Ratings, Rants, and Raves: General Hospital and Days of Our Lives Gain Viewers by Featuring Umbrella Storylines

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Wally Kurth, Lisa LoCicero

Wally Kurth, Lisa LoCicero

The ratings are out for the week of August 24-28, 2020 and the news for the CBS soaps continues to be a bit dismal. (Source: Soap Opera Network). On the flip, General Hospital and Days of Our Lives are slowly creeping up towards familiar numbers. Down is up and up is down. What is going on? Let's get into it. 

Mark Grossman, Sharon Case

Mark Grossman, Sharon Case

The Young and the Restless continues to hold its position as the #1 stunner . . . but with a much more hazy glow. Y&R clocked a third straight week with a "new low" in total viewers, drawing 2.542 million viewers (1.91/7), down 131,000 viewers for the week and (do I smell toast?) a stroke-inducing 1.199 million viewers year to year as Summer (Hunter King) and Kyle (Michael Mealor) contemplated cohabitation, and Adam (Mark Grossman) faced the demons of his recently discovered, possibly murderous, childhood.

Approximately one million viewers have yet to return to Y&R since returning with new episodes. Is this the result of lapsed viewers? Perhaps, it's simply that the entire CBS line up is down. Is it possible that these viewers have not returned because the storylines are somewhat dull, lackluster, and a bit like watching paint dry? Most likely these are lapsed viewers however, you can not light a fire under the behinds of lapsed viewers by featuring hot twenty somethings rambling on about cohabitation, Billy's (Jason Thompson) century long obsession with Adam, and the scintillating rivalry of Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) vs. Abby (Melissa Ordway). 

Y&R has an amazingly rich history and a stellar cast. All the ingredients are present to create a warm and inviting stew of classic, engaging, gut wrenching soap opera. Where is our hearty stew? Viewers seem to be bored with the basic, watered down broth that is currently being served. 

Denise Richards

Denise Richards

The Bold and the Beautiful was up 66,000 viewers for the week drawing 2.442 million total viewers - a mere 100,000 viewers behind its CBS sibling. The year to year news is not quite as good as B&B dropped a chin-quivering 951,000 viewers as Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) flip flopped between Shauna (Denise Richards) and Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), and Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) continued her descent into opioid madness. 

B&B has a little wash, rinse, and repeat going on with Brooke, Ridge, and Shauna. However, they've stumbled on some gold with Steffy's descent into opioid addiction. The addition of newbie Tanner Novlan as hottie Dr. John "Finn" Finnegan has added a much needed new dimension to the overdone Steffy, Liam (Scott Clifton), and Hope (Annika Noelle) Bermuda triangle. 

Chloe Lanier

Chloe Lanier

GH added a healthy 231,000 total viewers this week drawing 2.076 million viewers, and was only down a slight 90,000 viewers year to year. GH also hit #1 in the key demos of women 18-49 and 25-54 as Jason (Steve Burton) discovered a very alive Taggert (Réal Andrews) on the docks, and Nelle (Chloe Lanier) went upside Carly's (Laura Wright) head with her foot before plummeting off a cliff. 

GH returned from their COVID hiatus with a newly renewed dedication to (pay attention Y&R) UMBRELLA STORYLINES! For years, GH has focused on individual stories that isolated characters in mini-storylines. Post COVID, GH has returned with a fiery focus on storylines that connect almost the entire canvas.

Nelle and Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) were manipulating the entirety of Port Charles. The plots to steal baby Wiley (everybody drink!) and take over ELQ has brought a beautiful energy and pace to these once lackluster storylines. The new focus on Ned (Wally Kurth) and Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) has also provided viewers with drama, and a focus on often overlooked, but pivotal characters. While a serial killer still needs to roam the streets of Port Charles to separate the wheat from the chaff, GH has a renewed life that is really lovely to see and watch.

Michael Teh, Victoria Konefal

Michael Teh, Victoria Konefal

DAYS added 66,000 viewers this week drawing 1.697 million total viewers, but was down a heart-skipping 346,000 viewers year to year. A shining moment for DAYS this week is a #2 showing in the key demo of women 18-49 as Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) tried his damndest to not kill his beloved Ciara Alice (Victoria Konefal), and Samantha Gene (Alison Sweeney) reeled from the guilt that she potentially caused the collapse and coma of her step daddy, John (Drake Hogestyn). 

DAYS is the one daytime drama that never took a COVID break. It didn't have to because it was taping approximately eight months in advance when the shutdown occurred. The NBC sudser continued to air current episodes throughout the spring and summer.

Much like GH, DAYS has maintained a consistent level of energetic, event filled storylines . . . some of them amazing and exciting, and others, well . . . perhaps, could have featured smaller holes. Ben's torture at the hands of a grieving Eve (Kassie DePaiva), and an interestingly motivated Vincent (Michael Teh), was polarizing for viewers - never a bad thing. Love or hate the storyline, for the most part, it was engaging - hello sweaty, BDSM bound, boxer brief clad, Ben!

The introduction of Gwen (Emily O'Brien) into the Jake (Brandon Barash), Gabi (Camila Banus), Chad (Billy Flynn) storyline was also a high point over the last few months, but we could have used a bit more connection with Claire (Isabel Durant), who actually brought Gwen on canvas. Overall, DAYS continues to tell multiple (pay attention Y&R) UMBRELLA storylines that connect most of the canvas, and infuse energy and interest on the daily. 

That's it for this supersized version of ratings, rants, and raves. We want to know what YOU think. Do these numbers represent what you saw on your screens? Sound off in the comments!

 

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