The Decline Of The American Soap Opera



 
With the news of All My Children and One Life to Live being canceled on Thursday, April 12, 2011, the American Soap Opera genre spun into a state of disaster. Over a span of three years, the genre has lost a total of five soap operas, leaving the final four standing. What could cause shows that have been on the air for 40 plus years to get the boot from their respective networks? What does this mean for the American soaps still on the air? What are the key factors to a successful soap? Is it possible that in five years the American Soap Opera will be a thing of the past? So many questions, so little time. I have a few theories and comments of why the genre that has captured the hearts of Americans for years is slowly but surely fading into oblivion.


The first thing the press and media will attain the fall of genre to is ratings. It’s clear as day that the current ratings are nothing close to what they were in the 80’s.  However, I think the same can be said for rest of television period, not just daytime. I hardly ever see mainstream looking at things that way. Also, if you were to look at the Nielsen’s for daytime and compare them to some “hit” primetime shows, you would see that Daytime reigns supreme and has for years. If daytime is beating the ratings of hit primetime shows, then why are those same shows being canned? It doesn’t make much sense if you ask me.

 It’s become harder to watch the shows live, as the networks want it, because the majority of the target audience is part of the workforce. Although, many people, including myself, record soaps and watch them on the weekend in a marathon. The problem with this routine lies within the antiquated Nielsen Ratings System. You are randomly selected to be a Nielsen family, or you have to have a Nielsen box for the ratings to count.  Daytime television must be watched on the same day it aired to be counted in the ratings for that period whereas; primetime can be watched in a 7-day period to be counted for their ratings period. Why the big discrepancy between the number of days? There is no telling how many alienated viewers are out there, that are not being counted. With the technology we have today, why don’t we have a ratings system inside every television? I guess that would just be too easy.

Another issue that could have led to the genre’s current state is the social stigma against the American Soap Opera. There once was a time when watching a soap opera was the thing to do. I mean, Luke and Laura’s wedding was watched by 30 million people in 1981 for God’s sake. However, somewhere between 1981 and 2011 all of that changed. Soaps have always had the stereotype of being catered to housewives, but I feel that is a load horse manure. Look at our website and several others, there seems to be a good mix of men and women of all different ages who are nowhere near the word housewife. Furthermore, could some of the absurd stories over the years (Cloning Reva, Marlena being possessed by devil, killing Dixie with pancakes) be the cause of the turn away from the soaps? I think that has something to do with it, but is not the entire reason. Is there one particular reason soap opera’s went from being the cat’s meow to kitty litter, I think not.  I just know that now saying you like a soap opera is so frowned upon, and I don’t understand why. The majority of “hit” shows on primetime are rooted in soap opera-style drama, but nobody’s willing to admit that. If it weren’t for the format of daytime serials, primetime serials would not exist as they are now. What happened to acknowledging and paying honor to the roots of the serial drama period? I guess the people at the top forgot that somewhere along the way.

Speaking of the executives, they happen to be my next point. When the executives from the respective networks speak about their soap opera’s, I hear the term ratings and money uttered more times than I can count. What happened to the concentration being on story, characters and overall development of the soaps? Those days are long gone and the days of ratings and money are here to stay. If I am remembering correctly, money was the reason AMC was moved across the country? What a way to waste a ton of money by cancelling the soap a year later.

I think what the executives over the years have failed to realize is that you have to spend money to make money. If you don’t do that, then you cut and cut and cut until there is nothing left. Gloria Monty knew this and used it to her advantage. I’ve heard Jamey speak about how she started over from scratch to save GH back in the day and it worked like a charm. Granted the soaps had more money back then, but who’s to say it couldn’t be done now? Is it because the executive’s not so secretly want the soaps to disappear? Apparently, the afternoon time slot is coveted, so why replace generational serial dramas with mindless, sloppily thrown together, same old same old reality shows. I understand that it’s cheaper to produce, but my God, when will people realize you get what you pay for? I would rather invest in a show that has decades of history with an almost guarantee of future viewers (little ones who watched with grandma/mama and grow up to be adults) than a show that probably will not be around in 5 years. If you really think about, it’s not very good business.

In closing, the state of the American Soap Opera is in disarray and it breaks my heart. I can only hope that this genre will get things together and make a huge turnaround. We’re in a dogfight and in the end; both sides will come out with battle wounds. However, it’s not about who wins the battle, but who wins the war.

28 Responses

  1. Profile photo of jjfan93
    jjfan93

    Heartbreaking. Today viewers would rather watch reality crap then a soap. I am wondering where are the young viewers like myself? I am 17 years old and I have been watching General Hospital since I was 3. After my dad passed away, GH became a constant in my life where I could escape into another world.

    I am so afraid that it is going to be taken away from me. I used to think that the show would go on forever until after I passed away even and now the soap opera world is collapsing before my 18th birthday.

    I hope that people tune in like crazy to General Hospital regarldess of how frustrating it can be. Even if not for now do it for the past with all it’s amazing stories and wonder.

    All I can say is if General Hospital does get cancelled – they better release decades out onto DVD! I don’t care how they do it – they just better. Can’t even gurantee that you can watch soaps online because that is slowly being taken away from us with VEVO. SOoner or later, you will have to pay to watch videos.

    You know, in a world with genocides and natural disaters, programs of art, music and dance being cut in schools, music not sounding any bit appealing as it was even just a decade ago, movies not original as they were in the past, soaps were made to escape even for just an hour and now that is being taken away from us.

    Well I do not plan on going quietly.

    Anyways, that’s my spiel
    ~Peace!

  2. Profile photo of Jasen Perri
    Jasen Perri

    I feel what you are saying but let’s not throw in th towel yet! They cancelled 2 soaps in a day. At least CBS waited a year between GL and ATWT. Fans are not going to take this lying down and I really believe we can stick to our guns and hit them where it hurts……The Wallet!

  3. Profile photo of curacaoman
    curacaoman

    As of today, I do not watch ABC, except for the three soaps. After AMC and OLTL are gone I will not watch ABC at all. GH is simply not worth it, it is total crap.

    Now I live outside the US, so my viewing habits do not affect the Nielsen rating. I’m just sending my behavior into the universe, hoping it will be contagious!

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    The thing everybody overlooks is that advertisers keep shows alive, and most soap fans record the shows and fast-forward through the commercials. That’s why it’s so hard to get advertisers. Reality shows (a genre I hate and never watch) have more people tuning in live, and the likelihood of sitting through the commercials is higher. Add that to the fact that soaps are much more expensive to produce than talks shows, game shows and reality crap, well, we can’t really be surprised.

  5. Profile photo of rskuggs
    rskuggs

    The list of Actors who got their start on Daytime Television is staggering. The amount of talented individuals that have passed through theses shows,and gone on to have substantial careers is so very impressive,and to think that this genre that gave birth to these talented individuals,both in front of and behind the camera,is being phased out making room for the likes of untalented attention whores who’s only ability seems to be a shocking lack of shame.dignity,pride and common sense. We live in a country where a University would actually PAY someone like “Snookie”$32,000 to speak to its students,and where someone like Brian Frons,can actually be in charge of ANYTHING! Where do we go from here? More shows Judge Shows? More Talk Shows? More Game Shows? There are now entire Networks,dedicated to one specific thing,and yet someone cannot figure out a way,to create and sustain one that features Soaps? Oh wait,ABC had that and destroyed that too! So i guess that leaves us with more of the same. D-List celebrities and their Family Members and their wacky antics,Crazy kooky kids living in a house,Boring,spoiled So-Called Housewives and their dysfunctional friendships/rivalries,etc.,etc……

  6. Profile photo of glowery
    glowery

    While admittedly I was not a watcher of the two soaps cancelled, it spells disaster for the ones that will be left.

    I don’t even turn my tv on until 11:30 when Y&R comes on, and as soon as B&B is over I start looking for a movie on my satelite. The thoughts of adding anymore talk shows or god forbid another reality show, just makes me want to puke.It is not that I don’t understand the business aspect of this, I do, but it doesn’t make it anymore pleasant for me to to have to swallow.

    Soap watching has been passed down in families for generations just as Mel mentioned in the article. I started watching soaps with my Grandmother when I was 5 years old. Granted the soaps I watched with her are long gone.. Secret Storm, Edge of Night, Search For Tomorrow and finally The Guiding Light (which I still mourn to this day), it like part of my family history is coming to an end.

  7. Profile photo of
    23skidoo

    I’ve never been a soap opera fan, but I certainly respect the genre. No other shows gave managed to run for decades with daily episodes, and it’s been such a huge training ground for actors. But I can see why in today’s world this is the genre that’s getting pushed out first.

    Of course, the changing demographics is part of the problem. Double-income families, busier retirees, and competition from other networks, DVDs, Internet and videogames are greatly to blame. That and the fact the American ratings system and advertisers still haven’t figured out how to adapt to the realities of the 21st century.

    Also, due to the huge number of episodes produced each year, DVD release is impractical, and while there are some niche cable networks that show old soap opera reruns, you never saw AMC reruns syndicated anywhere, so it’s “after market” sales potential was quite low.

    I don’t think soaps did a very good job promoting when they launched storylines that pushed outside the “Bob & Marsha and their marital woes” stereotype. For example, if OLTL actually publicized that the popular author Peter Straub is guest starring in a current story arc, more people might have tuned in. There was a soap that had supernatural elements a few years ago – with Buffy and Twilight and all that being so popular, why weren’t we seeing that show publicized at sci-fi and fantasy conventions? (I’m not talking about Dark Shadows.)

    I’m of the opinion the daytime drama is extinct, I’m afraid. The four remaining shows are after-images and will be gone within the next few years. The sad part is whereas 20 years ago a show like AMC might have been replaced by a new drama, they’re being replaced by garbage. I think the networks are going to eventually see daytime scheduling – at least in the afternoons – as a wasteland and abandon it, just like they’ve largely abandoned Saturday prime time.

    If I were the producers of GH or the other 3 survivors, I’d be making a survival strategy. If it were me I’d enter negotiations to reformat as a weekly prime time series. That, or think out of the box – what about a webcast to be viewed on iPads? Perhaps going back to the old 15-minutes-a-day format of radio, only via YouTube or an app? I’m just grabbing those ideas out of the air, but they have to do something, or else this blog and others like it will be closing the book completely on American soaps very soon and end up converting to a Coronation Street and EastEnders fan site.

  8. Profile photo of GHteenybopper
    GHteenybopper

    I still am in disbelief and I like JJfan am a young viewer who has been watching GH since I was two and have been watching oltl on and off since the age of 5. I feel like a part of my childhood is being taken away from me. I really hope the remaining soaps do and make whatever reasonable changes they can make to endure the decline of soaps on air. What are Latin soaps and British soaps doing that are making them so successful in their respective countries that American soaps aren’t in the US? I know society and what they want to see on tv has changed recently, but it has gone through changes over the past 40-50 years while these soaps were on and yet they still managed to survive, what’s the difference now? If it’s a money issue then why not reformat the shows into half hour serials as many have suggested. It’s sad to think that by the time I’m 25 soaps may cease to exist.

  9. Profile photo of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    Great article that touched on MANY legitimate points!!!

    But I am still heartsick about losing AMC and OLTL. As much as I have complained (LOUDLY!) on this website about how crappy AMC has been, I’d still rather have my soaps stay on the air, poorly-written, than get the axe!! This is still so sad and depressing. I am still trying to wrap my mind around it.

  10. Profile photo of Bourgeois Nerd
    Bourgeois Nerd

    There is nothing inevitable about the death of the American Soap Opera. Can it continue to hew strictly to the traditional formats in a rapidly changing world? No. Can they be profitable (or at least more profitable, because honestly the shows do make money, just not “enough”) and relevant today and into the future? Absolutely. But it would take creativity and smarts from the executives, and they obviously have neither. And, just as obviously, they aren’t interested. If Brian Frons had really wanted to save soaps, he would not have acted the way he has during his tenure. Just listen to Jamey on any podcast list different strategies to make money and increase relevance to know there’s plenty that could be done, or at least tried. Heck, just a shot of new blood would help, instead of the endless parade of tired hacks getting recycled in show after show. Unfortunately, no one in a position to do anything cares, and the American Soap Opera is smothered in its bed (by its evil twin to steal its inheritance and husband? *organ music*).

  11. Profile photo of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    Daytime soaps mean many things to many people. What even constitutes a good soap is much debated. What soaps and the viewer all have in common though is continuity. Soaps have been on the air since the great depression coninuously. They have been our little respite from the outside world for 8 decades. Most of us recieved this nugget of sanity from someone we cared about. Whether it be a grandparent that watched us while our parents worked or a coworker in the lunch room, we were brought into this world with care. That person would describe the history of what it was we were watching and we would realize that we were not just watching some silly thing but rather something that could speak to us, calm our frustrations, detract from our daily grind.
    Soaps are unique and not replacable. Yes soap ellements are flooding other types of shows and the genre is probably at an all time high and has been ellevated beyond it’s humble roots. Yet the fact is that there are no other shows out there that reach as far back in our psyche and have touched so many hearts. The roots of this genre however are dying out and quickly. I am not sure that this time there is an answer to the problems it faces or even if anyone is interested. I am not confident that there is a Gloria Monte out there that can revitalize this format. We may have to find it on the internet instead of tv. I know that I am a faithful reader of Another World Today. I also check in on some of the websoaps from time to time. I also go mining UTube videos of whatever soap scraps that have been salvaged from vintage daytime. And I go to websites that deal with soaps both current and past. Oddly enough these internet contacts are more satisfying than what is currently on air on tv. Which might very well explain why soaps are going off air.
    I do not even know what I wish for for daytime. I have seen a variety of content and style over the last 4 decades. Each decade retooling and remaking what a soap is. In the last decade, I find that soaps increasingly have become detached from its viewers wants and needs. We are a flexible crew here and are willing to have something fresh and exciting if it were given us. If you don’t give it to us though, then we start telling you what we want. Which really means that what we are getting on our screen is not what we want.

    Some things that might help out the industry: less time between filming and showing. I think of the biggest issues that daytime has this is it.
    There is too much time lapse. First of all it gives the viewer alot of time to find out what is going on next. We need the surprise. And we want to know the surprise so if someone knows it, we are gonna find it out. If the show tapes and then shows the episode, there is not enough time to know in advance and we have to watch to find out what the surprises are.
    Also if the show is going off track with the viewer, it can get back on track quickly if there isn’t three months worth of episodes to sit through. That is really killing the shows.
    Secondly, soaps on tv are about 40 – 50 years old. Use that backstory and history. The older cast can reflect and see parallels to the current stories and relay that to the newer ones. Mine for unfinished stories. Or stories that can have a new light shone on them. Soaps are a rich brocade of texture. Not a flat polyester.
    Third think outside the box. Use other mediums to add to the richness of the show. Use your websites, use Utube, get some of your characters to do some webdiaries or twitters…. See how other types of shows are using soap ellements and borrow from them. Why is Dexter doing so well with soap opera that AMC isn’t? Why did Friends succeed when Days is failing?
    Fourth ya gotta connect with the audience. Keep us tuning in. There are no down days. Every day is important not just the sweeps. If you wait till sweeps we all have already started watching something else.

  12. Profile photo of cheesehead91182
    cheesehead91182

    The reason the soaps are in the state they are in is because of bad writting. I don’t think it has anything to do with women working or anything like that. Days of our Lives Ratings surged in the 90’s and at that point women had been back to work for years. Veiwers are tuning out because they aren’t good any more. My grandma used to watch OLTL, GH and Y&R she stopped watching GH in the late 90’s OLTL a few years later and gave up on Y&R when Maria Bell took over. Now she watches Judge shows instead. If you cannot keep a long time viewer like her tuning who has nothing better to do in the afternoon then there is a big problem. Also my mom watched AMC, OLTL (from day one) and GH and I told her yesterday that they cancled AMC and OLTL and she said “Good, they need to go off they are so stupid now” and she is right. Its sad to see AMC and OLTL go, I feel sorry for the cast and back stage crew but as far as the EPs and HWs I’m glad they are out of jobs they suck and ruined two of my favorite shows and to me they are equally responsible for the cancellation as Brian Frons. The positvie side of all the soaps going off the air will be that all these talent less hacks will be out of a job and maybe one day down the raod we will get new soaps written and produced by people with half a brain.

  13. Profile photo of thepariah
    thepariah

    Great article. Thank you!

    A few things to think about:

    * Show business is a business, and unfortunately, businesses are always run by the bottom line. For soaps to thrive, we’ll need to support them ourselves. Perhaps there are people out there who are not filled with boundless greed that will be happy to fund a soap with a modest profit rather than truckloads.

    * Even though SoapNet is going away, some of these cable/satellite/premium channels need to take a hard look at soaps. I know DirectTV tried it with Passions, but Passions wasn’t in the top of the daytime ratings. But think about it. These types of channels are thrilled whenever they receive a 2.1, which would be certain death in the primetime network landscape. So surely, shows like AMC and OLTL could provide that to these outlets.

    * Soaps are also going to have to come down in costs. I think they need to look to foreign soaps to see how they keep the costs low. Heck, maybe they need to even film our soaps abroad. Do you know how cheap it is to film in Bulgaria? And look at the telenovelas. Yes, I know many of the older ones look cheap, but the ones airing today have some pretty good sets and camera work and certainly aren’t filmed here.

    * If there’s one area where money and time should be spent, it’s the writing. This is another area where American soaps could learn from foreign soaps, such as the U.K.’s Hollyoaks. Not only does the writing need to be focused on things that fans actually care about (love, relationships, etc.) it needs to be compact and real. When an entire episode can be skipped and you’ve missed nothing, something’s wrong. It’s ok to use exposition within the dialogue or previously segments to catch people up, but seriously an entire episode talking about nothing (DAYS anyone?) isn’t going to win you any viewers.

    * It’s been recommended before, but why not trim the total number of episodes to 4 per week? A Friday omnibus episode could be there to recap the week’s main scenes. Foreign soaps do this and it’s very effective.

    * Along with my above suggestion, give the soaps a few weeks off. What other scripted shows do you know air non-stop? None! It’s too much to ask any creative team. There’s a reason a primetime drama has 22-24 episodes and then is off until the next season. Quality takes time and preparation. Give our soap people some room to breathe.

    Well, I think I’ve rambled enough. I just hope someone (anyone) is listening…

  14. Profile photo of keanna
    keanna

    AS always a well-written article, Melodie!!!!

    I agree maybe they need to start going to Canada and other countries and see what they do to keep their soaps intact and on budget. Fresh voices, romance, friendships, love, power, sex, that’s what fans want and if these execs cared they wouldn’t be doing this!!!!

  15. Profile photo of cmsmith1973
    cmsmith1973

    Why can’t they just move all the soaps to the Soap Network. I really don’t want to lose the only 2 soaps I have left. I agree we need better writers but I don’t think they have to keep cancelling everyone’s shows. I only watch cbs soaps but I don’t like to see anyone lose the shows they have watched for many years. Its crap! Move all soaps to soap network and keep them on the air.

  16. Profile photo of jetty
    jetty

    I wish someone with ABC would let some memos or emails leak, because I’m convinced it has been a systematic effort to erode the quality and audience of the soaps at ABC in order to justify canceling them. They need to be exposed.

  17. Profile photo of Restless Fan
    Restless Fan

    Great article Melodie! Well articulated.

    I think 2 things need to happen for the four remaining soaps. Start telling smart stories again and respect your shows collective rich histories. Ratings came out yesterday for last week and Y&R is down over 700,000 viewers from last year! How much more does that show need to bleed out before Maria Bell realizes we haven’t been happy with what she’s serving?

    Soaps aren’t fresh. They have been telling the same recycled crap for too long now. They need to go back to character storytelling and not plot. It worked successfully for decades!!! Why do the morons running these shows not think it would work now?

    The soaps used to be about something. They pitted rich against poor. Good against bad. Who on Y&R or GH isn’t a bad guy? What happened to the good guys? Legacy characters are killed off and forgotten about a month later. We haven’t forgotten!!!!!

    THIS should be a huge wake up call to Y&R, B&B, GH and DAYS? Question is do they care? and will it be?

  18. Profile photo of drew770
    drew770

    This situation is not only heartbreaking but an eye opening moment for the Final Four. Let’s be honest. The days of the standard afternoon American network soap is over.

    Is that ok no but its a business. There have been many tv genres that have gone off the air after mega success. We don’t have variety shows like the Carol Burnett show or westerns like Bonanza or Gunsmoke. Let’s not forget that Gunsmoke is the longest running primetime show of all time. People made a big stink when networks did away with westerns. Plus, when was the last time we saw a “miniseries” like Roots, North & South, Lonesome Dove or The Thorn Birds?

    Let me be very clear, I am no expert. I am just a fan that has been watching soaps for 30 years. But in my opinion, the remaining soaps have to refocus on the “brand” and the family. Storytelling is key in this genre and there is no room to fail. Daytime doesn’t have the summer off to reboot the show after a disaster season. The writers have to walk a very thin tightrope with fans. You want to bring new exciting characters to bring some lifeblood into the story but you don’t want to put off older viewers. This is a hard genre to write for and to satisfy every fan.

    Maria Arena Bell for all her silliness with volcanos and crop dustings might be onto something when she said she wants to focus on the core families. Now my reaction was “no shit sherlock” !!! Did the drop in ratings and the cancellation of 2 soaps on your network finally gave you a brain!!! But she is correct. We need the Newmans, Foresters, Abbotts, Horton, Bradys & Quartermines. What we don’t need are stories that have been told a million times or have over the top silliness like people falling in volcanos.

    The sand throw the hourglass is running out faster than ever and if the current Final Four don’t see the light and do some changes then we will be hearing about more cancellations in the future.

    But as soap fans we have to do our part. We have to watch, support and talk about our soaps to others. This is not a guilty pleasure that I hide in my closet to watch. These are real shows that should receive the same respect as primetime shows. I am going to do my part even though I am not a Nielson family.

    I have never been a non CBS soap watcher but as of today I am a card carrying Days of our Lives and General Hospital fan!!!

  19. Profile photo of Mardou
    Mardou

    [quote=Bourgeois Nerd]There is nothing inevitable about the death of the American Soap Opera. Can it continue to hew strictly to the traditional formats in a rapidly changing world? No. Can they be profitable (or at least more profitable, because honestly the shows do make money, just not “enough”) and relevant today and into the future? Absolutely. But it would take creativity and smarts from the executives, and they obviously have neither. And, just as obviously, they aren’t interested. If Brian Frons had really wanted to save soaps, he would not have acted the way he has during his tenure. Just listen to Jamey on any podcast list different strategies to make money and increase relevance to know there’s plenty that could be done, or at least tried. Heck, just a shot of new blood would help, instead of the endless parade of tired hacks getting recycled in show after show. Unfortunately, no one in a position to do anything cares, and the American Soap Opera is smothered in its bed (by its evil twin to steal its inheritance and husband? *organ music*).[/quote]

    I had to quote the WHOLE comment, because IA with it so strongly. The shows do not HAVE to die. They are being murdered. There were SO many things that could have been tried before cancellation. There was just no passion and no interest from the suits. Alas, the only people who still love the soaps are the fans and the cast and crews of the shows themselves. The networks checked out a LONG time ago.

    One thing we all know–in 40 years, NO ONE will know that The Chew or Revolution were ever on the air. But AMC and OLTL will take their rightful place in history–and so will Brian Frons–the Serial Killer.

  20. Profile photo of BetseyD
    BetseyD

    [quote=jetty]I wish someone with ABC would let some memos or emails leak, because I’m convinced it has been a systematic effort to erode the quality and audience of the soaps at ABC in order to justify canceling them. They need to be exposed.[/quote]

    Hey Jetty! This has been my exact theory for a few years now! Why else would Frons meddle in the storylines, dictating nonsensical actor firings and script changes?!? To me, the most blatant effort on ABC’s part to kill these shows is the fact that they kept crippling AMC with incompetent head-writers. When AMC was finally free of Pratt, they then found themselves stuck with the show-killing head-writing team they currently (now gone) have; things just went from bad to worse! It was almost like they were pushing the limits of the show’s fans by turning out one boring and/or aggravating story after another! I think that the last straw, for a lot of people (not just myself) was killing off Angie and Jesse’s “Miracle Baby”.

    I mean really, I went from being a daily viewer of AMC to a now occasional observer. My turn-around point with AMC was Dixie and the poisoned pancakes, and my point of no return was when they moved the show out west, and subsequently lost the phenomenal David Canary – not to mention the increasingly moronic, plot-driven storylines!

    Anyway – I think that you are 100% correct in your statement, that ABC/Frons was (all along) deliberately orchestrating the death of these shows for their own personal agenda! It is as plain as the nose on your face!

  21. Profile photo of ChrisGa
    ChrisGa

    I would’ve laughed in someone’s face if they’d told me five years ago that there would only be four soaps on the air. I started watching Y&R in 1980 when I was eight years old(I was highly developed lol)and was also watching EDGE OF NIGHT during the summer months when I wasn’t in school. Then my aunt hooked me on to OLTL and, to a lesser extent, AMC and GH(bet it’s no surprise to anyone that I’m gay lol). During my first year of college I switched over from ABC and started watching ATWT and GL on CBS pretty religiously for several years(while also videotaping ANOTHER WORLD). I’ve been an on and off viewer(couple years on, a couple off)for the last decade or so but I’ve been on top of Y&R and OLTL for the last two years. After GL and ATWT were cancelled fairly close to one another I started to realize that that wasn’t gonna be the end of it. While I gave up on the creatively bankrupt AMC long ago, OLTL has for me been the best soap on the air for a couple of years now so I’m doubly sad to see it and it’s massive wealth of talent soon to be gone from my screen. I fear that in five years time, daytime will be overrun with nothing but cheaply made talk shows and the like and soaps will indeed by extinct.

  22. Profile photo of Lewis0817
    Lewis0817

    First off It is no shocker that one of the shows was going to be cancelled. I knew back when Frons decided to cancel SoapNet that there had to be an underlying reason for the decision. Now I am shocked that they cancelled BOTH at the same time. ABC has had the stronger line up compared to CBS, because so many people watched all 3 at some point during the week. ABC has always had the better chance to do something with their daytime line up, unlike CBS. CBS (had) 2 family of shows on their line up. Usually (when the quality was good) you watched ATWT and GL, or Y&R and B&B. Why in the world would ABC cancel both shows at the same time, it is just not a smart business move. I have not watched AMC or OLTL in about a year, because since ATWT was canceled I kind of gave up on daytime. Though from a young age I was watching AMC/OLTL religiously, (I am a 20 year old male) It is annoying to think that 2 shows that my grandmother watched, passed down to my mother, and then passed down to me have been killed. Now the ratings system is so screwed up it makes me believe that they just want to kill soaps. I know many people MY AGE that watch soap operas, but we have lives and can’t watch them when they air. How many people are there like us out there. I bet any money more people watch some of the daytime soaps then they watch the same ole tired primetime shows. Why didn’t ABC try and save the shows, BY THINKING OUT OF THE BOX????? Everything in entertainment is changing, why didn’t they trim both shows to 30 minutes. Or wait why didn’t they cancel BOTH shows then MERGE them into One 60 minute soap. It’s just amazing that these executives are so quick to kill 40+ year old TV shows. NEW tv shows for the most part do not last, so it costs more money to keep producing and making these new series. Well I honestly believe AMC or OLTL have a greater chance of being picked up by some network. Let’s face it ATWT and GL had no chance. But I think AMC and OLTL have a better business and following then both of those shows did in recent years. Who would have though ABC would be a one soap network EVER? Only one question? Who is next? Oh wait thats a no brainer, it will be Days sadly.

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