Fourteen Years After the Premiere of the General Hospital Spinoff That Was Ahead of Its Time, a Case Is Made to Bring Night Shift Back With a Vengeance
SOAPnet/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2), ABC screenshot
SOAPnet’s first original scripted drama series should still be on the air today.
As ideas go, it was a great one: On July 12, 2007, SOAPnet premiered in primetime the General Hospital spinoff Night Shift, which not only featured MVPs like supercouple Robin and Patrick from the daytime drama, it shone a spotlight on new and underutilized characters who made the rounds at Port Charles’ foremost medical facility.
The offshoot was similar to General Hospital in that each episode was exciting and an hour long — and dissimilar from its parent show in that it was broken into seasons, each of which told stories with a beginning, middle and end. The first of its two cycles, for instance, found Jason and Spinelli working to put the kibosh on a student nurse who was more interested in ending lives than saving them.
Viewers ate it up, making Night Shift SOAPnet’s most-watched series ever. But it only lasted two seasons… which makes no sense, right? So some savvy executive at ABC should look at the success of the spinoff and revive it for the network (or one of its digital platforms). If it’s too tricky to coordinate the goings-on of the offshoot with the twists of plot on General Hospital, simply separate them.
It isn’t like the show doesn’t have enough characters warming the bench to populate a whole second show!
Let Night Shift indulge our interest in underused legacy characters like Scotty and Bobbie, Mac and Felicia. Let it reveal what’s going on with folks we too rarely see, like Lucas and Brad, Felix and Epiphany. And most of all, make it brilliant, thus paving the way for ABC to once again become the network known for its Love in the Afternoon.
What do you think? Would you watch a spinoff of General Hospital? On your way to the comments, stop off at the below photo gallery to review highlights of the show’s entire run.