Ratings, Rants and Raves: All Soaps Fall in W18-49; B&B's Silly Teen Story is Still More Plausible Than Anything on Y&R

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Considering Halloween is right around the corner, I guess there's not much irony in the Nielsen soap ratings for the week of Oct. 17-21 being down right frightening. All five daytime soaps fell among the highly coveted women 18-49 demo (Source: Soap Opera Network).

ABC Daytime's General Hospital proved to be the week's biggest loser. GH was in last place in total viewers and in households (tied with Days of Our Lives in the latter). The ABC sudser tied its all-time low among women 18-49 and hit a new record low among women 18-34.

In story, beloved heroine Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) had to sit there and take it while her ex-husband's bastard brother told her what a damaged slut she was. A deranged Lisa (Brianna Brown) drugged Johnny (Brandon Barash) and set off to make trouble for Scrubs. NuMaxie and Old Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) acted out Scooby Doo episodes on Spoon Island and a pisspoor attempt was made to try to set up a triangle between Coleman/NuKate/Sonny. Nope, can't imagine why more people aren't watching GH these days. 



One Life to Live came in No. 3 and was the only soap up year-to-date (by a whopping 239,000). OLTL held steady in households, where it was also up year-to-date by two-tenths of a ratings point. Among women 18-49, OLTL dropped one-tenth of a point, but the soap held steady at No. 2 among women 18-34.

Llanview was once again a hotbed of activity the week in question. Tea (Florencia Lozano) promised Bo (Robert Woods) that Todd (Roger Howarth) would turn himself in the second the charges against him were dropped. John (Michael Easton) informed Brody (Mark Lawson) he was gonna need Natalie (Melissa Archer) to test his piece (I thought she'd already been doing that?).  

Cutter (Josh Kelly) turned on Kim (Amanda Setton) to save his own sculpted hide. Messica (Bree Williamson) came clean to Ford (David Gregory) about Liam's true paternity. Pervy Rick (Austin Peck) blackmailed Starr (Kristen Alderson) and that was only the half of it!  I love how this show manages to pack in so much drama in five days worth of episodes.  Even when there is one or two stories you don't like (*cough" Morasco Fiasco, Part Deux), there are so many more engaging sagas moving at a fast, steady clip.

NBC's Days of Our Lives went up 50,000 total viewers over the previous week for a fourth place finish in total viewers. DAYS also inched up one-tenth of a point in households. The bad news is, DAYS tied its all-time low among women 18-49 for the week in question. The soap also fell among women 18-34.

Storywise, John Black's (Drake Hogestyn) legal woes had everyone on edge. My girl, Marlena (Deidre Hall) decided to take matters into her own hands and paid Stefano (Joe Mascolo) a visit. I squealed like a pig at slaughter time when Stefano greeted his "Queen of the Night."  I was even happier when she knocked the taste of chicken and sun-dried tomato bruschetta right out of his mouth! Marlena vs. Stefano always gives good soap.

 Aunt Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) learned that, although it wasn't Easter, a mysterious bunny had absconded with some of her eggs. Jennifer Rose (Melissa Reeves) decided she wanted to swap spit with both Dr. Hairy Crotch ( Shawn Christian) and Jack (Matthew Ashford) for the time being. Someone gay-bashed Sonny (Freddie Smith) online and Rafe (Galen Gerring) was fired from the Salem PD and FBI for helping Carrie (Christie Clark) try to save John. It's amazing how much smarter DAYS' stories have become since the stench of Dena Higley was Febrezed out. Now if they can just pick up the pace a little bit, we'll have ourselves a ballgame!   

The Young and the Restless was, surprise, still the top soap in total viewers. Y&R fell one-tenth of a point in households and among women 18-49. Among women 18-34, the sudser held steady.

Y&R continued to be an unwatchable mess the week of Oct. 17-21. Billy Abbott (Billy Miller), son of one of the wealthiest families in town, continued to sneak around, not reuniting with his wife or daughter for fear of whatever Victor (Eric Braeden) is holding over his head. Since when do rich boys have to worry about the law? You mean to tell me Adam (Michael Muhney) has gotten away with murder, stealing babies, blackmail, extortion, etc., but we're supposed to believe that Billy's actions in the Far East are so heinous he must wander aimlessly forever like the biblical Cane? Ri-dic-u-lous.

The omnipotent Victor also managed to get a court order forcing Nick (Joshua Morrow) to take his daughter to see her jailbird mother in court. Say what? Say huh? No court on God's earth would force a father—who has sole custody of his child—to take a baby into a courtroom filled with the dregs of society! This show officially makes no damn sense.

Poor Debbi Morgan tried to make the best of this half-assed Harmony character the brass conjured up for her. Why the former Yolanda changed her name, I'll never know.  But then I haven't understood anything relating to this Kay/Tucker/Devon/Harmony madness from jump.

I  don't remember the episode of Falcon Crest where Richard Channing's long-lost son by a black crackhead showed up. Come on, Scott Hamner. If you're gonna rip off your dad's old primetime soap, do it right! And while we're on crackheads, really Y&R, this was the best character you could conceive for Debbi MORGAN?! We got a brutha in the White House, but she has to play a coke whore?

It was bad enough that Nathan Hastings couldn't read when he came to town and Paul (Doug Davidson) had to learn him so. Then Dru (Victoria Rowell) also showed up illiterate—even though she grew up in the same household that produced Dr. Olivia (Tonya Williams)—but now Daytime Emmy winner Debbi Morgan is playing somene who used to hit the pipe? Seriously?All I can say is Mighty Moses (the name of Sofia Sofia Sofia's baby). SMDH.

The Bold and the Beautiful went up 78,000 total viewers over the previous week. B&B held steady at No. 2 in households and women 18-34, but like every other soap on the dial, fell among women 18-49.

B&B was a bit wonky the week in question. Bridget (Ashley Jones) returned, following a Hawaii jaunt with her baby daddy Owen (Brandon Beemer),which was arranged by his wife Jackie (Lesley Anne Down). If that wasn't odd enough, Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) seemed to be the only adult in Beverly Hills who thinks something strange is going on with Liam's (Scott Clifton) insta-marriage to that tarty Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood).

Unlike Y&R, however, this far-fetched story's saving grace is that everyone involved seems to be truly trying to sell it. While Y&R has a stable of much more seasoned actors, it's obvious they're growing weary of trying to sell schlocky, dimestore detective novellas, whereas B&B's tempestuous post-teens are actually giving this implausible love triangle their all. Who knew there'd ever come a day when I'd be enjoying a story starring Jacque Wood more than anything on Y&R? See you next Ratings!