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40 December 5th, 2012 Hollywood Reporter On Surprise Daytime Soap Ratings Resurgence! Could More Soaps Be On The Horizon?

Courtesy/THR

Now here is an exciting piece from a mainstream outlet who has their pulse on what is happening in the current state of the daytime soaps, and that forecasts and suggests some very good news may be on the horizon! Could this mean the revenge of the soaps?

The Hollywood Reporter took a look at how a year after ABC’s much maligned and mistaken decision to cancel both One Live to Live and All My Children, that the remaining four daytime dramas are seeing an uptick in the ratings and more!

Bill Carroll, VP and Director of Programming at Katz Television Group weighed on the subject saying, “What’s happened is the core audience realized these treasures might go away. They decided they’d better watch, or the shows are not going to be there.”

Frank Valentini, executive producer of General Hospital (and formerly of One Life to Live) commented on consolidating the soap viewing audience, which was a goal of recent casting moves.  Valentini stated, “We brought three actors from One Life to Live to General Hospital, so I’m sure we brought some fans over.”    In addition, Valentini cited other recent improvements to GH  such as: storylines don’t drag out as long, portrayals of women that are more contemporary, and that there are fewer flashbacks and more intrigue, romance and humor.

In an “I told you so” moment for soap fans, THR mentions the following stats:  “ABC’s All My Children replacement The Chew is averaging 2.4 million total viewers. That’s competitive with GH, but in the key demo of women 25-to-54 (which is what advertisers care about most), Chew generates only a 0.9 rating, about one-third less than GH delivers. Katie also is failing to attract as many women 25-to-54 as GH. (ABC’s other soap replacement, the lifestyle self-help show The Revolution, already has been canceled.)

In the end, it was exec Bill Carroll who made the most profound statement when posed the question that given the soaps resurgence, could this mean new dramas soon will be coming to daytime?  Says Carroll, “At some point in the future, the trend will once again be soap operas.”

So soapers, what do you think about the statements made in the piece?  Valentini’s and Carroll’s comments? Are you enthusiastic about daytime soaps’ future? Or pessimistic?  Let us know!

 

 

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  1. Torrey says:

    Yeah, but are the networks coming to the same realization? It does the soap fans no good, if the major networks dont see the error of their ways, and fix the mistakes that they have made…..And I’m sorry, I don’t want a new soap, I want my OLTL back!!!

    Reply

    brian replied

    Yes… OLTL is still missed very much, and I too would like it back…. but until then, GH is make me very happy with all the recent improvements.

    Reply

    jp replied

    Yes, I agree. Bring back OLTL. Look at the reboot of Dallas on TNT. It is a huge success.

    ONE LIFE TO LIVE NEEDS TO BE BACK…LIKE YESTERDAY.

    Tali Smith replied

    I too want OLTL BACK!!! GH may have added 3 actor/actresses from there but they destroyed the best couple-John McBain & Natalie Banks (IMO) and will not watch GH as long as they are doing this. The story involving John McBain is unbelievable, knowing the story line from OLTL and I just can’t stand to watch it. Glad to hear the soaps are doing well tho’! PLEASE just fix the JOLIE story, FV/RC!

    Reply

    Torrey replied

    Totally agree with you….that is the main reason why I gave up on watching and supporting GH. It was nice to see the characters on OLTL join the canvas on GH, but at the cost of destroying the characters….uh no! They killed off baby Hope & Cole…then quickly throw John & Sam together….and one of the final straws, killing off Tea’s baby that she had with Victor, I lost my cookies…

    digital Idealist replied

    I am happy with the end of Jolie. I know GH is safe from Natalie.

  2. Annalee says:

    Yessssss! Shout it from the rooftops! From Bill Carroll’s lips to fans ears!
    Hiphip hopray! ********

    Reply

  3. Christine says:

    I am an eternal pessimist. It is easier to be a glass-is-half-empty kind of gal then to have high expectations and be disappointed all the time. :-)

    That is really nice for The Hollywood Reporter to do this article considering they had many here wanting their heads for their shoddy commentary on the Daytime Emmys not too long ago.

    That being said, this is what I have been saying all along, as quoted: “Says Carroll, “At some point in the future, the trend will once again be soap operas.”

    Whether the networks will get into their thick heads that the fans want the soaps to continue and NOT these stupid talk/variety what-have-you shows, remains to be seen. I have said and will always say that everything old is new again. We might lose all our shows eventually, but SOMEday the soaps will be back. It may not be in my lifetime, but it will happen.

    Reply

  4. Nancy says:

    I have watched soaps for almost 50 years. I for one love them and am very attached to the characters. This was a false maneuver by ABC that said soaps were dead. They have lost thousands of viewers and if they cancel GH I am permanently done with ABC along with millions of viewers who absolutely love that show. I have a very small amount of hope to get the cancels shows back and would love some kind of a combination. GH talks about Pine Valley and Llanview and shows respect to the loyal viewers. I have not patience left for ABC.

    Reply

  5. Mary SF says:

    Bill Carroll is full of it when he said soap fans realized we could lose these treasures so we started watching again. WE WERE ALWAYS HERE- the networks were the ones that cancelled our beloved shows, forcing us to go to the remaining soaps to get our fill of daytime drama. Instead of splitting the viewer pool among 8 or 9 soaps as they once did, we are down to four- there aren’t more viewers just less soaps competing for the same viewers. And his words sounded more like a threat to me- watch these remaining shows or they might be cancelled too. I think this is all BS from the PTB to give soap fans a bone- to whet their hope their cancelled show might come back . This article doesn’t make me happy- it pisses me off because so many great soaps should have never been cancelled in the first place.

    Reply

  6. ashlee says:

    When and if daytime soaps make this resurgence, there will have to be a LOT of differences! No ridiculous back from the dead stories…no teenagers desperate to be mothers and wives…no villains who ALWAYS triumph..etc. Soaps went wrong and viewers turned away for a reason. Give us honest to goodness heartwarming stories like Gilmore Girls. Give us a campy funny sophisticated hybrid like Desperate Housewives. Give us a crime soap that blends Criminal Minds with long gone Edge of Night. You dont need bloated casts of 40 contract players. Give us a prime time sized cast. They dont have tir every day…air them 3 days a week. Next…don‘t hire the same writers and producers who failed at every soap. Hire new people…get interns…hire fresh writers…and LISTEN to the fans. There has been a statement forever, and it goes like “Happy couples are boring.“ but you know what? I NEVER heard a fan say that. I heard a producer, a writer, a network exec…etc say that. People dont want to be bombarded with constant misery. Keep popular couples together. There is enough human drama in ordinary relationships to fuel story for years. This can happen!

    Reply

  7. ashlee says:

    And seriously…get back to writing for characters that people root for. And romance! That breathless anticipation for favourite couples to get together is what drew soap fans in. It was not plastic surgeried psychos, mobsters who murder, violent graphic rape scenes, etc. People want to escape and be entertained!

    Reply

  8. Dmitri says:

    The soaps need to be brought back, but I do think that, besides GH, the remaining soaps need to fix their writing. Storylines on the shows, notably Days, are very dull and bland. Since there is nothing new, viewers will tune out.

    Reply

    Ces replied

    Couldn’t agree with you more about Days. The writing on that show is extremely boring & predictable. I find myself nodding off just watching it.

    Reply

    Dmitri replied

    Exactly, I know many people who fall asleep because the writing is predictable! Seriously! We already knew Gabi would get pregos with Will’s child and we know now that Sami will choose Rafe over EJ for the billionth time.

  9. Blake says:

    I wish ABC would swallow their pride and bring back OLTL!

    Reply

  10. MK says:

    Not having all the shows re-air on SN has helped. GH is keeping the surprises and excitement from the 80′s is back and GH is GH. Days is OK, and YR is undecided. Bold is still the Liam and Hope show.

    Reply

  11. Sheryl Postin says:

    They should admit their mistakes and bring back the two soap operas that all the fans watch . OLTL and AMC belong on tv and it is a real shame what happen .It takes a big man to admit he was wrong and fix the problem.

    Reply

  12. Pat says:

    YES, YES, YES, BRING BACK OLTL!!!!!!! Miss OLTL every day.

    Reply

  13. Sheshoe says:

    We can only hope that this will come close to bringing back something that was so very special! Still have a big hole in my afternoons without AMC & OLTL!! I would be so happy just to have those back even with cast changes!

    Reply

  14. James McDonald says:

    I’m from the days when soap operas and game shows were a hot commodity on daytime television. Of course, you only had CBS, NBC and ABC then with independent tv stations. The only cable channels may have been PBS and TBN.
    A Soap opera could branch off into a second soap opera, such as, Another World and Somerset.
    I’m sorry to see soap operas disappearing from the broadcast channels. One Life to Live had a nice send off with some actors continuing their role on General Hospital.
    But I think everyone would have liked All My Children to continue and what a cliff-hanger it had.
    I don’t see any reason why All My Children could not be brought back at some point or any soap opera from the past for that matter. Maybe a 30 minute format would work well.
    Who would like Santa Barbara, Ryan’s Hope or Dark Shadows to return?
    I’m surprised Days of Our Lives has not created a spin-off by now.
    Okay, talk shows are cheaper, but I’m getting tired of all the phony, scripted chat of unknown people we will only see once and then forget.
    Soap operas can still be exciting and with adventure.

    Reply

    Mary SF replied

    Another World had a third spin off- I want to call it Texas for some reason, but I’m not sure if that was the name. I know Iris Wheeler ( Mac’s daughter) moved from AW to that soap. It focused on a family in Texas and it ran right after AW for a couple of years at least- I liked that one too. I also missed Capitol and Ryan’s Hope and my first soap ever was Edge of Night. But I don’t know if the hey day of soaps would ever return, and if it did it would be something different- maybe more like the mini series format, which could work too.

    Reply

  15. Rodd says:

    What Mr. Carroll said about soaps becoming the new trend at some point may come true somewhere way down the line, but I doubt it will be anytime soon. I bet many people reading this would love for one or more of their cancelled soaps to be put back on the air. I know I would. But I also think that’s highly unlikely. Combos, like the frequent cross-pollenation of GH/OLTL/AMC mentions and characters is a thrilling way to keep some portion of our favorite shows alive and for TPTB to save money.

    If soaps become the “new” trend some day, I will be most happy if they employ some form stars from my old shows. But regardless of if actors I’ve watched are on the new show, I’ll always mourn the loss of some of my favorite soaps. I’d love it if they did “specials” where they’d revive certain soaps for a two-hour “update” from time to time. As soap fans, I think we’ve become accustomed to taking the crumbs we’re given by the networks…some might call that loyalty; a quality the “suits” don’t care about.

    ~ My apologies if I mis-typed any words. I don’t have my glasses on. :0)

    Reply

  16. Jules says:

    The ONLY storyline I care about on GH has been dragging on since March of this year: Robin’s alive and being held against her will. TEN MONTHS!!!! Kimberly’s doing other things yada yada yada. Don’t LIE and pretend like you’ve revolutionized the daytime serial. You’re still doing the same shtick. Besides, all soaps have infused humor and intrigue and high stakes drama for decades. This isn’t something new. You still have work to do, mainly in the storytelling department, but also in the resisting- the-urge-to-hire-useless-newbies front too.

    And DAYS, Nicole’s pregnancy that went on forever! It wouldn’t end! And then it did in such a climactic way, only for the conclusion process (fall, blame, reveal) to take 3 weeks. It’s doing some things right (Caroline’s Alzheimers, Will’s coming out, Kristen’s return, EJami exploration) but for every hit there’s been a miss.

    B&B is probably the most structurally sound (from the inside and from the outside) than any other soap, and that’s a bit of an issue given that their biggest reason for watching was wasted these past few years and now recently left. There’s not much more pull this show has. L-rd knows the never ending tug of Liam war has aggravated more viewers than it’s enticed.

    Don’t even get me started on Y&R.

    Ranting aside, I don’t believe we’ll ever see a resurgence in the daytime soap. We’ll be telling our grandchildren about them in past tense. They’ll recognize the format through adapted primetime shows, but a 5 day a week / 52 week per year show? I think this gentleman is being blindly optimistic or just doesn’t want to get booed on the street by soap fans like Frons. Either way, it’s a lovely thought, but my realistic side says it aint gonna happen.

    Reply

  17. JustSaying says:

    Bill Carroll – “What’s happened is the core audience realized these treasures might go away. They decided they’d better watch, or the shows are not going to be there.”

    I hope he’s referring to reality tv shows. Trust me, those “treasures” will go away when the core audience stops watching them.

    Reply

  18. heidi says:

    Love it!!! Somewhat… Vindication! Do it right and it’s successful! Threaten with extinction and you will see angry viewers unite and watch! Just get the measurement fixed to deal with current day watching mediums and they would find there are even more viewers watching whenever they can!

    Reply

  19. robert says:

    Great news. Love that the ABC replacement shows are failing. Soaps are the only shows that have consistent ratings every day.

    Reply

    SUSAN replied

    i agree robert abc has to admit they made mistake big time by

    under estimating the soap fan base, i am glad katie is falling flat on her “rich butt”

    like she needs more money and the revolution what a waste of air time what
    a dumb thing to replace otlt with that silly show, well it is gone ha ha!!
    and the chew never watched it never will,

    abc should have left amc and oltl alone and gh is an example of how popular soaps are with fans since the ratings are up

    just my opinion

    Reply

  20. Ces says:

    I really hope all talk shows fail and reality shows right after them. There is a reason I watch my two soaps and reruns of great comedy shows (Frasier, Cheers); it’s because we fall in love with characters, not regular people airing dirty laundry.

    Reply

    Christine replied

    Oh, CHEERS. That show NEVER gets boring does it? :-)

    Now that we do not have Directv (best decision ever!!) we rely on whatever comes from the antenna. I get to watch the old Hawaii Five-O, Petticoat Junction, Mr. Ed, and all the I Love Lucy I can take – she never gets old for me either. These are just a few that are on, but they are classic shows that were well-written and not this reality garbage.

    I hope reality and talk fails too. I took a stand this year and gave up ALL reality shows (and I watched decent ones like Amazing Race/Survivor and not crap like the Kardashians) but I wanted to be true to my word. I would rather not have one single reality show if that would keep the soaps alive and bring back more.

    Reply

    Ces replied

    Yeah, the classics are always fun to watch, I agree!

    I wish I could get rid of DirecTV seeing is how I only watch a handful of programs and football, but definitely researching other options ;)

    I admit I watch the Kardashians but I’m extremely sick of that family, other than that I enjoy Top Chef but I don’t consider that reality TV. I’ve never watched the rest of that junk nor will I watch talk shows since Oprah went off the air.

  21. Mary SF says:

    I blame Oprah- she made that whole genre huge and when her show went off the air, every network including cable thought they could create the next Oprah. I agree I don’t find listening to other people’s problems entertaining. Are we are supposed to ” learn” how to be better people from these shows? If so then why do they cater to the lowest instincts of mankind and exploit it for profit? Sure these talk shows touch the same subjects as soaps, but it isn’t so distrubing watching a fictional story about adultery as it watching some poor lady pour her soul out on national television while her cheating husband watches. I know these shows all have their fans, because they wouldn’t be on the air otherwise, but I never understood the appeal. So I say we blame Oprah for the changing the landscape of daytime television from scripted drama to infotalk

    Reply

    Christine replied

    I agree with you, Mary SF. I am sure there are fans of these kinds of talk shows, but I am not one of them. Back when we had plenty of soaps still, I watched Oprah – that was until I saw her for the phony that she really is – it was a few years before she did a show around that stupid book, The Secret. But that really ruined any respect or credibility she had with me. The only other part of her show I really liked was when Dr. Phil would do his segments because he was the ONLY man that could get that woman to be quiet and not talk over everyone. I was delighted when he got his own show only to see the format so cheesy and more of the same that we got from Phil Donahue, Montel, you name it. And now we have Katie who thinks she is revolutionizing daytime TV, but she is just more of the same with the exception that she was once a respected journalist and now she has shown she is money-hungry and desperate just like the rest of them.

    I also used to watch Rosie until she insulted Tom Selleck and then I was immediately done with her and anything to do with her. Ellen came along and I watched her for a few months, but I find talk shows to be so tedious – just filler for when there is nothing else on to watch. I gave up Jay Leno and David Letterman for the same reason. Not to mention I have two little kids so my FREE time is very important to me. When I do watch something, I want an escape from it all – my soaps. I am with you, Mary SF, I could care less about the nonfiction on these talk shows. I just want scripted drama from shows I have watched and enjoyed for many years.

    I think there is a place for all these shows to coexist, but not at the expense of more soap carnage. Ellen, game shows, soaps, even stupid things like The Chew would be more accepted if they were not at the expense of our soaps.

    Reply

  22. Maureen says:

    I want OLTL back! I watch GH and nothing else on ABC.

    Reply

  23. Michael says:

    They would be so smart if they created a “new” soap with characters from One Life and Al My Kids. But only if Frank/Ron could create along with their work on GH.

    Reply

    Zoe replied

    I am totally with you, Michael. Those soaps used to intermingle all the time, with Herb Callison going to Pine Valley and Linc and Kitty going to Llanview. It would not be that hard to update that blending and honor the history of both. Are you listening, Carroll?

    Reply

  24. AJ says:

    I have been struggling to like Bold and Beautiful to get my soap fix, but honestly the writing is just too bad and too much incestuous-like bed hopping. This soap can ever be like AMC, OLT or Edge of Night were. Two years into B&B and all I see is a one-sided soap where writers disregard even recent historical fact to favor one group of characters over another. Obvious that they NEVER hire medical or legal consultants and it is insulting because their audience is educated. Writers don’t realize that ALL contract characters are important and are just not there to move the storyline along for others. They should have their own storylines SOMETIMES independent of others — why many are fatigued with sl. Lastly, women who have done what Brooke Logan has done should NOT be anyone’s matriarch — that is laughable!

    Reply

    SUSAN replied

    quit watching b&b just all bed hopping

    brooke logan has been in bed with everyone on the show just about

    and know ridge is gone and forgotten my opinion she will continue to do so

    i realize people like b&b but they need to re group and start over with moral and
    family values

    Reply

    AJ replied

    The length of time that I have watched soaps, the main family was always the standard bearer with family members who did not cross certain lines. They made mistakes, but you could count on them to usually do the right thing. B&B is a just a free-for-all, no edit buttons, no boundaries. The only ones Brooke has not slept with are Liam, Bill, Justin and Anthony, but since KKL got a 2-year contract, there is still time.

    Really wish the focus of the show were about something else other than pitting characters against each other, and the winners are always the same.

  25. AJ says:

    ABC really needs a second soap. Since the Mannings moved to GH, why bring back the original Lords, Rileys, Woleks, from OLTL and the Chandlers, Martins, and the Tylers from AMC for a new soap.

    Jacob Young was the best Jr Chandler, and the worse Rick Forrester!

    Reply

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