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Ratings, Rants and Raves: Viewers Come Home to Pine Valley and Why Lucky Spencer Needs a Freakin' Kleenex

Although several soaps dealt with preemptions, the week of Sept 5-9 was still a pretty good one for most sudsers (Source: Soap Opera Network). CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful saw the biggest jump in total viewers, skyrocketing 264,000 over the previous week. B&B also went up one-tenth of a point in households, among women 18-49 and among women 18-34. 


In story, Dr. Taylor Hayes (Hunter Tylo) was informed by the psychic, homeless black man that love was coming into her life. Sidenote: If Anthony is so psychic, why the hell didn’t he use his powers to help him hit big in the lotto?  Amber (Adrienne Frantz) begged Marcus’ (Texas Battle) parents to give her gold digging tail a chance and Hope (Kimberly Matula) twirled around in her wedding dress for Eric (John McCook). Snore-tastic. Remember when B&B was so nasty and scandalous you had to watch daily? I sure could use some inappropriate sex in Brooke’s (Katherine Kelly Lang) office right about now. Paging Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan)…

I am really pumped about this plot twist that has Thorne (Winsor Harmon) once again going after his rightful piece of the Forrester pie. I like the characters of Hope, Liam (Scott Clifton) and shocker-of-shockers even Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) now, but those babies need a rest while the grown folks come out to play.

The Young and the Restless also had a good week ratings-wise. The show shot up 206,000 total viewers. Y&R went up one-tenth of a point in households, among women 18-49 and among women18-34.

Storywise, Y&R was still all over the place. I hate when children get insta-leukemia or some other disease as a rushed plot point. I’d much rather see a well thought out child cancer storyline, than some race-against-time foolishness. I also didn’t understand half of the courtroom madness going on the week in question.

Am I watching The Young and the Restless, or Law and Order: Genoa City? Why does every new character on this show have to be a cop, federal agent or lawyer? I just bet Maria Arena Bell is trying to convince Snooki and JWoww to come on and play sultry court reporters on this daytime procedural.

Over at ABC, people finally started to realize they didn’t have long to catch the antics of Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) on network television. All My Children soared with 223,000 additional total viewers over the previous week and was up 235,000 year-to-date. Chew on that ABC! AMC went up two-tenths of a point in households, yet didn’t budge in the demos.

AMC was on track to give its major players satisfying endings the week in question. Let’s see how that cliffhanger finale impacts things! Cara (Lindsay Hartley) learned she was carrying the seed of Dr. Doom aka David (Vincent Irizarry); Angie (Debbi Morgan) was finally fitted for some new eyeballs; Erica was consumed with thoughts of Mike Roy; Dixie (Cady McClain) wanted her some Tad (Michael E. Knight) and Verla Grubbs (Carol Burnett) returned. The one development fans should pay close attention to though is the continued downward spiral of JR Chandler (Jacob Young). I would say more but…

General Hospital was ABC’s least watched soap for the week. However, the soap did manage to go up one-tenth of a point in households and hold steady among women 18-49 and women 18-34. Isn’t it sadly telling that the one soap opera Brian Frons spent most of his micromanaging time and energy on is doing the worst in the Nielsens?

There’s a lot I like about Garin Wolf’s writing for GH. The chem-testing between Skye (Robin Christopher) and Ethan (Nathan Parsons), as well as Matt (Jason Cook) and Liz (Rebecca Herbst) was a nice touch. Steve (Scott Reeves) and Olivia’s (Lisa LoCicero) sexy flirtation, begun under the previous regime, now seems like it is really becoming a priority. The Davis girls are becoming a more populated version of Luke Kerr’s beloved Gilmore Girls, which was very popular among soaps’ most coveted demos. Thank God only one of them is as frantic as Lorelai and Rory, or I’d need a sedative. Yes, hyper-yet-adorable Molly (Haley Pullos), I am talking about you!

Now for what I don’t like about Wolf’s writing. Can Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) stop freaking crying? I almost wish my late grandmother could be driving him around in the car, only to turn around and say, “Boy you better dry your eyes before I give you something to cry about!” the way she did me when I burst into tears about having to miss Jennifer Horton and Frankie Brady's prom on Days of Our Lives, to go to a dentist appointment. I lost that damn tooth anyway, but I'll never know if Jennifer Rose made it to that dance!

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Seriously, Lucky is always crying. Although, I guess if I had a shrill harpy like Lulu (Julie Marie Berman) for a sister, I’d probably be engaging in some waterworks myself. I realize tragedy and pathos are integral to the Spencers mythology. How could they not be? Their father raped their mother on a dirty disco floor, but this family has stood for much more than substance abuse and dead babies.

What about the action, the adventure, the comedy, the romance that once defined Luke and Laura and their progeny? The Spencers need much more of that. I am glad the show has attempted to explore what a tragedy Jake’s death has been for the townsfolk of Port Charles, but it’s time someone handed Lucky a Kleenex and gave him something (or someone) fun to do — just not Liz. If she can’t be with SuperJase, then I want my girl counting the freckles on Matt’s buttocks by Thanksgiving.

One Life to Live went up 92,000 total viewers and was up year-to-date 359,000. The sudser was also up one-tenth of a point in households (three tenths of a point year-to-date) and held steady among women 18-49 and 18-34.

I have to admit I breathed a sigh of soapy relief when I saw that OLTL didn’t dip with the exit of Trevor St. John (Victor). While Roger Howarth has been phenomenally bad ass in the “Tale of Two Todds” saga, he couldn’t have done it without St. John as the yen to his yang.

Of course the real Todd is the primary suspect in his twin’s death, since no one in town knows what a shady little mess that Brody (Mark Lawson) has turned into, or just how cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs (and hair product) Rex (John Paul Lavoisier) really is these days.

“I see dead Gigis.”

That baby who plays Jack Manning (Andrew Trischitta) is trying his best to learn how to act. It’s like a baby chick straining against its shell. He hasn’t popped a wing or a beak out quite yet, but he’s trying — bless his heart!

Cristian (David Fumero) tried to rock Jessica (Bree Williamson) for old time’s sake, but sister girl ain’t feelin’ that madness. Ford (David Gregory) has her over all that past nonsense, and I for one love it! I see all these people talking about Ford raping Messica, and I am like when did that happen?

Ford had sex with a fully grown woman. Yes she was acting crazy, but if having sex with women who are nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake is now considered rape on a soap opera, then all the characters on daytime are rapists. Really over such a very serious word and issue being so overused by fans when they don’t like a coupling. What Todd did to Marty was rape. What Ford did to Jessica was a goofy plot twist, but it wasn’t rape.

Days of Our Lives was last place in total viewers for the week in question. DAYS was also last in households, women 18-49 (tied with B&B and AMC) and tied for No. 3 with AMC and GH among women 18-34.

The filthy-hookers-who-get-beat-down crap was front and center the week of Sept. 5-9. I hope they burned some sage in the DAYS writing room, along with casting a spell binding Dena Higley from ever doing harm to another soap opera again. On a positive note, Victor (John Aniston) asked Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) to live in sin with him. See you next Ratings!

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