Iconic daytime medical drama “General Hospital” is being forced to switch up its schedule, joining a growing list of shows which have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
ABC has announced that the show will now air four episodes per week, Monday through Thursday, instead of its usual five. Starting this Friday April 3, the network will air “Flashback Friday” editions, or reruns, of “General Hospital” in the place of original episodes.
Each “Flashback” episode will feature an introduction from a “General Hospital” star. This week’s episode, the 56th anniversary special which aired in April 2019 and featured a tribute to the hospital’s past, present and future, will be introduced by Laura Wright.
“General hospital” premiered on ABC almost exactly 57 years ago. The anniversary on April 1 will continue its run as both the longest-running American soap currently in production, and the longest-running scripted TV drama currently in production.
The series has won the Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Drama a record 13 times.
Other ABC properties which have had to adjust due to the pandemic include Tamron Hall’s daytime show, which returned earlier this week with COVID-19-focused news bits recorded by Hall in her home. Meanwhile “Grey’s Anatomy” was forced to cut short its season by several episodes, with the season 16 finale brought up to April 9.
Production on “American Idol” has been suspended, as with virtually every single other show in the industry, meaning that ABC to fill time with pre-recorded “Idol” tapings and two episodes of “American Idol: This Is Me” which take a deeper look into the contestants’ lives.