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Ratings, Rants and Raves: All Four Daytime Soaps Had a Very Merry Christmas in the Nielsens

The four remaining daytime soap operas all found candy canes and sugar plums in their stockings from Santa Nielsen—as opposed to lumps of demographic coal—Christmas week. The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the BeautifulGeneral Hospital and Days of Our Lives all saw impressive gains over the previous week. (Source: Soap Opera Network)


Y&R gained the most total viewers; a staggering 510,000 increase over the previous week. This was the soap's highest number of total viewers since Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith took the reins. Y&R went up two-tenths of a point in households and was up one-tenth of a point among women 18-49 and among W18-34 respectively.

The Newmans endured a testy Christmas dinner at Victor (Eric Braeden) and Nikki's (Melody Thomas Scott) new crib, when Mr. Mumbles started going in on Billy (Billy Miller) about his future plans. Ghost John (Jerry Douglas) came back to annoy Jack (Peter Bergman). Nosy Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) found Dylan's (Steve Burton) dog tags at Avery's (Jessica Collins). To be fair to Nick, Avery could find a better place to hide mementos of her ex-lover, than in a clear canister in her freaking kitchen! Speaking of Avery, Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) decided the holidays was the perfect time to grill her ex-husband-screwing-baby-sis about what went wrong in Avery's own marriage.

Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) was ticked when she found out Sharon (Sharon Case) played a part in Adam (Michael Muhney) wanting to work on their marriage. Lauren (Tracey Bregman) found her creepy man-child's burner phone. Kevin (Greg Rikaart) and Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) fought over finances, or lack thereof. Tyler (Redaric Williams) continued to shamelessly flirt with Lily (Christel Khalil) right in Cane's (Daniel Goddard) face and Jack's loved ones staged an intervention for the pill-poppin' CEO.

Nick's interest in Avery's past is a bit extreme. They're both adults in their late 30's/early 40's. Of course she has a past. I don't see Avery sneaking around trying to find out dirt on Grace Turner.

Everyone involved in Jack's addiction storyline has been doing solid work, but the story itself seems like more of the same in regards to TGVN vs. Ole' Smilin' Jack. Once again Jack manages to get on top for like five minutes, before Victor has all the tools he needs to strip everything from him. How is this any different from the last 10 years of storytelling for these two rivals? 

As much as I liked Phyllis and Jack years ago, that ship has sailed and sunk. I don't buy Phyllis rolling over for Avery to just take her man, while she plays nursemaid to Jack. I'd much rather watch Phyllis fighting like hell to rebuild her family with Nick, while Nikki is still torn between Victor and Jack.

Chelsea needs another man to turn to during this Chadam vs. Shadam ping-pong match. Why not have her shocked to see her childhood flame Alex (Ignacio Serricchio) in Genoa City? So far, all sexy Serricchio has been given to do is pester Genoa City's teen crowd. Let's get him on a woman, already!

Sharon is still a hot, tired mess of nothing. She's being written and played just as erratic and unstable as on MAB's last day on set. I'm over it. I don't care about her long day's journey back to sanity. She needs to stop acting like a looney tune like yesterday. Why not kill two storyline birds with one stone by having Sharon revisit her long ago plan to take Crimson Lights national? Share Bear could offer to buy half the business back from Kevin, thus becoming his partner and driving Chloe insane. 

Why doesn't Nikki use the knowledge that Sharon burned down the ranch as leverage to boot Sharon off the property once and for all? Have Nikki blackmail Sharon into selling her the house where she and Nick raised Cassie and Noah. A vengeful Nikki could then give the house back to Nick, who can finally move out of the Newman stable with his 11 children.

The Michaelsons are a welcome addition to Genoa City. I would love to see them team up with the Winters on a new business venture. Neil (Kristoff St. John) should have a billion dollars in his 401 K after all those dutiful years of service at Newman and Chancellor. He should get fed up with steppin' and fetchin' for the Newmans, Chancellors and Abbotts and decide to form his own company with Leslie (Angell Conwell), Lily, Devon (Bryton James), Cane and Tyler. Then Neil and Leslie would no longer be boss and employee; they'd be business partners and therefore able to screw like chocolate-covered bunny rabbits! How about they name their new cosmetics company WM Cosmetics, for Williams-Michaelson?

A move like this would free up Jabot for its rightful stewards — the Abbotts. Jack, Billy, Kyle (Blake Hood) and Abby (Marcy Rylan) could take the cosmetics firm into the next generation, facing off against Victor, Victoria (Amelia Heinle) and Adam at Newman. To make things even more interesting, why not have Noah (Robert Adamson) lured into working for Newman by his grandfather, with Adam serving as his mentor?

Just because Nick wants to give up his birthright to tend bar doesn't mean his children have to! Heck, throw in Summer (Hunter King) as a nubile, young intern, royally pissing off creepy Fen (Max Erich) by coming on to Mason (Lamon Archey) every chance she gets. If the thought of Noah learning at the feet of Victor and Adam wouldn't be enough to convince Nick to return to Newman, I don't know what would!

B&B went up 346,000 total viewers over the previous week, and was up year-to-date 134,000. B&B also inched up one-tenth of a point in households.


Eric (John McCook) decided to skip the Forrester family Christmas celebration, and instead went to hear Stephanie's (Susan Flannery) favorite girl group Celtic Woman perform. His loved ones managed to track him down for some moving exchanges about their first holiday season sans the Battle Axe of Beverly Hills.

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Rick (Jacob Young) came clean to Hope (Kimberly Matula) about getting some dude named for a Shakespeare character to lie about seeing Liam (Scott Clifton) and Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) heavy-petting the night before one of Hope and Liam's umpteen weddings. Steffy and Hope squabbled. Bill (Don Diamont) and Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) squabbled. I reached for my remote. God, The Bold and the Beautiful is so boring. When is Dollar Bill gonna show Brooke his "stallion" again?

GH was watched by over three million viewers the week in question; shooting up 217,000 total viewers. The ABC sudser was up year-to-date by 590,000. This was a two-year high for the almost 50-year-old serial. GH also went up one-tenth of a point in households, yet dipped one-tenth among W18-34, where it was still the No. 1 soap for the week. 


Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson) discovered Johnny (Brandon Barash) bound, gagged and writhing on the floor. Before you could say "Red Room", Connie (Kelly Sullivan) spoiled what could have been a kinky, good time by knocking the young lady unconscious. Lante (Julie Marie Berman and Dominic Zamprogna) were upset that Maxie (Kirsten Storms) had called Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) when she was cramping instead of them.

Trey (Erik Valdez) and Kristina (Lindsay Morgan) were all set to leave Port Charles, until a fateful run-in with Connie. Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Carly (Laura Wright) had words over Todd (Roger Howarth). Lucy (Lynn Herring) had a ball playing the Q's against one another and the holidays brought Patrick (Jason Thompson) and Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) closer together.

Okay, this is the portion of RRR where I generally gush about GH. Unfortunately, Connie is making that difficult to do. Much like one rotten apple having the ability to spoil a barrel, one poorly drawn, cartoonish character can ruin a week of good soap opera. I'm so done with watching formerly-smart characters like Johnny, Sonny and Todd manipulated by a mental patient with a bady stylist. Okay, unless that mental patient is Heather Webber (Robin Mattson), then I am perfectly fine with it. Connie is no Heather.

I thought I would hate the Lante/Spixie/Ellie baby storyline, but it's growing on me. Yes, I have to suspend all of my disbelief that Maxie could (SPOILER ALERT) conceive five seconds after miscarrying, but GH is setting up a saga that will have explosive repercussions for Lante, Spixie and Ellie (Emily Wilson) down the road. I can suspend for explosive repercussions.

Another story arc I'm warming up to is Patrick and Sabrina's romance. The more GH works to flesh out Sabrina, the more I like her. Britt (Kelly Thiebaud), on the other hand, can take a flying leap off Dead Babies and Boyfriends Cliff along with Connie.

DAYS went up 252,000 total viewers over the previous week. NBC's sole sudser also went up one-tenth of a point in households and among W18-49.


WilSon (Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith) celebrated Christmas Eve at Uncle Victor (John Aniston) and Aunt Maggie's (Suzanne Rogers). The Kiriakis men presented Vic with a gift that meant a lot to the shipping czar. Kristen (Eileen Davidson) continued to whip it on Brady (Eric Martsolf). Gabi (Camila Banus) and Rafe (Galen Gering) crashed the Hortons' tree trimming party. Father Sex, I mean Eric (Greg Vaughan), performed his first Midnight Mass and EJ (James Scott) and Rafe continued to battle for Sami's (Alison Sweeney) holiday heart.

I absolutely love DAYS at Christmas. Watching the Hortons trim their tree with personalized ornaments was as much a holiday tradition in my family growing up, as watching It's A Wonderful Life and spiking the Borden's Egg Nog with Crown Royal. This year didn't disappoint.

As much as I gripe about what is wrong about DAYS, I'd like to take a bit of time to talk about what they're getting right. I love that so many Hortons are still prominent in Salem, U.S.A. Take a look at other soaps and you'll quickly see founding families aren't always front and center.

Liz (Rebecca Herbst) and Steve Webber (Scott Reeves) are the only Hardys left in Port Charles on General Hospital, save for the unseen Audrey, and Steve is on his way out. The Brooks are long gone from Genoa City on The Young and the Restless, though Kay Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) and Jill Foster (Jess Walton) remain. B&B is still all about the Forresters and Logans, but DAYS seems to get the importance of its core family like no other soap.

When DAYS began in 1965, the soap opera was centered on Dr. Tom Horton, his wife Alice and their five children: Tommy, Addie, Bill, Mickey and Marie. Today in Salem, descendants of all of Tom and Alice's kids, except for Tommy, still reside in Salem.

Addie's daughters Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) are in town. Bill's daughter Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) lives in the old Horton family home with her daughter Abigail (Kate Mansi). Bill's illegitimate son Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) is also hanging around to meddle in gay son Will's love life. Mickey's widow Maggie, though remarried, is still the heart and soul of the Horton clan and Marie's grandson Nick (Blake Berris) is involved in a rivalry with cousin Will that is so complicated it makes Bill and Mickey's battles for Laura back in the 60's seem almost wholesome and simplistic by comparison. The rest of the year DAYS may make my eyebrows itch, but during the Christmas Holidays, the show is still good, old-fashioned comfort soap. See you next Ratings!