General Hospital (GH) is one of America’s top rated drama series and one of the early medical TV shows that continue to be aired until now. Unknown to some of you, it is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running soap opera and in the third spot as well for being the longest-running drama in U.S. TV history.
GH first aired over ABC television network in 1963 and since then became a big hit with its medical stories, love triangles and presence of hot female stars.
For the period 1979 to 1988, the show gained the most number of viewers than any other soap opera aired during daytime. The top rating it earned was attributed to the popularity of General Hospital’s super couple Luke and Laura. In fact, the couple’s wedding that occurred in 1981 attracted 30 million viewers making it the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.
For the first 13 years, General Hospital occupied the 1:00 p.m. timeslot and lasted for half an hour per episode. When the timeslot was moved to 3:00 p.m., the show was expanded to 45 minutes. From 1978, each episode lasted for an hour. Since September last year, the timeslot of GH was moved an hour earlier to 2:00 p.m.
It cannot be denied as well that GH produced stars who made it big after being featured in the soap opera. Among the male celebrities who gained popularity courtesy of the show include singer Rick Springfield (Dr. Noah Drake), another singer Jack Wagner (Frisco Jones), Antonio Sabato Jr., Canadian Jason Thompson (Dr. Patrick Drake) and Brandon Barash (Johnny Zachara).
General Hospital, of course, earned awards through the years. Many of its cast have won Emmy Awards while the show itself earned recognition in different categories sine 1981.
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