Ratings, Rants and Raves: All Soaps Fall; The Stories All My Children Could Have Told For Erica Kane

The week of May 2-6, 2011 was pretty sucky across the board for daytime soaps ratings-wise. (Source: Soap Opera Network). All six soaps fell among total viewers, with CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless dipping the most, losing a whopping 272,000 viewers. Y&R went down one-tenth of a point in households and among women 18-34, but held steady among women 18-49.

Y&R basically told two stories they've told over and over again the week in question—Crazy Jana (Emily O'Brien) terrorizing Kevin (Greg Rikaart) and the Winters brothers being in a secret paternity pickle over the same girl. I am enjoying the battle for Baby Lucy, as well as Smilin' Jack (Peter Bergman) getting his hands on a block of Newman stock, however so I won't be too hard on Y&R this time around.

The Bold and The Beautiful fell 216,000 total viewers over the previous week. B&B also went down two-tenths of a point in households, tying its all-time low in that demo. B&B also fell one-tenth of a ratings point among women 18-49 and women 18-34, tying its all-time lows in those demos as well.

I guess Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Thomas' (Adam Gregory) island adventure was a bust for most B&B lovers? I dug it (Yes, even the silly, horny berries), but I really think B&B is going to have to take a page from recent fashion-themed entertainment vehicles like The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and The City and The Hills (Which Ellen Wheeler never watched), and make this show resemble the real fashion industry. 

Why not do a location shoot at New York for Fashion Week? How about creating an Anna Wintour-like bitch goddess, fashion bible editrix, who loathes the Forresters? Colleen Zenk's available. While we're at it, can we actually get Don Diamont to dress like Bill Spencer's ever seen an issue of GQ? Even though I like a lot of what B&B has done this year, the show seems trapped in a 1980's time warp. It's time to make B&B as hip and sexy as the half-hour serial's awesome opening credits.

Now for a show that isn't hip, sexy or at all plausible these DAYS. Days of Our Lives was dead last among total viewers again, falling 160,000. DAYS tied its all-time low in households, yet managed to hold steady among women 18-49, tied with General Hospital at Number 2. DAYS was also No. 2 among women 18-34, which is good on the latter two accounts, but certainly not enough to keep you safe from cancellation rumors. Just ask the brass at GH.

I feel so bad for Alison Sweeney. How embarassing must it be to be at industry parties, as the host of one of primetime's most popular series, yet when her day(time) job comes up, she has to change the subject or else share the tales of her riveting story arcs trying to decipher between Galen Gerings.

I think this season's Biggest Loser is without a doubt Dena Higley. Has this woman ever seen an episode of The Good Wife? Grey's Anatomy? Hell, Sesame Street?  I'm just gonna be real, if DAYS keeps telling these dumbass stories I will not be joining any SAVE DAYS campaigns when NBC decides to cut their losses. Serialized drama has evolved beyond these ridiculous, idiotic, genre-embarassing stories and if soap writers keep insisting on telling them then we can't blame anyone for viewer erosion and inevitiable cancellations but the people who are writing and/or greenlighting this poppycock.

What a perfect segue to discuss All My Children. AMC held steady in households, yet tied its all-time low among women 18-49. I don't believe in kicking a horse when it's down, but I'm sorry, Secretariat needs a swift one to the balls for this Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) doppelganger bull ish.

Seriously, why doesn't daytime retire this crap already? The last decent lookalike story on a soap was Lily/Rose on As The World Turns and the concept was played out even by that point in time. I'm sorry, but after Eileen Davidson's  tour de force turn as Kristen/Susan/Sister Mary Moira/Thomas/Penelope on DAYS no soap ever needed to attempt this type of story again. The secret lookalike-who-assumes-your-life was fresh and daring when the late Bill Bell, Sr. did it with Jeanne Cooper on Y&R in the 80's. Now  the doppelganger is as stale, predictable and eyeroll-inducing as Fox News going after rappers.

Really people, ENOUGH with the GOD $@#) Doppelgangers! Why didn't AMC take a page from Oprah, and have Erica Kane dealing with a career-changing moment this past season? Adam Chandler (David Canary) could have returned to Pine Valley with an offer Erica couldn't refuse. He could have wanted to create The Erica Kane Channel and a companion Erica magazine, the catch being Erica's arch rivals Brooke (Julia Barr) and Barbara Montgomery (Susan Pratt) would be serving as the editorial director and CEO respectively. Erica, her finances wiped out due to bad investments, could have had no choice but to make a deal with Pine Valley's favorite devil. if Canary didn't want to come back, they could have always had Adam's daughter Skye (Robin Christopher) deliver the deal, serving as his liaison.

What if Erica, a woman defined in so many ways by her sexuality, had to face the idea of losing it in the form of breast cancer? Or Erica could have learned there was a spot on her liver, due to her substance abuse issues. Ex-lover David (Vincent Irizarry) could have been the one to treat her, or maybe sexy, young mocha doc Frankie (Cornelius Smith, Jr)? Now that's a cougar story I would have watched, not one involving the father of one of Erica's freaking grandchildren!

Maybe an obsessed fan (one who didn't have her face) could have targeted Erica? Jesse (Darnell Williams) could have had to become her 24/7 bodyguard, much to Angie's (Debbi Morgan) chagrin. AMC could have SORAS'ed Miranda to 15 and made her a scheming, little teen minx like her grandmother before her, with Erica serving in the Mona capacity.

Imagine Erica desperately trying to stop Miranda from following in her Prada footsteps, by reeking havoc on her mealy-mouthed rival for AJ Chandler's affections (Emma Lavery), the very same way Erica reeked havoc on Tara Martin because of her teenage obsession with Phil Brent 40-odd years ago.  

There were so many contemporary, reality-based stories to tell with a character as iconic as Erica Kane, but this is the crap Lucci is stuck with during AMC's fading months? Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda.

One Life to Live continued the distinction of being ABC's most watched soap for the week of May 2-6, 2011, and it's no wonder why. OLTL was also No. 3 in households and held steady at No. 4 among women 18-49. OLTL did dip one-tenth of a point among women 18-34, however.

I get accused of being a OLTL apologist, but screw it. Good soap is good soap, and this show is off the CHAIN right now! It seems like some major story is climaxing every freaking day in Llanview. Kudos to Frank and Ron. If you'e gonna go out, do it with a bang, not a doppelganger, I mean whimper. Granted, OLTL is embarking on what's sure to be an implausible story arc featuring the two Todds, but when it means bringing back someone as popular to the soap's fans as Roger Howarth, it's worth it.  Y&R's "So Long, Sister Killer" fiasco would have been 10 times more tolerable if Kimberlin Brown had made an appearance as Sheila at the end of the arc.

Okay, back to OLTL's storylines for the week in question, Current Todd (Trevor St. John) woke up, causing Tea (Florencia Lozano) to do her laugh-cry combo, then Todd accused her bearded bro of busting a cap in him. Speaking of bros, Clint (Jerry verDorn) told Bo (Robert S. Woods) he was gonna see their Pa real soon on account of his bum ticker and Austin Reed, er Joey (Tom Degnan) and his grifter bride took Messica's (Bree Williamson) baby away from Ford (David Gregory). While all that was good, the Hot Mess of the Week had to be that crazy ass Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell). I tell you I haven't seen someone make crazy look this hot and fun since Cynthia Watros on Guiding Light. Haskell as Mad Marty is DA BIZNESS!

Last, but not least (Are you listening, Katie Couric?) General Hospital was No. 4 among total viewers, falling 145,000. GH also dipped in houseolds, tying with AMC. Among women viewers 18-49, the sudser hit a new low, while tying it's all-time low in the same demo for the second week straight. The good news is, GH went up one-tenth of a point among women 18-34.

I gotta be honest and say none of GH's stories has me totally hooked right now. I don't care about Newbie Abby being charged for the murder of some dayplayer. I don't care about Brenda's (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) kid—the real one or the fake one. I don't care about silly Anthony Za-Crazy being out of jail.

Thank the Soap Gods for Siobhan/Lucky/Liz, Jax/Carly/Shawn, Luke/Tracy and Dr. Crazy Pants Lisa (Brianna Brown) or GH would be as much of a chore to get through right now as AMC. I think Bob Guza might need to visit Sonny's island. Buy his wife a nice dress, do some gambling and recharge his batteries, because GH doesn't need to be this blah right about now.  See you next Ratings.

For the rest of the ratings stats visit Soap Opera Network.

Photo credit: ABC


david46208's picture
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15 January 2009
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@ Jamey

You know when DOOL has had it's good moments over the last few years for me it has been watching the Dimera's battle it out. Seeing EJ and Stefano at odds and at times teaming up reminds me in a good way of the Newman family drama between all of Victor's children's vs him.

I'd like to see more of the emotional drama of Salem's top bad family trying to navigate through the their struggles as EJ continues to vey for power against Stefano and the troubles EJ causes which both put him at odds with his dear old dad, yet still lets fans know that Stefano is in his corner.

I began this threat as a comment in the ratings posting but thought I would post it here. A story idea I have for days I think would start to bring it back to where I feel it should be. Here is the sum of what I had in mind:

I've always wanted to see Theo aged to a teen and start getting bullied in school. This would lead him to his gramps who would empower him to use his Dimera family ties to get the bully's to back off. This could enrage Abe who doesn't want his son influenced by Stefano and we could start to play out the A Bronx Tale type of story where Theo becomes interested in his grand fathers organization and starts to have disdain for his goody-too-shoe father. Stefano would follow Lexie's wishes and not embrace Theo's interest, thus rather trying to push him to be honorable like Abe.

Theo would believe he needed to prove himself to be worthy of becoming a Dimera and help Stefano on several occasions when he least expected it and needed it the most. But Stefano would still say no to him.

Things would then continue to go down hill at the Carver house as Theo and Abe clash over the changes he sees in his son and Lexie tries to defend Theo like moms do believing he is going through a phase that all teens go through, yet silently she is concerned.

Theo spirals out of control becoming more tougher, confrontational with students at school, disobedient to teachers, not coming home when he is supposed too and hanging out at the Dimera Mansion more then he allowed. So Abe considers sending him to boarding school and Theo runs away.

When the Salem PD can't find him Lexie asks her father to find her son behind Abe's back and Stefano reluctantly does the job. He finds Theo who refuses to go home, because he hates his father and wants to live with Stefano.

Lexie then has it out with Abe to keep Theo in Salem and he reluctantly allows his son to move into the Dimera mansion so long as he straightens up.

Stefano secretly makes a false pact with Theo that if he stays in school and gets good grades that he will let him join the Dimera organization when he graduates.

Theo improves and Lexie is happy, but Abe is hurt that his own son hates him, but won't admit it. Abe then starts to show his own sinister side when secretly becomes determined to bring the Dimera's down for the sake of his son and in spite.

Stefano works to convince to Theo to reconcile with his dad and when Theo heads home to have a chat with Abe and he overhears his father talking to the ISA with whom he has enlisted to help him in his quest. Theo then gets angry but imagining how Stefano would deal with this he fakes a reconciliation with Abe and reports back to Stefano what he learned. A hurt Stefano does what he always does when he feels attacked. He uses Theo whom is all to willing to be his eyes and ears as to how Abe's takedown plot is moving along.

As things start gearing up when you know who Celeste returns and is not fooled by Theo's act. She realizes he is up to something and it is not good. But keeps it to herself. Celeste though does have a series of I know what you are up to type of conversations with Theo and let's him know she is on to him.

Plotline continued in the forum: http://daytimeconfidential.zap2it.com/forums/11/05/13/days-a-storyline-idea

gato1's picture
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29 October 2009
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2 weeks 4 days

Kansas- David C retired. He was not let go for being "too old" or any other reason.

SoapActor's picture
Member since:
25 April 2011
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2 years 47 weeks

How old is the actress playing ABBIE on DAYS?

soapbaby's picture
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7 April 2011
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5 hours 42 min

There are so many posts here that I agree with tonight, I don't feel I have much new to add. The first post nailed it. I tuned out of GH as soon as they decided to fire Rebecca Herbst. Although they reverted their decision, I have decided that there is nothing left to return for. I am further justified in tuning out after reading that Jake was killed and now Sam and Jason will have a miracle baby! It is clear that those that develop GH do not want viewers to tune in. I am happy to oblige them.

Also, I couldn't agree more with the posters who feel OLTL is not very good. I agree with this assessment and think OLTL is waaayyy overrated. For every one story that works on the show there are five other stories that do not work. RC and FV are not the second-comings of Christ. OLTL is more watchable than last year, yes, but that does not say much. The show's cast is bloated and the show often showcases unappealing, unrootable characters in asinine and offensive stories. And if the show kills Matthew (as indicated in spoilers) I will tune out like I did with GH. Eddie Alderson's role has been minimized in spite of portraying a popular, long-time character that has been further shafted in favor of far less interesting characters played by far less talented actors (pick any one of The Ford Bros.)

Member since:
16 August 2009
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26 weeks 19 hours

Y&R alone has had two John Abbotts, two Jeffrey Bardwells, two Phyllis', two Laurens, two Kays, two Patti's and now it appears, Two Canes in recent years. It's fucking stupid and it's time for it to stop.

Wordy McWord, Jamey! Don't forget Carmen MessedUp and her lookalike cousin before that. Y&R is (or was) too good for this shit. It has become the "go-to" plot point for MAB&Co, and it needs to be dumped like a pile of steaming hot garbage. It's a tired cliche and what makes soaps a laughing stock for people who like to belittle soaps.

I am so embarrassed for the whole cast of Days for what's been going on over there. The show is just horrible now. Days holds a special place in my heart as it and the whole NBC lineup from the 80s (pouring out some liquor for Search for Tomorrow, Another World, Generations, and Santa Barbara) were my first soaps per my parents, who loved Daytime more than Primetime (yes two working adults who taped the lineup daily, Idiots In Charge!).

B&B needs to get off of Brooke having "forbidden" sex, WTD SLs and get on some more current, fresher fashion based story-lines. The fashion world is ripe with all sorts of scandals, controversies and good soapy rivalries and divas that could make this show so much better than a bunch of prudes looking down at Brooke all the time. This show could really be more cutting edge and forward thinking, which could be a good shot in the arm for the genre

sassysdreams's picture
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1 January 2009
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1 week 1 day

marknsprmo - I wonder how much money girls 6-12 years old have to spend on stuff being advertised during soaps? Wink

marknsprmo's picture
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14 June 2009
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1 day 22 hours

Building a future audience sassydreams! If Ken can just cultivate these 1000 7 year olds for say 10 years, he will have 1/1000 of a ratings point!
I hear a Ciara and Theo dolls are in the works to boost cross merchandising. And they talk! " Mommy and Daddy are better off with out me!" "Don't go with that strange man Ciara!" Oh yeah and there is an on air Flinstones vitamins comercial too! The kids are run down from being on the road so Dr McDreary recommends Flinstones chewables to make them All better! Coming soon a Little Johnny doll that says, "Don't Fight!" and "My eye is in heaven now." and " Why can't I live with my sissys and brother?"

sassysdreams's picture
Member since:
1 January 2009
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1 week 1 day

marknsprmo wrote:
Building a future audience sassydreams!

From your keyboard to "someone's" ears and eyes!!