Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, May 06, 2021

Daytime soap operas, for decades the cash cows of the television business, appear to be losing audience share in a big way, the result of competition from Oprah Winfrey, channel fragmentation, and more women working during the day.

Nielsen Media Research had found that in the first three months of the season that began in September, CBS, ABC and NBC network soaps lost 18 percent of their female viewers ages 18 to 34, another blow to broadcasters reeling from the rise of cable and satellite.

“Soap-opera ratings don’t usually change that dramatically,” [CBS research director David] Poltrack says. “They’re usually fairly stable.”

I’m surprised this didn’t set in years ago, when women started joining the workforce in large numbers during the ’70s and ’80s. It’s hard to believe there’s been as big an audience for these shows as there was back when stay-at-home moms and housewives were the rule, rather than the exception.

It’s not like melodramatic twaddle will ever go out of style, but really, I can’t watch any daytime soap episode without being struck by just how cheesy it is, even by television standards: The overwrought acting, the cinematography, the writing — the whole nine yards. It’s always been a world apart, an anachronistic corner of the boob tube that’s the equivalent of junk food.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/06/2021 06:03:01 PM
Category: TV
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