Snagging a Best Drama Daytime Emmy nomination has been much-needed good news for the cast of "General Hospital."
"It is a morale booster," said actor Jason Thompson, who plays Dr. Patrick Drake on the ABC soap (airing 3 p.m. EDT weekdays). "The news (of the nomination) showed that all the hard work we do is appreciated ... People know, people within the industry know, just how hard it is to do a show like this. There's so much done in a single day.
"We shoot a whole episode in one day ... It's just this train that has to stay on the tracks."
The cast will attend the 38th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, which will air live from Las Vegas at 9 p.m. Sunday on CBS. "General Hospital" has the most nominations of any show, with 21 nods.
The series already has a record 10 wins for Best Drama. Other nominees in the category include "The Young and The Restless," "The Bold and The Beautiful" and "All My Children," which will go off the air in September.
With a 48-year history, "General Hospital" is the longest-running soap on the air.
The morale boost couldn't come at a better time. "General Hospital" will be the only soap left on ABC's daytime schedule after January 2012. Besides "All My Children" being canceled, "One Life To Live" will also end its run in early 2012.
Meanwhile, "General Hospital" has suffered a ratings dip recently, and some observers say the show might be in danger of cancellation soon, too. In the past month, a new head writer has been named, indicating the network thinks the show is still relevant. With the announcement that Katie Couric's new talk show will settle into the 3 p.m. time slot starting in September 2012, many are wondering if "General Hospital" will continue for much longer.
Regardless of what happens then, the next year will prove to be a do-or-die time for the soap.
"We know there's change coming," Thompson, who's been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, said. "It could come in a couple of years. It could come in a year. It could come in six months.
"We don't know, but, yeah, I think we'll be around for at least another couple of years, if not longer. I hope we can keep doing this for another three, four or five years.
"There's no promising. I don't think even the people in charge of those decisions really know at this point."
Other highlights for the week of June 19-25 (listings subject to change; check local listings):
-- "Falling Skies" (9 p.m., TNT). After the world is taken over by aliens, the only hope for our survival is Noah Wyle. If the world is about to end and an actor from "ER" is our last hope, we really should expect at least George Clooney to save the day.
-- "Miss USA Pageant" (9 p.m., NBC). Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic will be hosts of this year's event, live from Las Vegas.
-- "Drop Dead Diva" (9 p.m., Lifetime). A third season opens in this comedy/drama about a deceased pretty girl who inhabits the body of a plus-size attorney.
-- "Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals" (10 p.m., OWN). The father and daughter stars try to mend their broken relationship in front of cameras because, well, how else can you do such a thing? In private?
-- "Hoarders" (9 p.m., A&E), The reality show that brings nasty to a whole new level is back for a fourth season.
-- "Sex Crimes Unit" (9 p.m., HBO). This documentary follows a New York unit that looks into sex-crime cases, examines the evidence and argues cases in court. In the opener, a 16-year-old rape case is studied.
-- "History Detectives" (8 p.m., PBS). Items are probed that date back to the Civil War and Pearl Harbor.
-- "Combat Hospital" (10 p.m., ABC). This new drama explores the colorful and stressed-out personalities working at a multinational medical unit in 2006 Afghanistan.
-- "Futurama" (10 p.m., Comedy Central). A new season of the futuristic animated comedy gets under way.
-- "Rookie Blue" (10 p.m., ABC). With a second season comes more on-the-job challenges for the fresh faces on the beat. A rookie obsesses over a fatal shooting at a concert.
-- "CMT Crossroads" (10 p.m., CMT). The Doobie Brothers team with Luke Bryan for performances.
-- "Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings" (10 p.m., IFC). Two best friends, who star in this reality series, travel the country to make local commercials for deserving businesses.