Has the Death of the Soap Opera Been Greatly Exaggerated?

Dec 13, 2013  •  Post A Comment

While the soap opera has been widely reported to be close to death, this season’s numbers show the genre may still have some life left in it, reports TheWrap.com.

“Two years ago, the prognosis for the genre wasn’t looking good. Longtime soap operas ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ were yanked from the air by ABC. And a slew of new talk shows seemed poised to take their place,” the story notes.

It adds, “But a curious thing is happening this season. Like a soap opera character who suddenly reappears, wide awake and ready for scandal after being in a coma for years, the soaps are back.”

CBS’s “The Young and the Restless” is up 10% in total viewers this season, while ABC’s “General Hospital” is near a six-year high in viewers, the story says.

“The Bold and the Beautiful” on CBS and NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” are also seeing better numbers, with the former up 14% in total viewers and the latter up 9% by the same measure.

“Meanwhile, the list of talk shows that once promised to dominate the daytime landscape but have since fallen by the wayside is considerable. Daytime efforts from Anderson Cooper, Ricki Lake, Jeff Probst and others have come and gone like, um, sands through the hourglass,” the piece notes.

It’s difficult to say what’s behind the resurgence, but DVR viewing could be helping, while the remaining network soaps could be picking up viewers who previously watched “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” the story adds.

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