In "Tell us what we don't already know" news, Advertising Age has published an article entitled: "Daytime TV's New Entries Push Soaps Toward Drain". The article really doesn't shed any new light. However, both ABC Daytime President Brian Frons and CBS Daytime Vice-President Barbara Bloom speak out about the current states of their respective lineups.
According to the report, ABC's tentpole talker The View will go "mommy" starting today in a revivial of a promotional campaign geared toward showcasing the co-hosts' experiences as mothers. You don't have to be Sookie Stackhouse to know that ABC suits have fending off CBS's View-ripoff The Talk on their minds with this move.
The daytime duel has all the drama and sniping that marks a good soap opera. "It certainly feels lovely to be emulated," said Brian Frons, president-daytime, for Disney-ABC Television Group.
Buuuuurn! You gonna take that lying down, Babs? Bloom had this to say about the future of CBS Daytime:
"Our take on it is there is room for soaps, but we feel our strength will lie in having a diverse slate," said Barbara Bloom, CBS Entertainment's senior VP-daytime.
The article also has quotes from a couple of TV experts who, again, say things any goon already knows, like "we're seeing the end of a genre, I think." It does manage to offer up some odd, new numbers about daytime ad buys which sorta contradict what media buyers recently told The Wrap.
Advertising, once so plentiful for the format, has accordingly winnowed down over many years. Measured spending on network TV for soap operas totaled $764 million in 2009, according to Kantar Media, down 27.3% from $1.05 billion in 2005. Advertiser spending on the genre continues to wane: Measured spending on network soaps tumbled 19.4% in the first five months of 2010, compared with the same period a year earlier.
Hmmm, maybe if those media buyers who told The Wrap they are ticked about soaps going off would buy more ads, we wouldn't be in this particular pickle? Some of the other figures in the Ad Age story are a bit bizarre, like there being only 1.3 million average soap viewers for the 2009-2010 season (coughs: bull shit)! I predict those facts are about as real as Danielle Staub's hair.
Even cancelled sudser As The World Turns is still being watched by well over 2 million people, while CBS Daytime soap The Young and the Restless averages almost 5 million viewers. Also, according to The Wrap, the six soaps on the air now (excluding ATWT) still reach 14.6 million viewers a day. Who needs facts checked when your rushing to put another "daytime is dying" story to bed though, right Ad Age reporter person?
I think Frons and/or Bloom should come right here on the Daytime Confidentiial podcast to discuss the future of soaps! I promise we'll be as polite as kittens—while asking tough questions of course. Whaddya say, Fronsie and Babs? I'll even have Luke send you the Skype headsets; we know you all are under a budget crunch.