Jump to content

If Soaps Were Regarded As Prestige TV...


Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Khan said:

 

"1st & Ten!  Do It Again!"

 

(Sorry, I was having a flashback to my childhood.  Carry on.)

 

Thanks, Khan because I couldn't remember the title and am too tired and lazy by this late hour to look it up, lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think soaps have the ratings to command bigger budgets and more attention, but they're regarded as lesser than so they don't get that. The talk shows on air have lower ratings, but the talent is treated A list and will appear on night time talk shows, have real promotion etc. I wish soap did more primetime episodes or with streaming spin-offs ala GH: Night Shift. You can easily and very affordably create little 13 episode spin-offs that elevate the material and also would introduce new people to the main show. If they treated soaps like they mattered I think it would also help ratings. CBS does do that and regularly has their soap stars on Price Is Right and The Talk and I do think that helps them a little. But still, what would it hurt to throw an episode of Y&R or a special hour long B&B episode on a Friday night?

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Chris B said:

I think soaps have the ratings to command bigger budgets and more attention, but they're regarded as lesser than so they don't get that. The talk shows on air have lower ratings, but the talent is treated A list and will appear on night time talk shows, have real promotion etc. I wish soap did more primetime episodes or with streaming spin-offs ala GH: Night Shift. You can easily and very affordably create little 13 episode spin-offs that elevate the material and also would introduce new people to the main show. If they treated soaps like they mattered I think it would also help ratings. CBS does do that and regularly has their soap stars on Price Is Right and The Talk and I do think that helps them a little. But still, what would it hurt to throw an episode of Y&R or a special hour long B&B episode on a Friday night?

 

On the previous page, we were discussing the irony of shows that rate as Prestige TV generally don't even get the highest ratings.  What they do get is leverage.  I compared Downton Abbey and any soap in their respective heydays.  The soaps, by and large would have outpaced Downton Abbey in terms of ratings but it's Downton Abbey that has the big screen movie (with a sequel planned) as well as lots of merchandise (which, according to veteran actress Eileen Fulton, she once suggested to Procter & Gamble but they rebuffed the idea).

 

Ratings have become the metric by which the soap's value is judged but for Prestige TV, the ratings are not the defining factor, the reviews are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, just to reiterate the points on leverage: These networks will take a loss on a prestigious show because it just helps them get clout in the industry. Having an Emmy-winning or buzzed-about show helps attract A-list talent. Very few people watched Fleabag, but all the right people did, and folks like Al Pacino will more likely work with Amazon on series instead of just films because of it. Amazon has loads of cash so it’s not that big of a deal but still - they really fought for those Emmys for that and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. (Mad Men didn’t make a ton of money for a little network like AMC in the short term, but ended up making them loads in the long run.) However, it won’t sustain a show. I know everyone is talking about Peter Morgan ending The Crown at five instead of the earlier-promised six seasons to avoid dealing with touchy royal stuff like Prince Andrew’s Epstein connections, but now Netflix won’t have to pay exorbitant fees for an aging show that probably doesn’t do all that much for their bottom line.

Edited by Faulkner
Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree that reviews are what elevate a show to prestige level. The Crown has some of the best reviews around, while Grace and Frankie’s reviews are mixed at best. Which show is prestige?

All My Children was dead last in the ratings in 1971 or 1972, but they had fantastic praise and press from the industry and The NY Times. Same with Y&R. Soaps becoming socially relevant brought on their prestige, but also supercharged the race for ratings. 

If we could get to a place where ratings told a network how much they could charge for an ad again, we’d live in a very different TV universe. Everyone buys soap and toothpaste, not just women 18-49!

Let’s also remember that Downton Abbey originated on ITV, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster. Ratings are a factor, but with Julian Fellowes writing and Maggie Smith in the cast, we all knew it would be something special. 

Sidebar: I worked at a talent agency when Mad Men was initially casting. We landed one of our clients on the show for the pilot and a few seasons, but NO ONE could understand why AMC, a movie channel and also-ran to TCM, was making a TV show. It feel a like a lifetime ago!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, mikelyons said:

I do agree that reviews are what elevate a show to prestige level. The Crown has some of the best reviews around, while Grace and Frankie’s reviews are mixed at best. Which show is prestige?

All My Children was dead last in the ratings in 1971 or 1972, but they had fantastic praise and press from the industry and The NY Times. Same with Y&R. Soaps becoming socially relevant brought on their prestige, but also supercharged the race for ratings. 

If we could get to a place where ratings told a network how much they could charge for an ad again, we’d live in a very different TV universe. Everyone buys soap and toothpaste, not just women 18-49!

Let’s also remember that Downton Abbey originated on ITV, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster. Ratings are a factor, but with Julian Fellowes writing and Maggie Smith in the cast, we all knew it would be something special. 

Sidebar: I worked at a talent agency when Mad Men was initially casting. We landed one of our clients on the show for the pilot and a few seasons, but NO ONE could understand why AMC, a movie channel and also-ran to TCM, was making a TV show. It feel a like a lifetime ago!

 

 

WGBH-TV was a co-producer of the series as well.  They've done co-producing duties with ITV in the past. The two entities have a relationship that stretches back for decades, which used to consist mostly of WGBH being the U.S. presenter via PBS for movies and series that aired on the Mystery and Masterpiece Theater series but DA was different, in that WGBH was a co-producer from the very beginning.  Like you intimated, the decision-makers at WGBH likely knew of Fellowes work (and Gosford Park made him a bigger entity) and wanted "in" from the very beginning.

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Five days a week is much more demanding than once per week, which is why the comparisons between daytime and primetime can only go so far. 

Respect has to come from within and again, because this genre was originally marketed to women/housewives and all the sexist ideas that go with it (just think of the connotations that the phrase "chick flick" conjures up), I'm not sure how much respect the genre got from network executives beyond how much soap they could sell and how much they could price the ad rates. I'm still not sure

The origins most certainly have played a part in how much respect the genre gets. I think from the early 80s and on up to the early 2000s that the genre did gain a little more respect from the networks. The Daytime Emmys were a prestigious event like other awards, you had some soaps get primetime specials and Disney created Soap Net.

Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, ReddFoxx said:

The origins most certainly have played a part in how much respect the genre gets. I think from the early 80s and on up to the early 2000s that the genre did gain a little more respect from the networks. The Daytime Emmys were a prestigious event like other awards, you had some soaps get primetime specials and Disney created Soap Net.

 

Yes, I agree with this. The origins definitely have had a bearing on how the genre is viewed.  What's most unfortunate is that it stems from how companies like P&G perpetuated that mindset. Consider how soaps were marketed in the Golden Age of Television compared to something like Texaco theater that aired on NBC.  The differences are striking. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, mikelyons said:

NO ONE could understand why AMC, a movie channel and also-ran to TCM, was making a TV show.

 

If there's one thing I cannot STAND, it's this misconception (not just from you, @mikelyons, but from many, many others) that AMC was JUST a movie network with no original, scripted programming on its' lineup before "Mad Men."  What about "Remember WENN"?  I was a BIG fan of that show BITD, so it pisses me off to see WENN still being overlooked all these years later.

 

Anyways, y'all were saying?

Edited by Khan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.