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Ratings, Rants and Raves: B&B and Y&R Climb; General Hospital Hits New Lows

As if the cancel happy suits at ABC need any more incentive to add General Hospital to their mass soapicide; the sudser did terrible in the Nielsens the week of April 25-29, 2011 (Source: Soap Opera Network). For starters, One Life to Live beat GH in total viewers for the week and was tied with the serial in households. That wasn't the big story, however. GH hit a new low among women viewers 18-49, and tied it's all-time low in the demo for that bracket. Among women 18-34, GH hit a new low. Storywise I thought GH was pretty good the week in question, what with all the big drama over Luke's (Tony Geary) intervention, but for some reason or another people tuned out at a time when GH needs all the eyeballs it can get.


As I mentioned, OLTL beat GH in total viewers for the week, making it the most watched daytime soap on ABC, and the only datytime soap up year-to-date, however OLTL did drop 218,000 total viewers. Among women 18-49, OLTL dropped to fourth place, only separated from GH by one-tenth of a ratings point. Among women 18-34, OLTL held steady at No. 2. In story, Todd (Trevor St. John) woke up, while his sister battled her alters in a spectacular (and sans promotion) display of acting chops from ABC's other six-time Daytime Emmy winner Erika Slezak.

You know it's a doggone shame that ABC never realized the soap opera treasures they have in OLTL's Slezak and Strasser. For the last few years whenever I dug around to try to find out why GH was consistently favored over OLTL, I kept hearing about GH's stronger "brand", which made me scratch my head, because GH doesn't even want half of said brand, aka Genie Francis, anywhere near the set. Meanwhile, OLTL has had their supercouple—Dorian and Viki—right on the canvas, raring to go and to be promoted. Shameful.

All My Children was in last place for the week in households (tied with Days of Our Lives), women 18-49 and women 18-34. I don't think it will help things much to spend time further bashing AMC's stories. All I can say is Lorraine Broderick and Agnes Nixon's episodes cannot arrive soon enough for this blogger and/or his evil twin.   

I will however spend plenty of time bashing Days of Our Lives storylines, but first, the ratings. DAYS was in last place in total viewers and in households. Where it really counts, women 18-49, DAYS was tied with GH at No. 2. Among women 18-34, DAYS was also tied with No.2.  

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You know, as I sit here, reading Sheri Anderson's second steamy, suspensful DAYS-themed novel A Stirring in Salem, I still can't figure out why Ken Corday doesn't ask, no beg, Anderson to write the show again? The brass at DAYS has to know Samantha Jean Brady (Alison Sweeney), the reformed, scheming bitch goddess extraordinaire, who once made fools of Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston) and Stefano DiMera (Joe Mascolo) would never be fooled by a doppelganger. Please get Anderson and/or Thom Racina back on the payroll before it's too late for a 1,875,265th "Plan to Save DAYS" cover of Soap Opera Digest to have any effect.

Over at CBS, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful both had good weeks. Let's start with Y&R. The No. 1 soap went up 111,000 total viewers and gained one-tenth of a point in households. Y&R also went up one-tenth of a point among women 18-34. Y&R was really good the week in question, so kudos to Maria Arena Bell and Co. It's funny, this show can be great one week and infuriatingly bad the next. I think if that schizophrenia was addressed Y&R could once again be a contender.

Jana (Emily O'Brien) kidnapping Lucy and Delia from Billy (Billy Miller) and Victoria's (Amelia Heinle) home, just after Daniel (Michael Grazadei) reassured Billy his bio daughter would remain with them, was character driven soap at its finest. The umbrella storyline brought most of the Genoa City canvas together to shine in a time of crisis for the Abbotts, Newmans and Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson). Speaking of Chloe, major props to Hendrickson who killed me softly as the usually vapid, self-absorbed fashionista imagined what horrible things her unhinged rival might be doing to her daughter. Hendrickson should save the scenes where Chloe blasted Villy for allowing crazy ass Jana to be their nanny for her Outstanding Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy reel next year.  

B&B went up 190,000 total viewers and gained two-tenths of a point in households over the previous week. B&B also went up one-tenth of a point among women 18-49 and one-tenth of a point among women 18-34. Like Y&R, B&B had a front burner umbrella saga that united the canvas, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Thomas' (Adam Gregory) plane crash. This just goes to show soap fans still love it when the characters we love, hate and love to hate come together in story arcs that impact the entire canvas.

Everyone in B&B's ficitional version of Los Angeles had an emotional stake in Brooke and Tom being found safe. Where B&B is hurting, however is in their 30-something storylines. B&B has a stellar veteran cast appealing to the over-40 demo and a promising young adult cast, but where's the story to draw in the demos B&B is hurting in the most, women 18-34 and 18-49?

Amber (Adrianne Frantz) is in the 18-34 age range, but she is forever trapped in teen storylines. Same with Katie Logan (Heather Tom). Katie is battling a child for her husband. Where are the stories for women in their mid-30's who don't constantly catfight with 90210'ers over their dudes?

I say it's high time B&B brought back one or more of the Forrester sisters— Kristin, Felicia and/or Bridget. Can you imagine the heat Lesli Kay and Rick Hearst would generate if Felicia found herself lusting for her ex-sister-in-law Taylor's (Hunter Tylo) man? Whip has been getting frustrated over Taylor's obsession with Ridge (Ron Moss) for months; Felicia would be a welcome distraction. Maybe Felicia comes back to LA to start her own modeling agency and hires Whip to do her PR, causing sparks to fly? What would Stephanie (Susan Flannery) think of her daughter going after her best friend's husband? Just some thoughts. See you next Ratings.

For the complete ratings, go to Soap Opera Network.

Photo of Tony Geary by PR Photos