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Highest Rated Episodes/Weeks of Each Show?


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Someone mentioned in one of the Y&R threads that the week Victor came back from the dead the second time was one of Y&R's highest rated weeks. That got me thinking, what was the highest rated week or episode of each show? 

 

I mean, we all know the highest rated episode of a soap opera was Luke and Laura's wedding in '81, but how about Loving? Or All My Children? Or Sunset Beach? I'm curious as to which storylines had people tuning in an unusually high number.

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I’ve seen it written here a number of times that one of, if not ATWT’s highest rater was Steve & Betsy’s wedding during May 1984. Not sure if any other ATWT episodes had ever beaten that one off the top of my head...

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Great idea, I'd love to know too. In the recent GL reunions they mentioned some storylines being successful ratings wise. I think Carrie's story was one (Ross' ex wife) as well as the Bauer barbecues.

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Posted (edited)

From what I can recall, by reading it here or in the rags...

 

30 million for GH's Luke & Laura's wedding on Nov. 16th/17th, 1981

 

20 million allegedly for ATWT's Steve & Betsy's 1984 wedding  (would love to see the actual numbers for that week) 

 

I don't know the breakdowns of Household = Number of Total Viewers, as the Nielsen numbers reflected a lower volume of people back in the day, but I seem to recall reading Steve & Kayla's 1988 wedding was DAYS' highest rated episode. But by all means, someone correct me if I'm wrong :)

 

Side Note: In another thread (I think the 1980's ratings thread), a wonderful historian set the record straight about GL's much ballyhooed 3 weeks at No. 1 in August of 1984... as it turns out, it was NOT the No. 1 rated soap, however it was No. 1 in its timeslot, beating General Hospital (and Santa Barbara).  Y&R was 1, AMC was 2, GL was 3, GH was 4th. 

 

Edited by Gray Bunny
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10 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

From what I can recall, by reading it here or in the rags...

 

30 million for GH's Luke & Laura's wedding on Nov. 16th/17th, 1981

 

20 million allegedly for ATWT's Steve & Betsy's 1984 wedding  (would love to see the actual numbers for that week) 

 

I don't know the breakdowns of Household = Number of Total Viewers, as the Nielsen numbers reflected a lower volume of people back in the day, but I seem to recall reading Steve & Kayla's 1988 wedding was DAYS' highest rated episode. But by all means, someone correct me if I'm wrong :)

 

Side Note: In another thread (I think the 1980's ratings thread), a wonderful historian set the record straight about GL's much ballyhooed 3 weeks at No. 1 in August of 1984... as it turns out, it was NOT the No. 1 rated soap, however it was No. 1 in its timeslot, beating General Hospital (and Santa Barbara).  Y&R was 1, AMC was 2, GL was 3, GH was 4th. 

 


Haha I remember having that conversation about GL in 1984. I wonder how it publications got it so wrong later on. On the flipside based on the 70s ratings discussion we have here did you know that GL did hit #1 in the late 70’s under the height of the Dobson era? That’s something I had never read nor heard about before either. 
 

All the others I’ve heard before. Can’t confirm exact numbers but I also know that Victor & Nikki’s on Y&R wedding in 1984 was a hit as well with 20+ million viewers as well from what I’ve read. 

On 5/12/2020 at 5:39 PM, Darn said:

Someone mentioned in one of the Y&R threads that the week Victor came back from the dead the second time was one of Y&R's highest rated weeks. That got me thinking, what was the highest rated week or episode of each show? 

 

 

I remember it being big but don’t have exact data, however I do know that a few months later in January 1994 the week Cole & Victoria found they were possibly siblings Y&R achieved a blowout rating of a 9.8 that week. 

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Out of the new soaps I recall SuBe having a decent debut week, but it pretty much remained the highest it was ever rated. Passions was the only one of the three late 90s soaps (SuBe, Port Charles, Passions) that ended up having a bit of a surge in the ratings about 3-4 years into the run before collapsing.

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Posted (edited)

I seem to recall one random week during the holidays (Christmastime 2000 maybe?), Passions had an unexpected jump up to a 2.9. It would otherwise get around a 2.5 during their holiday highs in the early years. 

 

I think Sunset Beach debuted at a 2.8 and never got higher than that. The Tsunami/Earthquake story in the summer of '98 garnered a 2.5. 

 

 

Side note: I barely remember what I did last weekend, yet I can name off random soap ratings facts from 20+ years ago. My mind is weird. lol 

 

Edited by Gray Bunny
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I vaguely recall reading years ago that all of ABC Daytime benefited from L&L’s wedding, giving AMC and OLTL (and maybe EON) their highest ratings, too.

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It's difficult to gauge because ratings measurement and process changed over the years.

 

 

Check out the ratings threads in the Cancelled Soap section. I, and several others, have posted ratings from the 50's thru to the 80's.

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The "Days" average for the 1971-1972 and 1972-1973 TV seasons was 9.9. So, that would mean a lot of episodes those two seasons got Nielsen ratings in the 10.0+ range.

The last time "Days" was # 1 for the week in the ratings, the week of 7/25/88 (Steve and Kayla's part 2 of the wedding), they averaged an 8.1 for the week.

Daily ratings are available since 6/13/05. Doing a quick check of the records, these are the 14 highest-rated "Days" episodes, the only ones to get a 2,9 or higher rating:
 
Monday 1/16/2006 10230 3.5
Monday 1/15/2007 10484 3.2
Wednesday 1/11/2006 10227 3.1
Friday 1/13/2006 10229 3
Friday 8/5/2005 10116 2.9
Friday 12/9/2005 10205 2.9
Friday 12/23/2005 10215 2.9
Friday 12/30/2005 10220 2.9
Tuesday 1/3/2006 10221 2.9
Friday 1/6/2006 10224 2.9
Tuesday 1/10/2006 10226 2.9
Tuesday 1/17/2006 10231 2.9
Tuesday 3/21/2006 10275 2.9
Monday 7/31/2006 10367 2.9
Tuesday 12/26/2006 10470 2.9
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5 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

It's difficult to gauge because ratings measurement and process changed over the years.

 

 

Check out the ratings threads in the Cancelled Soap section. I, and several others, have posted ratings from the 50's thru to the 80's.


LOL TBH I’ve always hated the share and HH’s being the main factor as opposed to the actual number of viewers. I have to admit I gave up on the Nielsens as network were renewing shows in the 2’s in recent years, I mean CBS even renewed a prime time show getting less than Y&R in daytime. Too many other factors at play nowadays. 

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21 minutes ago, soapfan770 said:


LOL TBH I’ve always hated the share and HH’s being the main factor as opposed to the actual number of viewers. I have to admit I gave up on the Nielsens as network were renewing shows in the 2’s in recent years, I mean CBS even renewed a prime time show getting less than Y&R in daytime. Too many other factors at play nowadays. 

Exactly, Neilson is so outdated lol. 
I want to see Streaming numbers.

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33 minutes ago, soapfan770 said:


LOL TBH I’ve always hated the share and HH’s being the main factor as opposed to the actual number of viewers. I have to admit I gave up on the Nielsens as network were renewing shows in the 2’s in recent years, I mean CBS even renewed a prime time show getting less than Y&R in daytime. Too many other factors at play nowadays. 

 

Well, that's true. There's so many factors that come into play nowadays than just traditional same day numbers from Nielsen. I mean CW's lowest rated show, Dynasty, has been renewed for a fourth season and it averages around 500k viewers an episode with awfully low demos. However, it performs really well internationally. 

 

I think nowadays when networks decide whether to cancel or renew a show they take into account how these shows perform on streaming platforms and international figures and not just same day domestic numbers. TV consumption has changed. I would be interested to see the streaming numbers for the soaps. 

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55 minutes ago, soapfan770 said:

I mean CBS even renewed a prime time show getting less than Y&R in daytime. 

 

Yeah I don't understand how that makes financial sense? Maybe it's because soaps don't have reruns?

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26 minutes ago, GLATWT88 said:

 

Well, that's true. There's so many factors that come into play nowadays than just traditional same day numbers from Nielsen. I mean CW's lowest rated show, Dynasty, has been renewed for a fourth season and it averages around 500k viewers an episode with awfully low demos. However, it performs really well internationally. 

 

I think nowadays when networks decide whether to cancel or renew a show they take into account how these shows perform on streaming platforms and international figures and not just same day domestic numbers. TV consumption has changed. I would be interested to see the streaming numbers for the soaps. 

I guess that explains days, Number one on NBC app = Two renewals in one year.
I think YR and bold do super well on CBS All Access, And Internationally.
I wonder how GH does on hulu and ABCS site.

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