Ken Corday: “A Younger Viewer Doesn’t Necessarily Want to Watch Characters of The Same Age”


Entertainment Weekly has a fascinating interview with Days of our Lives executive producer Ken Corday. I especially found the discussion of ratings and demographics intriguing because of Corday’s statement concerning viewers 18-25.

Why does the show resonate so well with younger viewers?

A younger viewer—let’s say 18 to 25—doesn’t necessarily want to watch characters of the same age. They want characters that are a little bit older, going through a period of time that they are about to go through. So you take that all the way up the ladder and, interestingly enough, some of the younger viewers do like watching Victor and Maggie and Stefano do their senior bit. It’s really hard to quantify it. We found when we gave more airtime to the over-34 actors; it didn’t touch the 18 to 34 rating. I don’t think teenagers or really young people necessarily want to watch stories about teenagers or really young people. And our viewers that are over 50 love watching the young people.

Check out the rest of the interview at EW.com.

24 Responses

  1. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    Corday’s an idiot. I’m so sick of reading interviews where he bashes and insults the LATE, GREAT James E. Reilly!!

    Corday’s answer about Passions is quite telling—it just shows that he was too stupid to get it. The whole POINT was that it was a send-up of soaps! Corday, you fool, it wasn’t SUPPOSED to be like The Young and The Restless or other traditional soaps. It was SATIRE!! What a dummy.

    And the NERVE of him to insult the ratings-raising Possession storyline…ugh. What a DICK! I wish Corday could be fired from his own show because he’s the reason it sucks so badly.

  2. Avatar of othell
    othell

    I love watching a even mix of different age stories. Love Maggie and Victor, but I also like to see Will and Chad and Carly and E.J. I love balanced storytelling.

  3. Avatar of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    My first soaps were The Edge of Night and later Ryan’s Hope. I was a child. I don’t recall anyone my age on either of those soaps, and I was riveted to them everyday!

    I think we underestimate young people and their ability to enjoy something without having to personally identify with it.

  4. Avatar of tylerbo20
    tylerbo20

    i did enjoy hearing him discuss Deidre Hall saying shes still part of the family and when the time comes for their return he hopes they would…just freaking do it already!

  5. Avatar of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    In other news:

    The sky is still blue.

    Carrots are still orange.

    And soaps are STILL struggling to find ANY audience, much less the audiences that soaps SEEM to be targeting with their writing. The proof is in the pudding, Ken!!!

  6. Avatar of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    AlisterCrane, I think you should reread what Ken said. He didn’t bash JER. He simply told the truth. Passions was NOT your typical soap. All the rules DID go out the window. And you either Loved it or Hated it. I hated it. Mostly because the acting was so bad that it was like fingernails on a chalkboard most of the time (with the usual exceptions ofcourse). That and the stories dragged out well beyond what should have been. That and there really wasn’t enough supernatural stuff on the show and it was usually played for just laughs. I would have loved for some vampires or zombies or something to show up on Passions. But alas we got some Bewitched reruns and a little Demon vs Angel nonesense. As far as Satire is concerned, what do you think was satircal about this show? Or rather what was it satirizing? Certainly not politics, or modern life or something that would lend itself to satire. If you are saying that it satirized soap operas that would be an oxymoron at this point. Soaps have always poked fun at themselves. And Carol Burnett did the best send ups to soaps on her show. But that isn’t really satire. Saturday Night Live is satire. Will Shakespear is often Satire. Gullivers Travels is satire. Mark Twain is satire. Satire is using over blown, or improbable situations or broad humor to expose greater truths. Maybe, maybe some of the demon vs angel stuff could have been satirizing modern view of spiritiality and religion and God. But I am not sure what JERs point of view would have been on the subject. If anything, he had a very juvenile point of view. Or maybe he was writing down to the audience….?

  7. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    ^^ You didn’t get it either, obviously. Passions made fun of the conventions that make this genre such a joke. If you didn’t go into Passions knowing that it’s winking at the audience, exaggerating particular elements of soap opera storytelling to draw attention to its construction, then obviously you wouldn’t understand or like it. Sounds like you thought you were getting a typical daytime drama, so it’s not surprising that you didn’t like it. Passions took the piss out of soap operas and soap opera fans, and obviously hardcore soap opera fans aren’t going to like it when they think they’re being made fun of. Passions was GENIUS. JER is still a genius. Yes, Passions mocked soap operas (particularly the elements of 1950s soap operas that defined the genre), but it did so in a loving and appreciative way. In a way that would be easy for you to understand, it’s like how the film Pleasantville lovingly mocked pointed out the flaws of 1950s sitcoms.

    Ken Corday didn’t get Passions and that makes him an idiot. Soryr, but it’s true.

  8. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    The biggest mistake Days made in the last 5 years was firing Marlena and John (closely followed by firing JER, hiring Hogan Sheffer, and re-hiring Dena Higley). Days essentially cut out an entire huge and loving fanbase. The fact is, John and Marlena fans saw the writing on the wall a couple of years before they officially left (when John spent most of 2007 in a coma only to be killed off), so we stopped watching well before January 2009. But with John and Marlena actually, Days has guaranteed they will never gain back that fanbase. As a huge Marlena and John fan, I will never watch Days again on a regular basis. I briefly tuned in for the debuts of Lindsay Hartley and Crystal Chappell, and again for Alice’s memorial, but the show is so heartless and devoid of life. There is absolutely no way I’d watch this show on a regular basis without MY couple in a frontburner storyline.

    Days fired the STAR of the show, Deidre Hall. Even though I’m a huuuuuge Deidre/Marlena fan, I hope she NEVER returns to the show! She owes these idiots nothing. They mercilessly fired the most famous and recognizable face in the history of Days of Our Lives. Deidre and Drake shouldn’t return for cameos (i.e., the series finale) or small, Doug-and-Julie-esque supporting roles. Deidre and Drake should only ever return if Marlena and John are promised well-written FRONT BURNER storylines.

    Until then, I am content to never watch Days again until my couple is back in the spotlight.

    At least I get to enjoy John and Marlena’s adventures in Sheri Anderson’s “A Secret in Salem” novels.

  9. Avatar of Dariclone
    Dariclone

    Why does he a;ways get all the credit for the multi-generational cast? I’m pretty sure there are others that make sure the older actors get screentime. Like Gary Tomlin maybe?

  10. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    The only reason Suzanne Rogers is on more is because they fired Deidre Hall. Maggie is getting the screentime that rightfully belongs to Marlena.

    I liked Maggie better when she was seating guests at Tuscany.

  11. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    Suzanne’s best performance came when she was killed off in 2003. I don’t get the love for Maggie—she’s always worked best as a background character, same with Caroline.

    And she IS eating up Marlena’s airtime. Marlena should be the central heroine in her age range, not that drunk ginger Maggie.

  12. Avatar of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    I think I understood JER just fine. My problem with him was that he wrote very black and white characters. His white (good guys) were practically personality free. And god forbid one would slip up and have a flaw because he or she would pay dearly. The black characters(bad guys) were bad to the bone. Fortunately for them, they were alowed personality. However, they always got away with whatever it was that they were up to. All the good guys were stupid, so the bad guys could reign supreme. It was boring. I much prefer a more complex character. JER would recast a complex actor with a more vanilla actor that had little to no personality so that HIS vision of good and evil would shine through ( example Jack Deveraux and Jennifer).
    I found JER to have a very infantile view of the world. And please, you can not make a soap opera that is about making fun of soap opera. It is a rediculous idea. Soap opera is a parody itself. I mean how can you make fun of evil twins, coming back from the dead, sleeping with every person of the opposite gender in one family, suddenly pausing to make room for a comercial break in the middle of a conversation ? Those things are in themselves are the industries own attempt at self deprecation. A soap in which its very existence is to parody other soaps is too ONE NOTE
    to be good. So by your own definition of what Passions is, AlisterCrane, this show was a vapid and one note program. That does not take a genius to write. Peasantville was not a parody of 1950s sitcoms. It was a parody of the glorified view that conservatives have of the good old days of the 1950s as it was portrayed on the 1950s sitcoms. See there is a glossing over of the past in the conservative movement that sees the 1950s as some sort of benchmark for the proper way to live. Pleasantville was parodying or satarizing that, not the actual sitcoms. That is the difference between true satire, and that vapid show called Passions. Passions was a show that had no point to make but looked like it did.

  13. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    Passions wasn’t vapid—it was satire.

    I doubt I’ll be able to change your mind, and you certainly won’t change mine, so we’ve reached a stalemate. Passions is my favourite soap opera and it’s a show that means a lot to me, and it would be nice if people respected that.

  14. Avatar of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    I appologize AlisteCrane for my riff on Passions. I just hated what he did to Days soooo much that I get carried away. You have the right to enjoy what you enjoy. Plus the fact that AW was thrown away to make room for Passions makes it difficult for me to give Passions any credit.
    I will even say something nice about JER. During his second run on Days, I did love the serial killer story even that he had Marlena as the killer. I also loved that the characters where on the New Salem island. The story did fall apart at the end but up to this point, I did enjoy it.

  15. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    AW would have been toast whether it was cancelled in June or December of 1999. Sunset Beach’s cancellation proves that.

    Passions captured a lot of mainstream attention and injected new life into the genre as a whole.

    I enjoyed the Salem Stalker storyline as well, but I blame Ken Corday for chickening out and mucking it up. JER cleared the canvas and was going to revitalize it but Corday lacked the cajones to keep the main characters dead. Remember, the actors were rumoured to resurface on a spinoff soap, so it’s not as if they would have been unemployed forever.

  16. Avatar of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    I hate to jump on you again (and I won’t be online for hours after this post, so you’re free of me after this), but Passions captured a lot of mainstream attention for all the wrong reasons. That travesty of a Princess Di tie-in off the bat, and then non-soap watchers look at the utter ridiculousness of Passions–not as satire, as you would like it to be perceived–but as an example of what ALL soaps were like at the time. It was a very misleading and unfair perception that the mainstream was left with. I remember Soap Opera Weekly regularly bashing Entertainment Weekly at the time for the way it treated soaps, but I couldn’t really blame EW, because Passions was putting a very slanted version of the soap world out there for people to see. And it wasn’t to the betterment of the genre. It was one of the nails in the coffin that we are preparing to bury today.

    I don’t really recall any new life being injected into the genre that could be credited to Passions. Even Sci-Fi geeks were laughing at soap fans with that ludicrous Timmy garbage. Passions made me even more embarrassed to be a soap fan than I was by the otherwise unfair perception non-soap fans had of us.

  17. Avatar of
    AlistairCrane

    You seem to forget Rolling Stone naming Passions one of its hot guilty pleasures. Interesting how you bend facts to reflect what YOU want to believe.

    Passions was better than ALL of the soaps currently on the air. They all pale in comparison to the genius of Passions. They’re stupid. Gord, you’re one of those annoying fans who didn’t get Passions. That’s why it pissed you off. You’re not giving credit where credit’s due.

    “Timmy garbage”? I’m sorry, but that’s extremely rude. Josh Ryan Evans is dead. Timmy was supernatural, not sci fi.

    The fact is, you’re too old to enjoy Passions. Passions was designed for young people—-that’s why it was always #1 in the teen demos.

    Sorry, but I hate to see people rag on Passions and get away with it. I’m calling you out on your BS. Respect Passions and give it the credit it deserves.

    Just leave me alone, Gord. You’re an asshole. You’re going from thread-to-thread harassing me and bashing me, and I’m sick of it. Lay the fuck off me!

  18. Avatar of Dariclone
    Dariclone

    AlisterCrane, I like to thin we’re friendly but I have to disagree with you that anyone is too old for Passions. My mother is in her 50′s and it was her favourite soap during it’s original run, rven when I got tired of some of the storylines.
    Also, I don’t think that TVGord meant personally atack Josh Ryan Evans. I, personally loved the Timmy storyline but I know lots of people who didn’t and yet still respected Josh Ryan Evans as an actor.

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