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Maria Ciaccia

'General Hospital' Again Hits Record Ratings Low

By February 27, 2012

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Don't kill the messenger, but General Hospital managed to again have record low ratings, this time for the week of February 13-17.

Could plotlines like the Lady in White, aka Cassandra, aka Irina being Helena's daughter be the reason? Not that plotline, of course, because the few people still watching hadn't caught that one yet.

Even though this is the land where four-year-olds (Claudia) and nine-year-olds (Olivia) give birth, and a 32-year-old goes to high school with someone nearly 15 years her senior, this one can't possibly be true. Helena has to be lying. I'd say that Cassandra/Irina is Laura's child, and Nikolas' twin, except we still have a problem. Twins normally aren't born 19 years apart.

It's difficult to figure out what the writers are doing. They're not trying for reality, that's certain, and who knows, maybe they're onto something. Making it as absurd as possible just might be the answer.


February 27, 2012 at 8:01 am
(1) deb says:

I haven’t watched the scenes of LIW. Even with Luke on last week.
I know from what the blogs are saying LIW belongs to Helena. Who cares? Not me. Hopefully by the weeks end she will be gone. Someone dies, I can assure you, its not Helena or Luke.

The ratings don’t surprise me. They will rise a little from last week. Though had Robin’s story been done correctly and realastically, I bet the ratings would have really jumped. Still lots of people enjoyed last week. So there should be a rise in ratings somewhat.

Good luck Ron these next few weeks. Lots are riding on this time frame.

February 27, 2012 at 8:24 am
(2) deb says:

I do have a question for you Maria. Why is Kim still on set taping?
If she is still taping, that would mean at least another 6 weeks of her.
Something is up. imo

February 27, 2012 at 11:45 am
(3) Live says:

Um….you know this is a soap opera right people? Have they ever been based in reality? I think not. I think in the times of so much technology and reality tv and cgi, thats what makes the soaps look so cheesy. They’ve stayed the same, they have been consistant.

February 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm
(4) jumpers says:

Maybe Helena had the kid 30 years ago and kept her frozen like Stavrosickle.

February 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm
(5) Annette says:

The ‘reality’ factor isn’t that important to me.
During it’s heyday GH got away with ‘Casey the Alien’, ‘Freezing Port Charles’ and plenty of WSB spy mysteries involving secret formulas, hidden treasures and world domination schemes.
How real were any of those?
What was real at that time was 14 million viewers.
Bring on the crazy storylines!!
(well not Lisa Niles, Maggie, etc, but the fun/crazy out of this world story lines)

Perhaps Irinia is Helena’s and Luke’s or Helena’s and Lucky’s. Hasn’t she kidnapped them both several times. She could take what she needs as she is crazy as a loon (but I do love Helena and Constance Towers!).

As far as Kate being younger than Sonny? She isn’t. Kate’s age hasn’t magically changed with the recast of the actress. Kelly Sullivan is not ‘playing’ a younger character. She is a younger actress playing an older part. I don’t know why that concept is so difficult to grasp. Perhaps because change is difficult. Older people play younger parts and no one bats an eye! She was cast in this role. She is doing a great job of playing crazyKate. WHY care how old she is in real life? She is a great actress doing a great job and people should look beyond the number.

The ‘math’ on Claudia is sad and icky. Google shows the youngest recorded birth at five years old. GH hasn’t addressed Claudia’s age but I would be surprised if they didn’t tack another 10 on there somewhere.

As far as “Olivia’s” math goes, are you basing it on the age of the actors or the characters? To me, it doesn’t make any sense to base it on the actors. Meryl Streep has been cast to play both older and younger women all of her life. Should we do the math on the ‘children’ in her movies?

Anyway, just my thought on an ongoing topic of conversation.

February 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm
(6) generalhospital says:

There’s reality and reality. A fantasy adventure like freezing Port Charles is just that, a fantasy. All practicality is out the window. That is a particular kind of fiction. When you take a situation that has some basis in reality — for instance, a courtroom scene — and you put the defendant’s friends on the jury, that is stupidity and dismissed by an audience.

When there’s a young girl saying she’s Helena’s daughter, that’s stupidity and dismissed by an audience.

And by the way, that doesn’t make her a Cassadine. She has to be Stavros’ daughter to be a Cassadine.

February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm
(7) debi says:

There’s reality & there’s stupidity.
Years back GH wasn’t stupid. Yea you could predict certain things as all soaps go.
Then there is stupidity which would fall into the category of laziness.
How do you tell a story without researching facts first?? Thus makes it stupid & lazy. NOT acceptable.

February 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm
(8) ron says:

She could be 32 years old. Mikos died in 1980 and Helena could have been pregnant with his child. And remember, many people look young for their age and many women still have babies in their 50′s. Ethan asked Irina how old was she anyway and she hinted that she was older than him. The story could work.

February 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm
(9) generalhospital says:

See my comment above re reality versus fantasy. Streep is in movies with makeup artists and lighting to make her believable. The point here is GH won’t hire age-appropriate actresses. They won’t let the Alexis menopause story go forward because they don’t want Alexis perceived as “old.”

I love Kelly Sullivan as a person and actress. But she plays an older character and doesn’t look it. The audience knows she couldn’t have gone to high school with Sonny. Helena and daughter Irina – I bet Helena is lying or Irina is a popsicle courtesy of Stavros, etc. I base my criticism on the age of actors when it’s not believable. Maurice doesn’t play his age – close, but not his real age. Yes we should now believe that Claudia was 45. Actors are cast within an age range. A cast breakdown will say, Irina/Cassandra – 18-24.

On television, age ranges are much narrower than for stage or film. Now they are even narrower because now talent can be found close to the right age with so many kids now in the business. It used to be a 25-year-old played a teenager – now they can get a real teenager more easily.

With a star, age doesn’t matter. Stars play parts they are too old or young for but it’s overlooked because of fame. You have Susan Lucci, entrenched in her role, who played Erica as 40 and it’s accepted.

When Marlo Thomas, nearing 70, playing the mother of an 8-year-old. Every review focused on that so no one actually reviewed the film. Thomas looks great for her age. Not great enough to have an 8-year-old. The reality was destroyed.

There’s a subtle prejudice that goes on. I wrote about it here and discussed it with Kelly, who understands the craziness when casting women. If Kelly were 45, she would not have been cast. Her 40-something predecessor is gone.

You say people should look beyond the number. Casting agents should look beyond the number.

February 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm
(10) generalhospital says:

With an actress who doesn’t look 16, maybe.

February 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm
(11) Annette says:

Helena never said she carried Irina. She could have hired a surrogate. For all we know there is an army of little Cassadine’s on hold.

Or, as Ron said, she could be Mikos’ and Helena’s daughter. This makes sense to me.
I’d easily buy the actress playing Irinia being able to play a 32 year old character.

February 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm
(12) Annette says:

I believe ALL people should look beyond the number. Why be so hung up on it? Why be so critical of the actor or actress cast in the role. Who cares if Maurice is playing younger than his age. Who cares if Kelly is playing up? Age only matters to people who make a big deal about it. Period.

Kelly Sullivan is a great actress. WHY care so much about her age that it ruins appreciating her contribution to the role?

My mother would say it’s ‘biting off your nose to spite your face.’

TO ME: The actress who plays Irinia does not look 16. She does not look 26. She does look older than the guy who plays Ethan. She is a very pretty woman, but to me she does not look ’18-24 years young’. But, so what? Who cares? I wasn’t interested in the s/l until Helena claimed her. Now I’m intrigued.

Too bad about the menopause storyline.
THAT was funny and relevant.
I love Alexis. :(

February 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm
(13) Maria says:

You’re not getting my point, I guess. It’s the casting directors who are not looking beyond the number. An audience has to go by what they see and what they can buy into. I don’t care that Maurice isn’t playing his age – my point is, most actors are within a range. Many of these actors aren’t within an age range for the character.

When the storyline broke that Luke had cheated on Laura and was Ethan’s father, Carolyn Hennesy said, when a show fools around with a history that viewers have bought into, they feel betrayed.

I not only feel betrayed, I feel insulted that I’m supposed to accept the stupidity of some of the casting. Like I’m some sort of fool who can’t see what’s in front of my face.

You wouldn’t say look beyond the age if Edward Quartermaine was playing Luke’s son – so it’s ridiculous to assume that people are supposed to look beyond age. They don’t. Put actors in a range where they will be believable.

That’s what casting directors are supposed to be here for. And writers are supposed to write cohesive stories and not lock down a room with gas fumes so no one can get out. How much are we supposed to accept?

I agree, the Cassandra/Helena story can work just fine. But if Cassandra is Helena’s daughter, she is not a Cassadine, so yes, she had Stravros’ sperm frozen and used a surrogate. I don’t think Alyshia looks older than Ethan at all. Now if Helena has had her in a hyperbaric chamber all these years and she’s really 50, okay, I’ll go along with it. Helena’s just crazy enough to do it. I have a feeling they’re getting rid of at least part of this storyline.

As to why Kim is still taping – the new producers were unhappy with Robin dying, so I think she’s alive and drugged or something.

February 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm
(14) Joan says:

Maria, you might be interested to know that my sister-in-law went to Clinton’s world forum that he holds every year, and Geena Davis was there. She has a foundation that addresses this very issue and she’s done some marvelous work in demonstrating the casting prejudices and educating women who want to be in show business about them. There’s that woman who sued imdb.com because they posted her age because past 40 it’s so hard to get roles. There is a ton of inequality. At least the inequality has moved up a little. It used to be when you turned thirty, that was it.

February 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm
(15) deb says:

All I know is LIW is DEAD and I am happy!

Robin’s funeral. Not for another 2 weeks. At the rate of people finding out, it will be at least that. I mean, is it even in the papers the explosion at the hospital? News story?? Anything?

One very poorly written scene.
Why would Star try to get Cole out of the car and leave her baby behind when the car was about to fall?
Why didn’t she reach in the back seat for Hope first thing?

February 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm
(16) Marfa says:

I like the story lines in GH. Quite frankly, I’m fed up with “reality”. If I want reality I can watch The Real Housewives of Wherever, or Jersey Shore. Bring on the fantasy, bring on Helena with a new daughter, Robyn dying in an explosion in a hospital and there be no alarm going or a security guard. Bring on the adorably cute and reliable mob hit-man and a mob boss who you only see shoot his own son. I love it, I love it all. When I want to watch reality I go to Bravo, ID, or I just open my front door and walk outside. Its fun, its not supposed to be “reality”.

February 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm
(17) linda says:

to much killings and mob they killed off Jake now everyone knew Kimberly was leaving for her directing career they killed her off instead of replacing her after all they replaced michael then due to kristine storm being sick they replaced her now they have starr n her family come to gh only to get involved in a car accident johnny sonny n anthony still fighting helena back to kill lukes son n she kills her own daughter we need the old gh back the good old days and their story lines luke and sonny together lucy coe scotty serna ect if gh doesnt change get rid of mob car accidents they too will be canceled have sonny open a resturant in lukes haunted starr have jason sam and spinelli open a pi business together gh needs a change soon or it is going off

February 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm
(18) Maria says:

Marfa, I don’t mean reality in the sense of misery and murder, though GH has plenty of that. Audiences will accept anything as long as it’s written convincingly, and these stories to me anyway just aren’t. I’m very disappointed and hoping that the new writing team does a little better, though they didn’t with Robin’s story arc. Maybe after they’ve cleaned up some of the old stories and gotten rid of some ancillary characters things will be better.

Several people have commented that it’s hard to invest in these stories since we don’t care about the characters. That is true. I think we certainly care about Robin and Patrick but there is a certain detachment toward the others as far as the audience. And that’s a major problem. Some of it for me is the constantly repeating storyline. Jason with more brain surgery, another car accident, another shooting, etc., and after a while, one tunes out.

February 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm
(19) sheila says:

I have watched GH since 1978. After the way they killed Robin off- burning her up (she isn’t even my favorite character) was the last straw. I have quit watching it. I always recorded it and would zap through the story lines I didn’t like. The new Kate is not believable.

February 28, 2012 at 8:43 am
(20) debi says:

Maria…you summed up perfectly how I feel about the show.
‘written convincing’ are the perfect words. That is all I want.

I don’t think the way Robin’s death was written is so out of the norm for the history of GH. Personally jmo I think Fiason got in there and took her.
Is that reality? NO. But that IS Ron’s writing. And who will care once Robin is found alive?
What was wrong with her being blown up 8 days ago, is that only a handful of people know. The staff isn’t even aware of it!!!!! Nobody came running when the alarms went off.

Ron has far to go. He better hurry up with it too.

February 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm
(21) Maria says:

By the way, I did check the casting breakdown for that Lady in White – early 20s. And I can’t believe they stuck with that daughter story.

Yes, I think if Robin is alive, she was indeed abducted. As I said above, it doesn’t have to be reality, because it isn’t anyway, it just has to be written convincingly. I don’t know how Faison got in when she couldn’t get out, but that’s always the case and it doesn’t matter for some reason. The train disaster and the metrocourt fire, people were wandering in and out and other people were trapped. Absolutely no rhyme or reason. And the sick people were the last to be rescued. It was hilarious – and for some reason, the fact that it was ridiculous made it really good. I can’t quite explain the difference. I guess because the main people stayed alive. I think when someone “dies” it should be written a little more carefully. After that, you can always believe something secretive happened like Faison was in a closet or something and was going to take her anyway, and then the gas fumes played into his hands.

Also someone mentioned the emotions – some great acting for sure – but not enough. The whole episode should have been devoted to her. They’re kind of doing it in stages now.

So yes, if she’s alive, she obviously can’t get to her family under her own power so perhaps Faison did grab her. Or Kimberly may still be taping because Robert is also going to have visions of her. I had heard originally she would be back for the finale. Wasn’t quite sure what that meant – she would only live if the show ended? Can’t quite figure it all out.

February 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm
(22) Reta says:

Okay………………honestly I don’t know what to make of Cassandra/Irina as Helena’s daughter. What I do know is if she is, and Helena is just letting the world know now, there has to be a reason for it. In watching last night episode when Helena supposedly shot her dead–there has to be something to that too. Seriously, why bring her in, introduce her to the audience only to kill her? There has to be more to this story.

Dear Writer’s, all we are saying is that storylines need to be believable even if this is not reality. We are counting on you.

February 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm
(23) TLW says:

Sometimes, the age of the actor and the length of time their characters have beern on the show DOES factor in. It wouldn’t have mattered how it was written, it still would have been ludicrous back in the day to have given Edward and Lila Quartermaine a ten year old child. Now, grandparents raising their grandchildren, that would be acceptable. You also have to remember that back when they did stories like Casey the Alien and Freezing The World, cable was extremely young and brand new. You didn’t have a lot of the cable shows that have been executed with such graphic depictions (shoot, DNA testing wasn’t even a standard procedure back in those days in REAL life). And even if people weren’t happy with a storyline, there were few other options at that time to choose from. Viewers have become more discerning and unwilling to accept implausible situations, ridiculous writing, characters they’ve known for years doing complete 180s in behavior, etc. I think it’s simply a sign of the times.

February 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm
(24) Maria says:

TLW, you are so right. I was using wrong words yesterday – I was saying realistic, not meaning reality, then I said written convincingly – believably was the word I was looking for. A script, no matter how absurd, has to somehow be believable – so believable that you really don’t stop and think about the crazy plot. For instance – and I realize I’m probably talking to youngsters here – the movie Casablanca. The bad guysor the uncaring guys – Rick and Louis – turn into good guys, Nobody ever thinks about that because it’s a great movie with characters we deeply care about with real emotions and something in a situation we can grab onto – love, betrayal, courage, responsibility, closure, friendship.

Audiences have seen real trials now – you can’t kangaroo court it up the way GH always does and not expect criticism. And you can’t have a 70+ year old woman give birth to a child for an absurd reason – that she will seduce a Spencer, when there was only Lucky back when she allegedly had this kid. She couldn’t possibly know that Lucky would be seduce-able.

We’ll buy soap opera conventions – the dead returning to life, who’s the daddy, strange diseases gotten by pregnant women, ridiculous geography – we’ll take it all – but don’t give me this sloppy writing with stupid, easily fixed things in it.

As far as Irina being killed, this plot was supposed to be a big gothic mystery involving Spinelli, Molly, Ethan etc., and the new writers could see that the whole thing was a big fat mistake, so they got rid of her. She probably wasn’t supposed to be Helena’s daughter. Spoilers said she was Laura’s daughter, a twin of 40-year-old Nikolas (also stupid but easier to swallow) – they’ve done away with all of it.

February 29, 2012 at 8:40 am
(25) deb says:

Really is LIW age important? Or the reality of it? I would so much rather see them KILL her and the story than continue on with silliness.
Thank You Ron for killing horrible story #1!

February 29, 2012 at 8:59 am
(26) TLW says:

Deb said: Really is LIW age important? Or the reality of it?

Me: I think it really is. Mainly due to the fact that when something stands out as being completely preposterous, it’s very distracting to many viewers. And if it’s distracting, then the viewer is not engrossed (i.e. invested) in that story. And all they’re waiting for at that point, is—as you also stated—for the character to be killed off. Lord knows, there’s always enough people being killed on GH, they don’t need to bring in newbies to kill off. They want to raise ratings for the show and bring in new viewers. Stories such as the LIW aren’t going to do it. Go ahead and do a story about an older woman having a baby, but make THAT the storyline. Show her wanting the baby and going through whatever means she has to in order to have the baby. That is realistic writing and perhaps something viewers would connect with, especially if they used a character fans already know and love, like Bobbie.

February 29, 2012 at 9:31 am
(27) deb says:

TIW-I ff thru 99% of this storyline. So for me, the only thing I care about is that it is over. I don’t care about age, I care about the story going out.

GH IMO has made LOTS bigger mistakes in the past year than making sense of a persons age. Again, JMO. lol

February 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm
(28) yvette says:



February 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm
(29) debi says:

I liked today. Between Patrick at the hospital and Anna at the house, going back and forth like that was all good. (shots)FINALLY!
Robert looks great. The flashback. All great ‘touchs’. Then Piff with ‘Jr Drake’! I had tears!!

Liz knows!!! Curious, who does Matt comfort, Liz or Maxie? Who comforts Matt? Where is Matt?

I have a confession. I ff thru Ethan, Luke, Holly. I just don’t care. I also ff thru Olivia & Kate. That story I can write myself since I watched OLTL for so many years.

The show has alot of ‘bugs’ still.
However, today I greatly saw improvements.

How nice is is to see Robert & Anna back?? NICE! Where is Mac?
Maybe we will see a reunion between him & his brother tomorrow.

March 1, 2012 at 8:09 am
(30) TLW says:

Loving having Robert and Anna back on GH together. Hope they continue with actors and storylines like this one. If GH wants to increase ratings, hold onto to present viewers and attract NEW viewers, storylines that have people FF-ing aren’t gonna cut it. And I can’t imagine OLTL fans who are crossing over to GH being very happy with having little Hope killed off within a few days of her first appearance. We’ll see.

March 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm
(31) Eve says:

Gh has been so horrible for such a long time, i wish they would have cancelled GH and left OLTL on. obvioulsy the writers HATE children, after all they kill all of them..First Jake now Hope, watch out Cam. Also the tough guy Jason has been weeping every episode (poor guy) And Sonny absolutely does not seem like a mob boss, they turned him into another weakling !!!!
ow and Partick, looses his wife and still stayes at work ??? come on… give me a break !!!!!

March 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm
(32) deb says:

Robins death was done terribly.
I however see major improvement, slowly, but I see improvement with GH each day.

Thing is, they DID cancel OLTL. Now its GH. Its all about a new show. We are just being treated by characters from OLTL. That is a bonus I will take.

March 4, 2012 at 11:37 am
(33) TLW says:

ABC announced the cancellations of AMC and OLTL in April of 2011, when they were sure they had the replacement shows ready to go. I’m not upbeat about anything until April of 2012 has come and gone, because by then, perhaps Katie Couric’s show will be ready to go for September, just like The Spew was last year. GH is going to have to show a vast improvement, imo, for it to get a continued green light. They’re bringing OLTL characters on but destroying their history right out of the gate on GH. That won’t win new viewers (if that IS the intention of bringing these actors on) and I’m afraid the ratings will reflect the dissatisfaction. Yes, they DID cancel OLTL and that was a superior show to GH. So what will stop them from canceling GH?

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