News - Soap Buzz

2 March 20th, 2012 DAYS Sarah Brown, Marlene McPherson, Ken Corday, Kristian Alfonso, Molly Burnett on NPR News Segment on Salem!

Days of our Lives and how it is adapting and surviving in the downturn in the economic climate of the soap opera genre was featured on a brand new segment on NPR (National Public Radio) News titled:  Cheaper Clothes and Shorter Stories On Soaps, Strange Days indeed!  Interviewed were:  Sarah Brown (Madison), Ken Corday (DAYS EP), Marlene McPherson (Co-head writer), Molly Burnett (Melanie), and Kristian Alfonso (Hope).

Here is a preview from NPR’s post: “Writer Marlene McPherson informed NPR that story arcs used to stretch out for up to a year, and if you ever watched the “Marlena’s demonic possession” or “Cruise Of Deception” stories, you know what she’s talking about. Now, they try to wrap things up in shorter chunks. It’s interesting that as nighttime television finds more space for long stories and serialization, soaps have to move faster to stay alive.

At least one of those adaptations seems very positive, though: Sarah Brown (Madison) related to NPR that you no longer have to stand around explaining everything that happened yesterday, partly because the show now assumes that people who are confused because they missed something can hop online and figure it out. It’s been a while since I watched, but this hopefully means less of people staring out of windows and talking to themselves.

The economics that are affecting daytime soaps are a spin on the economics affecting the rest of television: more competition, cheaper shows (particularly personality-driven talk shows), different audience habits that make live viewing less likely and delayed viewing more likely … it’s an environment that’s already killed off several giants with decades of history

For now, DAYS is on through the fall of 2013, when its contract will run out and we’ll learn whether those sands are going to keep sprinkling down through that hourglass or not.”

Listen to the segment below, and then let us know what you thoughts of the sound bytes!  And, also how NPR framed this piece … was it enlightening, or quite off-putting?



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  1. MBmomof3 says:

    Again, I’m glad when mainstream media draws attention to the genre, especially the iconic soaps. Got to give NBC credit for letting viewers know they are willing and able to “tweak” their show to reflect changing in viewing habits, the economy, etc.

    Thank you, Mr. Fairman for the excellent job you do keeping the fans in the loop!


  2. RJ4 says:

    Yes, I do like seeing the iconic theme music and image of the sand going through the hour glass because it is continuity from the past, and it is familiar. Reminds me of the time when my aunt used to watch the show when I was a child.


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