NBC to Cross-Promote DAYS With ‘Housewives’, a “New Sort of Daytime Soap”

Broadcasting and Cable has a promising new article up on their website today detailing how local NBC affiliates plan to refocus on the Peacock’s daytime lineup, and according to the article, long-running, daytime sudser Days of Our Lives appears to be key to that strategy!

The group also will get an assist from its network and syndication marketing arms. They are partnering to create a cross-promotion featuring the network’s soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and Real Housewives that will rebrand the reality show as a new sort of daytime soap.

“From a network, we see it as a benefit for us,” says Scot Chastain, NBC’s senior VP of affiliate marketing and development. “By pairing the two, we send more of a youth audience to Days, and we expose an older audience to Housewives. There’s a lot of cross-blending potential there.”

In addition to re-runs of The Real Housewives franchise, courtesy of NBC’s kissing cousin Bravo, Sony’s Oprah-produced The Nate Berkus Show will be airing on all 10 NBC-owned stations, according to B&C. Access Hollywood Live is also being tested on six NBC stations this fall. NBC Local Media big wigs are hoping the three new offers will fit in well will with DAYS and already established talk titan Ellen.

For my money, this all sounds like it could really help DAYS, especially given the soap’s recent ratings woes. Just think of Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) facing off against Danielle Staub, or hanging out with Ne Ne Leakes, during a crossover where some of the Housewives pop up in Salem. According to the article, local NBC affiliates are already planning promotions showcasing how similar DAYS and The Real Housewives docusoaps are.

It’s all about daytime, drama and divas,” says Donna Mills, senior VP of marketing, affiliate relations and communications for NBCU Domestic TV. The promo will air on all 10 of NBC’s owned stations, and on 27 other NBC affiliates.

It would also be hella cool if NBC utilizes Access Hollywood Live to cross-promote DAYS in a manner similar to what ABC does with their soaps via The View. Why not have Sweeney, Kristian Alfsonso and/or Crystal Chappell serve as guest correspondents during roundtable pop culture chats on the new entertainment program from time to time?

 I can tell you one thing for sure, I would much rather watch Nate Berkus and re-runs of the Manzos anchoring my soap, than to see Julie Chen painfully attempt to mimic Babs Walters on CBS.

Photo of Alison Sweeney by PR Photos

12 Responses

  1. Profile photo of thecourt99

    Call me a skeptic…and I can see a youth audience going to Days….but I can’t see an older audience going to Housewives. Yes, it is drama. Yes, it is soaplike..but this is also “REAL”.

    Older viewing audiences accept a lot of crap from fictional characters, but they won’t from a real life person making stupid decisions and doing stupid things. I can barely stand it myself…but I am not in that demo. Just my thoughts.

  2. Profile photo of Belinda

    I have a huge circle of freinds and 99% of them do not watch reality tv. I do not watch it and I will not watch it. Desperate measures to save soaps when all they would have to do is write soap drama for the soap audience (The ones who ARE watching NOW) instead of pretending they are reaching a demo they clearly are NOT.

  3. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Belinda, I used to think all soaps needed to do was write better stories to survive, but "better stories" is so subjective. Many of us thought what OLTL was doing six months ago was telling good stories, but their ratings didn’t reflect it. Tons of Y&R fans have hated their stories for months now (myself included) but Y&R’s ratings have held steady and often times bumped up during weeks that had fans on DC foaming at the mouth.

    In 1985, 50 million women were watching soaps, in 2010 it’s 14. 6 million. Definitely, bad stories and soap fans becoming fed up have played a huge factor, but I have come to realize less women being at home during the day and the myriad of entertainment choices have done more to kill soaps than even a Chuck Pratt or a Megan McTavish.

    I doubt DAYS fans will start watching reality shows simply because DAYS is paired with them, but since the promos the local markets are planning to create will incorporate and show the similarities between a soap and a docusoap (and trust me, there are many) it just might make the women who are watching The Real Housewives sample DAYS.

    On Bravo, these shows draw in millions of viewers in the demos advertisers crave. If these same viewers opt to re-watch the Bravo reality serials on NBC as opposed to shelling out a ton for the DVDs, then it could be a win for DAYS. I think the key thing to remember here is that the local affiliates are doing the promoting. The Big Three barely promote their soaps, so DAYS is getting extra promotion for nothing, because the affiliates believe DAYS can help sell Housewives.

    Also, there are some really good reality shows out there that are doing what soaps once did best. MTV’s Teen Mom tells much better stories about teen motherhood than we’ve seen on daytime in years. The teen moms on that show deal with abusive parents, trying to date while being a mother, lazy baby daddies, teen violence, etc. all the things I wish we had seen with Starr and Cole.

    The Real Housewives franchise thrives on putting well-heeled, bitchy women in cantankerous situations, much like the ones we used to see Krystal and Alexis, Dorian and Viki and Ashley and Nikki involved in, and they also give us at last one "character" per franchise with real heart and rooting factor.
    I’m not saying I want reality to takeover daytime, but I definitely think there’s room at the table, especially if soap writers, producers, etc. actually start paying attention to why these shows are so popular, because if they do, they will realize docusoaps are simply giving people what daytime soaps stopped providing 10 years ago. 

  4. Profile photo of east.west

    I think this is a good idea. My mom is a perfect example of the soap watcher that has fell out of the habit due to other options during the day. I grew up on the CBS line up. Bob Barker, Jack Abbott, Brooke & Stephanie, Carly Tenney, Reva Shayne, and Rosie O’Donnell were the faces I saw as a kid.

    My mom watch them all until 2007/2008. The only she still watches faithfully is B&B when she is not working. After B&B she eithers cuts the TV off to either cook or go out or she turns it to CNN or TVONE and when Wife Swap came on during the day she switch to that on Lifetime.

    I think w/Real Housewives being the hot thing, maybe reality TV in the lineup will be the new talk show? IDK about the money and if it’ll be the same price to produce a talker or a game show, but I think RH will do well in syndication and it will help Days and start a trend for the networks to develop shows of that nature.

  5. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    East. West my mom and aunts all watched soaps growing up and in their 20s/30s, but all have given them up in their 50s/60s. My mom, aunts and cousins each love at least one of the Housewives franchises and also follow other soapy reality shows. My female cousins, all in their late 20’s/early 30s, college educated women, grew up almost as obsessed with soaps as me, watching several soaps on several networks, now they are down to one soap (GH), but obsess over the Kardashians, The Hills, some mess called Bad Girls Club and the Housewives.  Millions of women in the demos Madison Avenue seems to be salivating for are eating these shows up.  As for the older demos, now granted my mom just turned 50, so she may not represent the average 50-something, but she loves the O.C. housewives.

  6. Profile photo of chip88

    I think this should get a big ole “nice try” for sounding like NBC is trying to save Days. Instead what it really sounds like is how to build a faster audience for the significantly cheaper Housewives franchise. Real cross promotion would could also include replaying Days on Bravo – even if it was an edited to 60 minutes best of the week version on the weekends. Bravo owns the Housewives series and is making money playing it over and over and over again on cable. So the network is going to put inexpensively produced rerun cable programming on during the day? What does this say about their view of daytime? Like most reality tv it must be a fraction of the cost of Days. Days strength has been that it can attract younger viewers better than most soaps, but all network tv is struggling to attract that demographic.

    The younger viewer that is going to be into Housewives isn’t going to get that same rush from Days unless Days becomes a very different show. Scripted soaps move a slower pace and build characters over time. The housewives are like Mack Trucks driving through your tv screen, they aren’t characters – they are caricatures. Also scripted soaps thrive on romance, there is nothing romantic about the virtually menless Housewives.

    The ratings plummet at Days is going to be hard to reverse, and even if they do climb back up, the lesson to the suits at NBC is that ratings are unpredictable. Do you pour tons of money into something so unpredictable that it can drop over 700,000 viewers in 7 months? Or do you start looking for something else that is a lot cheaper? They have to do something with Days for the next year no matter what. I think if the networks could figure a way to show test patterns all day they would, they have no allegiance to any show or any format, only the bottom line. Anything met with this much enthusiasm looks like a smoke and mirrors trick.

  7. Profile photo of kaykayyyy

    I have been a viewer of DAYS for over 20 years &
    DAYS needs to address the reason why they are bleeding viewers especially young ones in the key demos.

    This Housewives plan sounds like a BIG #FAIL in my opinion.

    How about faster paced stories & some romance on screen. The constant gloom & doom with couples being ripped apart after 1 episode of happiness makes no one feel like investing in the show anymore. Also go with couples that have undeniable Chemistry instead of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole because the bloggers & TPTB think that particular actor/actress is wonderful.
    Real Chemistry can’t be faked & can make even horrible writing bearable.

  8. Profile photo of kaykayyyy

    Speaking of cross-promotion there are plenty of DAYS actors guesting on other shows & in movies yet Days fails to
    promote them even if they are on NBC UNLESS their name is
    Ali Sweeney.

  9. Profile photo of Carol2

    [quote=Jamey Giddens]Belinda, I used to think all soaps needed to do was write better stories to survive, but "better stories" is so subjective. Many of us thought what OLTL was doing six months ago was telling good stories, but their ratings didn’t reflect it. Tons of Y&R fans have hated their stories for months now (myself included) but Y&R’s ratings have held steady and often times bumped up during weeks that had fans on DC foaming at the mouth.

    Aren’t Y&R’s ratings now at the same all time low they were in 2008?

    As for OLTL, last year they spent much of their time on a bag of blood, a mentally deranged stripper, and telling us that a gang rapist was a hero. I think that drove away viewers even if other stories deserved attention.

    I can’t see reruns of Housewives episodes, especially since there are few of them, being any long term help for NBC. I watched the Orange County episodes and they were boring as hell. Just bleach blonde bores whining about their children while trying to adjust their implants.

  10. Profile photo of Dariclone

    I think I can actually this plan working.I don’t see myself tuning in to watch Houswife reruns, but lot sof people of all ages love those shows and everyone who does tune in to watch also watches Days think how much the ratings will go up?

  11. Profile photo of lbono

    As a women, I find these “bitchy” women on reality a total sexist piece of crap. I understand “young” people love this crap. Why stereotyping women appeals to young women I do not get. I think part of why the soaps have started to fail is because for women, they have gone backwords with their victim vs bitches mentality.

    Also, maybe young people are more OK with why reality tv works and is pushed down their throats. They are union busting ways for corporate suits to make a lot of money off of stupidity.
    Loosely scripted means they get around paying writers decent wages. Actors are out of jobs because wannabbees will make fools of themselves for 15 minutes of fame.

    I won’t be watching cr*p like that. It’s a shame the viewers have allowed this level of rip off tv to flourish.

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