Congratulations, ABC. You've all but let former daytime executive Brian Frons and his then-boss Anne Sweeney cripple your daypart. Thanks to the embarassingly-low debut of its new lead-in, The Revolution, ABC's last daytime drama, General Hospital, dropped to record lows the week of Jan. 16-20.
Without the benefit of a soap lead-in, GH lost 348,000 viewers over the previous week, and hit a record low 1.6 in households. For those who remember, that's the kind of household digits Guiding Light was pulling on CBS following the move to Peapack. GH also hit a new low among women 18-49, and tied their all-time low among women 18-34. Not that GH's ratings woes can be blamed totally on The Revolution, considering the show is currently telling positively abysmal stories.
The week in question JaSam was still moping around, wondering if a potential rapist Franco (James Franco) had fathered Sam's (Kelly Monaco) baby, or if it belonged to SuperJase (Steve Burton). Michael (Chad Duell) was moping around about the high crime rate against strippers in upstate New York. Patrick (Jason Thompson) and Liz (Rebecca Herbst) were moping around about Robin's (Kimberly McCullough) secret medical drama. Some new, angry black kid named Tommy Jr. (No relation to Liz's biracial cousin Tommy Jr., son of Tom and Simone and grandson of Steve and Audrey, because...yeah) was causing Shawn (Sean Butler) to mope around when he should be tapping Carly's (Laura Wright) asterisks.
There was also more of this business about the Woman In White, and the demons that had her walking around drafty arse Wyndemere in a slip for months. Can someone explain to me why One Life to Live was cancelled before GH? Yeah, I went there. Frank and Ron better be calling on Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Oprah, because they have their work cut out for them with this mess.
Over at CBS Daytime, The Young and the Restless had a decent week ratings-wise. Y&R went up 274,000 total viewers and inched up a tenth of a point in households and among women 18-49. Y&R held steady among women 18-34.
Storywise, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) learned she'd killed Diane (Maura West) in self defense — because of course there was no other way for one petite blonde to defend herself against another petite blonde, other than to take a rock and bash her rival's head in. Despite this plot twist being all shades of unsavory, MTS was gangbusters as a courageous Nikki showed up at the police station to turn herself in—good buddy and fellow lush Kay (Jeanne Cooper) in tow— just as everyone was speculating about Nikki's fragile mental state. Now that's what I'm talking about! Nikki said she isn't some wilting, withering flower, who can't face up to her struggles in life. No, that would be Sharon (Sharon Case), who married her kid's Pappy Smurf in order to get her shiz together. It was kinda classic soapy for Sharon to dramatically show up as Victor's (Eric Braeden) proxy to vote against the sale of Beauty of Nature.
Elsewhere in GC, Billy (Billy Miller) decided to have pregnant, lady rapist Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) move in with him and Victoria (Amelia Heinle) for the duration of her pregnancy. I don't know a woman alive or dead, who would let some trick who drugged her husband move all up in her crib. Even still, I am enjoying Egan in this story.
Chelsea's antics sorta harken back to those of vixens of Y&R past, like Sheila (Kimberlin Brown) and Phyllis (Michelle Stafford), the latter before a taste of Nick's (Joshua Morrow) peter made her go soft and stop running folks over with cars and what not. All in all, Y&R is getting better these days, so I won't complain too much.
Lineup mate The Bold and the Beautiful went up 137,000 total viewers. B&B held steady in households and among W18-34, but went up one-tenth of a point among W18-49.
In story, Liam (Scott Clifton) confessed to Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) that he'd been planning to leave Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) for Hope (Kimberly Matula), had Steffy not suffered the accident in Cabo. His daddy, Bill (Don Diamont), struggled to stay one step ahead of wife Katie (Heather Tom), who was thisclose to proving wasn't sh*t wrong with Steffy that a good arse-kicking wouldn't fix. Amber (Adrienne Frantz) hoped the designs she gave Rick (Jacob Young) would help them in the boardroom and the bedroom and Nick (Jack Wagner) and Pam (Alley Mills) went on Lets Make a Deal.
I have to say, I really enjoyed B&B the week of Jan. 16. The show had something for everyone — angsty, over-the-top, young adult drama; scheming villains, determined heroines and oodles of comedy. When I first read spoilers about Pam entering Nick's orbit, I groaned so loudly my neighbors threatened to call the po-po. Despite my reservations, I've really liked their scenes together. Mills, who played the mom on The Wonder Years, is no stranger to situational comedy, and who knew Wagner had a funny bone underneath that still perfect, 50-something bod?
Days of Our Lives also went up the week in question — all three non-ABC soaps no doubt benefiting from displaced Llanview lovers looking for new soap homes. DAYS gained 104,000 total viewers over the previous week. The NBC sudser also went up one-tenth of a point in households, yet held steady among W18-49 and W18-34.
Salem was a hotbed for slow-paced relationship drama the week in question. Proving the bitchy child doesn't fall far from the tree, Will (Chandler Massey) told Sami (Alison Sweeney) how the cow ate the cabbage, when she balked at the idea of him working for EJ (James Scott). The same week, when Marlena (Deidre Hall) tried to talk to Sami about Will, Sami in turn ripped into her mother about having no room to criticize her parenting skills. I have one word for those exchanges — flawless!
DAYS is exploring decades of multi-generational conflict between Marlena, her daughter and now her grandson. Storylines like these on soaps are ones most viewers can no doubt relate too. While most of us haven't had microchips implanted in our heads, returned from the dead, and/or had our organs harvested by a nefarious prison warden, we've all experienced family drama.
I can't say I was as excited, the week in question, about Bope continuing to delve into Gram's secrets with Stefano (Joe Mascolo). Unless DAYS is about to reveal that sweet, little Alice Horton ( the late Frances Reid) was sneaking around on Tom (the late MacDonald Carey), giving The Phoenix a taste of her "donuts," then I could care less.
This story is bor-ing and Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso deserve better. Bring back Shawn, JT and SORAS Ciara and make her a hellcat! Bope needs their own immediate family around, that will cause plenty of organic drama, much like what has been mined for Marlena/Sami/Will.
Another aspect of DAYS that week I could have done without, was having to endure smart, spunky heroine Jennifer Rose Horton (Melissa Reeves) squabbling in the townsquare with Nicole (Arianne Zucker) over a mayoral election. I am sorry, but save those antics for Nicole and Sami. Jennifer is a brany reporter. She solves problems with a byline, not her fists. When this election storyline is mercifully over, can we get Jenn and Jack (Matt Ashford) back at The Spectator where they belong? See you next Ratings!