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LATEST RATINGS: December 9-13, 2019

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Of course, NBC was celebrating DAYS hitting No. 2 in W18-49, but when 27,000 viewers separate first and last place in that demo, it’s a rather hollow achievement.

 

All can’t be blamed on preemptions: Y&R is hemorrhaging viewers at an alarming rate.

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21 hours ago, Faulkner said:

Of course, NBC was celebrating DAYS hitting No. 2 in W18-49, but when 27,000 viewers separate first and last place in that demo, it’s a rather hollow achievement.

 

All can’t be blamed on preemptions: Y&R is hemorrhaging viewers at an alarming rate.

What Faulkner said.

 

The numbers are dismal all around, this time of year the shows usually pick up viewers. I don't know if it is the impeachment hearings, lack of quality writing/stories or both.  Demos...all the new and low ties...my eyes hurt.

Edited by clubkidjeff

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1 hour ago, clubkidjeff said:

I don't know if it is the impeachment hearings, lack of quality writing/stories or both. 

 

It's rare and sad that both the hearings and the soaps were low on suspense.

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4 minutes ago, VanessaReardon said:

Y&R is SO boring! The ratings reflect it. All time low ratings. Yikes. 

Y&R ratings are truly deserved. The writing is trash. Nick and Chelsea failed as a pairing before yet the writers have these two boring losers together again.

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OJ Simpson started the decline of soaps. Who would have guessed that criminal Trump would be the final nail in the coffin of the four remaining soaps. The impeachment stuff is going to drive the stake right through Days and GH survival for sure.

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49 minutes ago, RavenWhitney said:

OJ Simpson started the decline of soaps.

 

No.  TPTB's panic over the ratings for his trial started the decline.  If they had been more patient and realized it (the media circus surrounding O.J.) wasn't going to last forever, they...well, the ratings would have declined anyway, thanks to the usual suspects (less people at home during the day, more people watching cable and streaming shows, etc.), but they might've held up a bit longer than they actually did.

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1 hour ago, Khan said:

No.  TPTB's panic over the ratings for his trial started the decline.  If they had been more patient and realized it (the media circus surrounding O.J.) wasn't going to last forever, they...well, the ratings would have declined anyway, thanks to the usual suspects (less people at home during the day, more people watching cable and streaming shows, etc.), but they might've held up a bit longer than they actually did.

 

I agree with this.  I can't speak for other networks but watching primarily CBS soaps growing up, it seemed as though the writing often held back from writing their most compelling storylines during the O.J. Simpson trial.  It was as if they expected people to tune out and felt like they weren't going "waste" good storylines during that time so you tended to see a lot of filler type storylines.  The soaps were very presumptuous in assuming that writing a lot of uneven and dull stories during that time would be enough and that they could start back with 'good stuff'  when the trial concluded, thinking that the viewers would flock back and they'd recoup their lost viewers.  Only it didn't happen.

Looking at these ratings, I sense that these soaps haven't learned that lesson.  I'm not watching any of them currently, but from what I've been reading, it sounds as if shows like Y&R are serving up entertainment akin to watching paint dry.

 

I was a kid but from what I can remember there were pre-emptions during the Reagan assassination attempt and the Iran-Contra hearings and I don't believe those pre-emptions adversely affected the soaps.  If anything, it made people more anxious to get back to watching their 'stories'. 

 

I think the O.J. trial excuse is just that...and excuse. It's become a very neat and tidy narrative that has become the default response to the decline of soaps, instead of discussing possible mitigating factors that are a lot more complex, like declining budgets, network interference, changing viewing habits, soaps being slow to adapt to changing social times and mores and a churn and (possible) burnout of a generation of talented headwriters with not much effort to replace them with equally talented headwriters and an overall lack of continuity in quality control in front of and behind the cameras.   Not to mention competition from the emerging reality, (where a former soap EP started The Real World series on MTV) and the '90s iteration of talk shows that were becoming far more risqué than in previous years. Remember the era of Ricki Lake, Richard Bey, Sally Jessie Raphael, Jenny Jones et. al? People soon decided that they didn't need soaps to fill their need for drama, especially when the storylines on their 'stories' had seemed to stall out.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

I was a kid but from what I can remember there were pre-emptions during the Reagan assassination attempt and the Iran-Contra hearings and I don't believe those pre-emptions adversely affected the soaps.  If anything, it made people more anxious to get back to watching their 'stories'. 

 

I think the O.J. trial excuse is just that...and excuse. It's become a very neat and tidy narrative that has become the default response to the decline of soaps, instead of discussing possible mitigating factors that are a lot more complex, like declining budgets, network interference, changing viewing habits, soaps being slow to adapt to changing social times and mores and a churn and (possible) burnout of a generation of talented headwriters with not much effort to replace them with equally talented headwriters and an overall lack of continuity in quality control in front of and behind the cameras.   Not to mention competition from the emerging reality, (where a former soap EP started The Real World series on MTV) and the '90s iteration of talk shows that were becoming far more risqué than in previous years. Remember the era of Ricki Lake, Richard Bey, Sally Jessie Raphael, Jenny Jones et. al? People soon decided that they didn't need soaps to fill their need for drama, especially when the storylines on their 'stories' had seemed to stall out.

 

Plus -- no offense, @RavenWhitney -- but blaming the Black dude on trial for murder for the decline of an entire genre of entertainment -- when, like you said, @DramatistDreamer, there were other, possible mitigating factors -- feels a trifle bit racist now.

 

And you're right, @DramatistDreamer: there were pre-emptions during the Reagan assassination attempt and the Iran-Contra hearings -- not to mention, the Watergate hearings -- and they didn't affect the soaps adversely.  But, again, that was during an era when more people stayed home (or, if they didn't, they recorded them on VCR's to watch later) and had less viewing options competing for their attentions.

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The one thing we can blame decision making wise for the OJ trial was the moving of Guiding Light to morning in some markets. That mess started due to local stations putting it on in the morning, to avoid the trial, which ultimately hurt the flow for CBS Daytime as then it became a regular schedule change afterwards.

 

Does anyone know exactly how much time was lost for those preemptions in the 80s? Iran-Contra probably had more than the Reagan shooting and aftermath.

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34 minutes ago, ~bl~ said:

The one thing we can blame decision making wise for the OJ trial was the moving of Guiding Light to morning in some markets. That mess started due to local stations putting it on in the morning, to avoid the trial, which ultimately hurt the flow for CBS Daytime as then it became a regular schedule change afterwards.

 

Does anyone know exactly how much time was lost for those preemptions in the 80s? Iran-Contra probably had more than the Reagan shooting and aftermath.

 

According to Wikipedia, the hearings ran from May to August of 1987. 

 

I'm not sure how many days of afternoon programming were disrupted although I do have vague recollections of some pre-empted programming.

Strange though because for CBS in particular, with the exception of the cancellation of Capitol, which was canceled in March, before the hearings began, 1987 was a great year for storylines on CBS soaps!

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I think soap viewers are the most loyal and keep trying - but once they leave they are difficult to get back.  The women 18 to 49 numbers are the most ghastly.  Literally no one is watching these shows now.  There are more women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 in 3 or 4 pro football stadiums on a given Sunday.  

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17 hours ago, ~bl~ said:

The one thing we can blame decision making wise for the OJ trial was the moving of Guiding Light to morning in some markets.

The other thing that GL was a victim of - was Hurricane Katrina.  New Orleans was a huge market for GL, and I remember seeing demographics by area - and GL was #1 in New Orleans.  With power outages and people just moving away and the amount of downtime really affected viewership.  I remember one time seeing that in the New Orleans and surrounding areas, GL had around 200,000 viewers and that was a low.  But that's a chunk.   It was no coincidence that they sent the show there as publicity for cleanup and rebuilding.    

Edited by Fevuh

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But things had changed after the trial.  A whole network was started just to cover court cases.  Cable news exploded.  The rise of white trash talk shows had also exploded.  Everything changed in that period of time.

 

The problem wasn’t just daytime execs trying outlandish and short term things to goose the ratings.  It was their blind attempts to get back to “normal” when television had changed.  The problem was a short sighted belief that those old numbers would return.  The audience had been splintered, and that has continued ever since with an even larger amount of options for viewing.  They killed their own products through panic, stupidity, and a lack of innovation matched with traditional daytime values/pacing/writing.

 

I think a core reason why Y&R stayed higher than everybody else was because they had viable, important black characters that the audience loved.  It gave them viewers that the other shows ignored.

 

They needed to calm down, and recognize that the daytime marketplace had changed.  It took prime time until the end of the 1990’s, very early 2000’s to see the same thing happen there.  Nobody will ever see consistent high ratings again like Friends, Seinfeld, ER, etc.  They eventually stopped trying for those kinds of numbers for prime time, and gave up on daytime.

 

Edited by titan1978

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