Couric's deal with ABC puts cloud over 'General Hospital'
ABC's new deal with Katie Couric for a daytime talk show raises questions about the future of the network's long-running soap opera "General Hospital."
Although Couric's new show, which is set to premiere in fall 2012, is syndicated, ABC has already said it will put the program on at 3 p.m. on its own stations, which is the time many of them currently show "General Hospital."
That doesn't necessarily mean "General Hospital" is going to flat-line. It has a year or so to prove itself worthy of survival and earn a new home on the network's daytime schedule.
Earlier this year, ABC pulled the plug on the soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" and is replacing them with chat shows "The Chew" and "The Revolution" this fall. When Couric's show debuts, something -- "The Chew," "Revolution" or "General Hospital" -- probably will have to be canceled to make room for her.
The odds that both "The Chew" and "The Revolution" will succeed are long. "General Hospital" could move into the time slot of whichever is weaker.
But if both do work, it could be "General Hospital" that is put to sleep.
An ABC spokeswoman said the Couric news does not automatically mean the end of "General Hospital." "There are many options that could happen ... the best way to ensure a favorite show stays on the air is to watch it," she said.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: ABC's "General Hospital." Credit: ABC