There’s been no shortage of buzz surrounding General Hospital lately. If the show isn’t making noise for its Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Drama in December, then it’s drumming up excitement for the return of Steve Burton as Jason Morgan this year (sorry, we still don’t know a specific date), as well as the return of Eden McCoy from a brief hiatus, and how it’s bringing on new showrunners to keep the drama hopping in Port Charles.
But the linear ratings tell a slightly different story, if not a depressing one — especially for those who are rooting for the survival of broadcast television. According to season-to-date ratings versus one year ago, GH is down 9% among total viewers (2.2m vs. 2.4m) and down 9% in women 18+ (1.6m v. 1.8m).
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The news isn’t much better over at CBS, which still remains the most watched network in daytime. The Bold & The Beautiful is down 12% in total viewers (2.9m v. 3.3m) and down 12% in women 18+ (2.1m v. 2.39) while The Young and the Restless is down 5% in viewers (3.4m v. 3.6m) and down 6% in women 18+ (2.4m v. 2.6m). (The CBS shows get a nice boost by also streaming across Paramount+, CBS.com and the CBS app).
NBC, as those friends of Salem know all too well, hasn’t been in the soap business since 2022 when Days of Our Lives moved to Peacock. And the streamers are loathe to release ratings numbers.
What accounts for the continued decrease in eyeballs? The average age of the daytime viewers may have something to do with it. While GH remains the youngest skewing daytime drama at 68.1, all three of the soaps have seen their boomer fans age up this season versus last year. The GH average viewer age is up 4 percent from 65.6 to 68.1; Y&R is up 1 percent from 69.6 to 68.7, and B&B is up 2 percent from 68.2 to 69.4.
So next time you want to knock soaps like GH for casting popular youngins like McCoy, consider it a worthy trade off to recruit younger viewers in exchange for keeping your stories on a little longer.
There is one bright spot in daytime: the continued dominance of The View, which is up 3% in total viewers (2.4m v. 2.3m) and up 4% women 18+ (1.7m v. 1.6m). Love ’em or hate ’em, the women of The View never cease to make news.
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