News - Soap Buzz

39 April 16th, 2012 NY Daily News on How Canceling Soaps Is No Sure Road to Success for Network Programming Execs!


The New York Daily News has a great piece out today about GH getting a renewal and One Life to Live’s replacement, The Revolution being axed with the post titled, “ABC keeps General Hospital after finding that canceling soaps is no sure road to success.”  Ain’t that the truth!

The NY Daily News piece goes on to say:  “The lesson here is some soaps may still draw a bigger audience than some of the cheaper chat shows that replace them. In this particular case, it also could be a factor that Couric reportedly preferred General Hospital as her lead-in, noting the loyalty of  GH viewers and fearing she would be seen as the villain if  GH were canceled. With The Revolution averaging about 1.33 million viewers a day in March, around a million fewer than General Hospital, it didn’t turn out to be a tough call. Still, soap fans call it a win, if only because General Hospital has the lowest audience of the four daytime soaps remaining on broadcast TV and thus was the most vulnerable.

This means GH can now celebrate its 50th anniversary, on April 1, 2013. While that doesn’t guarantee it a 60th, or even a 51st, it does underscore that killing a soap doesn’t automatically solve the networks’ daytime viewership problems. Soap fans argue that even though soap ratings have been declining, so have all network daytime ratings. More people work now. TV viewers have 500 channels instead of three.

Soaps haven’t lost fans in greater proportions than other programming, their supporters say, and they have the added value of being an appointment show that builds loyal audiences.  TV watchers still talk about the wedding of Luke and Laura on General Hospital in 1981. Who remembers a guacamole recipe from a week ago? The tide is still flowing away from soaps. But the fate of this “Revolution” is a good reminder that if you throw away the soap, you better have another way to clean up.”

OK soapers, we thought there were some very good points made here! Would you agree? Let us know!

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  1. Christy says:

    YEAH! We are thrilled! I have watched One Life to Live and General Hospital since they started and tho I liked OLTL the best and was crushed that ABC would cancel 2 great soaps in one swoop… I am thrilled they finally saw the light that making that decision was not the best idea and best not to repeat the wrath of loyal viewers so soon again by canceling GH.

    I don’t think ABC really thought soap fans would boycott their network, especially not in droves or be so vocal all over the web and social networks. I don’t think their daytime lineup could take a final blow of us walking out for good if they took GH off the air. Many fans are watching nothing but GH right now because of AMC and OLTL being canceled.
    I’d sure like if Agnes Nixon got back the rights to All My Children and One Life to Live so that she and we can one day see our favorite characters again thriving elsewhere…. We still want our shows!
    In the meantime, this is great that it’s going on to it’s 50th year and that is fantastic news!
    I would like to hear from the replacement, I mean the revolution cast… didn’t they call soap fans a bad word. Well we showed them!


    Jim replied

    I think this is only another temporary ruse like Prospect Park and ABC will try again to cancel GH next year. They kept the worst of their 3 soaps and it hasn’t improved. They think fans will eventually get tired and go away. IMO Katie Couric is already the villain. Everywhere you read, she is despised by viewers. Her show will quickly fail as well. The revolution failed not due to soap fans but because it was a truly awful show with hosts who were not qualified and were annoying. Myself, I don’t care what any of them have to say.


    Rusty replied

    I agree that this is possibly just a temporary decision. I think we’ll all still be worried about GH getting the ax this time next year. But I do NOT agree that the The Revolution failed becuase it was a bad show. It may have been; I don’t know because I didn’t watch it and that’s the point. As a loyal ABC soap fan I refused to watch either of the new talk shows when they came on the air. Thousands of soap fans did the same. THAT is what caused The Revolution to be cancelled – the soap fans boycotting the show that replaced their beloved soap. Don’t underestimate the loyalty and power of the fans. We loved those shows, and if ABC was determined to ignore our pleas to keep them on the air, then we were no longer going to support ABC. As of now, I only watch GH on ABC – nothing else, and that includes the local affiliate for news. If GH is ever cancelled, I will not watch the network at all. And of course, I can’t agree with you that GH is the worst of the three that were on ABC; GH is my favorite!

    Jim replied

    Thanks for the reply. Watch the revolution tomorrow, or any other day and see what you think. It is so bad I want to push a pencil into my head. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize something unless you know what it is, so I watched them and IMO they are awful. Soap fans did not put much of a dent in the ratings of the chew which has been about the same as AMC and it has not been cancelled. So it can’t be just soap fans. I wrote GH was the worst because it had the lowest ratings. I should have written that. I’m glad you like it, someone should. IMO Ron and Frank have made it worse. As a GH fan, what do you think about them?

    Rodd replied

    Christy, I agree with you about wishing Agnes would get the rights to AMC and OLTL and bring them to another channel. In fact, I was recently reading the weekly prime-time TV ratings in USA TODAY and noticed the the CW’s YTD ratings average 1.8. That’s nothing to crow about. Soaps often do better than that. So why doesn’t the CW scoop up these cancelled shows? They’d have fans yakking about it for years and gains tons of loyal viewers who are starved to see their favorites return. It’s a win-win.


    BETTY replied

    We have all said it over and over again but we who work filmed our soaps to watch at night. And I although we may not watch all the commercials I have often found myself rewinding to watch certain commercials because it got my interest, or because it had someone I like on it. So, what I am saying is you don’t know who is watching, yes I know you gather info on who is filming but I am certain you are wrong because the other people I work with still talk about GH when we get together and everyone wants to know what happened. ONTL was my favorite too but so far we are getting some ONTL/GH blending that may bring some ONTL fans back. ABC should be doing more to advertise that. I like Katie Couric but I think she is making a big mistake, yes we are not about to support anything that is not a soap in daytime programming at ABC, they strong-armed us away.


  2. Veronica says:

    The biggest reason networks are getting rid of soaps is that they are no longer profitable. They take a lot of money to make and are hardly turning a profit anymore. The Revolution tanking was almost predictable. It didn’t even test well before it aired. ABC can’t say they didn’t see this coming. The “solution” is not rushing a bad replacement on the air just to get rid of the soaps post haste. Actually, the last statement in the New York Daily News is so true.

    “The tide is still flowing away from soaps. But the fate of this “Revolution” is a good reminder that if you throw away the soap, you better have another way to clean up.””


    Torrey replied

    Agree with you. I do think that ABC could have approached this cancellation of the soaps a little better. I’m gonna go on record as saying, All MY Children had a truckload of problems, and it hadn’t gotten to the point that it was completely ridiculous. Although, I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the cancellation, I can see how AMC got the axe. Now OLTL, I am still scratching my head on that one. It was the highest rated soap on the network…and ABC is still feeling the repercussions of canceling OLTL, which speaks volumes for how popular the show was. I just feel that there were better decisions that could have been made, to restructure the shows, in order to save the all mighty dollar that the networks are so concerned with. Cast cuts, reducing the show down to a 30 minute format…people may not have been crazy about that, but it’s better than not having the show to watch at all. Even if they would have gone to a primetime format, where the shows air nine months out of the year and have a 3 month break, some time throughout the year…..they could air September and October…take November & December off…come back in January and run until July, where they have a Summer finale then come back in the fall. It would take a little getting used to, but I’m sure soap fans would have preferred this option over cancellation. My point being is they didn’t even try other options….it was just a clean the house moment, without any thought put into. Now ABC has put themselves in a precarious situation to where they have lost viewers….and lost their trust as well…now they have to walk an extremely careful line, to ensure that they don’t completely sink the network….which is why I think they gave GH another year. I’m keeping my eyes on them….cause this renewal could be a setup, just like Prospect Park was for saving AMC & OLTL….

    I am finding myself tuning in a little more each day, with GH…so we’ll see how things go. I wish them the best, and don’t want the hardcore GH fans to have to go through what the fans of OLTL went through.


    Keith replied

    I disagree. Soaps made lots of money for the network. OLTL was always under budget. Ironically, it was GH that was often over. The management just didn’t like them personally. They want more talk to get out their political message. ABC repeatedly tested The Revolution with focus groups and made changes to improve it and they consistently hated it, but they went with it anyway. Earlier versions were worse, imaging that. I do agree they could have gone to several other formats like primetime or telenovella. I have often wished they would have shown reruns or older “classic” episodes.


    kay killgore replied

    Could not agree more!!!!

  3. terri k says:

    and they still are not bringing back oltl or amc : (


  4. Jules says:

    Nice article. Very well written and has reiterated what we’ve all been saying for a long time.


  5. stephanie says:

    Very good points. Hopefully NBC will recognize this and leave Days of Our Lives alone.


  6. MiCHELE says:

    I so agree,they thought we would sit down ,shut up and watch whatever drivel they put on the air…WRONG ABC.I hope a lesson is learned here,we love our stories and for the record we know how to dress and how to set a table….and we are tired to being told what to do how to do it etc.Bring back OLTL,,,,and we may give ABC another chance…maybe.I think they are beginning to see that we LOVE our stories and we will fight as long as it takes to keep them on.


  7. Trapper says:

    Great article! I do agree that daytime viewership has been declining for the last several years. But in the case of soaps, I’d be interested to see how many people don’t watch the soap live, but DVR it for later, or catch up on the almost defunct SoapNet. I think we’d find that viewership hasn’t dropped off at all. The same can’t be said for the game shows, talk shows and infomercial shows that the networks continue to try to replace soaps with. One Life to Live, for example, was a show that I’d use as an excuse to take a break from work, eat lunch and catch up on Llanview. What do I do now? Check my email and keep working. I’ve got no use for these sterile, cheaply done shows. I want programming that engages me, that I look forward to. The replacement shows just aren’t it.

    I’ll be one of the ones that watches GH and then turns it off when Katie Couric’s show is on. The last thing I need is one more talk show. We already saw how well a non-soap show did with the titanic sinking of The Revolution. I’ve better things to do with my time.


    Elhu replied

    I totally agree with Trapper. I think a huge part of the viewership problem is in the “rating system”, because a majority of the ways people tune into their soaps is not being counted (i.e. DVR/Tivoing does not count unless it is viewed within 48 hours (so I have heard),and watching soaps on youtube or on soapnet, I believe, does not count at all). This system is so flawed and must be updated.


    kay killgore replied

    I always wondered how it worked thanks for the info!! To watch for me I have to watch DVR most of the time.

    Elhu replied

    You are welcome Kay. I received the same info from someone on this site as well, and was glad to find out how it worked too. Which also tells me that you and I are not the only ones who did not know how the rating system worked, and if that information was out there more readily for many to see and absorb, than I am sure more viewers would also be counted, because they would know what needed to be done, to be counted.

  8. Sheryl says:

    Great article but, they still don’t realize what the fans want, we want our AMC and OLTL back.


  9. Jan says:



  10. Joe says:

    Me and everyone in my house only watch GH on ABC now. We refuse to EVER watch the network again unless OLTL is brought back or they make up for it some how like a TV movie or something to wrap it up and if they keep GH on the air.


  11. Christine says:

    “This means GH can now celebrate its 50th anniversary, on April 1, 2013.”

    NO it doesn’t. Not until ABC announces it. Just because they canceled The Revolution is no guarantee.

    Out here in Southern California there is an extermination company whose logo features a man wearing a top hat and a long black coat bending over to a mouse (looking like he is making nice) while he has a MALLET behind his back. Folks, we, the fans, are the mouse, ABC is the man in the top hat, and Katie Couric is the mallet.

    Speaking of Katie Couric, has anyone heard the rumor about her actually doing an arc on General Hospital to come across as a “fan” of the show? This is such BS it is not even funny. Sure, she comes on GH for a few episodes to get people to like her, her show debuts and then POOF, bye bye GH.


    lipstickcat replied

    Let’s not let Couric use the soaps for ratings the way Doprah did! Don’t watch her! Let her show be an even bigger failure than The Revolution!


    kay killgore replied

    You will not have to ask me twice not to watch Perky Katie!! I know people personally who have met her she is not a nice person and she is no lady makes a sailor blush with her trash mouth!

    barbara t replied

    lipstickcat ,you are right ,Theres no way Im watching katie couric or any other dopy show abc/disney puts on ,as far as I am concerned they renewed general hospital for 1 years that is cheep thats not a network that is committed to the soap,there just passing time and trying once again to shut us up and I am not going to do that ,If abc/disney cared or had faith in general hospital they would have renewed it for 3 or 5 years 1 year ,there trying to shut us up like the pp garbage.And your right about doprah to.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    As others have mentioned I watch GH, but rarely do I watch it at the time it’s actually airing. I use my TIVO, which I would imagine a lot of other people do as well. There are way more soap fans than ABC is willing to admit….


    Barb Harnedy replied

    that is so true!!!


  13. lisa658 says:

    Thank you for the article. Soap fans are very loyal. I have been watching for 49 years and now I look forward to the 50th.


  14. sue says:

    I cant believe ABC doesnt make a big profit from GH.
    If they cancel GH their profits will really drop, all the GH fans will boycott ABC.


  15. jon teitell says:

    great commentary!! soaps are the life-blood of many, many people. Those who work, simply dvr them and watch at night. If the networks counted all the people watching on dvr or online, then the rating would be different. i for one, would never dvr the revultion or the spew in a million years!! the networks need to get into the 21st century and learn how to count those who watch, whenever, not what they might watch if they forget to turn off the television while they are at work!! :)


  16. MBmomof3 says:

    Glad to see another great article about daytime t.v. The fans are still here, but our viewing habits have changed. I REALLY miss OLTL and predicted The Revolution’s demise along with many other soap fans boycotting ABC/D except for GH.


  17. angela says:

    ABC made a huge mistake with the cancellation of AMC and even bigger one with OLTL. The way I see it they have all these big wigs over there making all this money and no one understands they daytime audience or even realized the answer to production costs was right under their noses. It’s called SoapNet. They could have taken all 3 soaps put them on SoapNet and then made SoapNet a premium cable channel. Even if they charged $5.00 a month do the math. $60.00 a year times 2 million viewers. They would have made more than enough to cover production costs. I would have gladly paid to keep my soaps on tyhe air and I’m sure many others would have as well. But as we all know that asshole Frons HATED soaps so of course they were cancelled. It’s been a devastating blow to all the fans. So they are letting us keep GH……for now. Me personally I will never trust abc again which is why I watch nothing on abc except GH.


    Vickie replied

    I, too, would have happily paid to keep my soaps on the air!!


  18. Shelly says:

    Great article! But not “new” news. Soap fans have been saying it (screaming actually) for the past 10 years with the cancellation of Passions, Sunset Beach, Guiding Light, As the World Turns, All My children, and One Life to Live. We went ballistic last year when 2 were cancelled at one time and still, some idiot said “we’ll retrain you to watch the new stuff”. I hope ABC has learned a very valuable lesson: soap fans matter! I truly believe this GH extension is just a temporary reprieve to 1) shut up the fans 2) try plan “C”, GMA in the afternoon, and give it a chance to build an audience. 3)Get GH to the 50th anniversary next April. That network is determined to kill all the soaps. WATCH GH!!!


  19. Kelly says:

    I don’t watch anything on ABC anymore except General Hospital. I will not stay loyal to a station that takes off my favorite shows. I have been watching All My Children and One Life to Live for over 30 years. To just cut them off is so mean. I wish another station would take these shows on. A lot of fans would be very grateful. We miss the characters, the stars and even the sets. (Screw the Chew!!)


  20. andrea says:

    long live soaps. It keeps me out of the mall!


  21. kay killgore says:

    I guess we could send the soaps to China since they almost do everything else! Can you imagine Victor & Jack on Y&R talking Chinese or Jason & Sonny on GH! Just kidding!!!


  22. Barb Harnedy says:

    If someone would simply develop a way to count the number of people who watch the soaps on DVR or on SopaNet, they’d realize the soaps have A LOT MORE viewers than the Neilson ratings show. And as for watching the soaps on DVR and NOT fast-forwarding through the commercials or watching it doesn’t “count”….that’s total bs, because how many of us watching any show “live” doesn’t use the commercial to raid the kitchen, use the bathroom, etc. I am so happy that GH will live on for at least another year, but I still miss One Life to Live and All My Children!!!


  23. Heather says:

    Congratulations to all soap opera fans for our success in getting rid of The Revolution.

    However the fight must continue. Realistically, there’s nothing that can be done to bring back AMC and OLTL. It would cost too much to bring the soaps back. Not to mention many of the actors and crews have moved on to GH and other soaps.

    However the battle must continue to insure that both GH and Soapnet remain on the air. So keep sending your letters to Disney.

    Having GH renewed is one battle. But keeping on the air for many more years is another battle.


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