Ratings, Rants and Raves: McBam, Liason Smooches Cause GH Spike; DAYS Hits New Low

Execs at Corday Productions and Sony TV must be chewing their finger nails to the quick over Days of Our Lives' ratings. The sudser hit a new all-time low among female viewers 18-49 the week of July 9-13. (Source: Soap Opera Network).

DAYS also lost a staggering 179,000 total viewers over the previous week, and tied its all-time low among the women 18-49 demo. DAYS managed to hold steady among the household, W18-49 and W18-34 demos, but that was little comfort, with the soap fast approaching a two-week Olympics-necessitated hiatus.  

In story, someone continued to make it look like EJ (James Scott) "killed" Stefano (Joe Mascolo), as Will (Chandler Massey) kept on defending his man, er, employer. John (Drake Hogestyn) decided he wanted to claim his DiMera birthright. Chad learned from an offscreen Carly Manning that Melanie (Molly Burnett) hadn't been in contact with her and Brady (Eric Martsolf) did everything he could to convince Madison (Sarah Brown) that Ian (Ian Buchanan) had been doping him.

I'm not crazy about DAYS revisiting the whole "John is Stefano's brother" bit. That regrettable storyline was the retcon that broke the camel's back in terms of John's complicated, ever-changing backstory. I was really hoping DAYS would just continue to act like it never happened.

I won't be sad to see Ian Buchanan or Sarah Brown leave Salem. Both are amazing actors, but we've seen the older-man-trying-to-keep-younger-lovers-apart story done much better on this soap. It was called the Victor/Kim/Shane triangle. The big difference was, TPTB spent a considerable amount of time getting us to fall in love with Shane (Charles Shaughnessy) and Kim (Patsy Pease) as a couple in the 80's, before inserting the villainous Victor (John Aniston) into their mix. DAYS successfully mimicked the Victor/Kim/Shane template in the 90's, once again with Victor as the spoiler for his son Bo (Peter Reckell) and Carly (Crystal Chappell).

I know it's 2012 and things move much faster and blah, blah, blah, but I never had time to invest in Brady and Madison's insta-romance. Adding a nefarious, older dude, hellbent on keeping them apart really didn't help matters. This coming Friday, July 27, DAYS is set to quite literally explode. Let's hope when the purple dust settles two weeks later, we'll find a compelling, contemporary, fun, brazen soap, capable of luring back legions of lapsed viewers, because we're in the home stretch of DAYS' current contract at NBC.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to see Star Jones and those other Today "professionals" get a full hour to snidely diss the news of the day. Way to keep it classy by suggesting Anderson Cooper came out for ratings, Ms. "Sponsor My Wedding (Please)!" Jones. 

DAYS' Sony soap cousin, The Young and the Restless, dropped 103,000 total viewers over the previous week. Y&R held steady in households and among W18-49, but dipped one-tenth of a point among W18-34.

Genoa City was hopping the week of July 9. Cricket Blair (Lauralee Bell) found evidence linking her mortal enemy, Phyllis Newman (Michelle Stafford), to the hit-and-run that could have squashed The Bug and Paul (Doug Davidson) almost 20 years earlier. While I found it all kinds of contrived that Ricky (Peter Porte) would have been able to turn up a rental car credit card receipt from 1994, I gladly suspended my disbelief to witness an epic storyline, almost two decades in the making, play out.

Revisiting Cricket vs. Phyllis is the type of storyline Maria Arena Bell did successfully during her first year helming Y&R, which resulted in us praising her so heavily (Remember, Auntie Ri Ri?). She brought the Abbotts back to the forefront, re-centered Jabot as their driving force, brought Marge (Jeanne Cooper) back in a touching, far-reaching arc and wrote Billy (Billy Miller) reminiscent of Terry Lester's deliciously-caddish version of Jack Abbott.

Then before we knew it, things went terribly wrong. Poor, green Thom Bierdz was back, attempting to explain that Philip faked his death because he was afraid his two drag queen mothers wouldn't love him. Greg Rikaart was dressing up like rodents. Michael Muhney was in purple evening wear and the rest of the core cast suddenly had evil doppelgangers and/or were being accused of pushing people into volcanoes.

All of that being snarked, I am perfectly happy to let bygones be bygones, and bad storylines be bad storylines, if Y&R stays on a sane and seemly track toward smart, relevant, sexy storytelling, which honors history, as opposed to making a mockery of it. Oh, and as long as they end Shictor and back burner that groody Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) for a good, long while.

The Bold and the Beautiful lost 50,000 viewers over the previous week. B&B held steady in households and among W18-49, but dipped one-tenth of a point among W18-34.

Do I really need to tell anyone which three characters B&B's top story was about the week of July 9? Didn't think so. When everyone wasn't fretting over Moondoggy (Scott Clifton) getting fresh with Annette (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) on his wedding day to Gidget (Kimberly Matula), they managed to help Marcus (Texas Battle) and Dayzee (Kristolyn Lloyd) get ready for their own insta-wedding.

I can totally understand Marcus getting cold feet about marrying Dayzee. They've only shared four scenes during their entire courtship. Okay, I'm exaggerating. It's more like six.

B&B has to get better about balance and pacing. We've barely seen these characters during the last few months, now their wedding jumps from the Q story to the B story?  I like the Dayzee/Marcus pairing, really, I do. It just would have been nice if we'd seen a bit more of their courtship actually happen on our screens.

I realize B&B is a 30-minute soap, but for much of its run, the frothy sudser was able to balance A/B/C stories just as well as an hour-long soap. What the heck happened? I get that B&B wants younger viewers, but it is possible to accomplish this without telling the exact same story for the exact same characters day after day, week after week.

The programs younger people are actually watching, MTV's Awkward, ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, manage to tell more than one story at a time. I strongly suggest Brad Bell and his wriiting team start doing some marathons of those series.

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13 Responses

  1. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    GH is the best soap on the air right now. Doesn’t mean I like every single storyline (Joe Scully, anyone?) but GH is a lot better than the other three remaining soaps.

    Y&R is still FF material. I can’t stand that this show is revolving around Phyllis Newman and certainly not making her the heroine of a storyline where she was the villain 20 years ago. So the week in question was my last week of Y&R.
    There are a lot of other things that are just totally wrong with this show (Shictor, to only name one), but seeing Phyllis every single day for the last month doesn’t help at all.

    DAYS … I’m waiting for the next reboot. -.-

    And then there is B&B. Why is it that Brad Bell can only play one storyline at the time? Marcus and Dayzee’s wedding seemed rushed but I was so happy that finally someone other than Hope/Liam/Steffy was on my screen … and that these three weren’t the center of attention in at least some scenes. So I agree with Jamey, Brad needs to check out shows like Pretty Little Liars or the MTV dramas. He could even learn a thing or two from Hollywood Heights … there I said it.

  2. Profile photo of EricasEvilTwin

    GH on Facebook yesterday asked the question which couples are you rooting for. I was actually surprised by the responses. the biggest response was JaSam (which didnt surprise me) next seemed to be Skate which didnt surprise me given the Mo fanbase next was MiStarr and then the next biggest seemed to be liz and ewan. mcbam and liason actually didnt get much love – some, but not what I expected. there were some todds thrown in but very split between blair and carly, again surprising that there wasnt more tnb love. there was a bit of carjo and lante fanage but also not what i would have expected either. The anna luke fans were small – now that I expected too. the scrubs love was scattered so it was hard to tell without counting where they sort of fit in (plus robin isnt really “alive” so I think thats not a fair gauge)

  3. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Star Jones needs to go shine somewhere else.

    I didn’t see her saying that but it is not a ratings stunt. If AC does an hour talking about his being gay I can see that but I don’t think he will do that. He confirmed it and that’s about as far as he is going to go and that’s more than ok.

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Right, Ryan-Scott, and he did it at the start of a vacation week when he wasn’t even on TV. Since he’s been back on his CNN show, he hasn’t addressed it at all. Star Jones just thinks he’s a media-whore because she’s well familiar with that mentality.

  5. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    GH really is the best of the remaining soaps, which is not saying much when the others are so bad. I worship at the altar of Anna Devane.

    Days – Dena Higley’s stuff is starting to look like a Chekhovian drama when compared to the absolute freaking dreck the show is now.

    B&B – This show urgently needs a Sally Spectra-like character. This used to be THE show for corporate intrigue. What the hell happened?

    Y&R – I can’t really knock it since I quit watching some time ago. But if it’s still the Victor and Phyllis show, I don’t think I’m missing much.

  6. Profile photo of EastWest

    I don’t think being “the best soap” when there’s only 4 is anything any of the 4 should be bragging about now. They are all interchangeable w/their hard working cast and crews collecting their paychecks until that ball drop and the embarrassing archaic stories the writers get paid an unseemly amount of money to write.

    And speaking of these sorry stories, the comparison to Hope Manning being a cabbagepatch doll is apt, b/c there was never a real mother/daughter dynamic w/Starr and her plot point baby.

  7. Profile photo of samIShot

    Jen Lilley looked really hot today… Onto the show, this show is 100 times better than it was this time last year. I know the mind control story coming sounds ridiculous, but I think it is going to be a really nice story. I’m looking forward to September. One thing they need to do, REHIRE STUART DAMON, BILLY WARLOCK AND NATALIA LIVINGSTON and get the Q’s back on the scene NOW!!!! (I know Ingle is sick, but they can still have a Q centered show). Frank and Ron were very good at family centered action with the Lords and Buchanan’s on OLTL.

  8. Profile photo of DOOLJunkie

    Honestly, I think the DOOL viewers are just getting tired of watching Days of EJ’s Life and trying to guess who Nicole will jump into bed with next. Enough is enough. Give us something substantial. Are we really supposed to believe that Stefano is dead? Yeah right. Are we really supposed to care that EJ isn’t biologically a DiMera? He’s certainly more of a DiMera than John or Lexie ever thought about. At least John vs EJ gives the fans SOMETHING to look forward to. Sure, there were better rewrites for John, but at least EJ, the new Corday touted villian, has a formidable opponent in Uncle John. Because it certainly isn’t anyone on the SPD or that weirdo Ian.

  9. Profile photo of engradypind

    I’ve never watched Y&R or B&B. I have enough keeping my attention focused on Days and GH, both of which are sliding into the dreck of boredom.

    Couples are boring! Once a couple marries, they no longer hit the high keys of tension and drama. They become the established one soul thus removing one character from the canvas. Look what has become of Dante and Lulu since their marriage. The spark is gone replaced by the mundane snoozefest of marital “bliss”. Because the tension of ‘will they finally get together or not’ is gone after the I do’s, the characters lose their prime motivations which move them forward in the stories they are involved in. All too often,(let’s face it — almost ALL the time) writers fail to give the new couples compelling stories outside their relationship. Hey people, there is no drama in safety and happiness is a killer. On DAYS couplehood is a death sentence. Even John and Marlena prove more interesting when parted. Bo and Hope are another example of the death knoll of couplehood. Break them up, seriously target their domestic bliss, and all of a sudden they become interesting again and have a story line worth tuning in to see.

    This does not hold true for Sami Brady who is the singlemost self-involved, selfish, thoroughly STUPID c*nt on any soap. I wish domestic bliss on her so she can fade into the woodwork. She can take Lucas, Rafe, and EJ along with her. Maybe she can be the matriarch in a new polyandric family in the Himalayas.

    One has to hope that someday someone at GH will find the formula for balance. Sonny and the mob need to be backburnered for at least the next century. Jason and Sam are boring beyond belief and endurance. Jason’s boredom rubbed off on Michael, and I think Starr was born boring.

    I do like the addition of McBain and Todd. McBain provides some much needed sanity in PC. Todd is comic relief by anyone’s definition. It is amazing how someone who runs Manning Enterprises and its attendant concerns can be such an emotional basketcase. I expect better from him, especially in his dealing with psycho-Heather who has a penchant for blackmail. Bringing back Heather was a brilliant move. But, that being said, she can only be endured in small doses and her time needs to be about up. I am anxious to see who she is working with: Ewen? Helena? Faison? others? Come one writers, let’s get the show on the road. Forget Sonny and Kate/Connie. Expunge the Joe Jr. story line, drop it like a sizzling piece of cow pie. No one cares about this story and you can’t make us by shoving it down our throats. Get Sonny to the hospital to see about Olivia. Get Johnny to the hospital to see about Olivia. Then let them shoot it out and die like the dogs they are. That will eliminate lots of boredom with the show. DO SOMETHING, DAMMIT. WE ARE TIRED OF WAITING.

  10. Profile photo of CtFireWitch

    “This does not hold true for Sami Brady who is the singlemost self-involved, selfish, thoroughly STUPID c*nt on any soap. I wish domestic bliss on her so she can fade into the woodwork. She can take Lucas, Rafe, and EJ along with her.”

    Amen to that! Another poster called it the Days of EJ. I disagree, it’s The Days of Sami Brady.

    OT: I’m guessing Ian shot Stefano and just counting down the days till his return. I will be glad to see Ian leave, he rubs me the wrong way.

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