General Hospital is arguably the most popular soap opera show in America right now. The series began back in the early ’60s and is still going strong today which is an incredible feat in the soap opera industry as many shows from the past have been canceled. Not only is General Hospital still on air, it’s making history! The show has gone down in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera production and third longest-running drama. General Hospital has been so successful in its time, it even garnered multiple spin-offs like Port Charles, General Hospital: Night Shift and General Hospital: Twist of Fate. With a strong and dedicated fan following, GH holds the record for the most Daytime Emmy Awards with a whopping 13 wins! With such a long running series, a lot is known about the show, but we did our best to dig up 10 tidbits of information that some fans might not know about this beloved daytime soap:
8. The Early Days
General Hospital was created by husband and wife soap opera writers, Frank and Doris Hursley. The series premiered on April 1, 1963 and when the show was first created it was supposed to be called “Emergency Hospital.” In the beginning years of the show, all of the storylines were set on the seventh floor of ‘General Hospital’ in an unnamed city. At the time, each episode was only 30 minutes long and there was no such thing as ‘Port Charles.’ The soap opera was merely set in ‘General Hospital,’ but in the ’70s the producers coined the fictional town of Port Charles. In 1976 the series was expanded from 30 minutes to 45. In 1978 it was bumped up again and became an hour long production. “They had this concept of the show that it was like a big wagon wheel — the spokes would be the characters and the hub would be the hospital,” said John Beradino (who played the character of Steve Hardy) in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.