General Hospital 60th anniversary

Soaps have transformed; just ask Francis

Soap operas keep transforming. There are no more tinkling teacups, no prolonged parlor chats, fewer empty moments.
But to look at the bigger changes, ponder Laura of “General Hospital,” as the show nears its 60th anniversary (April 1) and launches a multi-day celebration (April 3) — a week after “The Young and the Restless: (see separate story) has its 50th anniversary.
As a teen-ager, she was a date-rape victim … who then fell in love with her rapist. They married – drawing record ratings – and became the top couple in the soap world.
And now? “I love who she is,” Genie Francis (shown here in a previous anniversary), who plays her, told the Television Critics Association. “She was such a victim as a young woman. To see it flip around and have her be … this powerful woman who is the mayor. She doesn’t take crap from anyone.” Read more…

Surviving soaps turn 50 … and 60

In the TV world, nothing lasts forever – not even soap operas.
A half-century ago, there were 15 of them; now there are three on the networks and one on Peacock. Still, two of those survivors have key milestones:
— CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” (shown here) turns 50 on March 26. That’s a Sunday (a no-soap day), so the multi-day celebration starts Thursday, March 23; there’s also a special at 8 p.m. March 27.
— ABC’s “General Hospital” (see separate story) turns 60 on April 1, a Saturday. It starts celebrating two days later.
Read more…