Ratings, Rants and Raves: Days of Our Lives Returns With Gold Medal Ratings!

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A "DAYSaster" is what they called the cliffhanger storyline that tided Days of Our Lives fans over during the soap's Summer Olympics hiatus. That term certainly can't be used to describe what happened in the Nielsens the week the soap returned to the NBC airwaves. (Source: Soap Opera Network

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DAYS went up a whopping 218,000 total viewers the week of Aug. 13-17. The sudser was up year-to-date by 203,000 total viewers. DAYS also went up two-tenths of a point in households, hitting an impressive-for-these-times 2.0. The NBC serial went up one-tenth of a point among women 18-49 and among W18-34, tying General Hospital and The Young and the Restless for No. 1 in the latter.

In story, Salem was quite literally rocked to its core, as the combination of gasy tunnels and electrical sparks caused the entire town to explode. Head writers Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell used the drama to end pairings from the previous regime (So long, Lumi. Farewell, EJill), to refocus on couplings from their previous stint (Welcome back, EJami!).

I guess that homoerotic scene where Will (Chandler Massey) was lying all on top of EJ (James Scott), while the two men worked to save Sami (Alison Sweeney) was sort of a nice end to a wet dream. What happens to a wet dream deferred?

Sami shocked both men when she decided to go on the run with EJ, but if you were watching DAYS the last time Tomlin and Whitesell were writing the show, it likely didn't surprise you. Looks like we're heading back into EJami vs. Safe territory. I can't gripe too much, because EJami is still smoking.

Brady (Eric Martsolf), Melanie (Molly Burnett), Chad (Casey Deidrick) and Gabi (Camila Banus) were all trapped beneath the Earth, as was the promising, day player villain would got them all in this pickle. I cheered when Brady made it to Mel. I hate that Burnett is leaving before the show could fully explore a Brady/Melanie/Chad triangle.

Back at the autism charity event, Abigail (Kate Mansi) was trapped in an elevator, which caused Jack (Matthew Ashford) to have a PTSD set back. Looks like Jack had good reason to panic, since his heroics cost him his life. 

Buried beneath the rubble, Nicole (Arianne Zucker) went into premature labor. Lucky for Nic, Dr. Hairy Crotch (Shawn Christian) was there and knew plenty about (delaying) birthin' babies!

Kate (Lauren Koslow) received a gut punch when she overheard Ian (Ian Buchanan) telling a dying Madison (Sarah Brown) it was her he'd loved all along. During a confrontation with the campiest villain since the dude who used to tie Pauline to those railroad tracks, Kate found out Ian had been using her to get to Stefano (Joe Mascolo), whom he claimed he had gotten rid of. Koslow deserves a raise.

General Hospital went up 147,000 total viewers over the previous week. GH also went up one-tenth of a point in households, yet didn't budge among W18-49 or W18-34.

Storywise, JaSam decided to divorce, giving Kelly Monaco (Sam) and Steve Burton (Jason) some powerful scenes to play. Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) and Baby Joss almost died after being inoculated by Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roche). SuperJase and Mighty McBain (Michael Easton) teamed up for an investigative trip to Wyndemere. Sonny (Maurice Benard) must be so jealous!

 Lante (Julie Marie Berman and Dominic Zamprogna) thought they were with child. Patrick (Jason Thompson) was let out of the hospital, but not before Epiphany (Sonya Eddy) warned him she'd better not catch him doping. Starr (Kristen Alderson) wanted Trey (Erik Valdez) to come clean with Kristina (Lindsey Morgan). Molly (Haley Pullos) found support from an adorable Nu-TJ (Tequan Richmond) and everyone wanted to know who Heather Webber's (Robin Mattson) accomplice was.

GH is the only one of the four soaps still on the air doing classic umbrella stories, though with a modern, fast-paced, self-aware twist. Port Charles feels like a fully-realized community for the first time in a long time.

As much of a fan of Bob Guza's GH as I was, there's no denying if he had told this same story, it would have only been about Sonny, Jason, Carly (Laura Wright) and Sam. Cartini's first big GH disaster story is impacting the entire canvas. That Friday cliffhanger, where all of Alexis and Josslyn's loved ones feared the worst, was easily GH's Daytime Emmy submission for Outstanding Drama Series.

The Young and the Restless went down a miniscule 3,000 total viewers over the previous week. The good news is, Y&R went up among W18-49 and W18-49 by one-tenth of a point. The CBS soap held steady in households. 

The Great Victor Newman (Eric Braeden)'s disappearance was the top story in Genoa City the week of Aug. 13-17. Glutton for punishment, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) wrecked her new marriage to Jack (Peter Bergman) before the ink was dry on their marriage license, by deciding to go search for Victor.

Meanwhile, Victor's latest wife, Sharon (Sharon Case) began a descent into comic lunancy. You've gotta hand it to Case. If MAB was intent on fully destroying her once-beloved character, at least Case is making it funny.

Victor turned up as broke as Job's turkey, at some bar frequented by dock workers; one of whom offered him work. Yeah, because people are just lining up to give 70-year-olds strenuous, manual labor jobs. What's next, Kay (Jeanne Cooper) finds work on a chorus line?

Lauren (Tracey Bregman) paid Paul's (Doug Davidson) bail and came close to confessing that the gun he used to shoot Ricky (Peter Porte) belonged to her. As good of a crier as Davidson is, I want this mess to be over.

All Paul has had to do under MAB is cry over crazy-ass relations. Remember when he strutted around, showing off his blonde chest hair and solved capers? I miss that Paul.

Billy (Billy Miller) ambushed Tim (Aaron Lustig) with Restless Style TV cameras. The antsy, ex-shrink later demanded more blackmail money from Phyllis (Michelle Stafford). Am I the only one who thinks it's effin' insane that Kevin (Greg Rikaart), Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) and Co. want Phyllis to be the face of TagNGrab? What company wants to launch with a brand ambassador who is being investigated for attempted murder?

Harmony (Debbi Morgan) had some inane conversation with Neil (Kristoff St. John).  Man I hope Dru (Victoria Rowell) comes climbing up that cliff soon.

MAB tried yet again to make a go of Heather 3.0 (Jennifer Landon) and Daniel (Michael Graziadei). Did Graz say one of the sculptures at MOCA was ugly or something? Put a fork in Heather; she's done.

The Bold and the Beautiful dropped 97,000 total viewers. In the demos, B&B held steady.

Loopy Liam (Scott Clifton) decided it would be best to go out for a night on the town with Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) before his wedding do-over with Hope (Kimberly Matula). The reactionary jerk was smarting from Lil Miss Purity Pants blowing off a dinner with him. Little did he know, Hope was tending to an ailing Stephanie (Susan Flannery).

Liam's wild night—which included dying his hair and getting a henna tattoo—caused him to be late for his own wedding. I really don't know why the boy doesn't just pitch a Big Love scenario with the two Logan-Forrester sister-wives already.

Katie (Heather Tom) confronted Bill—whom my aunt still refers to as "Brad"—(Don Diamont) about Deacon (Sean Kanan). Meanwhile, Bill's niece Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) and Thomas (Adam Gregory) hung out with one of her two mamas. Can someone just tell the guard at CBS not to let Susan Flannery off the lot? See you next Ratings!