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Ratings, Rants and Raves: Cancelled Soap One Life to Live Still at No. 3 Among Women 18-49; B&B Slides


Need more proof that Brian Frons should be relieved of his duties at ABC Daytime? One Life to Live, one of the two soap operas he just cancelled, is once again No. 3 among women 18-49. (Source: Soap Opera Network). While Frons keeps pimping his reasoning for keeping only General Hospital on the lineup, stating GH is the only one earning money,  the numbers just don't add up.

The week of April 11-15, OLTL was No. 4 in total viewers, separated from GH by less than 40,000 viewers. OLTL was tied with GH in households for the week at a 1.9. As I mentioned, OLTL was No. 3 among women 18-49 for the week, just two-tenths of a point below GH. Among women 18-34, OLTL was also No. 3, separated from GH by one-tenth of a ratings point. Yep folks. It's all a spin game.

Speaking of GH, that soap was No. 3 in total viewers and in households for the week. GH was No. 2 in the coveted women 18-49 demo, but managed to tie Y&R among women 18-34. That bit of news can't make Y&R showrunner Maria Arena Bell sleep very well at night, but more on that soap later. GH and OLTL's sister soap, All My Children was dead last in total viewers and No. 5 in households, managing to climb one-tenth of a point. AMC was in 5th place among women 18-49, tied with The Bold and the Beautiful at 0.8. AMC did better among women 18-34, going up two-tenths of a point, tying Days of Our Lives.

Storywise, OLTL was without a doubt the best soap opera airing in daytime the week of April 11, which just makes its cancellation all the more criminal. The implosion of Charlie and Vki's (Brian Kerwin and Erika Slezak) marriage, the aftermath of Shane's (Austin Williams) near-suicide, Messica (Bree Williamson) and the kissing-con "siblings" in the steam room, each week this soap continues to build on all of the story threading that has been carefully knitted into Llanview's tapestry for months, resulting in can't miss soap opera, that is shot beautifully on the cheap. I sincerely hope Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati team up to form their own production company to do nightime, syndicated, telenovela-style serials next winter. 

When the decisions were made to cancel As The World Turns, Guiding Light, Passions, Port Charles and Another World, those soaps were all in the basement ratings-wise and pretty much creatively bankrupt. Save for PC, the soaps mentioned were also "client" soaps. Yet here we are, seeing the No. 3 soap among women 18-49 cancelled right alongside AMC. Makes. No. Sense.

Now for AMC's storylines. Sigh. I won't kick a soap when she's down, but Erica (Susan Lucci) being kidnapped before her umpteenth wedding  is sooo been there/done that. I could care less about JR  and Marissa's (Jacob Young and Sarah Glendening) story, or anything to do with Caleb (Michael Nouri) for that matter. Who cares if this botchagaloop is in love with Erica? I certainly don't. I cannot wait until Lorraine Broderick's stuff starts airing sometime in May.

On GH the week in question, Sonny and Jason (Maurice Benard and Steve Burton) were worried Johnny (Brandon Barash) would recruit Michael (Chad Duell) into the mob, Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) was worried about raising her insta-baby in the mob and Liz (Rebecca Herbst) was worried about ruining the Spencer-Cassa-bros relationship by revealing who Aidan's real dad was. I can't wait to see how all that research Frons has drummed up impacts GH's storytelling, if at all. Those women who want "fun, informative" programming can't be all that happy with GH. GH is the only soap on the air where the women act as supporting characters to men. It's like Port Charles is some all-male version of an alternate universe Amazonian island. Women are just used for breeding, before being sacrificed on altars. 

Elsewhere in suds, Y&R dropped a tenth of a point among women 18-49, tying its all-time low in that demo. As previously mentioned, GH tied Y&R among women 18-34. I've come to the realization that it's really pointless to make a big deal of fluctuations among total viewer because, well, Y&R will be tops in total viewers and households 'til the end, so I am focusing more where Madison Ave. focuses.

The week in question, Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) knocked out a guard and escaped from the courthouse, after being wrongfully convicted of murdering someone by allegedly pushing her into a volcano. Yes, I'm still on this. Death by Volcano is not good storytelling. I really hope MAB is paying close attention to what is going down outside the somewhat protected Bell soap bubble. Nothing lasts forever. You can only try viewers' collective patience and refuse to smarten up your storytelling for so long before they tune out in droves.  I've never seen a female character ruined faster than the way Sharon has been wrecked by this regime. I doubt the "fun, fiesty" women who watch daytime these days enjoy this madness.

B&B hit a new low in viewers after dropping 135,000 pairs of eyeballs for the week. B&B also tied its all-time low in households for a second straight week. Among women 18-49, B&B was dead last, tied with AMC. Among women 18-34, BB hit a new low. Fudge!

I actually enjoyed B&B that week, go figure. Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) was a hoot trying to bust up Brad and Victoria's, er Dollar Bill and Katie's (Don Diamont and Heather Tom) marriage. Ridge and Thomas' (Ron Moss and Adam Gregory) relationship mirroring Ridge and Eric's (John McCook) has been good, glossy, pseudo-Greek tragedy-in-the-making fun. Even the Amber/Liam/Hope/Oliver stuff—though a rehash of Amber/Rick/Kimberlysaga from a decade or so ago—has become more interesting. Apparently not too many people agreed with me.

Days of Our Lives was No. 5 in total viewers, but last place in households. DAYS tied it's all-time low among women 18-49 for a third straight week. I'm so weary of writing about how awful DAYS is that I almost just wanna type: "See my last column". Faux Rafe (Galen Gering) killed Faux Fay (Valerie Wildman) the week in question, in a direct rip off of the scene where Faux Marlena (Deidre Hall) "killed" Faux Tony (Thaao Penghlis) a few years back at University hospital. Yep, Ken Corday really must have hated the late James E. Reilly's storytelling as evidenced by letting Faux Dena Higley do bargain basement versions of it week after week after week after week after...

I am not feeling drug addict Carly. Per usual, Crystal Chappell is doing amazing work, but this doesn't ring true for the character. If Katerina could survive being buried alive and not become a pill popper, I doubt breaking up with Bo (Peter Reckell) would do the trick. I tell you what, Bo Brady must be hung like Secretariat for every woman he gets with to end up strung out on some sort of substance after he says he's just not that into them. Maybe DAYS' next branded content sponsor should be Trojan'sMagnum brand condoms? Can't you just see Peggy McKay whipping one out?

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Bo: Ma, I'm having a bit of, um, trouble shopping for...ya know!

Caroline (reaching for her purse): Don't say another word! When I was sneaking around behind Shawn's back with Victor, I had to carry a supply of THESE (pulls out a package of Trojan Magnum XL condoms)!

Bo: Ma! You mean Victor is...

Caroline: Packing heat like an M 16. Yep, son it runs in the Kiriakis family.

Bo: Wow! Now it all makes sense.

Caroline: Glad I could fill in the gaps, my boy. Victor sure filled in mine! Now how's about some Wan Chai Ferry? 

See you next Ratings.

Total Viewers

1. Y&R 4,466,000 (-97,000/-436,000)

2. B&B 2,692,000 (-135,000/-508,000) <---- new low *

3. GH 2,537,000 (-68,000/-43,000)

4. OLTL 2,499,000 (-131,000/+246,000)

5. DAYS 2,354,000 (-9,000/-209,000)

6. AMC 2,344,000 (+41,000/-82,000)

* Previous low: 2,791,000 (February 14-18, 2011)


1. Y&R 3.3/11 (same/-.2)

2. B&B 2.0/7 (same/-.3) <---- ties low (2nd straight week)

3. GH 1.9/6 (-.1/same)

3. OLTL 1.9/6 (same/+.2)

5. AMC 1.8/6 (+.1/same)

6. DAYS 1.7/6 (same/-.2) <---- ties low (5th straight week)

Women 18-49 Viewers

1. Y&R 881,000 (-13,000/-189,000)

2. GH 771,000 (-29,000/-64,000)

3. OLTL 668,000 (-31,000/+68,000)

4. DAYS 597,000 (-17,000/-145,000) <---- new low *

5. AMC 540,000 (+38,000/+21,000)

6. B&B 516,000 (+13,000/-179,000)

* Previous low: 600,000 (July 12-16, 2010)

Women 18-49 Rating

1. Y&R 1.3/9 (-.1/-.3) <---- ties low

2. GH 1.2/8 (same/-.1)

3. OLTL 1.0/7 (-.1/+.1)

4. DAYS 0.9/6 (same/-.2) <---- ties low (3rd straight week)

5. AMC 0.8/6 (same/same)

5. B&B 0.8/5 (same/-.3) <---- ties low (2nd straight week)

Girls 12-17 Viewers

1. Y&R 34,000 (+15,000/+6,000)

2. B&B 24,000 (+5,000/same)

3. DAYS 20,000 (-8,000/+10,000)

3. OLTL 20,000 (-6,000/-3,000)

5. GH 12,000 (+3,000/-24,000)

6. AMC 7,000 (-1,000/-28,000)

Women 18-34 Rating

1. Y&R 0.8/6 (same/-.1)

1. GH 0.8/5 (+.1/-.1)

3. OLTL 0.7/5 (+.1/+.1)

4. AMC 0.5/4 (+.2/-.1)

4. DAYS 0.5/4 (same/-.4)

6. B&B 0.4/3 (-.1/-.3) <---- ties low