinsey. “Well, ‘One Life To Live’ went off the air in January averaging over 3 million viewers, so Couric will need to score 6 million for her show to match that — both financially and in the ratings. Good luck.”

  • Brad

    Also the comments on the article were very nasty. People ARE sick of talk shows, just like so many have said. They aren’t welcoming these new talkers with open arms…read the comments. lol

  • Brad

    I’m sorry I mean’t to say that they said there wasn’t any loyalty with Talk shows! My bad. lol soap operas do have loyalty.

  • Pat

    I don’t watch GH, but it seems, just likes the Daysaster, that the ratings are spiking a bit because of the stunt story? I personally don’t like them (Clear Springs on Y and R) because it may get people tuned in for that particular story, but then they tune back out. It was unusual to see even Y and R at at 3.6 early in the week, so maybe it was some end of summer ratings spike. In any event I am glad to see any/all shows do well. ABC certainly doesn’t need anymore talk shows, and CBS’ line up is pretty well balanced. Don’t know what’s up with NBC. They don’t really have a lineup…I hope to hell the new regime at Y and R isn’t taking note of these stunt stories because they’ve never done well on Y and R which should return to its character driven storylines. Time will tell!

  • Stacy


    I am not a big fan of talk shows, but i can’t say that i don’t watch them. I do watch Hoda and Kathie Lee and sometimes Dr. Oz. I might give Katie a try this next week because i am down to one soap now that ABC changed the time of gh. Starting tomorrow i will be watching GMA, Hoda and Kathie Lee, days and i might start watching Y&R. I am upset with ABC changing the time of gh.

  • Richard

    I say that article is out there if they think and Carolyn Hinsey thinks there is no brand loyalty to a talk show. What about all the long time fans of Oprah, Phil Donahue, Geraldo Rivera, Jerry Springer, etc. A talk show can have brand loyalty as much as any show. What about all the people who couldn’t miss The View when Rosie was on. Or even the Rosie show to a certain extent.

    Why that was even a running gag on both The Nanny where she was addicted to not only soaps but talk shows as well. And so with Married…With Children with Peggy Bundy who was addicted to Oprah.

    As far as the 80 million spent on Katie that is not coming from ABC as it keeps say on here. That is coming from ABC World and Disney. And it is different because it is a syndicated show and even their affiliates will have to pay a licensing fee to ABC World and Disney to air the show.

    The reason I bring that up is that on many boards they are saying ABC and people are comparing it to the soaps when you cannot compare it. If this was not a syndicated show you would see a big difference as ABC would not be forking out that kind of money for a network run show. Comparing the cost to the soaps as many have is like comparing apples to oranges. For one ABC affiliates would not have to pay a fee to ABC to air an ABC show, and another Katie can air on any network. That netowrk affilate has to pay to air it. They can’t do that with GH, The Chew, or The View.

    The cost is high for a syndicated talk show. And I will be shocked to see if ABC World and Disney can recoup that cost, but who knows.

    And Brad as to your statement that people are not welcoming the new talk shows with enthusisam. What about the ratings for Steve Harvey that were reported on Marc Berman’s site, who even said that the company couldn’t be unhappy with it’s performance.

    What about Live with Kelly and Michael being up? Plus Judge Judy is still pulling 6.0’s and 8 million viewers.

    Maury Povich according to this site still gets 3.3 million daily. Jerry Springer still pulls in the 2 millions. He is in his 3rd season in a row where he finished higher than the previous season. That is hard for any show to do esp. one as old as his. Steve Wilkos just came off of his highest season ever. And all 3 have been renewed.

    So many keep saying they are tired of the talk shows. I know I am as I have hardly ever watched any of them. But the numbers tell a different story in the overall picture.

    The reason we keep getting them is they are so cheap to produce, and so many people do watch them. And even in reruns they still perform just partially under what they normally do. And that is part of what makes them attractive to the networks too.

    And the producers just keep trying them out. In hopes they will find the next Oprah, the next Phil, the next Ellen, etc. If one fails they just put another on in it’s place.

  • Richard

    Pat, I am not a big fan of stunt stories either. I prefer the character stories or stories that build over a long period of time and then maybe climax during sweeps.

    I think my soap GH started the stunt craze and as usual all the soaps adopted it because it did work for GH to get those spikes during sweeps month when advertisers watched the ratings. But to me it was the worst trend that Guza/Phelps ever started. Because you are right they get people to tune in but with every one of them people usually tuned right back out and each time less people returned for the next stunt.

    They began to concentrate so much on the stunts that they couldn’t write a decent every day story to keep people tuned in.

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