In a new AD AGE feature titled, Daytime TV’s New Entries Push Soaps Toward Drain, quotes from ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons, and CBS Entertainment Sr. VP Daytime, Barbara Bloom are represented. First up, the emergence of The View competitor The Talk - all about mommy talk show – that replaces As the World Turns. But then, the article points out several key rationales as to why the soaps are dying off and the audiences are dwindling, and here they are. 1) The shows are hitting much less of their target 2) The gratification of watching soaps has gradually been replaced by attachment to other media properties. 3) Daytime is no longer monolithic.
However Ad Age goes on to say, “Not everyone hears a death knell for the genre — just a call for fiscal prudence in managing survivors. Unlike CBS and NBC, ABC owns its soaps — “General Hospital,” “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” — and Mr. Frons believes they have a future on the network. “Like all TV, the strong survive and the weak are replaced,” he said. Although viewership patterns have changed, soaps remain “very strong performers,” he said, capturing a large and passionate audience. CBS also sees a place for the programs, but also realizes that daytime TV “is in a challenging time of transition,” said Ms. Bloom, “and we need to have the strongest players doing that battle.”
ABC has tested a raft of ideas to keep viewers interested while keeping costs low. The network moved shooting for “All My Children” from New York to California, taking “about 20%” off production costs by allowing for easier storage and transport of sets. The network is bringing back fan-favorite characters, including Alicia Minshew as Kendall Hart Slater on “All My Children” and Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo as Brenda Barrett on “General Hospital.” ABC has also generated some buzz by enlisting actor James Franco to take part in the medical soap.
In the future, TV networks and stations are likely to fill more of their airwaves with programs that get people talking but don’t require them to watch an hour-long show five days a week. Viewers these days want to dip in and out of shows, media analysts suggest, so talk shows, quiz shows, health-and-wellness programs and even infomericals might better fill the bill. “Just as soaps celebrated a fantastical, fantasy world of relationships run amok two generations ago, self-help, reality and advice shows will fill the void in the future,” said Paul Kurnit, a marketing professor at Pace University.”