So we all know the story of a modern soap opera fan right? For those of you who don't, here are the bullet points.
The soap opera genre is dying. It's doomed. The sky is falling, blah, blah, blah, blah. But in this day and age of the internet and cable television, is there any reason for this industry to die? Shouldn't this be the time for the industry to innovate and for this genre to kick into overdrive?
Before we go on any furthur, let's add a few more specifics, shall we?
The age demographic that advertisers really, and I mean REALLY care about is the 18-49 year old women. Why do they care so much about that group? And is there any real sense to it? Nope, but that's just the way it is.
What are some of the hit shows that the younger demographic just cannot get enough of, that get all the buzz? Well, shows like Gossip Girl, 90210, The Secret Life of The American Teenager, Greek, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and Melrose Place.
So what is the one thing all of those shows have in common? And before you say it, no it's not bad acting, but nice try. All of the shows listed are prime time soap operas that are geared towards teens!
Now, we know that teens like a dose of drama. Let's look at the current landscape of American produced daily soap operas. Out of all of the soaps, the one that sounds like it would have a big teen presence with good teen storylines is The Young and The Restless right? I mean it has 'Young' in the title after all right? Well you would be wrong, because on Y&R at this moment there are only three teenagers total, and if they are seen once every few weeks you are lucky. The other soaps are not much better.
So we have a genre that is gunning for the teen demographic, but isn't really showing teens. When teens are shown, they are in horribly written situations, with piss-poor acting to boot.
To recap, we know that teens like ongoing storylines, and there are no teen soaps on the air right now. So the next step is looking at a brand new (relaunched) network for teens.
TeenNick (formerly The N) has recently rebranded itself with the help of Nick Cannon. This new network is aimed at teenagers and attracting that young, Degrassi loving demographic.
But what is actually on TeenNick? Well a lot of old comedies, a few teen dramas such as The Best Years, and a whole lot of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Considering the network is aimed at teens, and is showing teen dramas, I really wonder why they don't greenlight a new, teen-oriented soap.
Teen-oriented soaps are very popular in other parts of the world, such as Australia's Home and Away, and Hollyoaks in the U.K. so why is there not a teen soap here in the States? TeenNick would be the perfect place for the soap to launch and air, seeing as they have a mainly teen demographic and their viewers are already used to to the soap opera format, thanks to Degrassi.
If the network were smart, they would air a teen soap thirty minutes before primetime, thus allowing the show to essentially 'kick off' the night every weeknight without conflicting with established primetime dramas. Meanwhile, on the weekends, they could air a 'catch up' marathon to keep gaining new viewers.
So should TeenNick greenlight a new teen soap opera or pick up an international one already being produced? What are your opinions? I know this is not likely. I know that Nick Cannon might just burst out laughing at the suggestion. Nonetheless, I think this would be a really good move, and possibly a way to prove that the soap opera industry is not dead.