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General Hospital Just Secured a Guinness World Record

Yes, you’ve heard that right, General Hospital has just made it into the record books.

It’s true that General Hospital premiered almost a decade after Guiding Light did, but the ABC drama series has officially surpassed the CBS soap to become the longest-running American scripted TV drama. Guiding Light ran from June 1952 to September 2009 while General Hospital has been on the air since April 1, 1963.

In recently published promotional material for the show, ABC is celebrating the show’s monumental accomplishment by adding the words ‘TVs Longest-Running Drama’ above the show’s logo. Additionally, the words ‘Love, Family, Legacy’ have also been added to the key art to let viewers know what they can come to expect from the daily weekday soap.

Technically speaking though, General Hospital is America’s longest-running drama series but it’s not actually the longest drama series overall. That particular honor goes to ITV’s Coronation Street which has been on the air since December 9, 1960. In fact, they just celebrated their 60th anniversary just a few months ago.

Regardless, General Hospital‘s achievement is nothing short of remarkable. That’s why we’ve decided to take a little time to shine a light on the series that’s captured our hearts and minds for almost six decades now.

General Hospital Launched Two Spin-offs

Port Charles ran from 1997 to 2003 and a primetime soap called General Hospital: Night Shift ran from 2007 to 2008. Port Charles drifted away from the original hospital setting and instead focused on supernatural themes.

General Hospital: Night Shift ran for two seasons on Soapnet and followed the nighttime adventures of both familiar and new characters from around the hospital. Both series were well received by viewers and critics alike but failed to bring in the kind of audience needed to keep them afloat.

There Are Ton’s Of Clothes And Costumes On The Set

It doesn’t matter what show it is, you can always expect a television set to be full of clothes, but General Hospital‘s set is particularly packed with fashion. It makes sense though that a show with such a large cast that films so many episodes in a production week would require a fairly sizable wardrobe department.

For one thing, a lot of characters appear in a different outfit every time the camera is running. Even if they are reusing some of their outfits from time to time you would still expect them to have a pretty hefty array of options to choose from.

Interestingly in the costume department, you can find quite a few cop uniforms as well. Wonder what else they have tucked away in there, maybe a clown suit or a pirate costume?

You would think that working on a TV show would come with a perk like being able to keep some of your characters clothing, unfortunately, the stars of General Hospital don’t get to take any of the clothes home with them at night. Every article is cataloged and accounted for so that it may be used again.

Okay, we’re not trying to get too off-subject, but if you’re enjoying this video so far, why not take a second to give it a like and subscribe to our channel

And make sure you keep watching to find out which General Hospital episode ended up being the most viewed daytime television episode of all time. We promise to get that in a second, but first, let’s talk about some of the challenges the cast has to go through to produce the show.

The Actors Have To Be On The Set For Long Hours

Filming any television show takes a lot of time. It’s not like it’s the easiest thing to do. Most actors can expect to spend many hours on set each day, but for the cast of General Hospital, they have to go above and beyond what your average show requires production-wise.

General Hospital films 80 pages of script a day. Other shows typically only film about 10 pages a day. Can you imagine how long that has to take?

None Of The Actors Read Lines On Teleprompters

Seeing as actors are typically given their scripts with pretty short notice, a lot of other soap operas make use of teleprompters to help their stars get through their lines. This comes in especially handy when filming huge chunks of script at a time.

The cast of General Hospital however never uses a prompter for their lines. Instead, they prefer to keep things old-school by actually memorizing their lines. Granted, a lot of soap stars have to commit their lines to memory the night before each shoot. Other types of shows give actors more time hut hectic filming schedules for soaps like General Hospital require the performers to work within a more constricting shooting schedule.

King of the Daytime Emmys

Not only has General Hospital enjoyed one of the longest runs in television history but it has also earned itself literally hundreds of Daytime Emmy nominations. And no other soap opera has won as many Emmys as General Hospital has. As of 2021, It holds the record for the most Daytime Emmy Award wins for Outstanding Drama Series, at 13.

Gloria With The Assist

General Hospital was almost canceled in 1978 following a particularly lackluster season. The show was dead last in terms of ratings. Gloria Monty was hired on as the show’s new executive producer and was tasked with turning around the show in just 13 weeks. No pressure!

She wanted to lure in the college crowd, so she cast younger actors and quickened the show’s pacing. Gloria also introduced new adventure and fantasy elements to the plot in the hopes of drawing in new fans. By the end of the year, the soap opera did a complete 180 and ended up first in terms of its Nielsen rating.

General Hospital Had The Highest Rated Daytime Episode In History

Who doesn’t love a nice wedding? Apparently, a third of the country loves watching people tie the knot. In 1981, Luke, played by Anthony Geary and Laura, portrayed by Genie Francis finally got hitched and over 30 million viewers tuned in to watch their long overdue and absurdly action-packed nuptials. It was one of the most viewed pieces of daytime programming in television history.

Ladies In It For The Long Haul

Leslie Charelston is the show’s longest-running cast member. She joined the cast back in August of 1977 as Dr. Monica Quartermaine. Her co-star, Jacklyn Zeman, has also spent a sizable chunk of her life on the set as well. She also joined the cast in 1977 just a couple of months after Leslie did. She’s played Nurse Bobbie Spencer for 43 years now.

The Carly Connection

Three actresses have all achieved fame and success after portraying Carly Benson Corinthos. Sarah Brown, who fist played the part, won three Daytime Emmy’s for the role. Tamara Braun, the actress that stepped in to replace her was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2004. The current Carly portrayed by Laura Wright has earned herself 6 Outstanding Lead Actress nods and 1 win in 2011.

Elizabeth Taylor Is A Huge Fan

No soap opera has ever scored as highly in the ratings department as General Hospital did when Elizabeth Taylor guest-starred for a stint in 1981. She played Helena Cassadine and crashed Luke and Laura’s wedding. She put a curse on the newlyweds and it turned into this whole big thing.

Taylor was a huge fan of the series for years and happily agreed to the role when she was offered it. She ended up donating all of her pay from doing it to charity as well.

The Quartermaine’s Have A Lot Of Pull

The hospital ended up burning down in 2009, but it was the Quartermaines with their unfathomable wealth and connections that rebuilt the place. That’s why they have so much power in Port Charles. They have so much say about how things should play out, what happens where and when, and what to do when there are problems with the hospital. They’ve had their fair share of drama since the rebuilding but that’s what a soap is all about, right?

General Hospital Wasn’t The Original Working Title

A lot of shows go through a number of different names before the producers decide on a final one. For example, Friends was originally going by the name Insomnia Cafe and Grey’s Anatomy was working with the simple and to-the-point title of Surgeons.

Before the first pilot of General Hospital aired, the show was conceived as Emergency Hospital. Granted, that name would have been pretty fitting as well, but General Hospital has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

Anna Devane’s Scar Disappeared

When she first started playing Anna Devane, actress Finola Hughes was given a large scar on her face through a little make-up magic. Eventually, however, her scar mysteriously vanished without explanation. Really though, maybe she just has one hell of a plastic surgeon?

Mac’s Accent Also Vanished

General Hospital fans that have watched the show for a long time will remember that Mac used to have an Australian accent. In a similar manner to Anna Devane’s vanishing scar trick, Mac also lost his accent over time. I guess you could argue that he just became more Americanized over time. Accent reduction is after all a real thing.

Don’t Eat The Food In the Vending Machines

If you’re ever going to visit the set of General Hospital, don’t be fooled by the delicious looking snacks and drinks in the Hospital’s vending machines. All of those cookies, snack cakes and potato chips have been sitting there for years now and if you look closely at their labels, you’ll notice that they have all been stripped of their brand names and given generic packaging.

The Docs and Nurses Always Have Folders Filled With Scribbles

Fans of the soap have probably been curious for years as to what the folders that some of the characters carry around actually contain. Is there important intel and paperwork in there or are they just empty?

Maybe those folders contain cue cards with medical information or the lines of the current script to help prompt the actors? As it turns out, all of the General Hospital files are simply binders filled with pages and pages of meaningless scribbles.

Inked-Up On The Daily

There are times when an actor might need to get a fake tattoo as part of their makeup regiment, and then there are other times when an actor’s real tattoo has to be covered up if it doesn’t mesh well with the character’s style.

Bryan Craig, Morgan Corinthos ex, was in the latter category. His tattoo near his wrist had to be covered up by the make-up department on a daily basis. Characters with tattoos, such as Willow, have to get inked up every day to step into character.

Well, here we are once again at the end of another video. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed learning all of General Hospital’s dirty little secrets with us.

Anyway, this is the part where we ask you a question and you think long and hard before typing your answer in the comments section……are you ready?

Which soap opera would win in a knock-down-drag-out brawl between General Hospital and Day Of Our Lives?

And before you go, why not take a moment to give this video a like and subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already. Go ahead and tap the bell icon while you’re at it to turn on notifications. That way, you can keep up with all of our upcoming videos.

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