DAYS was the only daytime drama that demonstrated positive gains for the week in total viewers and in all key demos. DAYS was up 50,000 viewers for the week with an average of 2.188 million viewers. This number also represented an increase of 46,000 viewers year to year - the only year to year increase amongst all four daytime dramas. In the key demos, DAYS remained in last place, but taking Salem to Nashville and the possible return of EJ DiMera resulted in the only gain in viewers for the week in both women 18-49 (+26,000) and women 18-34 (+9,000). Another positive for DAYS is the NBC soap had its biggest one day of total viewers (10/15, 2.426 million) in six months (4/30 2.43 million).
The remainder of the daytime dramas all lost viewers for the week and the year. Let's get into it . . .
General Hospital's stories of Nelle's (Chloe Lanier) sentencing, Drew (Billy Miller) refusing to help Margaux (Elizabeth Hendrickson), and Sonny's (Maurice Benard) quest to justify murder, resulted in a loss of 151,000 viewers for the week (2.338 million) and a loss of 194,000 viewers year to year. These storylines also resulted in GH remaining #2 in women 18-49, but these numbers also represented the ABC soap's 7th straight week of tying its all time low rating. Similarly, GH is also in its 7th straight week of tying an all time low in women 18-34. It's fun to have villains front and center on daytime dramas . . . but only if they are portrayed as villains with depth. Sonny and Carly (Laura Wright) are the center of almost every storyline on canvas . . . which would be okay if they were written as villains, but they are consistently written as heroes. I have to wonder if the mental friction that is caused by writing villains as heroes is related to viewers' reluctance to tune in to the 55 year old daytime drama.
The Bold and the Beautiful lost fewer viewers for the week (-55,000/3.239 million) as it featured the fall out of Ridge's (Thorsten Kaye) illegal manipulation and Brill's (Don Diamont, Katherine Kelly Lang) impromptu smooch at Forrester. More concerning is the loss of 297,000 viewers year to year. In the key demos, B&B was #3 in women 18-49 (323,000 viewers) and #2 in women 18-34 (100,000 viewers). These numbers are somewhat confusing as, in the last few weeks, B&B has featured much more compelling storylines - particularly as they haven't included the triangle of Liam/Hope/Steffy (Scott Clifton, Annika Noelle, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood). Not to be a broken record, but I have to continue to wonder if B&B would feature these drastic year to date losses if not for its lead in.
The Young and the Restless featured Ashley's (Eileen Davidson) big reveal about Jack's (Peter Bergman) paternity and Billy's (Jason Thompson) big reveal to Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) that he bedded Summer (Hunter King) out of spite. These storylines resulted in a loss of 102,000 viewers for the week and a whopping 368,000 viewers year to year (4.112 million viewers total). The #1 daytime drama remained #1 in all key demos, although it tied its all time low in women 18-49 for the 8th consecutive week (0.61/395,000) and tied its low in women 18-34 for the 11th consecutive week (0.31/106,000).
The storylines surrounding Ashley's revenge were actually compelling. The acting was stunningly good, and the storyline was the result of decades of rivalry between the Abbott siblings. The only reason for the disappointing ratings, from what I can tell, is the lackluster storylines that led up to this one particular great week of soap. Davidson and Bergman, along with Beth Maitland, Michael Mealor, and Melissa Ordway gave great performances in this well-constructed storyline. Unfortunately, Davidson's exit made the end of this rather long storyline feel suddenly rushed - a board meeting took place to vote Ashley in and another one to vote her out - within a few days. The acting was on point. The writing was on point. The only thing not on point . . . salary negotiations.
I'm confused. I would lay the blame at Sony's doorstep, but the same casting/salary mistakes that seemingly run rampant at Y&R are not happening at DAYS. Is it budgeting? Is it the number of actors on contract versus recurring? I have no clue. All I do know is that Y&R has too many amazing actors and writers to be getting in its own way. FIX IT.
What do you think? Do these ratings reflect what you thought about your favorite soap for this week? Sound off in the comments!