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

Categories: '

Written By

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.

  • JayTN

    Richard…I agree with most of your points on that Yahoo! TV article. For starters, Carolyn Hinsey is far from an unbiased source, coming from a soap opera publication. She has a vested (personal) interest in that genre continuing. For the record, Hinsey has her ABC schedule a little off. It is GH – not “Katie” – that is replacing “The Revolution” and “Good Afternoon America”. “Katie” is predominately taking the old GH time slot.

    I know that Hinsey, and others, like to point out those 3 million viewers that OLTL got back in January, but what about in October 2011? Or July 2011? It should be common sense that a long-running show is going to get higher ratings when it goes off the air. The same is true in primetime. Look at the sky high ratings for the finales of such classic shows like “Seinfeld”, “Cheers”, or even “M*A*S*H”. “M*A*S*H” still holds the record as the most watched (non-sports) single episode of a television program in history. The episode before that finale didn’t get those kind of numbers. That 3 million mark is a bit of a stalking horse. It may look good on paper and can be used in arguments to prove how ‘popular’ soaps still are, but it is also deceptive. Even AMC averaged very close to 3 million viewers during its finale week. In fact, OLTL was only 130,000 viewers ahead of AMC, yet most people seem to forget AMC and focus on that OLTL number. The first week of the 2010-11 season, OLTL averaged 2.22 million viewers…where were those extra 800,000 viewers back then?

    Also, people can moan and complain about the talk shows, but the facts speak otherwise. According to the ratings for the entire 2011-12 TV season, only one daytime talk show saw a decline from the previous season: “The Doctors” was down 12%. Every other talk show was either unchanged or up. Among those that gained: “Dr. Phil” (+7%), “Dr. Oz” (+17%), “Ellen” (+5%), and “Wendy Williams” (+10%). As Richard pointed out, the first week results for “Live! with Kelly and Michael” and “Steve Harvey” show continued interest in the talk show format.

  • Katherine

    About the Carolyn Hinsey article, it sounds like she’s living in the past.

    No soap opera is getting 30M viewers anymore or anywhere near that.

    As far as “loyalty” goes, young viewers aren’t loyal to any TV show. If the writing sucks, they’ll stop watching. With network and cable TV available, there are more options available today.

  • Richard

    I agree Katherine. The young folks even college age today are not loyal. In the days long gone by yes young folks schedule college classes around the soaps or high school kids ran home to catch what was happening.

    But now they would rather watch MTV, reality shows, or even just sit and play their video game or chat on the computer or text.

    Sadly I think “all the options to watch” breeds somewhat into that. Young people are used to having so many options to catch what they want. They don’t have to be loyal. It is in their head well so what I’ll just catch that later on You Tube. No big deal.

  • Kayla Rae

    Go Days! You are the best!

  • Stacy

    I was looking at my guide for the tv schedule tomorrow and Katie is coming on here in the morning not in gh’s old time slot. The question i have why did ABC move gh if Katie isn’t even going to be on at that time. I have to wonder if ABC is looking for an excuse to cancel gh and when viewers drop off due to the new time change the will use that as a reason to cancel gh.

  • JayTN

    Stacy…ABC strongly recommends that affiliates air “Katie” at 3:00 p.m. I had previously heard that that was a requirement, but apparently it isn’t. One of the reasons why “Katie” and ABC settled on 3:00 p.m. is because a lot of ABC affiliates reportedly pushed back on the initial 4:00 p.m. time slot because after “Oprah” left, they expanded their profitable local news into that hour and did not want to have to cut back on the news.

    ABC doesn’t really need an ‘excuse’ to cancel GH. If they want to cancel GH, they can do so at any time without giving viewers a reason. That doesn’t sound nice or pleasant, but its the cold hard truth.

  • David

    You know I am sorry but the one thing I don’t care whenever someone writes a negative article on GH or the soaps the person is reputable. However whenever and everytime there is something positive written about the soaps, immediately that person is not reputable or they are biased. I just don’t get that.

    Originally it seemed like a lot of people were saying that Katie had to be aired in the 3pm EST time slot but I am finding that in many markets that is not the case. Having her air in a later time slow I can see being good and even some airing her in the morning could be decent.

    On a radio station this morning here in Boston they were ripping so bad on katie saying that so much money was spent on a show that will air in a slot that won’t maximize the ratings.

    They also had calls from people who were also complaining about the influx of talk shows and how the daytime lineup has become over saturated with them. I think Katie in her first week will do decent because of the curiousity and also for people who out of habit tune to ABC stations at 3pm

    It will be interesting to see how GH does we wont know until one week from Friday though but it is going to be interesting to see. I see The Talk’s ratings obviously dropping. Also will be interesting to see how the time change effects Days ratings in the central and some of the pacific time zones since GH and Days will go head to head in some of that area

  • Chrisannn

    I am kind of curious…is anyone besides Stacy going to watch just either GH or Days if they air at the same time. I know if I HAD to chose (which I am lucky as I don’t have to) it would be no contest. It would be GH. I will be taping both and watching both.

    David, I am wondering too how GH will do with the time change. I know I have to keep reminding myself to watch at 1 instead of 2. So easy to forget when it has been in the same timeslot forever. I think it will take awhile for people who don’t DVR to remember. I know we have been reminded over and over but habits are hard to break. I think Days will do better thsn GH at least for awhile till people get used to the new time change.

  • David

    Chrissann I agree even though ABC has done a fantastic job of driving the time change into peoples head with commercials during the show and for the last two months the graphic on the bottom ride side of the screen, people are used to 3pm so hopefully it won’t take long for people to get used to.

    The good part for people who are not at home that DVR is the DVR does adjust it automatically if you set GH as a series.

    I am lucky in Days comes on at 1 here and GH at 2 now so do not have to choose. I also have DVR so I can record 2 programs at once so would not have chose anyhow.

    GH has been so good so hoping people will stick with it in the time shift and I am sure they will continue to write an awesome shows.

  • Richard

    Jay, I have wondered about that as well. That was what was reported for so long that in exchange for giving them that time slot they had to air Katie in that time slot. Maybe some of those that reported misunderstood, and the affiliates just go that time slot if enough of them agreed to air Katie at all.

    What did they finally get like 90-something percent of ABC affiliates agreed to carry Katie in their lineup. That is alot. I guess enough of the affiliates wanted that time slot even though they knew they would have to pay ABC World the licensing fee. Some have hinted that the fee is fairly high for this first year.

    Our ABC affiliate was supposed to air Katie but something happened and it is not now part of the lineup. Instead Katie is airing on out NBC affiliate now 2 hours after Days of Our Lives.

    As to your post earlier, didn’t Hinsey have some type of trouble with exaggeration of facts or something to that affect that led to her firing from Soap Opera Digest. I remember there was something with her. I used to follow her on Facebook but she could make some pretty wild statements on there from time to time so I quit. She used to do some good stuff when at SOD, but after she left there or got fired I never cared for her much. Sort of like Nelson Branco who was fairly decent in his early years and even with TV Guide Canada, but he got way out there too and thus why TV Guide CA fired him. He couldn’t even get another job and now has to create his own newsletter and charge folks. He used to be in tight with the folks at Daytime Confidential but now they don’t even like him. Not sure what happened there but they have had some pretty heated Twitter battles. I think even Branco and Hinsey have had some of those. It is like one big soap opera in itself.

  • TimsDale4ever

    I was noticing the day to day ratings for all the soaps that JNEWT listed and noticed all the shows gradually lose 500,000 viewers (600,000 for Y&R) from Monday to Friday. Is this typical for every week? And where do a half million viewers disappear to every week? It’s so odd that it’s basically the same EXACT pattern and number for every show. I generally watch most of Y&R for the week and haven’t really noticed that the show is that much different (meaning more unbearable) as the week progresses. I assume the number bounces back up the Monday/Tuesday of each week. WTH?

  • cc


    I agree with you. More questions then answers with this abc daytime line-up.

    The GH time change makes little sense unless they want to kill the show. A lot of stations will still be carrying it at the old time. How will this affect the ratings? Does a delayed airing still count as a live airing? And if Katie is syndicated and seems its gonna be shown at various times, why move GH at all? And why doe The Chew remain untouched?

    The Spew, or Katie, I won’t watch no matter when it is on. I’ve found the off button on my tv and only turn it on now for GH. Hope Katie goes down in flames quickly.

    As for GH ratings last week, YAY!!!!

  • JayTN

    David…I can only speak for myself, but I don’t immediately discount a person’s opinion on the soaps as biased. But you do have to look at who is making certain comments. If you watched a news program and they only interviewed Mitt Romney supporters for a report on the presidential race, that report would quickly be labeled as biased. Same if they only talked to supporters of President Obama. The same thing happens in entertainment. If you do a story on the daytime soaps, but only talk to people who produce, blog, write, or act on soaps, of course you are going to get a rather rosy (or biased) outlook. If you talk to a network executive, you will probably get a different story.

    Carolyn Hinsey was the only person that Yahoo! TV bothered to talk to about the soap opera portion of the story. The fact that her book is titled “Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter” should tell people that she already has asked the question and answered in the affirmative. Perhaps Yahoo! TV should have asked Vicki Dummer, the head of ABC Daytime, about why the soap genre has shrunk so much over the past decade. Furthermore, where does Hinsey get the figure that “Katie” would have to attract 6 million viewers to be either profitable or successful? Hinsey fails to mention that OLTL was not averaging 3 million viewers when it went off the air, simply the final week. Calling “The Revolution” and GAA ‘lame’ certainly doesn’t add to her credibility.

    I’m neither pro-soap nor anti-soap, as they will remain on the air as long as they continue to make money for their network. Television is a business that exists to make money, although some people think it is only exists to prolong their favorite show or to entertain them.

    I have found that if you take the opinions of two biased sources (one biased in each of the two sides), the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

    Richard…the case of “Katie” is certainly curious. Everyone, based on the media reporting, was led to believe that “Katie” had a guaranteed time slot (such as how affiliates were required to air “Oprah” at 4:00 p.m.). As it turns out, that is not the case. But whose fault is that? Is it the media for misreporting the news? Is it Disney-ABC for either feeding the media that false information or not correcting it once it was out there?

  • David

    @Jay you have to wonder did someone at ABC release something saying Katie had to air at 3pm as they didn’t want people upset about what they probably that was going to be the cancellation of General Hospital. If I recall correctly wasn’t it Katie herself though that wanted to be on after GH?

    If the costs are as high as is being reported she better be a ratings hit real quick. Yes there is probably a contract in place but it is going to be hard to justify the expenses if they are that bad

  • Richard


    Whether GH airs at the same time on all affiliates won’t matter in the soaps ratings. Days airs at different times all over the country. I have seen on sites where it airs as early as Noon and as late as 3:00 p.m. If an affiliate moved it to an early morning time slot like some ABC affiliates did with Port Charles and CBS affiliates did with Guiding Light then sometimes that will affect the ratings being lower. Our affiliate even moved Port Charles to 2:00 a.m. in the morning for the majority of its run.

    Since soaps don’t do daily ratings reports like primetime does, Nielsen gathers the data for each time period the soap airs and combines it together. So you get the numbers for that show and not for the hour.

    The Chew remains untouched because ABC wanted to hold on to that time slot.

    The reason GH got moved was so that ABC, Disney and ABC World could use that time slot to bargain with the affiliates to guarantee that Katie got on the schedule. Many affiliates might not have wanted to pay the licensing fee to carry Katie on the schedule if they weren’t getting something in return. In this case they got an hour scheduling.

    So ABC got rid of an hour of programming thus making them not responsible for that hour anymore.

  • Richard


    I saw this discussed on another board recently. Basically this sums up what the conclusion they reached.

    Not all the soaps lose that many viewers during a typical week but it has been typical for awhile to lose some viewers by the end of the week.

    Shows like Days have been seeing their worst Days on Friday for awhile now. It is up and down with GH — some Fridays are good and some Fridays are bad. Typically Monday and Tuesday have been generally strong days for soaps for awhile now.

  • David

    @Timsdale these ratings are from just prior to the labor day weeekend. Most likely the drop overall for all soaps that week was due to the holiday and people going away. It was all soaps so seems pretty obvious that was what caused this to happen across the board with all soaps!

  • MBmomof3

    In answer to Chrisann’s question if I had to choose between GH & DOOL, GH would win everyday without question. I have been an ABC soap fan since Kindergarten, but I have also been a DOOL fan since the 1980’s. Thanks to modern technology I don’t have to choose and watch now all 4 soaps, time permitting. GH first, DOOL/Y&R would battle for second (depending on storyline) and B&B a distant 4th. I’ve only been watching B&B since OLTL was cancelled. B&B isn’t on SOAPnet, which is how I became familiar with Y&R.

    David, I think TimsDale is right. The trend she pointed out goes beyond the holiday weekend. While I agree that would be a plausible explanation, this has been the trend for a long time. I don’t understand it personally, because I am a sucker for “Cliffhanger Friday”. That said, I never watch live and usually online, DVR or SOAPnet. I’m not a Nielson household so my viewing habits don’t count in the ratings.

  • MBmomof3

    I would like to add that I started watching soaps on ABC.com hoping the internet traffic would be counted by TPTB at ABC, Prospect Park or other parties and bolster the support for putting OLTL and AMC online. My plan didn’t work :( but I still like to have the option of watching online. I’ve finally started using my DVR and I agree that if you set it to record series it should absolutely catch GH’s timechange. I’m also able to record GH & DOOL simultaneously. I also still have SOAPnet, but that could be gone at any moment without warning.

  • WMD

    TimsDale4ever…my guess is, they’ll tune at the beginning of the week, find themselves bored after 1-2 days, tune out…and think that maybe next week will be more interesting. So they come back the next Monday. Wash, rinse, repeat.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures