Hollywood Reporter Touts Daytime Soap Ratings; Industry Expert Forecasts Development of New Soaps!


Mainstream entertainment bibles are starting to pay attention to the ratings rebound for daytime soaps. The Hollywood Reporter recently published a glowing article about daytime soap opera ratings trending upward. For the piece, THR interviewed General Hospital showrunner Frank Valentini and Bill Carroll, vice-president and director of programming at Katz Television Group.

Said Valentini on how consolidating the One Life to Live and GH audiences helped ratings:

"We brought three actors from One Life to Live to General Hospital, so I'm sure we brought some fans over," he says.

The article also touted storylines that no longer drag on, more contemporary portrayals of women and social media for helping GH best both The Chew and Katie among women 25-54.

Carroll—whose agency is one of the leading forecasters for the television industry—had this to say about the possibility of new soaps coming to dayime:

"At some point in the future, the trend will once again be soap operas."


Photo credit: Frank Valentini's Twitter feed



26 Responses

  1. Profile photo of ANGELWENDY15

    It took them this long to realize this what all of us knew all along? HA! The soaps have the most loyal fans, that no game show, talk show or reality show will ever have. Thanks to Frank V. for his genius of bringing the best of OLTL to GH and stories with heart. I think when AMC started to drop in the ratings they thought the soaps were dead. But the writing on AMC was just terrible the last 3 years it was on the air. That was the problem. Thanks to Frank V. and Ron C. for revitalizing the soaps again.

  2. Profile photo of Richard

    I think they are finally realizing that ratings are not exactly as horrible as they thought. Sure, ratings used to be better. But it also used to be the only programs on. With new shows like The Chew doing not nearly as well as they expected, I think puts into perspective how the soaps’ ratings are actually good.

  3. Profile photo of pferrando

    Surely there is a way for the shows to survive but on a cheaper budget. I’d like to see three soaps per network again. Maybe the new ones could be 1/2 hour shows with smaller casts, smaller name stars, and less money spent production wise. Sandwich one of these between Y and R and B and B and I bet they’d be able to get a 2.0 share. With GH on the uptick a half hour return of OLTL should also be able to garner decent numbers. Wishful thinking I know, but their replacements, for the most part, have been failures.

  4. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    The grim ratings report was from the week of Thanksgiving. All television viewing was down. Soaps were pre-empted and others aired classics, which didn’t go towards the Nielsens count.

  5. Profile photo of jthawk

    [quote=Restless Vixen]Got dayum! Frank Valentini FOINE! He needs to be on soap in addition to producing one ;-)[/quote]

    Yes he do!! FV is one fine looking man!!!

  6. Profile photo of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    “At some point in the future, the trend will once again be soap operas.”

    It’s funny how this Carrol person is forecasting a resurgence of soap operas. Funny because I don’t think soaps have really gone out of trend. Daytime soaps may be in the midst of a decline (I still wonder how much ratings have really suffered if DVR/TIVO usage and viewing more than 24 hrs after airing were more accurately factored in); but there are soaps all over primetime. I guess I’d more accurately forecast that soaps will know longer be a “dirty” word (no pun intended).

  7. Profile photo of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    I used to think the same as you, brettyboy. I rarely watched primetime on the non-cable networks after about 1995 and spent my evenings watching my recorded (I had VHS casettes and a programmed TV/VCR before I got my first DVR) “stories”. I just started back watching primetime not on HBO or Showtime in the last few years and a lot of the evening shows are soapy as hell. Not exactly the same, but there are long “serialized” story arcs and plots ripped from daytime.

    But some of those show producers insist their shows aren’t at all like soap operas *side eye*

  8. Profile photo of brettyboy

    It’e very different in England, all the British soaps are shown in prime time and they are a nation of soap opera lovers, young and old and the shows are not trying to advertise themselves as anything else. Sadly however I personally find Brit soaps dull as ditchwater and I wouldn’t watch one if you paid me to; that said, B&B is heading that way!

  9. Profile photo of GaryJr

    This is strange to read with the grim ratings post on the same day. I’m just saying…

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only Debbie-D who mentioned this but the ratings are still awful. Santa Barbara’s low was higher than Young and the Restless right now and it was considered a failure.

  10. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Primetime television viewing is down significantly from he 80’s as well. Today’s hit shows, like Grey’s Anatomy or Nashville would have been cancelled up against the ratings of Dallas and Dynasty. However, primetime network execs have figured out how to turn a profit in this day of eroding network viewership. We haven’t had an exec truly attepting to do that for daytime in years, not until Frank.

  11. Profile photo of GaryJr

    U cant compare ratings now to 20 years ago. There are more channels vuying for eyeballs

    Sure I can. I just did. 2 million total viewers for Days is hardly an upward trend. Have networks lowered the bar and their standards? Of course BUT I hardly see an upward swing. NBC went from 4th place to 2nd place in primetime this year. They’re not as desperate as they once were. If Days wants to save themselves they better write something worthy of attention/viewers because as fas as I can see there has been no upward trend. GH may have stopped the bleeding but they’re barely a million away from Days. They’re still way more expensive to produce (even at these slashed budgets) than a talk show. Of course I’d be willing to eat my gay-card (I don’t wear hats) if we ever see a new soap launched on a network again. Those days are done. And I want daytime soaps to be as successful as the next guy, I just think that HR column is utter-BS.

  12. Profile photo of jocy923

    Networks have totally lowered the bar for ratings because no network show can get the ratings it used to – too many other choices on cable, and too many distractions, like the Internet.

    There is not going to be an upward trend again.

    I’m so sick of hearing about how expensive it is to produce soaps, but they can give Katie Couric umpteen millions of dollars and she can’t produce the ratings GH is getting.

    Advertisers do not love the game shows and reality shows in daytime as much as they like soaps because of the demographics. There’s no point producing a reality show like The Revolution if NO ONE is going to advertise on it. Yes, if a reality can get just enough ratings, that’s fine. But GH is outperforming The Chew and Katie in those demographics.

    People are such naysayers, I don’t understand it. All of the sudden, soaps are a big, expensive villain. No one watches – as if any ratings share of any network show compares to what it did 20 years ago. Give me a break. Go compare “season finales” over the years in ratings and see what you get – each show lower than the one before. Why would daytime be any different?

  13. Profile photo of Paula Kate
    Paula Kate

    I read the article and I agree wholeheartedly.
    The trend will once again be Soap Operas.
    The Good Ship “Daytime Drama” needed a new shipwright for its redesign, new maps to her thrilling endless voyages and a good Captain worth his salt to lead the way. Thanks Frank Valentini.

  14. Profile photo of nmelman

    I am head lover heels with Frank and Ron. What they have done to GH is beyond any expectation. Every day I get so excited before it is on. That is a sign of a more than wonderful show. It too bad that the morons at ABC did see this coming. We have been begging to bring back some form of our shows. I will not hope for something. The smart thing to do is combine all 3 into 2 hours. The viewers would be more than 5 million for sure. The fact that ABC said that soaps were a thing of the past was a maneuver by the evil management to sway our taste to their way of thinking. Not happening and if I was ABC I might consider doing something to get some viewers back.

  15. Profile photo of days4ever

    This is an awesome article! I love Frank Valentini and he is so handsome and this photo doesn’t even do him justice. But not only is he handsome, he is also talented and kind. He and Ron Carlivati deserve all of the accolades.
    The best idea for a soap would be to take the best characters and actors from AMC and OLTL and mix Pine Valley and Llanview together. The towns were not that far from eachother anyway.

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