Ratings, Rants and Raves: Days of Our Lives Isn't The Only Sony Soap Opera in Crisis, Plus Wishful Storytelling for Bold and Beautiful and General Hospital

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With much of the country having been on Spring Break the week of April 2-6, not a lot of people were staying indoors and watching suds. Sony TV's two daytime soaps, The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives were the hardest hit ratings-wise (Source: Soap Opera Network).

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DAYS, which is currently going through its umpteenth attempt to reboot itself, dropped 137,000 total viewers over the previous week, for a new all-time low. In households, the NBC soap fell to an alarming 1.6, tying its all-time low in that demo. DAYS also hit a new low among women 18-49 and tied its all-time low among W18-34.


In story, Carrie (Christie Clark) was crushed when she overheard Rafe (Galen Gering) telling EJ (James Scott) he was the father of Nicole's (Arianne Zucker) baby. Sami (Alison Sweeney) cancelled Lucas' (Bryan Datillo) flight out of Salem. Lexie (Renee Jones) suffered a fainting spell, then learned she had an inoperable brain tumor and Will (Chandler Massey) came out to Marlena (Deidre Hall).

I know I sound like a broken record, but Will and Marlena truly are the best thing about DAYS right now. This contrived Rafe/Carrie pairing has been painful to watch from day one, so I won't even spend much time on it. I am not happy about Lexie being killed off. If Jones wants to leave the show, I see no reason why Lexie couldn't leave Abe (James Reynolds) to go work with all the myriad of Hortons who move to Africa when they leave town. Now is not the time for a dismally low-rated soap opera to be killing off a popular character with two decades of history.

Seeing Sami spend so much time with Lucas and EJ reminds me of how great Lumi vs. EJami was initially. I really hope Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell resist the urge to put Rafe back in Sami's orbit once their material begins to air sometime around next Leap Year. 

DAYS isn't the only Sony sudser experiencing a crisis. CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless hit a new all-time low among total viewers for the week of April 2-6. Y&R was watched by under four million viewers. In households, the soap was once again at a 3.0, tying its all-time low in that demo. By comparison,Y&R averaged a 3.6 for the 2010-2011 television season. Among W18-49 and W18-34, the serial dropped two-tenths of a ratings point respectively, tying it's all-time low in those demos as well.

In story, the battle for Beauty of Nature continued to rage on, with Victor (Eric Braeden) squaring off against Victoria (Amelia Heinle). The women in Jack's (Peter Bergman) life begged him not to have a risky surgery; Tucker (Stephen Nichols) and Sofia (Julia Pace Mitchell) continued to have fake fights all over Genoa City and Adam's (Michael Muhney) presence in Chelsea's (Melissa Claire Egan) life continued to cause problems for his big sis. 

I honestly don't know what I can say about the state of The Young and the Restless that hasn't already been said. The show doesn't even feel akin to its former self at this point. Instead of smart business stories where the Newmans and Abbotts battle via their respective cosmetics companies, we have everyone in town playing a game of Who's Zooming Who? to get control of BON. Shouldn't Jack be more focused on rebuilding Jabot, the company he's spent much of his adult life trying to get back into the family fold? Victor's motivation to get BON back makes sense. He's never taken well to having what was his stolen, but Genie Francis is still sadly cartoonish as Genevieve.

Tucker and Sofia's faux battles are laughable. Lily's (Christel Khalil) twins could see they aren't really antagonists, but we're expected to believe savvy business professionals will buy this con? Adam and Chelsea have potential, but Y&R is already telling a story about an unstable bio mom that just won't leave town, Daisy (Yvonne Zima). If any soap opera on daytime is in desperate need of a reboot, it's this one. I really hope someone at Sony and/or CBS steps in before things further deteriorate.

The Bold and The Beautiful lost the most total viewers of the four remaining daytime soaps for the week in question, 174,000. However, B&B held steady in households and was up two-tenths of a ratings point year-to-date in that demo. B&B was also up two-tenths of a point among W18-49 year-to-date, despite falling one-tenth of point over the previous week. The 30-minute sudser fell one-tenth of a point among W18-34.

Storywise, Hope's (Kimberly Matula) addiction to anxiety meds continued to be manipulated by Amber (Adrienne Frantz). The Forresters threw an "Introducing Caroline 2.0" party, which Amber crashed. Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) tried to play matchmaker for Rick (Jacob Young) and Caroline: The Sequel (Linsey Godfrey), while Stephanie (Susan Flannery) and Taylor (Hunter Tylo) pushed Thomas (Adam Gregory) in the young woman's direction. 

B&B has the most promising YA set in daytime heading into summer, however these storylines could use some sharpening. First off, it's time to grow Amber the eff up.

I'm not saying Amber should ever stop scheming,  but she shouldn't still be pulling nasty pranks on teenagers 15 years after she first started pulling nasty pranks on teenagers. I don't know what happened with the synergy that Y&R and B&B once shared with their crossover characters. When Bill Bell first started taking Genoa Citizens to Los Angeles and vice versa, the character throughlines stayed firmly intact. Now it's almost like the two soaps erase every bit of character growth that transpires on a sister soap, when the character returns to his or her soap of origin. I can understand a writer's urge to do so, but it causes the characters to suffer, not to mention fans who watch both soaps. We saw Amber become a more well-rounded, rootable character on Y&R. It makes no sense to see the same woman who risked it all to protect Daniel Romalotti (Michael Graziadei) from prison, regress decades back to being a one-note schemer.

It's time for B&B to find room for Amber Moore at the big kid's table. Why not have Dollar Bill (Don Diamont) put up the cash for Amber to launch her own upstart line to rival Forrester Creations? The Marones are gone, so Bill could purchase the old Spectra/Jackie M assets to give Amber her own company, much to Katie's (Heather Tom) utter horror. Liam (Scott Clifton) would also be hacked off, considering all the crap Amber has pulled and would be wondering what his dad is thinking. Bill could utilize the whole "Keep Your Enemies Close" theory where Amber is concerned, only he doesn't anticipate being pulled in by her considerable charms. This would give B&B a fresh, new triangle for their 30something/40something set and would prevent Amber from continuing to kick up water in the kiddie pool.

Another option would be to finally bring Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) back to Los Angeles. Deacon is a recovering alcoholic; it would make sense that he would be in town as his daughter battles substance abuse. Also, I for one am not quite ready for sex bomb Brooke Logan to be relegated to maternal status. Brooke and Deacon's affair was one of the hottest stories Brad Bell ever told. I would love to see it revisited, as Deacon insists on involving himself in their daughter's life — and Brooke's.  

If B&B really wants to go wild, why not snatch up Graz from Y&R? Daniel hasn't had a decent storyline since Amber left Genoa City; what if the photog moved out to SoCal with his new daughter Lucy and takes a job at Spencer Publications, not realizing Amber is also working there? While Amber is busy doing her best to seduce Bill, her ex could be working very, very closely with a needy, jealous Katie (Heather Tom) on a new fashion magazine. Just a few thoughts!

General Hospital was the only soap not to lose total viewers in the six figures the week of April 2-6. GH only dropped 11,000 pairs of eyeballs and held steady in households. The recently renewed ABC sudser fell one-tenth of a point in W18-49, tying its all-time low, but held steady in W18-34. The fact that GH managed to be the most stable soap opera on the daytime dial the week in question speaks volumes to the hard work the cast and crew of this soap have been doing to stay alive.

In story, Sam (Kelly Monaco) tracked notorious, Port Charles whack job Heather Webber (Robin Mattson) down at Ferncliff. McBain (Michael Easton) and Anna's (Finola Hughes) friendship unnerved Luke (Tony Geary). Starr (Kristen Alderson) became more determined than ever to make Sonny (Maurice Benard) pay for Hope and Cole's deaths. Liv (Lisa LoCicero) asked Sonny to put the screws to Johnny (Brandon Barash), over the mob prince blackmailing Steve (Scott Reeves). Connie (Kelly Sullivan) went postal, first on Jason (Steve Burton) and then on Ewen (Nathin Butler) and Liz (Rebecca Herbst). Dante (Dominick Zamprogna) becomes even more suspicious about Delores' hubby and Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) starting playing the mama card to try to make Maxie (Jen Lilley) stop acting crazy.

Much like my gripes about Y&R, my praise of how vastly improved GH is has become pretty much old hat, so let's talk about what needs work. Dante and Lulu have to get a better storyline. I don't care about Delores, her husband or strippers catching beat downs on the dock. This story should have been wrapped with the same speed as The Woman in White. 

Lante needs to be reconnected to the rest of the PC canvas. Does Lulu (Julie Marie Berman) even realize her ex-lover Johnny is banging her cousin Carly? Prior to Lulu's role in getting Michael (Chad Duell) sent up the river, she and Carly were as close as sisters, now they never share scenes. I would expect Lulu to have a reaction to Johnny and Carly's relationship. As for Dante, it would be nice to have Olivia confiding in him about her reservations over Heather being back in town. Maybe Dante could start trailing the fruitcake to protect his mother, only for Heather to turn the tables on the cop?

I'm also not gonna stop harping until Lulu's former stepbrother and hymen breaker Dillon Quartermaine comes home. There are half a dozen hunky, soap actors out of work, thanks to the soap slayings of recent years. Pick one of them to play Tracy's (Jane Elliot) son already! DIllon should return to PC a confident, sexy indie film maker, who is turning the Text Message Killings into a big screen movie. One Life to Live alum Josh Kelly would be perfect. No one cares about Delores' husband coming to town, make the fans happy and bring back a Q!

In fact, bring back two Q's, Dillon's niece Brook Lynn grew up with Dante and tried to steal him from Lulu the last time she was in town. What if the two conniving trustfund kids teamed up to bust up Lulu and Dante's happy home, the same way Luke and Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) teamed up to tear Laura (Genie Francis) and Scotty (Kin Shriner) apart over 30 years ago? I've said before I'd like to see Amanda Setton as Brook, but I could handle Adrianne Leon returning, since she was a fan fave.

My cohort, Luke Kerr isn't feeling Starr (Kristen Alderson) and Michael, but I don't mind them. I don't love them, but I don't mind them. Brook's return—preferrably with one or both of her parents following close behind—would also solve the problem of why Starr ends up staying in Port Charles. Lois and Ned (Wally Kurth) could decide to reboot L&B  Records, with plans of creating the next great girl group, Casey's Aliens (Just a working title!).

Brook, Starr, Kristina Corinthos and Serena Baldwin could comprise the group, with major interference from the 'rents. Imagine Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) busting into Ned's office, demanding to know why the hell he thinks he's qualified to oversee his little girl's career? Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) wouldn't want Kristina involved in something so trivial, causing sparks to reignite between her and Ned. An ever-overbearing Scotty could return, threatening to cut Serena off from the Dominique's dough if she doesn't quit the group. Okay, that's enough Wishful Storyteling for now. See you next Ratings!