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Online Initiative Takes Soap Opera Cross Platform

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The only US soap that's ever been a MASSIVE hit in the UK was Sunset Beach. If I recall correctly it used to get at least 1 million viewers daily here, which made it one of the highest rated shows on new broadcaster Channel 5, despite it's daytime slot (I think it aired 10.30-11.30, after B&B). If I'm correct, I think Channel 5 even offered to pay more for the series and share in the production costs in an effort to stop NBC from cancelling it, but it was in vain.

They replaced it with Days of our Lives, which attracted only around 250,000 daily and was dumped around a year later (started with Bo/Princess Gina getting married and ended with the Coronation Massacre...not exactly a solid time for DAYS). B&B floated around for a while on 5, then moved to cable channel LivingTV before being pulled altogether until last year when it appeared on DivaTV, where it is one of the highest rated shows (although that's not saying much, it's a very obscure cable channel).

Also, GH aired on ABC's new UK cable channel, ABC1, but I think it too lasted just over a year (it started with the PC hotel fire and finished around the time of Michael's kidnapping) due to poor ratings, despite the fact it was the only original show on the channel (the rest was ABC sitcoms like 8 Simple Rules, Hope & Faith, Less Than Perfect, which quickly ended up going into reruns due to being aired daily). Now, DAYS, Y&R and GL air on another cable channel, ZoneRomantica, but I don't know if they do very well.

I think for a US soap to do well in the UK, it has to have a camp edge to it and not be too serious, which is why I think GH didn't last and perhaps DAYS was too 'dreary' for the UK market. The reason why SuBe did so well is because it was just so ridiculous and enjoyable, I still miss that show and often wonder what it would have become had NBC agreed to let Channel 5 support them with production costs, etc.

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