General Hospital spoilers and rumors hint that Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman, GH‘s current co-head writers, might be replaced if they don’t pull up the ABC soap’s ratings soon. With former GH chief scribe Ron Carlivati busy at Days of Our Lives, could ABC Daytime tap a past ABC soap writer to take over from “Jelly” (as Jean and Shelly are commonly known)? If so, what about Chuck Pratt? Could the former head writer of The Young and The Restless save General Hospital?
GH May Sweeps Flops in Ratings and With Fans
The numbers are in for the week ending May 19, and it’s not great news for General Hospital. In May sweeps, soaps pull out all the stops to score top marks but, this time around, GH disappointed many of its fans, and the low ratings reflect their lack of enthusiasm. Compared to the 2016 May sweeps General Hospital is down more than 388,000 viewers. That’s stunning.
General Hospital ratings were up slightly for the week of May 19 compared to the week before by a nudge of 51,000 total viewers. However, it represented a low for women in the 18-49 demographic for the third straight week. With sweeps in high gear, Jean and Shelly’s best work should have been on display but, judging by fan reactions and ratings, that’s not what General Hospital viewers saw.
Pratt Replaced Jean and Shelly Before at YR
Chuck Pratt came in before to take over when Jean and Shelly struggled. The two were co-head writers at The Young and the Restless and Chuck Pratt was brought in to replace them. Jean stepped away rather than take a demotion when Pratt came on board, but Shelly stayed longer and worked as a breakdown writer (one that just outlines a script based on ideas from other writers).
This has been the most boring sweeps EVER. I can't even MAKE myself watch. ???? ???? #GH— Gail Teas (@scarlett671) May 31, 2017
Among the many mediocre YR plots that Jelly wrote while at CBS was the terrible and unending Katherine Chancellor music box plot that resulted, improbably, in a diamond necklace in a chandelier. Jean and Shelly revived that poor idea and recreated it with the will of Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and that has dragged on since March of 2016 until now with no end in sight.
Could it be that Chuck Pratt will be brought in to clean up after Jelly once again like he did at The Young and the Restless? Pratt did liven up YR for a while, but then he left YR after Mal Young came on as the new EP and wound up in prime time as the new showrunner at Lee Daniel’s Star on the Fox network. Going from soaps to nighttime is a coup, but Pratt only planned to stay one season. With Pratt now done at Fox, he’s available.
So Many Poor Plots Conceived by Jean and Shelly
Jean and Shelly have talked at length about their love of umbrella plots, but theirs are of poor construction, with too many characters crammed under the tattered fabric of some bad stories.
Well-known GH blogger WubTub brutally dismantled the flaws of the Nurses Ball, and May sweeps writing, “What a terrible story this mess is. I can’t even begin to explain it all” in her scathing roster of the fails of the past few weeks only highlighting Maura West’s acting, not her fire story, as the best of the week.
The Chimera Project was supposed to be the big Sweeps shocker yet it was a tin can with flashing lights and no substance that was gone before it did any damage. Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) got shot, and Ava burned, but we know both will survive. Helena Cassadine’s (Constance Towers) revival was brief and unsatisfactory as well. She was back, but not really, and Jake and Jason still have no closure.
Would Chuck Pratt Respect GH History?
General Hospital fans have been frustrated with the lack of respect of GH history, timelines, and characters shown by the current writing regime. To make things worse, Jean Passanante is warring with fans on Twitter more than once in recent weeks over this precise criticism, even going so far as to deny that they rewrote history despite reams of evidence showing the contrary.
During Chuck Pratt’s writing tenure at GH, from 2002 through 2004, Jill Farren Phelps was shaking up the ABC soap firing beloved actors left and right (including Lila and Edward Quartermaine) while killing off many characters. Still, Pratt managed to eke out some big hit plots such as the hotel fire. Pratt might do better under a different EP if he came back to General Hospital.
Ron’s #GH had 13 weeks of record low ratings when he got fired, Jelly is now on 17. ????— Yasmin (@yasmin86) May 18, 2017
What do you think? Are you among the many fans crying out on social media for the firing of Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman? Would you want to see Chuck Pratt back at GH? With May sweeps tracking poorly in ratings, it’s clear fans are hoping for better from the next round of General Hospital spoilers.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown /Getty Images]