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June 12, 2022 9:32 am  #1


An Amazing TV Milestone Approaches -15,000 Episodes & Counting

I have never watched a single minute of any soap opera, and they're becoming a near-extinct species on network TV. But though I won't be tuning in, I think it's worth noting that on Monday, June 20th, ABC's long running "General Hospital" will be airing its 15,000th episode! 

That's just an astounding number that I suspect not even The Simpsons will ever reach, since it's a weekly-only show, and given the current state of the TV industry, something that's never likely to happen again.

It first debuted on April 1, 1963. Think about how long ago that was - JFK was still alive and still president of the U.S., most shows were not being broadcast in colour, The Beatles were stars only in Britain, and famous events like Martin Luther King Jr.'s "March on Washington" and his "I Have A Dream" speech would not happen until that August. 

It's amazing to me that people still watch this, and most soaps are long gone from the television landscape. But this thing spans generations. And I strongly suspect ABC would face a near riot if they tried to cancel it. So on and on and on it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/89/General_Hospital_%28Title_Card%2C_2019%29.png

 

June 13, 2022 2:06 am  #2


Re: An Amazing TV Milestone Approaches -15,000 Episodes & Counting

RadioActive wrote:

I have never watched a single minute of any soap opera, and they're becoming a near-extinct species on network TV. But though I won't be tuning in, I think it's worth noting that on Monday, June 20th, ABC's long running "General Hospital" will be airing its 15,000th episode! 

That's just an astounding number that I suspect not even The Simpsons will ever reach, since it's a weekly-only show, and given the current state of the TV industry, something that's never likely to happen again.

It first debuted on April 1, 1963. Think about how long ago that was - JFK was still alive and still president of the U.S., most shows were not being broadcast in colour, The Beatles were stars only in Britain, and famous events like Martin Luther King Jr.'s "March on Washington" and his "I Have A Dream" speech would not happen until that August. 

It's amazing to me that people still watch this, and most soaps are long gone from the television landscape. But this thing spans generations. And I strongly suspect ABC would face a near riot if they tried to cancel it. So on and on and on it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/89/General_Hospital_%28Title_Card%2C_2019%29.png

It often astounds people here that anyone watches or listens to (blank).  General Hospital, E Talk and Hot AC stations are recent examples.
Please accept that a bunch of aging radio nerds aren't the barometer of what will be popular or successful.  Roundhouse Radio in Vancouver and Vinyl 95.3 in Hamilton come to mind as two stations that received almost universal praise here, and both were dead three years after they launched.
We aren't the mainstream.
 

 

June 13, 2022 8:30 am  #3


Re: An Amazing TV Milestone Approaches -15,000 Episodes & Counting

I'm not sure it has anything to do with age - I never had time for the soaps even when I was a teenager or a slightly younger person! They never conclude a story line, the plots become idiotic and people who died keep coming back!

The only "soap" I ever wanted to watch might have been "Dark Shadows," an ABC show about a vampire and his family. But WKBW refused to show it and it never aired in Buffalo. At least not that I can remember. 

The only soap I ever did actually see came a long, long time ago. Most people don't have many memories of when they were around 4 years old, but I do - my mother loved to watch "As The World Turns" and I seem to recall before I was quite old enough to be in school, I used to watch it with her. But of course, I didn't understand a thing that was going on at that age. 

Now the only memory I have of it is that it was the show Walter Cronkite interrupted to announce the JFK shooting. 

I'm not sure if there's any other scripted show that can match General Hospital for longevity, except for maybe NBC's "Today," which debuted in January 1952 and is still on the air. Meet The Press is another one - it's been around since 1947(!) and I couldn't even begin to guess how many episodes the weekly program has had since then. 

But neither are scripted, which is what makes what "Hospital" has done all that more significant in terms of TV history. 

The only other one that might count is "Oh That Rusty," which according to SCTV, has been on every week since 1952!

     Thread Starter
 

June 13, 2022 8:41 am  #4


Re: An Amazing TV Milestone Approaches -15,000 Episodes & Counting

When CBS  cancelled Guiding Light in 2009 after 57 years [on television] and As The World Turns in 2010 with 54 years under its belt, that sent a signal that maybe the afternoon suders days were numbered. Currently, there are only three others still in production. Days Of Our Lives on NBC, Young & The Restless and Bold & The Beautiful on CBS. Since 1951, there have only six daytime dramas, as they were officially called, to have been the most watched in a season. Search For Tomorrow-1951-56, Guiding Light-1956-58. As The World Turns-1958-78, All My Children-1978-88, Young & The Restless-1988-Present.