The ratings are out for the week of September 17-21, 2018 with Days of Our Lives being the only soap to post gains in total households and some key demos (Source: Soap Opera Network). Let's get into it.
DAYS posted an increase of 58,000 viewers from last week, with an average of 2.14 million viewers for the week. They also demonstrated a gain of 55,000 viewers from last year as Hattie (Deidre Hall) awakened from Marlena's coma . . . and raised hell, while Marlena was hidden in a construction zone and Gabi (Camila Banus) drugged Abigail (Marci Miller). DAYS has now shown gains four of the past five weeks. The only concern to note in the total viewers numbers is a relapse to the trend of Monday high and Friday low. Monday's episode garnered 2.33 million viewers, but by Friday the number had slipped to 1.91 million - a loss of just over 400,000 viewers. I have no explanation for this trend, but I continue to believe it's existence is noteworthy. To conclude, on a positive note, the NBC soap demonstrated gains in women 18-49. This pulls them into a virtual tie with both The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital. DAYS pulled ahead of GH and within striking distance of B&B in women 18-34. I probably should have concluded with DAYS because the rest of this piece is gonna quickly slide down hill.
GH posted an average of 2.32 million viewers, which represented a loss of 90,000 viewers for the week and 218,000 viewers year to year. Cameron (William Lipton) channeled his inner Hardy Boy to discover that Oscar (Garren Stitt) currently stands at the foot of the stairs to the upper room, while things got steamy between Kiki (Hayley Erin) and Griffin (Matt Cohen). GH sits at #2 in women 18-49, slightly eclipsing the numbers for B&B and DAYS, but actually it lost viewers both for the week and year to date. The ABC soap finds itself in last place in women 18-34. Of note, with the loss in viewers by the CBS soaps, GH has gained 181,000 viewers on B&B, which makes it less than a million viewers behind the CBS soap.
Speaking of CBS, let's check in with the B&B. This week featured Thorne (Ingo Rademacher) and Katie's (Heather Tom) engagement, Bill (Don Diamont) and Brooke's (Katherine Kelly Lang) secret meetings, and Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) leaning on Judge McMullen (Joe Lando). These stories resulted in an average viewership of 3.18 million viewers, which represents a loss of 98,000 viewers for the week and a demoralizing 399,000 viewers year to date. B&B was down for the week in all key demos. It dropped to #3 in women 18-49 with a new low in viewers (327,000), while holding on to #2 spot in women 18-34.
We end this week's ratings discussion with a look at the #1 daytime drama, The Young and the Restless. The top becomes the bottom in this discussion because for the fourth week running, it ties its all time low rating (2.86). This week featured Jack (Peter Bergman) and Victor (Eric Braeden) struggling with potential half brotherhood, Sharon's (Sharon Case) graduation, and Traci's (Beth Maitland) return to Genoa City. These stories resulted in an average viewership of 3.95 million viewers, which represents a loss of 73,000 viewers for the week and a mind-boggling 463,000 viewers year to year. The key demos offer little in the way of comfort. Though #1 in all key demos, Y&R suffers its 4th straight week of tying an all time low rating in women 18-49 (0.59) and a 7th straight week of tying an all time low rating in women 18-34 (0.28). I have to wonder if viewers were turned off by the sudden suggestion that iconic rivals Jack Abbott and Victor Newman were half brothers. As stated in previous columns, change seems to work better when it is slowly implemented.
An example . . . whether you love or hate the character of Arturo (Jason Canela), the one thing you can't deny is he was slowly introduced onto the canvas. He began as a construction worker/contractor at Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and Nicholas' (Joshua Morrow) housing project. Then, he was Nikki's extra-marital good good. After Nikki broke it off, Arturo faded to the background for a few weeks only to reemerge as a love interest for Abby (Melissa Ordway). He now works for Nicholas at Dark Horse. It took 8 months to integrate this character into the cast. Again, love him or hate him, he was integrated well. Juxtapose that against the jarring creation of the Rosales clan - I'm not even sure I knew Arturo's last name for the first seven months he was on. Suddenly, Rey Rosales (Jordi Vilasuso) is at the center of the GCPD (both working beside and in place of Paul Williams [Doug Davidson]) and the "J.T. (Thad Luckinbill) is really dead and buried under that godawful statue in Chancellor Park" storyline. Fourteen seconds later Lola Rosales (Sasha Calle), Arturo's sister and GC's newest entrant in "The Great Food Truck Race" emerges. The last few weeks have featured A LOT of scenes in some combination of those characters or alone. I actually like all three of these characters, especially Lola, but that does not negate the fact that their sudden appearance was very jarring. Slow your roll, Y&R and I'll bet the viewers will return.
That's it for this week. Do these numbers reflect your opinions of the storylines on your favorite daytime drama? Sound off in the comments!