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General Hospital facts for kids

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GH50th cast photo
The 50th anniversary (2012–13) official cast photo of General Hospital.
Front row : Anthony Geary
Second row (l-r): Vanessa Marcil, Maurice Benard, Kelly Sullivan, Leslie Charleson, Laura Wright, Jane Elliot, Brooklyn Rae Silzer, Jason Thompson, Kelly Monaco, Nancy Lee Grahn, Genie Francis, Kin Shriner, Finola Hughes
Third row: Kirsten Storms, Bradford Anderson
Fourth row: Teresa Castillo, Marc Anthony Samuel, Robin Mattson, Jacklyn Zeman, Sean Kanan, Lisa LoCicero, John J. York, Kristina Wagner, Rebecca Herbst, Dominic Zamprogna, Emme Rylan, Emily Wilson, Chad Duell, Sonya Eddy, Ian Buchanan, Lynn Herring
Back row: Jimmy Deshler, Haley Pullos, Drew Cheetwood, Sean Blakemore, Tyler Christopher, Derk Cheetwood, Kelly Thiebaud.

General Hospital (commonly abbreviated GH) is the longest-running ABC Daytime American soap opera broadcast on the American Broadcasting Company television network. It is also the longest-running serial produced in Hollywood (having been taped at the Prospect Avenue ABC Television Center West and Sunset-Gower Studios).

Set in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York, General Hospital debuted on April 1, 1963, the same day that rival network NBC launched its own medical daytime drama, The Doctors. The show originally aired for a half-hour until the network expanded it to the unusual length of 45 minutes in 1976, and then to a full hour in 1978. The serial was created by soap writers Frank and Doris Hursley, a husband-and-wife team.

General Hospital is credited for starting several trends in the soap opera genre in the 1980s, most notably that of the fast-paced action-adventure plotlines that were remarkably different from the more traditional domestic and social issues that had been the sole focus of most soap operas during the previous decades. In 2003, when GH was celebrating its 40th anniversary, TV Guide named it "The Greatest Soap Opera Of All Time." In addition, GH was also named as one of TIME Magazine's "Top 100 Television Shows of All Time."

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