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General Hospital Wiki is a collaborative fansite about the ABC soap opera General Hospital. The wiki format allows anyone to create or edit any article, so we can all work together to create the best site for General Hospital fans!
- General Hospital will broadcast its 12,000th episode in September!
General Hospital History
General Hospital is a soap opera which premiered on the ABC television network on April 1, 1963. Broadcast weekdays and currently repeated nightly on SOAPnet, it is the longest-running entertainment program in ABC television history. General Hospital rose to the top of the ratings in the early 1980s in part thanks to the monumentally popular "supercouple" Luke and Laura, whose 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.
General Hospital was created by husband-and-wife soap writers Frank and Doris Hursley, and is set in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York. Currently taped at the Prospect Studios, General Hospital originally aired for a half-hour. The series was expanded to 45 minutes in 1976, and then to a full hour in 1978. It holds the record for most Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, with 10 wins. General Hospital spawned the daytime series Port Charles (1997-2003) and the prime time spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift (2007-2008) in the United States.
Launched in 1963, the first stories were mainly set at General Hospital in an unnamed mid-sized Eastern city (the name of the city, Port Charles, would not be mentioned until the 1970s), revolving around Dr. Steve Hardy (John Beradino) and his friend, Nurse Jessie Brewer (Emily McLaughlin). Steve was Chief of Internal Medicine on the hospital's seventh floor and dedicated his life to healing and caring for the sick, ably assisted by Nurse Jessie. Jessie's turbulent marriage to the much-younger Dr. Phil Brewer (originally portrayed by Roy Thinnes; lastly by Martin West) was the center of many early storylines.
In the 1990s, General Hospital entered a transitional phase as the action/adventure storylines of the 1980s became less popular. The show gained critical acclaim for its sensitive handling of social issues, most notable of which were the heart transplant storyline which involved the death of eight-year-old BJ Jones (daughter of Dr. Tony Jones and R.N. Bobbie Spencer) in a bus crash and the subsequent donation of her heart to her dying cousin Maxie Jones. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson) began a long battle with breast cancer, which led to her adopting Emily Bowen, a young girl who had been orphaned when her mother died of breast cancer. GH was also praised for yet another storyline in the form of the beautiful but tragic love story of teenagers Stone Cates (Michael Sutton) and Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough).