Well, it's been awhile since I've done one of these, but with all the talk of Days of Our Lives' circling the drain yet again and one Mrs. Giovinazzo returning next week to save General Hospital, ABC Daytime and the banking industry, I figured it was time to bring back Ratings, Rants and Raves. We might as well start with the big, Nighttime, Sniffling, Sneezing Elephant in the room.
Days of Our Lives has suffered craptastic ratings for the past few cycles and everybody and their blogger is trying to figure out why. This week Soap Opera Digest has their 3,757,861st cover story on the Crisis at DAYS. I guess they must have missed the ratings crises at Guiding Light, As The World Turns and One Life to Live?( I kid, I kid!)
For my money, DAYS is still in pretty good shape creatively. I love, love, love seeing Victor (John Aniston) being fought over by every female AARP member in town. The Greek publishing mobster's slow building romance with widow Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers) has been inspired storytelling that focuses on veteran actors and characters we all know and love. Same for Stefano (Joe Mascolo) and Kate's (Lauren Koslow) refreshingly-modern attempt at matrimony and former hooker-turned-clumsy-dead-judge wrangling. Not since the early 80's has The Phoenix been allowed to have a love life that didn't involve some poor woman being locked in a birdcage or having a microchip activated in her dome.
I'm also loving the sexsational chemistry between Stefano's soon-to-be-revealed son Chad (Casey Deidrick) and Will Horton (Chandler Massey). I seriously doubt DAYS will go there, but the way these boys look at one another like they want to sop each other up with a tray of the late Gran's donuts can't help but make us hope!
Speaking of Hope, this brings us to what I'm not loving about DAYS these days. As I've said from jump, this Nighttime Hope story is bunk. Kudos to Kristian Alfonso, who is doing amazing work, turning this shitty story into sugar, but not even a cocked eyebrow from the Fanciest Face on TV has been enough to salvage this clunker. Thank the Soap Gods it appears to be coming to an end. WISHFUL STORYTELLING: Roman Brady (Josh Taylor) places an urgent call to Europe, asking his ex-wife Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) to come home to treat their former sister-in-law.
Not that Nighttime Hope has been the only stinker story on DAYS recently. (Whoever was supposed to keep Dena occupied with the shiny ball should be fired.) DAYS' (A) story trianglequadranglepolyangle hexangle between Nicole/Brady/Ari/ EJ/Sami/Rafe/The Chiropractor has become a convoluted mess with little rooting factor.
Corday told Digest he plans to accelerate the stories, hopefully this means Sami (Alison Sweeney) will soon find out EJ (James Scott) faked one of her eight childrens' deaths and will bust a cap in his ass. I'm telling you, that's what DAYS needs, a good story where EJ goes on trial for his crimes and gets off because Stefano has a videotape of the judge being at a Donkey Party in Tijuana, and then Sami shows up at the courthouse and plugs EJ a good five times!
If Marlena doesn't come back to help Fancy Butt, THIS could bring her back to town. Are you getting my drift? DAYS needs Doc the same way GH needs Brenda. Make it happen Kenny C.! Set up a meeting with Dee at the Borders nearest her crib, and then you can go sign a few copies of your book afterwards. Oh and try the Double Up Cookies and Cream Javakula while you're at it! See how helpful I can be? Huh? Do ya'?!
DAYS went up in households 172,000 total viewers the week of July 26-30 (SON). The sudser held steady in households at a 1.8, tying their lowest rating in that demo for the fourth straight week. DAYS did manage to climb one-tenth of a point among women 18-49, which is where it really counts.
Okay, that's enough about DAYS. Over at CBS, The Young and the Restless went up 35,000 total viewers and held steady at 3.4 in households, tying it's all-time low in that demo. Y&R also held steady among women 18-49. While the last few months of Y&R were dreadful, these past few weeks have been watchable, for the most part.
Marcy Rylan is a revolution as Abby Newman. Seriously, I could watch that little firecracker tear through Genoa City five-days-a-week! It's also fun to see the creeptastically-sexy Adam (Michael Muhney) back in action with his sidekick bride Skye. Now if his brother Nick (Joshua Morrow) and ex-wife Sharon (Sharon Case) could just make a visit to the Wizard and ask for a pair of brains.
Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) is inching her way back to the emotive, visceral hellcat fans know and love, thanks to her most recent bust up from her slow hubby. I can't wait to see The Staff go head up with Maura West's Diane Jenkins over Jack (Peter Bergman) in a few months! I am so sick and doggone tired of Phyllis/Nick/Sharon, I don't know what to do!
It's a crying shame that Stacy Haiduk (Patty/Emily) was written into a corner, but I am looking forward to her stint in Salem with my Gina Blake DeMott Capwell Capwell Timmons Capwell Lockridge aka Robin Mattson.
Billy and Victoria (Billy Miller and Amelia Heinle) are quickly becoming my favorite couple in daytime (Though that will likely change the moment the Dimpled Don spies The One He Always Leaves Standing in The Rain on GH). I just want to pinch their little, pink cheeks! The ones on their faces you P-R-E-V-E-R-T-S! Get your laptops outta tha' gutter!
I am also surprised to find myself enjoying Malcolm and Sofia (Darius McCrary and Julia Pace-Mitchell). It's nice to see some rich, dark chocolate mixing it up in Genoa City. Hey, I'm a yella bone, but you know, we come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Pace-Mitchell's Sofia is a refreshing and unique character for a daytime, and unlike Eva Whateverhersurnameisthisweek, she can act!
Sofia is "sassy" enough for mainstream America to get a kick out of her, but fierce and real enough for the rest of us to actually identify. Wow, this is the nicest I've been about this show in a minute! Don't get too excited.
This Chance/Chloe/Heather/Ronan/Cricket/Nina/Paul mess is just ridonkulous. Why did so many talented actors have to be saddled with such a rushed, turkey of a story? Anyhoo, overall I give the current state of Y&R a C plus, which is vastly improved from the F minus they were getting from me just a short while ago.
'It's the end of the road, Sister Killer!" —Sarah Smythe.
Y&R's sister (sniggle) sudser, The Bold and the Beautiful, was down 83,000 total viewers. B&B held steady in households and among women 18-49 over the previous week. Okay, here's where I am about to have to eat some previous words. When Luke (Kerr, not Spencer or Snyder) first told me Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) had boinked Oliver (Zack Conroy)—Luke watches the eppys before I do, and loves to spoil stuff for people—I thought it was a red herring. Once I learned it really was Brooke under that mask, getting pounded to "Pose", I went plum crazy. Things like "hack", "idiot" and "scum sucking, pig-eyed, horse's butt" were bandied about, and that was just what I called my Comcast representative who wouldn't fix my Internet the way I wanted it. I won't even tell you what I called Brad Bell. Boy was I wrong.
My darling Logan nailing another of her offsprings beaux has reignited the entire B&B canvas. Almost EVERYONE is acting their behinds off, even Ron Moss and Hunter Tylo! The bio Bells (Brad and his late father Bill) have always excelled at telling pervy, slightly-incestuous, psychodramas, and that's exactly what this sweeping, umbrella story has become. KKL better get an Emmy nod next year, or i just might have to whup somebody's ass. Luke, start saving up the bail money. I also predict this storyline will do for Kimberly Matula's (Hope) career what the previous one did for Jennifer Finigan's. Brava, Brad, brava. For the first time in a loooong time, B&B is the best soap on CBS and one of the best on any network.
This brings us to As The World Turns. The soon-to-be culminating serial lost 128,000 total viewers. ATWT held steady at a 1.6 in households, tying its all-time low in that demo. ATWT also went down one-tenth of a point among women 18-49. There's really no need to kick poor World Turns when its down, and when there really is nothing they can do at this point to shift anything, as they wrapped production in June. However, I will say this. Chris Goutman, at the next soap your charged with the responsibility of killing, can you please start the trip down Memory Lane a bit sooner? You owe the fans at least that much. Barbara (Colleen Zenk) stuck in a room with a doggone clown for weeks is not my idea of a lead-in to a 50-some-odd year-old soap's swang song. Beats all I've seen and heard!
Now let's head on over to the Mouse House. One Life to Live dropped a staggering 119,000 total viewers over the previous week, yet held steady in households at a 1.8. OLTL also stayed the course among women 18-49. I have to admit these numbers seem a bit odd to me. Usually a drop in total viewers of this significance would have indicated a drop in demos as well. At any rate, it's no secret OLTL isn't in the best shape these days and as much as we'd like to, we can't keep blaming Kish fallout.
It's time to take Frank and Ron out on the veranda for a good-yet-loving talking to. Guys—if you're reading this— you know we've loved you like Lindsay loves booze for most of your cojoined stint, but OLTL is really hard to follow these days.
First off, your veteran females (Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser) deserved much better than a silly, Three's Company-style storyline where prudish Viki Lord decided to play parlor games to get David (Tuc Watkins) and Dorian back together. That goofy tale spun off into Dorian and David attacking each other via social networking platforms. Seriously, who does that? Okay, so yeah, that isn't exactly my lesson to teach, but I can tell you one thing for sure, when I'm a bazillionaire with seven personalities and/or a house called La Bologna-Sandwich, I won't be participating in such foolishness!
Kelly (Gina Tognoni), what exactly is she back in town for, huh? Save for inspiring dumb murder mysteries and playing referee for her aunt and David and providing a kind ear for Messica (Bree Williamson), what is Kelly's actual purpose in Llanview? Kelly needs to read Eat, Pray, Love.
Tognoni turned down Victoria Newman on Y&R for crying out in Peapack! Speaking of Peapack. Somebody please get rid of Jessica Leccia. I loved her during GL's last six months as Natalia, but there is no need for her in Llanview. You can keep her sons, just backburner them a bit (save for Ford and David Gregory!) and tell better stories for the characters fans actually want to see.
I'm also not happy with the twin blows to diversity in Agnes Nixon's Between Heaven and Hell, that are the killing off (presumably) of Evangeline and Tika Sumpter (Layla) going on recurring. While Sumpter said in a video on her Facebook page that this was her choice, her tears seemed to tell another story. Come on guys, you can't ditch all the black and gays at the same time and expect us to not bitch.
Not that I was asked, but here's how I would get Llanview back on track:
*Have Clint (Jerry VerDorn) suffer some sort of health scare that puts his life into perspective. Realizing he truly only has "one life to live", Clint vows to get Viki— the love of said life— back and plots to do whatever it takes to get rid of Charlie.
Clint turns to to Dorian, who wants to pay Viki and Charlie back for meddling in her love life with David. Dorian agrees to help wreck Viki and Charlie's romance. When Nora (Hillary B. Smith) starts to catch on to what's happening and warns Viki, a pissed off Clint, still licking his wounds over Nora's betrayal with Bo (Bob Woods), pulls some favors to spring Lindsay (Catherine Hickland) from jail. A reformed Lindsay is thrilled to be free, that is until she learns Clint will have her put back in shackles if she doesn't break up Bo and Nora in six months time!
*Reveal that Ford and Jessica (Bree Williamson) actually did sleep together and have Brody (Mark Lawson) beat the sexhound within an inch of his life (for a second time) when paternity tests reveal the baby Jess is carrying belongs to Ford. Jessica is devastated, knowing this could ruin Brody's career. Ford makes a deal with Jess, he will say he isn't sure who jumped him, if Jessica will marry him and sign over access to her trust. Jess tells Ford, Brody will never go for it. Ford says she'd better convince Brody she doesn't love him and wants to move on with the father of her child. Jess does a good job, devastating Brody, who wanted nothing more than to be a father.
As Brody moves further into John (Michael Easton) and Natalie's (Melissa Archer) orbit, forming a complicated triangle among the three friends, Ford manages to con his way into a job at BE—where he faces off with Clint— and into a seat on the board of directors of The Banner.
Ford really takes to his newfound life as husband of an heiress, living it up on the country club circuit, enraging Clint and Viki, although Clint does manage to use Ford's presence to make inroads with Viki, citing their need to work together to get Ford away from "Jessie", much to Charlie's chagrin.
When it is revealed that Brody and Natalie slept together, a furious Jess consummates her marriage to Ford and finds, despite herself, she can't get enough of him. The two embark on an explosive, love/hate, sexually-charged marriage of inconvenience that starts to turn to love when Ford bonds, first with Bree, then with his newfound son or daughter. Too bad just as Jess is starting to fall for him for real, her Pa and Uncle Todd (Trevor St. John) are teaming up to get Ford out of her life— by any means necessary. Will Jessica be able to stop their plot to take Ford out in time?
*Bring back Dan Gauthier as Kevin full-time or recast with Michael Park. Kelly Cramer needs something and someone to do, and Kevin is the best candidate. SORAS Zane and put him in an interracial love story with Destiny. Have Kevin be ticked that Kelly is working so closely with Todd and decide to sue for custody of Zane. Tea (Florencia Lozano) (by this point cancer free) could opt to be Kevin's lawyer, since she's ticked about the growing bond between Todd and Kelly.
*Cast Roger Howarth as a mysterious hedge fund manager, who specializes in corporate takeovers of struggling media firms. Considering Llanview is full of magazines, newspapers, etc. that no one appears to be working at, he decides the town is ripe for the picking. When he hosts a swanky gala, and finally reveals himself to the townsfolk, a swarm of flies could fill all their mouths as they take in his shocking resemblance to what Todd looked like before plastic surgery. Who the hell is this guy? Blair (Kassie DePaiva), most of all, is determined to find out!
Okay, that's enough Wishful Storytelling. Now let's talk briefly about All My Chirren. AMC dropped 8,000 total viewers, yet was up year-to-date 128,000 viewers. AMC held steady in households and among women 18-49. Two words: Angie Hubbard. Two more words: Debbi Morgan. Type amongst yourselves. More on AMC later in the week, when I'm caught up!
Last, but certainly not least is General Hospital. GH lost 19,000 total viewers, but was up 20,000 year-to-date. GH went up one-tenth of a point in households, yet dipped a tenth-of-a-point among women 18-49. GH is still consistently the best bet in daytime, even if the recent Francophrenia made me want to crash my TV to the ground. Okay, I'm lying; it didn't even cause any sort of emotional reaction, which was worse. Awful, awful, awful. Please, Lord and Frons tell me James Franco has grown bored with using my soap as an art project?
I've been able to grin and bear even the GH stories that are so-so, because next week, SHE returns!!!! After all these years, all my soaptastic prayers and all the rain dances Bob Guza has been conducting in his office, will finally bring about a bountiful harvest. BRENDA IS BACK BITCHES!!!
Here's hoping Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo's cute, talented, little tramp-stamped bottom can accomplish the ratings trick it did the last time she came home. Seriously, GH is the soap to watch from this point forward. Who the hell needs James Franco?
Ratings for the week July 26-30, 2010
Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings
(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)
1. Y&R 4,970,000 (+35,000/+32,000)
2. B&B 3,166,000 (-83,000/-305,000)
3. GH 2,620,000 (-19,000/+20,000)
4. DAYS 2,564,000 (+172,000/-240,000)
5. AMC 2,552,000 (-8,000/+128,000)
6. OLTL 2,331,000 (-119,000/-243,000)
7. ATWT 2,288,000 (-128,000/+4,000)
1. Y&R 3.4/11 (same/-.2) <- ties low rating (3rd straight week)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/-.2)
3. GH 2.0/6 (+.1/+.1)
4. AMC 1.9/6 (same/+.1)
5. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.1)
5. DAYS 1.8/6 (same/-.1) <- ties low rating (4th straight week)
7. ATWT 1.6/5 (same/-.1) <- ties low rating (3rd straight week)
Women 18-49 Viewers
1. Y&R 1,130,000 (+13,000/+29,000)
2. GH 826,000 (-16,000/+9,000)
3. DAYS 735,000 (+83,000/+11,000)
4. B&B 713,000 (-6,000/-58,000)
5. OLTL 628,000 (-44,000/-137,000)
6. AMC 619,000 (+10,000/-122,000)
7. ATWT 551,000 (-22,000/-17,000)
Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.7/11 (same/same)
2. GH 1.2/8 (-.1/same)
3. DAYS 1.1/7 (+.1/same)
3. B&B 1.1/7 (same/-.1)
5. OLTL 1.0/6 (same/-.2)
6. AMC 0.9/6 (same/-.2)
7. ATWT 0.8/5 (-.1/-.1)
Girls 12-17 Viewers
1. Y&R 70,000 (-5,000/+24,000)
2. GH 63,000 (+1,000/+22,000)
3. OLTL 53,000 (-2,000/-10,000)
3. B&B 53,000 (+2,000/+27,000)
5. ATWT 50,000 (+5,000/+29,000)
6. AMC 39,000 (+10,000/+9,000)
7. DAYS 29,000 (-5,000/-42,000)
Women 18-34 Rating
1. Y&R 1.1/7 (+.1/same)
2. GH 0.9/6 (-.1/same)
2. DAYS 0.9/6 (+.1/same)
4. B&B 0.8/5 (+.1/+.1)
5. AMC 0.6/4 (-.1/-.3)
5. OLTL 0.6/4 (-.1/-.3) <- ties low rating (Last time: July 12-16, 2010)
5. ATWT 0.6/4 (+.1/+.1)
Men 18+ Viewers
1. Y&R 1,011,000 (-10,000/-171,000)
2. B&B 594,000 (+16,000/-116,000)
3. DAYS 531,000 (+46,000/-33,000)
4. AMC 475,000 (-2,000/+56,000)
5. GH 461,000 (-4,000/+23,000)
6. OLTL 386,000 (-17,000/-29,000)
7. ATWT 375,000 (-3,000/-38,000)
Day-To-Day Ratings - HH/Total Viewers
For the SEASON September 21, 2009 through August 1, 2010
1. Y&R 3.7
2. B&B 2.4
3. DAYS 2.2
4. GH 2.1
5. AMC 2.0
6. OLTL 1.9
7. ATWT 1.8
Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.9
2. GH 1.5
3. DAYS 1.4
4. AMC 1.1
4. B&B 1.1
4. OLTL 1.1
7. ATWT 0.9