If you've noticed my Ratings, Rants and Raves column has become a bit more infrequent, it's because the thought of having to continually type the phrase "hits record low" about my beloved stories has become majorly depressing. But, much like the show, the Nielsens counting must go on! The week of Feb. 13-17 proved disastrous for two long-running sudsers ratings-wise, ABC's General Hospital and NBC's Days of Our Lives. (Source: Soap Opera Network)
Since DAYS is relatively safe—courtesy of a longterm contract with the Peacock and no Katie Couric trying to make a go of her Third Act to contend with—we'll discuss GH first. ABC's final daytime soap hit new lows among total viewers and women viewers 18-49. GH also tied its all-time low among households, the W18-49 demo and W18-34.
Storywise, the fabulous Finola Hughes reprised the role of Anna Devane, as Robin's (Kimberly McCullough) exit story loomed near. All hell broke loose at the hospital benefit Sonny (Maurice Benard) threw in Dante's (Dominick Zamprogna) honor. Maxie (Jen Lilley) got Liz (Rebecca Herbst) suspended at GH. Kate (Kelly Sullivan) started acting crazier than Anthony (Bruce Weitz) and Jason (Steve Burton) had a headache no amount of Excedrin was gonna fix.
It's sort of a moot point to keep picking apart what went wrong at GH, because what's done is done. Guza is long gone, Garin Wolf has been demoted and Jill Farren Phelps is now working for a network where if she gets too out of line, they can dump a vat of green slime on her. Speaking of yucky, gooey messes, here's hoping Frank and Ron will be afforded adequate time to clean up the toxic dump this once unstoppable supersoap had become. Judging from last week's eppys, they're off to a promising start.
Now on to DAYS. NBC's solo sudser tied its all-time low ratings in W18-49 and W18-34. In story, Bradison imploded as Brady (Eric Martsolf) learned Carly Roberts was married to Duke Lavery. I mean, Madison (Sarah Brown) was betrothed to Ian (Ian Buchanan)! Sami vs. Carrie: The Reunion picked up steam, complete with the Brady sisters rehashing their ancient grudge. The mayoral race came to a scandalous end, as did Lexie's (Renee Jones) trust in Abe (James Reynolds).
Stefano (Joe Mascolo) finally opened his letter from Gran. Considering those croc tears, it wasn't her donut recipe. Meanwhile, Abigail (Kate Mansi) drove even further down Lolita of Horton Square street. I am half worried Jack and Jenn's (Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves) daughter is gonna shoot poor Carrie in the face, only to later be played by Alyssa Milano in a made-for-TV movie.
I enjoyed DAYS the week in question. Ian Buchanan is just the jolt of sexual energy and intrigue the rushed Bradison and contrived Kate vs. Madison small town cosmetics dynasty feud needed. Renee Jones and James Reynolds proved why it's a doggone shame they've been relegated to playing everybody's supportive Negro best pals in recent years, by wrestling those scenes of marital discord to the ground and making them their bee youches.
I am loving Kate Mansi's turn as an unstable, obsessed Abigail more with each passing episode. I hope they go balls to the walls with her shenanigans! Sami (Alison Sweeney) irrationally blaming Carrie (Christie Clark) for everything that has ever gone wrong in her life—save for what she blames Marlena (Deidre Hall) for—is always fun. The DAYS reboot hasn't been perfect, and it took way too long to get things poppin', but now that they are in fact poppin', I really hope people start tuning back in!
The outlook was good ratings-wise for The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful the week in question. Y&R managed to go up a tenth of a point among W18-34, and was up two-tenths of a point year-to-date in households and among W18-49. What's surprising is that the splashy, second (Or is it third?) wedding for Cane (Daniel Goddard) and Lily (Christel Khalil) didn't cause a spike in total viewers. I keep hearing how well the pairing tests with Y&R audiences, so why didn't their official reunion achieve the pre-requisite bump?
Elsewhere, Sharon (Sharon Case) was with Adam (Michael Muhney), down on his mama's farm, Blind Man's Bluff, when he got all pissy about Victor's (Eric Braeden) involvement in their trip home to check on Zuckerman's famous pig. Speaking of Charlotte's Web references, I'd rather watch Fern slop hogs, dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, than endure one more down on the farm saga starring Sharon Newman.
The absolute best part of Y&R these days is the diva-rrific Melody Thomas Scott as a grown up, fur-trimmed Nancy Drew aka Nikki Newman. Nikki solves more cases and exposes more cons than all of Nina's (Tricia Cast) stray cop sons and Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) combined! The only reason Nasty Anita (Catherine Bach) is even remotely tolerable on this soap opera, is because of the pleasure I get from watching Nikki take that bitch DOWN!
B&B fell one-tenth of a point in households to a 2.4, but the sudser was up a whopping four-tenths of a point year-to-date! B&B was also up one-tenth of a point among W18-49, and also up four-tenths of a point year-to-date in that coveted demo. You just can't beat them apples these days!
In story, Betty and Archie were almost married, until Veronica's dad, Mr. Lodge, told them they were about to commit bigamy. Hope (Kimberly Matula) freaked out, because she totally wanted to be Mrs. Liam Spencer, like two commercial breaks ago, so Rick (Jacob Young) tried to go over and seduce his step-niece Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) into divorcing his step-cousin Liam (Scott Clifton), so that his kid sister could finally get her cherry popped on her wedding night, like the Good Lord and all her customers want. Prior to all of that, Steffy shared what I consider to be quite the unsanitary treat, a chocolate fountain, with her mama Taylor (Hunter Tylo), and I swear I saw double-dipping! See you next Ratings!