Insight on Soap Wars-Mixing Reality with Fiction

For anyone thinking that The Powers That Be aren’t trying to woo fans back into watching their shows think again... Check out the latest article by Entertainment Weekly online  soap watch section. It has some interesting things said by The Young and The Restless'  executive producer Josh Griffith talking about pulling out all the stops, to lure viewers back into the fold along with the man everyone loves to hate or hates to love, President of ABC Daytime Brian Frons.

I do like the fact that daytime’s bringing the hottest stars onto their shows to grab viewership but maybe they can do that by I don’t know… WRITING FOR US!? Although I must say that All My Children’s attempt at rekindling viewership is working on me..

For AMC fans, you have a lil’ treat at the bottom of the article... A clip of tomorrow’s show with R&B singer Ne-Yo!


Member since:
16 February 2008
Last activity:
4 years 46 weeks

That clip of Jessie and Angie was absolutely beautiful they're the reason I still tune into AMC.

DS9Sisko's picture
Member since:
27 March 2008
Last activity:
5 years 8 weeks

I do like the fact that daytime’s bringing the hottest stars onto their shows to grab viewership but maybe they can do that by I don’t know… WRITING FOR US!?

Jillian, you make a very vaild point but there is something of a huge myth out there that if "they" just wrote "good stories" for us then the viewers will return. Time and time again, this has been disproved as soap after soap has actually churned out some pretty decent tales amid all the stunts, pyrotechnics, and assorted shockers various shows have thrown in the mix. So while it's true that bad stories can drive ratings down (*cough*Guiding Light*cough*), good stories rarely drive ratings up past a certain level in our current 2-5+ million viewership universe. Don't believe me? Look at the ratings for OLTL, currently the most brilliant serial airing under Lord Carlivati...

So....execs are doing everything they can to lure back viewers, with AMC being the most aggressive (rivaled only by OLTL). The return/reunion of Jesse/Angie has been a veritable feast for long term viewers, with Laurence Lau's much missed Greg back for a minute, blending of story elements from the under appreciated The City, some kind of closure with Cady McClain's Dixie and the Kate story, and casting two super high profile actors (Goldin and Ehlers) in the roles of two legacy characters. AMC has a long, long way to go in this regard but it is a good start to get lapsed viewers to turn back and check out the show.

Having said all that, execs have to look beyond "us" to lure in those new viewers you are glad they are going after. The days of the three network, non-internet, pre-MySpace-Facebook-texting, pre-video games, pre-soap like court shows and talk shows are long gone. For today's teens and old fogeys like me, Gossip Girl fulfills the spot where Jesse, Angie, Jenny and Greg did 'lo those many years ago. Brothers and Sisters is more like Guiding Light than GL.

So if Ne-Yo and Mary J. Blige and Timbaland and Nelly Furtado and Snoop Dogg can get new viewers or the curious to tune in and keep them hooked, I think it is marvelous. It's smart business for the artist, a treat for the fans of those artists, and while ratings dividends don't always follow these intiatives either, they at least bring free publicity to soaps.

One other thing: singers appearing on soaps have a 25-odd year legacy going back to when Crystal Gayle appeared on Another World, later with BB King serenading Port Charles on GH, and a young Whitney Houston (along with Jermaine Jackson) gracing As the World Turns.

The rule of thumb I have is that these guest singers, websites (, or community initiatives (Find Your Light) should be integrated into story and not detract from the goings on of our shows. In that light, I welcome them (as I think you do, too).

And that song that Ne-Yo sings at Jesse & Angie's nuptials is beautiful!

GUIDING LIGHT 2008 OPENING: Yesterday is Today

THE EDGE OF NIGHT: 2008 - Hi-Octane Version