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Reinvent the Genre

64 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, GregNYC said:

Most young people would rather watch youtube, facebook live or instagram than watch a crusty old daytime soap.

As a young person myself, I'd say this

 

1. Remember that most 20 somethings have extremely short attention spans. Writers need to be cognizant of that or as someone said above, networks should run only on certain days of the week and have a recap show on Sundays during primetime (this could potentially be an issue on CBS and NBC during NFL season as CBS 4pm EST games could run late, and NBC has the night game during primetime on Sundays. NBC and CBS aren't gonna screw up their NFL cash cow for a soap sadly) 

 

2. Utilize the mediums mentioned. Theres no reason that there aren't any Youtube soaps from CBS/NBC/ABC with heavy promotion on social media. If they're adamant on keeping the 4 on air, then utilizing youtube to field test a new soap would be a win win. If the show gets popular, they own it so the profit/view money/etc will go to them and viewers don't have to worry about the soap getting axed for a new show. what WONT work is putting it on say, All Access as from the things I've read on the internet concerning CBS AA, most young people are extremely unwilling to pay for AA as they feel its simply not worth it as they only watch stuff like Big Brother, Late Show and maybe Big Bang Theory. not to mention there are "other" ways they can watch these shows. Me personally I pay for AA as due to my busy schedule as I can't watch Y&R/B&B live some days, so AA allows me to stay updated on them. 

 

3. Update the shows for 2017- As a few posters have said, this isn't the 50's or 80's anymore and the soaps need to get with the times. you can update the soaps for the current day to draw in a younger crowd while still keeping the older crowd that got you this far. It's about balance which TPTB and the writers just don't seem to understand. as mentioned above, B&B is in LA, why is there no portrayal of the decadent LA sex and drugs lifestyle? 20 somethings go through a lot these days, why not show some of these trials and tribulations? there's a whole goldmine of content just off these issues the younger crowd deals with. And when tackling these issues, the shows need to be authentic with the stories. If it comes off sanitized or PC, The younger crowd will reject it. Also, marriage isn't big with my generation like it was with previous generations. writers/suits need to be cognizant of that

 

4) Keep the legend characters no matter what- No matter a young person's age, they KNOW who Victor Newman, Nikki Newman, Jack Abbott, Neil Winters, Malcolm Winters, etc are. You'd be suprised how much of Daytime young people know because our parents, grandparents, aunts, etc used to watch. You ALWAYS keep those characters cause of familiarity with them.  

 

Theres much more I could say, but I don't wanna turn this into a dissertation. 

Edited by Brick Flair

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4 hours ago, GregNYC said:

Most young people would rather watch youtube, facebook live or instagram than watch a crusty old daytime soap.

That's a complete and total misconception 

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6 hours ago, Brick Flair said:

Theres much more I could say, but I don't wanna turn this into a dissertation. 

 

Thank you for your post. It was brilliant. All the contribution from you guys has been extremely inspiring. I appreciate it.

 

1. CBS/NBC could use some streaming service, or BRAVO, or whatever cable sister network they have. It's not like soap are going to steal viewers away from football matches.

 

3. I think the main point about updating the stories is that the shows should update their writing teams. There's no reason for writing teams to be so closed off. They should be open to new, fresh and diverse talent.

 

As for the rest.. please keep going! I would love to read your dissertation.

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4 hours ago, cassadine1991 said:

That's a complete and total misconception 

I'm in my 20s and if say it's very true. I don't know one person my age who watches soaps. Now when I was a preteen/young teen and there was no streaming and we were just switching to wifi yes I knew a few.

 

And I only knee soaps from channel flipping one summer out of boredom back when I was either 11  or 12. No family member passed them down to me.

Edited by QueenOfHearts

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2 hours ago, QueenOfHearts said:

I'm in my 20s and if say it's very true. I don't know one person my age who watches soaps. Now when I was a preteen/young teen and there was no streaming and we were just switching to wifi yes I knew a few.

 

And I only knee soaps from channel flipping one summer out of boredom back when I was either 11  or 12. No family member passed them down to me.

Several people who are in their 20s I know who have seen soaps with their parents and still do. It doesn't have to be daytime soaps. 

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All right, I'll just state the obvious. The first step towards reinventing the genre is cancelling the remaining four shows. They are all ruined beyond repair. Period. You can say this and that about how this writer or that producer can come in and change things, but we all know that it's just sad, sad wishful thinking at this point. I've been following the steady decline of all of these shows for 16 years now. Any semblance of improvement over that time has turned out to be merely bandages on bullet wounds. General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful will never be successful, respectable, mainstream television series ever again.

You absolutely 100% cannot "reinvent" anything while holding on to products of the insanely successful past. Every soap on the air is over 30 years old. It is so beyond the time to put them out of their collective miseries. I say this as someone who has watched his favorite soap get cancelled twice. I promise you, you get over the initial loss. You begin to focus only on the soap's better days, and all is well. You can rewatch all of your favorite stuff or, as in my case, watch a ton of great episodes for the very first time because you weren't even alive when they originally aired. You get to fall in love with your favorite soap all over again instead of bitching day in and day out for 10-15 years over sh!t that won't change. It's frustrating as hell because you always wonder what could have happened to keep it on the air, you salivate at the thought of a new generation of young, hot Chandlers, Buchanans, Stewarts, or Spauldings steaming up the screen and being the talk of social media, but then you realize that soap operas are the only scripted television programs that are considered short-lived if they don't make it past 10 years. Out of all of the dozens (hundreds?) of hit TV series that were hugely successful and ran a good 5 or more seasons, are we really upset because General Hospital, a crusty yellowed paper shell of its former self, might not make it to year 60? Imagine how much of a mess primetime would be if our Wednesday night options were the 39th season of The Facts of Life, the 27th season of Sisters, and the 63rd season of Gunsmoke.

If the goal is to keep scripted dramatic programming in daytime television, then they need to accept the reality that young people will never watch such programming in large numbers ever again. They're mostly in high school, college, or at work when it airs, and if they're catching up on TV when they get home, they will never pick the TV shows that are older than themselves (and, in the teens' case, their parents) when there are tons of fresh, contemporary options available to them. It doesn't matter how much "DAYS is getting good this summer" or "Y&R is turning around." It doesn't pay to put a new soap geared towards younger people on daytime television if they're going to just watch it via DVR or streaming anyway - just put it directly on a streaming website. Daytime TV has to become senior citizens' paradise or stay a hot mess trying not to be senior citizens' paradise.

To be quite honest, I think the genre has already been reinvented. Almost everything that everyone watches anymore (outside of broadcast TV, but even then...) is a descendant of soap opera. A lot of people who don't know any better take for granted the fact that TV shows are serialized. It just wasn't a thing at all until soaps hit it big in the late 70s and early 80s, and as daytime soaps fell out of favor, primetime and cable grew more and more dependent on soap opera conventions. They're a hell of a lot different from what we all consider true, traditional soaps, but that's what reinvention is all about. A show that makes 250 episodes in a calendar year will never be successful and widely watched in an era where the most popular series only demand 10-13 hours of a viewer's time each year.

And as far as young people in their teens and 20s who still watch traditional daytime soaps and want more of them, we're basically geeks now, y'all. There are young people in their teens and 20s who enjoy listening to Gregorian chants and riding old time railroad trains. Doesn't mean those things are poised for a comeback.

Edited by All My Shadows

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They should invest and get some of the British Soap Writers to come to America.  I know that Hollyoaks is the least popular in the UK, but I find myself rushing everyday home to watch.  The stories are fast, and they are usually way over the top, but it is fun.  There are numerous gays/lesbians/transgenders on the show.  Including a lesbian Muslim.  The show has real explosions, car wrecks, and deaths.  The acting is good too.   Emmerdale is the soap queen right now in the UK.  They had a great Alzheimer's story, and have a great gay super couple, Aaron and Robert.  I myself cannot get into it because of the accents, but I wish I could.

 

 

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I think that nails it, @All My Shadows. We were very lucky and privileged to get the years of quality entertainment we got from the soaps. During daytime's peak, some soaps maintained a pretty high level of writing for years, which is miraculous. But it's sort of like complaining about MTV not playing music videos anymore. The world has moved on due to cultural and technological advancements. It doesn't make sense for MTV to play videos when you can go to YouTube and pull up that new Migos clip on demand without having to sit through hours of videos you don't care about. More choices, shrinking attention spans, demands from advertisers who also have more choices.

 

I understand why people here want to see the form as we know it continue. We're all geeks of the genre, and I think we all wanted to see soaps (as they existed when were younger) catch up to the times, becoming more permissive, diverse, and inclusive. But in reality, primetime was busy stealing what worked in daytime and updated those conventions for a more fast-paced, liberal culture. Thirtysomething was a soap. The Wire and The Sopranos were soaps. This Is Us is a soap. Orphan Black is a soap. And they are easy to jump into at the beginning without having to make a huge investment. You can binge through them in a few days and move on to the next thing. And you don't have to study decades of confusing genealogy. The barrier to entry is just too high for these aging shows to grow. And, good god, Victor Newman and Sonny Corinthos are played out. 

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Except for a couple of days a month I don't really watch anymore and don't know anyone who watches soaps in real life. And I'm talking about soaps as in the 5 day a week ones for those who like to play obtuse. Soaps aren't pulling in new viewers and especially not young viewers with their writing, casting, and production styles. I'm not interested in the current web soaps either. The archaic themes, pacing, recycled stories for characters, lack of diversity,etc helped kill soaps.

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I am so behind on all the soaps, I have been binge watching them since last year. I'm like 7-9 months behind on all of them

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Ya know, this topic has me wondering....

 

Why hasn't FOX ever tried their hand at Daytime? Out of all 4 broadcast networks, FOX usually has their pulse on what younger viewers like and has catered to them over the years (Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, The O.C., and currently Empire).

 

I can't find the thread for the life of me, but I remember someone on here saying that Sunset Beach should've went to FOX as part of a foray into daytime instead of NBC where it was doomed from the start. Fox already had 90210 and MP, throwing SuBe on at like 3pm EST when younger viewers were just getting out of class would've completed the Spelling trifecta. 

 

Also with FOX:

 

Clean slate- there were no decades old programs with attached longtime fanbases to please. They could've aired whatever they wanted and let it grow. 

 

Willing to Experiment: FOX could try different stuff in the daytime slots and shake things up as needed without backlash

 

More risqué soaps: aside from NFL and their other sports offerings, you KNOW what you're getting yourself into when you watch FOX. Most of their more risqué shows air content warnings at the beginning of every show as we we see here:

 

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This would allow FOX Daytime the leeway to do more envelope pushing stuff in terms of content than CBS/NBC/ABC

 

Less restriction from TPTB: I can't recall any creator/writer/actor saying that FOX meddled in their program. FOX strikes me as a "if it gets us ratings, eff it" type of company.

 

Only issue I'd see with this would clash with FOX Kids but the affiliates usually chopped the kids block and aired at different times anyway. The kids block was running out of steam by 1998 anyway and affiliates were slowly dropping it. This would've been the perfect time to bring in FOX Daytime. I'm sure if the daytime lineup picked up steam that more and more affiliates would've dropped fox kids sooner and picked up the daytime block

 

i don't wanna drag this out too long but it's something I've always thought about

Edited by Brick Flair

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FOX tried a daytime soap aimed at teens in 1990 ("Tribes"), and it did not last. They wisely decided to go in the direction of filling their daytime lineup with syndicated talk shows, courtroom shows, and game shows. They would've been fools to ditch that in favor of a soap because, as has been established, young people are not going to watch daytime in droves.

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18 minutes ago, All My Shadows said:

FOX tried a daytime soap aimed at teens in 1990 ("Tribes"), and it did not last. They wisely decided to go in the direction of filling their daytime lineup with syndicated talk shows, courtroom shows, and game shows. They would've been fools to ditch that in favor of a soap because, as has been established, young people are not going to watch daytime in droves.

Ahhhhh. That makes sense then that they went with Fox Kids (the Power Rangers machine of the early/mid 90s) then eventually late 90s/early 00s ratings juggernauts in like Jerry Springer and Maury. 

Edited by Brick Flair

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MyNetworkTV, the former station that had UPN tried to do telenovelas but apparently the ratings weren't good.

@Brick Flair I thought Fox Kids ended in 2002? It's mostly talk shows during FOX Daytime

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25 minutes ago, cassadine1991 said:

MyNetworkTV, the former station that had UPN tried to do telenovelas but apparently the ratings weren't good.

@Brick Flair I thought Fox Kids ended in 2002? It's mostly talk shows during FOX Daytime

It did indeed end in 2002. However, In 1998 Fox bought out the affiliates Interest in Fox Kids to help pay for their NFL deal and thus cut the block 2 hours in response. I wanna say it eventually went Saturday only before 2002 but I could be wrong 

Edited by Brick Flair

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