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Y&R/B&B: What will happen once ATWT ends?


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So I live in the Atlanta area, and as most of you know my CBS affiliate moved Y&R to 3pm (GL's old timeslot). Now that ATWT is going off the air, do you think there will be a major shakeup in the scheduling nationwide? Im not sure what my affiliate is planning, but I think they could possibly just drop B&B and keep Y&R on at 3. Do you think this could possibly lead to a sharp drop in the ratings for both shows?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this because I seriously dont see my affiliate moving Y&R back to 12:30 or letting them have the 2:00 hour gap in between them.

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So I live in the Atlanta area, and as most of you know my CBS affiliate moved Y&R to 3pm (GL's old timeslot). Now that ATWT is going off the air, do you think there will be a major shakeup in the scheduling nationwide? Im not sure what my affiliate is planning, but I think they could possibly just drop B&B and keep Y&R on at 3. Do you think this could possibly lead to a sharp drop in the ratings for both shows?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this because I seriously dont see my affiliate moving Y&R back to 12:30 or letting them have the 2:00 hour gap in between them.

I see Atlanta and other affiliates dropping B&B or pushing it into late-night, like the Tulsa Market. More affiliates will want to expand their newscasts or acquire lucrative syndicated shows(cheaper than a syndicated show, more ad-time, etc). And without another "like" program surrounding it, I see stations wanting to push B&B out to expand their newscasts. And they'll either air Y&R at Noon EST or push it back an hour to directly compete with AMC.

I don't know why B&B and its fans assume the show is safe. I'd be a little worried if I were a fan of the show. Being surrounded by ATWT and Y&R saved its ass for years.

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I think the end of ATWT could hurt B&B in households, mostly with older viewers who watch the entire CBS lineup as a block. Any break in pattern may cause these viewers to seek other options or just not tune in at all. B&B only comes in at number two because it gets so many older people who mostly spill over from Y&R. I think the end of GL harmed ATWT because the show only got up above a 2.0 a few times once it's sister program got the ax. ATWT regularly ranked 2.1 only months before word came of the GL cancellation. Also, I still think CBS has made a mistake by ending ATWT: The show is holding steady with OLTL for months now and the program has actually gained viewers year to date.

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Here is what I see happening. For years NBC has wanted to get out of the soap business and we've always heard whispers that the network was going to cancel Days it's only remaining soap. Years ago, when talk of that was heavy daytimers speculated that GL would go off the air and then CBS would acquire Days.

Fast Forward to now, could this be happening. I could see CBS/Sony expanding B&B to an hour and then bringing Days(which is produced by Sony...surprise, surprise) or maybe one of the ABC shows over to their daytime line up. Perhaps they will give their affilates the 12:30 time slot back, move Y&R from 1-2pm, B&B-2-3pm and then Days or whatever other soap (if it happens) from 3-4pm. I could also see them leaving B&B 30min and letting Days take the 2-3pm timeslot.

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Here is what I see happening. For years NBC has wanted to get out of the soap business and we've always heard whispers that the network was going to cancel Days it's only remaining soap. Years ago, when talk of that was heavy daytimers speculated that GL would go off the air and then CBS would acquire Days.

Fast Forward to now, could this be happening. I could see CBS/Sony expanding B&B to an hour and then bringing Days(which is produced by Sony...surprise, surprise) or maybe one of the ABC shows over to their daytime line up. Perhaps they will give their affilates the 12:30 time slot back, move Y&R from 1-2pm, B&B-2-3pm and then Days or whatever other soap (if it happens) from 3-4pm. I could also see them leaving B&B 30min and letting Days take the 2-3pm timeslot.

There's many faults with your theory.

1-DAYS is renewed, on NBC, thru the fall of 2011.

2-B&B is not owned by Sony or CBS, it is solely owned by the Bells.

3-ABC owns it's soaps outright, they will live and die on ABC.

4-Several pilots have been filmed to fill ATWT's timeslot.

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I don't see anything happening in my neck of the woods. Most people who watch Y&R will also watch the news and B&B after it, so I don't think they'll tinker with that. If ATWT came between the other two soaps, then that would be a problem.

B&B just seems, to me, to be in a very vulnerable position not having "like programming" surrounding it or directly following it. As you mentioned, many affiliates in the midwest/south air Y&R at 12/11Central and air a half-hour news show before B&B. Non CBS-owned affiliates are probably itching to expand their newscasts to compete with other affiliates for ratings and ad dollars. B&B preceding a news show and then following a gameshow isn't going to make sense to an affiliate who may want to expand their newscast.

Look at what's about to happen in Atlanta. It will be B&B/GAMESHOW/Y&R. Why wouldn't a bigger market like Atlanta want to knock off B&B or push it into late-night to add an extra half hour of syndicated programming? Why did Y&R have to be moved in the first place? Something tells me Y&R underperformed in that timeslot and they had to move it around to add a news program that has longevity for them. May not be popular right out of the gate, but people without cable and those with cable who rely on local news may go to THEM in the future, during car chases, local political announcements, etc. I see other stations wanting to do this, especially bigger markets who would be willing to sacrifice B&B for longer newscasts or to add more profitable syndicated programming.

The problem is that people BTS on a network level and some executives at these shows are willing to let these shows die instead of do something to turn the ship around. I read somewhere(hope I'm getting the story right) that when B&B first began, the clearance for it was good but there were some affiliates who still didn't carry the show. Lee Phillip Bell flew to every one of those affiliates, asked them why they weren't airing the show and encouraged them to do so. Part of why B&B did so well is because, yes, they had Y&R as a lead-in, yes, Kimberlin Brown crossed over and wreaked havoc, but part of it is because the Bells(back then) actually gave a damn about their investment.

No one working in soaps today would ever do that now. There's way too much ego in daytime, people are too self-absorbed or focused on patting themselves on the back. When the time switch with Atlanta(a huge southern market, highly populated African-American area) went down, the first thing Maria should have done as the face and figurehead of the show was to go to that affiliate, ask why that happened, and begged them to move the show back to it's 12/12:30 timeslot while promising to make it right(even if she didn't). That's why I think she's in way over her head. She assumes because Y&R is "THE #1 SOAP!" that the show is safe. BAD assumption.

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I think the end of ATWT could hurt B&B in households, mostly with older viewers who watch the entire CBS lineup as a block. Any break in pattern may cause these viewers to seek other options or just not tune in at all. B&B only comes in at number two because it gets so many older people who mostly spill over from Y&R. I think the end of GL harmed ATWT because the show only got up above a 2.0 a few times once it's sister program got the ax. ATWT regularly ranked 2.1 only months before word came of the GL cancellation. Also, I still think CBS has made a mistake by ending ATWT: The show is holding steady with OLTL for months now and the program has actually gained viewers year to date.

ITA with you. I'm certain B&B gets some tune in from ATWT viewers. People who turn on TV early, etc. I remember when ABC was debating about cancelling Loving in the mid-90s. The ABC exec was worried that AMC would lose the 3-4MM viewer lead-in, which was low at the time, but it was the right audience (soap watchers) who flowed through to AMC. After the City and PC, AMC did slide. As mentioned, the big issue that B&B faces is that its a 30 min island that's separated from Y&R in many markets and won't have a soap after it. I still think CBS would be wise to pressure B&B to expand to an hour (they made be forced too if the ratings really collapse). B&B is still huge worldwide -- if they are concerned that an hour would harm the format. They should basically create two separate half-hour shows and bundle them in an hour. All it takes is a couple of transitions -- after all, it's a soap, which is continuous. This would also give them double the inventory to send overseas.

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ITA with you. I'm certain B&B gets some tune in from ATWT viewers. People who turn on TV early, etc. I remember when ABC was debating about cancelling Loving in the mid-90s. The ABC exec was worried that AMC would lose the 3-4MM viewer lead-in, which was low at the time, but it was the right audience (soap watchers) who flowed through to AMC. After the City and PC, AMC did slide. As mentioned, the big issue that B&B faces is that its a 30 min island that's separated from Y&R in many markets and won't have a soap after it. I still think CBS would be wise to pressure B&B to expand to an hour (they made be forced too if the ratings really collapse). B&B is still huge worldwide -- if they are concerned that an hour would harm the format. They should basically create two separate half-hour shows and bundle them in an hour. All it takes is a couple of transitions -- after all, it's a soap, which is continuous. This would also give them double the inventory to send overseas.

Sadly, I don't see B&B expanding to an hour unless they have some other production partner to help foot the bill(i.e. SONY for DAYS/Y&R). And I don't see the Bells willing to fork over any financial gain to another production company, even as a joint venture. I think the show will die as a family owned operation.

Without the higher licensing fee from CBS, B&B's production values have plummeted and it's been visually apparent in the last couple of years this show's aired. If they can barely afford to stay on the air as a half-hour, there's no way the company can foot the bill for an hourlong show. Not to mention, they have about half the studio space an hourlong show would need and, in essence, B&B would be required to move out of their Television City home to accommodate the time expansion and multiple sets required for such expansion. And for what? Another two/three years on the air?

At this point, Y&R and B&B are getting yearly renewals from CBS. CBS may sign two year deals with the shows, but I'm sure they have an option at the end of the first year.

I'm glad you brought up what I've been pressing, edgeofnik.

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Bellcurve: Excellent points about the financial side. I guess airing in all those international markets doesn't really add much to the bottom line. (It makes sense, if you think about how much more, say, NBC pays for Olympics than the entire world combined. We still are the biggest TV ad market.) The Bells may have no choice, though. I doubt they want the show to die -- especially since they still are the world's most popular soap. It's really too bad because I could see B&B flourishing under the 1-hour format with the better use of secondary characters, etc.

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