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Realism on Soap Operas


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19 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

I had to guffaw when I read that article a few years ago, when P&G claimed to believe that 'Choose Your Own Adventure" would be the wave of the future, when they produced soaps, with the exception of a few years, here and there, they appeared to be one of the most risk-averse production companies I could think of.

Did they have their fingers crossed when they said that?

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2 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

Did they have their fingers crossed when they said that?

They were probably assuming or hoping that no daytime drama fans would be reading that article.

What those comments told me though, was that, whether pursue that particular model, they are clearly looking for a way in to using "television"/streaming or whatever the latest model will be to sell their product via entertainment on some screen. All while leaving their history behind, hopefully forgotten.

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5 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

What those comments told me though, was that, whether pursue that particular model, they are clearly looking for a way in to using "television"/streaming or whatever the latest model will be to sell their product via entertainment on some screen. All while leaving their history behind, hopefully forgotten.

Absolutely shameful.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Faulkner said:

My question about taking a hour-long soap down to a half-hour soap, given that scaling down doesn’t always give you as much bang for your buck: is it that much more cost-effective to do it, considering that the networks would, in addition, have to develop new programming that would need to get picked up by local affiliates to fill in the gaps (which has its own set of unique upfront costs including marketing)? That is, if they don’t want to give back time to the affiliates. How much would it affect ad sales? 
 

Just curious… @Errol?

Those are good questions Faulkner.

I am one that likes soaps being an hour long and would prefer they stay that way.. (Though half hour soaps are better than no soaps at all). I particularly like the longer soaps, for when there are big casts and lots of storylines going on. I like to see more of the characters/storylines in each episodes. I feel this way about primetime dramas, and most of them are usually an hour as well. 

Regarding half hour shows, back in the day Y&R did a good job with the half hour episodes. Their shows were nice and meaty, like that episode someone posted in the classic Y&R thread that showed the Brooks sister and their father coming together at the hospital for their mother. That was a very well done, filling 30 minutes. B&B on the other hand handles their half hour shows very poorly. They focus on the same few people over and over again, and the show feels like empty calories.

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24 minutes ago, xtr said:

Regarding half hour shows, back in the day Y&R did a good job with the half hour episodes. Their shows were nice and meaty, like that episode someone posted in the classic Y&R thread that showed the Brooks sister and their father coming together at the hospital for their mother. That was a very well done, filling 30 minutes. B&B on the other hand handles their half hour shows very poorly. They focus on the same few people over and over again, and the show feels like empty calories.

In a better world, I generally prefer hour-long shows too, as I love the big-canvas soaps (like Curlee’s GL) that networks can no longer afford. (GH is managing their larger cast relatively decently right now, but they’ve leaned down a bit.) 

I do wonder if Y&R would be better served creatively as a half-hour nowadays, as certainly the current content—which they’ve shown no interest in adjusting, despite wide dissatisfaction from viewers—doesn’t justify a full hour. But it could end up like its sister soap B&B, which hasn’t made good use of its trim runtime in years, as you say. (A 30-minute slot these days also has many more ads than the soaps we had years ago.)

I’m genuinely curious whether or not scaling down could ever be a viable option. Is it just easier to cancel something outright? At least in this country, aside from AW going back from 90 to 60 minutes in 1980 or a show completely rebooting years later (like the online AMC), you just don’t hear of it happening much. 

I know some set-in-their-ways fans would balk, but if offered the choice of a shorter, 30-minute show vs. no show at all, I feel like people would grudgingly come around. I know some posters have envisioned, instead of launching potentially expensive new programming, padding out the gaps with classic soap episodes, but that could be problematic for several reasons (one being that it’ll make it clear to viewers how inferior the current, shallow, low-budget shows are compared to soaps of yore). Plus, I’m not sure how ad sales-friendly it is.

 

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19 hours ago, Faulkner said:

My question about taking a hour-long soap down to a half-hour soap, given that scaling down doesn’t always give you as much bang for your buck: is it that much more cost-effective to do it, considering that the networks would, in addition, have to develop new programming that would need to get picked up by local affiliates to fill in the gaps (which has its own set of unique upfront costs including marketing)? That is, if they don’t want to give back time to the affiliates. How much would it affect ad sales? 
 

Just curious… @Errol?

Reducing the amount of content from one hour to half hour (really 36 minutes to 18/19 minutes after commercials) would drastically reduce the budget and the amount of cast the show has on contract. The long-term benefit, however, would be the ability to sell internationally and allows the show to become more bingeable on a streaming service. 

Without giving back a time slot, the network(s) could program whatever they want during the hours they own. Marketing wise, yes there would be a cost to launch a new daytime program, but no where near the outrageous prices Disney for instance spent  to launch "Katie" a few years back (roughly $80 million). I'd imagine the overall cost to produce more than programs in the five hours for CBS, three for ABC and essentially one hour for NBC would be equal to what they are spending now, but with any one hour getting two shows rather than one individual program it'll give the daytime lineups more diverse programming. At least that would be the hope.

I don't understand why networks think all daytime programming should consist of is soap operas, game shows and talk shows and primetime can be comedies, dramas, reality TV, and other genres. No one is watching TV on a schedule these days and reruns of primetime shows flourish on cable during the daytime hours. No reason they can't play around and take chances. Another tangent post. Sorry.

(This is no way means I want the networks to cancel the soaps or air reality shows in their place)

 

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