Series / Port Charles

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Port Charles is an American soap opera that aired on ABC from June 1, 1997 to October 3, 2003. The show was a spinoff of General Hospital and, like the mothership, was set in fictional Port Charles, New York. The show was an attempt by ABC to shore up its 12:30 Eastern timeslot (which had been filled for years by the troubled soaps Loving and its spin-off The City) to better compete with CBS's hit, The Young and the Restless.

In its original incarnation, the show was a typical American soap opera, focusing primarily on a group of interns working in Port Charles General Hospital. Several long-running characters from General Hospital (Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins and Scotty Baldwin) were transplanted to the new show to clearly tie the spin-off back to the mothership.

Two years into the show, the focus of Port Charles changed dramatically, introducing supernatural & gothic elements such as angels, werewolves and vampires; with its new focus, the show more closely resembled a modern day version of Dark Shadows.

Finally, in 2000, the show moved from traditional, open-ended storylines to a structure that resembled a telenovela. Storylines were told over thirteen-week story arcs (termed books by the creators).

The show was cancelled by ABC in 2003 and is, as of 2014, the last show ABC has programmed into the 12:30pm Eastern timeslot.


This series provides examples of:

  • Alternate Universe: An arguable example in its supernatural days. While closely tied to General Hospital during its first two years, once Port Charles moved to telling stories about vampires and werewolves, very little of the action on Port Charles impacted General Hospital and vice versa. Until the Crossover, that is....
  • Celebrity Paradox: Despite the show being a General Hospital spinoff, set in the very same hospital and town as its parent series, at one point, a character was watching TV and the "General Hospital" theme was clearly audible.
  • Crossover: The show's supernatural storylines were brought into continuity on General Hospital during the winter of 2013 - though given a somewhat non-supernatural explanation at the end. then another twist at the very last minute that switches the story back to a supernatural thriller cliffhanger
  • Daddy's Girl: Julie. Even becoming a doctor like he is. It's then subverted in that she doesn't want anyone to know she's his daughter, even using her mother's maiden name as her last name, because she wants to succeed on her own merits. She's crushed to learn her father's been cheating on her mother left and right for years, possibly even driving her brother to suicide when one of his conquests included his own girlfriend.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Matt to Grace, even though they never slept together, and to Ellen. Before they consummate their relationship, he makes it clear that his injuries do not affect his ability to perform sexually.
  • Hospital Hottie:
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Matt. It helps that his portrayed was paralyzed in Real Life.
  • Ironic Name: The show is called Port Charles, after the town it's set in, when most of the action takes place in the hospital and focuses on the doctors and nurses working there. (Strangely, this is a reversal of the situation with its parent show, called General Hospital even though most of the action takes place in the surrounding town)
  • Left Hanging: The show ended on an unresolved cliffhanger, since its taping structure did not allow the writers to wrap up the existing storylines. Averted in 2013, when General Hospital revisited the final storyline and provided (some) resolution.
  • Likes Older Women: Matt regarding Ellen, and Chris, who seduces Julie's mother.
  • Not of This Earth: The odd watches carried by angels. Victor's lab cannot identify the metal.
  • Real-Life Relative: Lynn Herring' s (Lucy) Real Life husband Wayne Northup played Rex, Serena' s kidnapper.
  • Ship Sinking: Joe and Karen, intended to be the show's signature couple, ended up fizzling out when the writers threw too much drama at them. This happened to nearly all the couples that the show initially developed—Frank and Julie, Chris and Eve (never even got beyond flirtation, despite an obvious mutual attraction)
  • Spin-Off
  • Whole Plot Reference: The show kicked off with the abduction of Scott's daughter Serena, in a storyline very reminiscent of the film Ransom, right down to Scott screaming " Give me back my daughter!"
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