Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson courtesy SOAPnet
SOAPnet's first original scripted drama series, General Hospital: Night Shift, might seem a lock for a Season 2 renewal, seeing as how it led the cabler to record viewership in July and is besting the mothership's reruns by drawing some 915,000 viewers a week. Alas, the spin-off's very nature - General Hospital stars such as Steve Burton and Kimberly McCullough performing double-duty in standalone "after hours" storylines - is the biggest hurdle to its longevity, especially with GH's "light" summer production schedule nearing its end. "We didn't know what kind of physical and creative toll it would take on the GH team," ABC Daytime president Brian Frons tells TV Week. "While the GH numbers have been great, people are getting tired. So I have to figure out how to keep the energy in both programs."

Shouldn't all that coffee from Sonny's highly lucrative and highly legal beans biz be able to keep the folks awake?