Tristan Rogers: “Night Shift 2 Was The Pathway to The Future”

It looks like we aren’t the only ones concerned with ABC Daytime’s ratings bleed out. One of General Hospital‘s biggest superstars ever, Tristan Rogers talks about the situation on his Facebook profile.

I keep harking back to the time we are in and the audience we are appealing to. The networks have a vested interest in looking ahead and appealing to the 18-45 demographic. It makes sense. They have to move forward and this “demo” is hotly contested by cable who generally “out gun” them because they have less constrictions. But the fact remains that removing this demographic from the mix still leaves a huge audience in the plus-50 bracket that, in this genre, is ignored. Remember, the 80’s forged what is the daytime drama market today. This is a market that continues to expand. In this economy they have more spending power, and if you believe all the media “spin”, 50 is the new 40? I don’t know about that last bit, but the fact is that 50 plus is a mighty market and they like soaps in the traditional sense. So why isn’t someone trying to appeal to this? This isn’t a criticism, it’s an observation. If the Networks don’t want a relationship here I know someone who does. Me."

Rogers continues on to say after reprising the iconic role of Robert Scorpio for the critically-acclaimed Lisa de Cazotte produced/Sri Rao penned General Hospital: Night Shift 2, his thoughts on how the genre should proceed changed.

What was done on NS 2 was the pathway to the future. What was demonstrated was that the show that it parrelled, was not important, the historical legacy of that show was. Inside of only 14 episodes NS 2 showed, that with HD and a host of other subtle elements, all bound together with a solid story presented by characters that the audience were comfortable and familiar with, we had something unique. Not something that slammed you in the head with “stunts and events”, but a balanced presentation of elements that were consistent and never overpowered the viewer. The overall feeling was, “This is different, but I don’t quite know why”. Right now it has gone over some peoples heads, but the fact remains that this show was the most significant development in soap culture since Gloria changed it all in 1980."

 I don’t know about you guys, but I would hand over my stimulus check to see an independent, soapy product penned or produced by someone like Rogers, Sri Rao or Martha Byrne, whose passion for the daytime industry and respect for its Golden Era are evident everytime they speak, as opposed to the rhetoric, faux concern and soap speak we get from the likes of Chuck Pratt, Ken Corday and Christopher Goutman. Even if the projects were produced on shoe-string budgets like We Loves SoapsRoger Newcomb‘s Manhattanites (available on DVD May 6), and simply aired over You Tube or Hulu, it would be something for soap fans to get excited about. God knows there isn’t much to stand up and cheer about on ABC Daytime. 

10 Responses

  1. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Thank you, Tristan Rogers, for saying what the fans has been saying for so long about the traditional format that still needs to exist along with the evolving times. We can’t keep doing the same who’s the daddy, amnesia, or triangles, but the industry has to do need things like the Otalia s/l, but still keeping the old soap format intact. You still need the vets to sell the stuff your writing because again fans take a long time to invest in a newbie and with the vet with them, they can be a good investment in the future of the show.

    but Frons and Co. thinks that young and new viewers are coming to soaps, but that is not the case and the ratings is showing it. They are alienating their fans and destroying the industry that was built on it. I hope that this industry survives, but the way it is looking, I have no hope for it.

    Please let me be wrong about it.

  2. Profile photo of LovesDog

    Tristan Rogers is right. The soaps must change and modernize or the industry will die. Night Shift is one way to go and ABC deserves kudos for doing the series. Yet ABC now refuses to renew Night Shift when it is exactly what they need to be doing in preparation for the cancellation of its soaps which will likely happen in the next 5 years.

  3. Profile photo of south

    Jill Lorie Hurst and Co. at GL are doing a phenomenal job penning classic throwback soap stories. I dearly hope GL can find a home so they can continue doing so. For example, the Otalia storyline is groundbreaking and traditional all at once. That is quite a feat and GL is pulling it off.

  4. Profile photo of jpp1975

    TR is so right about demographics. In this economy, it’s the people with experience who will keep their jobs, and the people with savings that have money to spend. So why do they aim everything at 18 years olds with neither good jobs or extra money? Plus, and Jamey so often (and so rightly) mentions on the podcasts, many of us learned to love soaps at our grandmothers’ knees–and if they lose the grandmas, they’ll lose potential new viewers too.

  5. Profile photo of filegirl

    I find it interesting that the first Night Shift was pretty much reviled by the fans, and Frons decided to go with a second installment. Night Shift 2 was beloved by almost everyone, and Frons won’t do it again.

    Tell you a lot about how he thinks.

  6. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Filegirl, the first Night Shift had better ratings than the second season. Unfortunately critical acclaim counts for some network primetime shows (Friday Night Lights) but not for SOAPnet.

  7. Profile photo of MIOK

    Attracting older viewers is a temporary fix if one @ all. If you gear the story lines to older viewers you will lose younger viewers, so you better hope a heck of a lot of older viewers come on board to replace them. As far as older viewers having more money to spend then younger viewers I think they are less likely to spend it then younger viewers.

    Today with Cable, Internet, PPV and on demand services there are a lot more choices available to people and the audiences are more fragmented. All network programming is affected not just soaps.

    Younger audiences are much more sophisticated today and expect more then lets say 20 or 30 years ago. The plots that TR and AG were involved with on GH years ago would be laughed @ by my Niece and Nephew today.

    Times have changed I think soaps are on a slow march to extinction.

  8. Profile photo of toytoy74

    Filegirl, this is how I see Frons….He renewed NS for another season BECAUSE it bombed,and we all know that when HE fails he REFUSES to acknowledge it.So he made seaason 2 just to prove to us that he had the power to do so. Somewhere along the lines he started hating his viewers that don’t agree with him,and he uses his power to show us that he’ll do whatever he wants to ABC daytime.The reason he wont go for another season of NS is because it WAS a success,and he knows that if viewers actually see a well written,well produced show then the hackery over @ GH will become so transparent in comparison that one or both of the Fruza Destruction Machine will be terminated.Tristan Rogers,Victoria Rowell,Martha Byrne,Deidre Hall….let ALL of them head the writing team of ANY soap and I will tune in. Im just hoping Ron can keep his vision over at OLTL Frons-Free or i’m gonna have to tune out of ABC for good because AMC,and GH suck hard with a capital SUCK!

  9. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Yeah, NS 2 was a critical and smash hit and Frons is mad because he doesn’t know good talent if it bitten him on the a$%. soapnet is a joke and the ratings for it is not that good. Please, if they want the ABC soaps to survive, they need to clean house and get rid of Frons, Guza, Phelps, Carruathers, and Pratt and get new talent that can save the industry for being extinct.

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