Ratings, Rants and Raves: Exactly How Low Does DAYS Have to Fall Before Ken Corday Fires Dena Higley?

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For the last few ratings cycles we've all been anxiously paying attention to the ABC soap opera lineup, and rightfully so, considering Brian Frons allegedly would be okie dokey smokey with tossing two beloved sudsers for some replacement crapola, however someone really needs to ask the question of Ken Corday: Why on Earth are you letting Dena Higley destroy your birthright?

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Days of Our Lives has been on a ratings downward slide for weeks now (Source: Soap Opera Network), and while DAYS isn't in any immediate danger, since it's locked into a relatively recent deal with NBC, do we really always have to wait until an axe is about to fall to point out the obvious?



DAYS is in much worse shape creatively than any soap on the ABC lineup, complete with silly doppelganger storylines and bad, purple sets. I understand they can't do much about the sets from a budget standpoint, but Corday and Gary Tomlin can do something about Dena Higley's terrible storylines. They can fire her.

It is a sad day in Salem when the only watchable storyline features the child actors who play Ciara and Theo. I've mentioned it before, but DAYS is the sudser closest to my heart, so to see my faves like Peter Reckell, Kristian Alfonso, Alison Sweeney and Crystal Chappell suffer through one turkey of a storyline after another is so disheartening. Okay, on to the numbers.

DAYS dropped 133,000 total viewers the week of March 28-April 1, hitting a new low. The sudser was also dead last in households, tying its all-time low in that demo for a third straight week. DAYS fell one-tenth of a point in the all-important women 18-49 demo, tying it's all-time low there as well. The sudser managed to hold steady among women 18-34.

You know, seriously, I don't get off on being nasty about shows I've watched and enjoyed since I was a toddler. I don't want to see DAYS canceled, but it will be if Corday doesn't fire Dena Higley. Unlike with AMC and OLTL, where even though the numbers might not be so hot,  there is still potential (loads with the latter), Higley's sorry ass stories are darn near about to put DAYS at the point of no return. I'm talking Another World with babies in a tree. It's time, Ken. Make the hard decision. Tell Dena she ain't got to go home, but she's got to get the hell outta Salem! Thom Racina and Sally Sussman Morina could put this show back together like a jiggsaw puzzle, after a bratty child slung it apart, and that's what needs to happen.

Over at CBS, The Young and the Restless had a good week. Y&R went up 204,000 total viewers and inched up one-tenth of a point in households. Y&R also went up one-tenth of a point among women 18-49, and one-tenth of a point among women 18-34. While I admit, Sharon's (Sharon Case) trial for a crime as ludicrous as murder-by-lava has not been my cup of tea,  I will take anything that has Y&R chem testing the liquid hot Michelle "The Staff" Stafford (Phyllis) and Michael Muhney (Adam). I'm also intrigued by Sophia's (Julia Pace Mitchell) Winters Worries. Yeah, so I still close my eyes and pretend it's Shemar Moore playing Malcolm. Sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do.

The Bold and the Beautiful went up 90,000 total viewers over the previous week. B&B held steady in households, as well as among women 18-49 and women 18-34. B&B is basically going old school, with mad drama between The Forrester harpies and sex goddess Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang), as well as the template Hope/Liam/Amber/Oliver and Nick/Katie/Bill stories and I think that's a smart move. While these particular SoCal sagas aren't breaking any new ground, they are enjoyable, comfort suds and I am cool with that. Brad Bell is perhaps the smartest mofo in soaps right now.

Now to ABC. The only daughter ABC Daytime lets go the ball, General Hospital, got drunk and blew the prince in the back of the pumpkin, without even getting his cell phone number, let alone her glass Manolos. In other words, GH lost 149,000 total viewers over the previous week, and fell one-tenth of a point in households. GH also slipped one-tenth of a point among the coveted women 18-49 demo, but went up one-tenth of a point among women 18-34.

Sigh. What do I feel about GH? Okay, so I've made no secret I'm furious about Jake's death and the poor writing for Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst). Anyone watching this soap would likely believe Liz was simply a surrogate for a baby raised by Jason (Steve Burton) and Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) as a pretty, same-sex couple.

GH is delving deeply into Jason's grief, Lucky's grief, Luke's grief (Tony Geary), but the woman who carried the kid for nine months barely gets a handful of scenes.  Even still, GH is still one of the most watchable soaps on daytime—largely because of the actors and dialogues. I know, it's crazy. I don't even understand it myself, but try to sit through a scene of Days of Our Lives' faux Rafe (Galen Gering) tormenting some woman in a bathrobe, then talk to me. No offense to the hilarious Gering. He's doing the best he can with what's being written.

Sure, it's groody that shot-through-the-head, teen murderer and rape victim Michael's (Chad Duell) first consensual time making love was with a road hard, lady of the evening, but the actors did an amazing job, and the scenes were hella hot! (Jamey starts laughing deliriously, foaming at the mouth as he tries desperately to make sense of the perplexing dichotomy that is hating GH's ugly stories, but appreciating how they're performed.)

Onto the two ABC sudsers in mortal danger. One Life to Live went up 63,000 total viewers and held steady in households. The MAJORLY good news is that OLTL went up one-tenth of a point in women 18-49. OLTL is in 3rd place in the freaking most important demo for soaps, so stop tripping Fronsie! You know it's foul to have OLTL's neck on the chopping block first! OLTL also went up one-tenth of a point among women 18-34. 

Several Llanview sagas reached a fever pitch the week of March 28. David and Dorian (Tuc Watkins and Robin Strasser)  jumped the broom; Tess (Bree Williamson) went from a Mess back to Jess, then a Mess again; Mad Marty (Susan Haskell) was on the loose and Clint (Jerry verDorn) was in the clink. Call me a fanboi all you want, but this show is once again the best damn soap on daytime and ABC knows it!

All My Children went up 8,000 total viewers over the previous week. The soap held steady in households, and among women 18-49, dead last in the coveted demo. AMC was also last among women 18-34, tying it's all-time low in that demo.

I can't mention the hella good acting on GH without talking about the work of Jesus being accomplished in Pine Malibu by Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan (Jesse and Angie). When I first read about the proposed baby swap, I almost ran outside and waited for Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) to show up with a helicopter to rescue my behind, but Dar-Debs turned shiz to sugar with their gut wrenching performances as Angie gave birth to a dead baby, and Jesse insta-grieved the loss.

Williams especially sent out a clear warning to Tony Geary, "Look-a-here, TG, don't think you got that lead actor Daytime Emmy on lock next year, cause I am at the party too!"

I am thrilled that Lorraine Broderick is once again at the helm of the writing room at AMC, and would love to see ABC invest in getting all three of their soaps in tip-top shape again. It can happen, that is if Brian Frons still wants that outcome...

Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) -- Ratings Report for the Week of March 28 - April 1, 2011

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers

1. Y&R 4,742,000 (+204,000/-309,000)

2. B&B 2,909,000 (+90,000/-157,000)

3. GH 2,720,000 (-149,000/+46,000)

4. OLTL 2,574,000 (+63,000/+172,000)

5. AMC 2,383,000 (+8,000/-40,000)

6. DAYS 2,228,000 (-133,000/-294,000) * <---- new low

* Previous low: 2,229,000 (July 2-6, 2007)


Households

1. Y&R 3.4/11 (+.1/-.2)

2. B&B 2.1/7 (same/-.1)

3. GH 2.0/6 (-.1/same)

4. OLTL 1.9/6 (same/+.1)

5. AMC 1.8/6 (same/same)

6. DAYS 1.7/5 (same/-.2) <---- ties low (3rd straight week)


Women 18-49 Viewers

1. Y&R 966,000 (+37,000/-164,000)

2. GH 813,000 (-67,000/-114,000)

3. OLTL 645,000 (+22,000/-65,000)

4. B&B 609,000 (+21,000/+22,000)

5. DAYS 604,000 (-55,000/-121,000)

6. AMC 504,000 (-9,000/-144,000)


Women 18-49 Rating

1. Y&R 1.5/10 (+.1/-.2)

2. GH 1.2/8 (-.1/-.2)

3. OLTL 1.0/6 (+.1/-.1)

4. B&B 0.9/6 (same/same)

4. DAYS 0.9/6 (-.1/-.2) <---- ties low

6. AMC 0.8/5 (same/-.2)


Girls 12-17 Viewers

1. Y&R 22,000 (-4,000/-15,000)

2. DAYS 20,000 (+8,000/+6,000)

3. B&B 15,000 (+4,000/-8,000)

4. OLTL 14,000 (+2,000/-25,000)

5. GH 12,000 (-6,000/-37,000)

6. AMC 10,000 (+4,000/-16,000)


Women 18-34 Rating

1. Y&R 0.8/6 (+.1/-.3)

1. GH 0.8/5 (+.1/-.1)

3. OLTL 0.6/4 (+.1/-.1)

4. DAYS 0.5/3 (same/-.4)

4. B&B 0.5/3 (same/-.1)

6. AMC 0.4/3 (same/-.2) <---- ties low (2nd straight week)


Men 18+ Viewers

1. Y&R 1,132,000 (+70,000/+47,000)

2. B&B 632,000 (+22,000/-18,000)

3. DAYS 526,000 (-26,000/+25,000)

4. OLTL 496,000 (+56,000/+78,000)

5. AMC 493,000 (+60,000/+56,000)

6. GH 486,000 (-16,000/+11,000)

-------------------------------------

Day-To-Day Ratings - HH/Total Viewers

AMC

Monday: 1.9/2,547,000

Tuesday: 1.7/2,231,000

Wednesday: 1.9/2,473,000

Thursday: 1.9/2,424,000

Friday: 1.7/2,241,000

B&B

Monday: 2.1/2,822,000

Tuesday: 2.1/2,794,000

Wednesday: 2.2/3,087,000

Thursday: 2.2/2,929,000

Friday: 2.0/2,914,000

DAYS

Monday: 1.7/2,288,000

Tuesday: 1.8/2,436,000

Wednesday: 1.7/2,382,000

Thursday: 1.7/2,416,000

Friday: 1.4/1,917,000

GH

Monday: 2.1/2,848,000

Tuesday: 2.1/2,815,000

Wednesday: 2.0/2,673,000

Thursday: 2.1/2,953,000

Friday: 1.8/2,311,000

OLTL

Monday: 2.0/2,726,000

Tuesday: 2.0/2,568,000

Wednesday: 1.9/2,504,000

Thursday: 2.0/2,688,000

Friday: 1.8/2,383,000

Y&R

Monday: 3.5/4,928,000

Tuesday: 3.4/4,610,000

Wednesday: 3.5/4,871,000

Thursday: 3.4/4,757,000

Friday: 3.2/4,546,000

----------------------

For the SEASON September 20, 2010 through April 3, 2011

HH

1. Y&R 3.6

2. B&B 2.2

3. GH 2.1

4. DAYS 2.0

5. OLTL 1.9

5. AMC 1.9

Women 18-49 Rating

1. Y&R 1.7

2. GH 1.4

3. DAYS 1.2

4. B&B 1.0

4. OLTL 1.0

6. AMC 0.9