"General Hospital," the longest-running soap opera in the world, has been renewed by ABC after almost 50 years on the air, while new daytime series "The Revolution" has been canceled.
"The Chew," another freshman show, will also continue to air. The news was confirmed by the network on Wednesday, April 11, and comes months before Katie Couric's new talk show, "Katie," premieres on September 10. It will air on weekdays at 3 p.m. ET, a time slot previously occupied by "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Last year, ABC canceled "One Life To Life" and another soap opera, "All my Children," amid lackluster ratings and announced they would be replaced by reality shows "The Revolution" and "The Chew." Ratings for many soap operas have fallen amid a changing society, which sees more women in the workplace during the day, and the rising popularity of reality, game and talk shows, which cost less to produce.
The Revolution," a health and lifestyle-themed series, debuted in January, replacing "One Life To Live" in its 2 p.m. time slot. "The Chew," a food-themed program that airs an hour earlier, was watched by about 2.21 million viewers during the last week of March, while "The Revolution" drew 1.33 million. It is set to end its run in July. Until then, ABC will air a spin-off of "Good Morning America" called "GMA In The Afternoon."
Ratings for "General Hospital" have been higher than those earned by both "The Revolution" and "The Chew" but the show has struggled to compete with its rival soap operas.
During the last week of March, "General Hospital" was watched by about 2.2 million people, ranking below CBS' "The Young and the Restless," "The Bold and the Beautiful" and NBC's "Days of Our Lives" and marking a 17 percent decrease in viewers from the same time in 2011. "General Hospital" ranked third among women aged 18 to 49, with a 0.9 rating, while "Days of Our Lives" earned a rating of 0.8.
"General Hospital" debuted in 1963 and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running daytime soap opera, a milestone previously marked by CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns," which ended in 2010. "General Hospital" airs at 3 p.m. ET and 2 p.m. PT and CT. It is set to mark its 50th anniversary on April 1, 2013.
This past season, it featured recurring guest star James Franco (pictured above). The show also added "One Life to Live" executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati, who replaced Jill Farren Phelps and Garin Wolf.
Tim Gunn, one of the stars of "The Revolution," is already looking ahead to the next step in his TV career, which marks a bit of a homecoming.
The fashion guru took to his Twitter page on Wednesday to say he is "starting to gear up" for season 10 of "Project Runway," which airs in the summer. Gunn serves as a mentor to aspiring designers on the Lifetime reality show and last appeared on it during its ninth season, which aired in 2011. He was absent from its recent "All Stars" edition, whose finale aired in March.