ABC's General Hospital , one of the few surviving daytime soap operas, picked up 18 Daytime Emmy nominations on Wednesday -- leading the pack. Jonathan Jackson, who plays Lucky Spencer (Luke and Laura's son) on the show, has already won three times. He took a break from the soap in 1999, presumably to find stardom in movies but never found the success he had achieved on General Hospital . He returned last year. The New York Post commented today (Thursday) that Jackson "could be the next Tony Geary [who plays his father] ... meaning a popular actor who is satisfied starring in a daytime drama." Ellen Degeneres picked up nine nominations for her talk show but not one for herself, explaining jokingly on her website, "I feel my steroid use gives me an unfair advantage." Oprah Winfrey has repeatedly taken herself out of the competition in recent years, including this one, saying that she wants to give other talent a chance to win. However, Associated Press TV writer David Bauder said that by removing themselves from the race, the two daytime hosts "could also water down the award's meaning, with the knowledge that National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences members are not truly evaluating the best in the field. This year's talk-show host nominees are Rachael Ray, Bonnie Hunt, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Regis Philbin & Kelly Ripa and the five stars of The View.