Show a spinoff of 'General Hospital'

Disney-owned SoapNet has picked up its first-ever original scripted drama, a spinoff of ABC’s “General Hospital” franchise.

SoapNet will air 13 episodes of “General Hospital: Night Shift,” which will follow several of the “GH” characters’ storylines as they work the night shift at the hospital.

“GH” head writer Robert Guza Jr. and exec producer Jill Farren Phelps will also write and exec produce “General Hospital: Night Shift,” which launches this summer.

The “Night Shift” premiere will bow on the heels of a special episode of “GH” on ABC.

“We are committed to growing the soap genre and the ‘General Hospital’ franchise by expanding its storyline only on SoapNet,” said Brian Frons, president of daytime at the Disney-ABC Television Group. “General Hospital: Night Shift” will launch with “an audience that is already dedicated and compelled to know more about what happens on the night shift at the hospital.”

Decision to launch into original scripted series comes as SoapNet is about to clear 60 million homes in distribution, network brass said.

“Night Shift” isn’t the first spinoff to come out of “General Hospital.” The daytime sudser also spawned “Port Charles,” a half-hour soap opera that aired on ABC from 1997-2003.

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