Wednesday, April 4, 2007

SoapNet goes after a prime-time crowd

From today's L.A. Times:

Daytime soaps are in peril and it just may be that prime-time is riding to the rescue.

While soap opera audiences continue to dwindle, SoapNet, the Disney-owned cable channel devoted to sex-and-suffering serials, is embarking on a mission to revive the genre in the evening hours.

In a bid to lure new fans as well as to goose the performance of daytime soaps, the network this month will begin production on its first original drama, "General Hospital: Night Shift," a spinoff of the long-running daytime show premiering in July that will serve as a weekly companion to the ABC series.

"Night Shift" marks the first time a daytime soap has spun-off a nighttime counterpart.

The show is being described as an episodic medical-mystery drama — think equal parts "General Hospital" and "House" — starring one of the mother ship's hottest new couples, Drs. Robin Scorpio and Patrick Drake (Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson) as resident physicians on the Saturday night

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