(Goutman and Bloom, that is.)
You know, I really, REALLY wanted to support the Luke and Noah story, and I wanted to believe that CBS and P&G, or P&G, or Televest, or whatever the hell it’s calling itself nowadays, had the best interest of ATWT and of this story at heart.
When there was an outcry because Luke and Noah hadn’t kissed, I wanted to be patient. I was trying so hard to understand. Of course it’s a new, different, innovative story, I told myself. The audience needs time to adjust.
But I read that Soap Opera Digest interview, and I think I’m fresh out of enthusiasm or belief.
Forget the creative aspect – let’s look at this from a business perspective. You had your most dynamic story in decades. You had a scene (the first Luke/Noah kiss) that generated over a quarter of a million hits on YouTube.* That is approximately a quarter of your existing audience! Any show would DIE to have those kinds of numbers, and that kind of opportunity to expand their audience. It was no coincidence that ATWT rose to #3 during that story’s upswing.
I think those ratings could have gone much, much higher. But someone made an extremely curious choice: to hide the story under a barrel and to try to play bait-and-switch with the audience. I wanted so much to believe that this story was an old-fashioned romance….that it was going slowly and sweetly and would eventually lead up to something. Instead, the story’s gone round and round in a circle.
By keeping the boys under wraps, ATWT, CBS and P&G definitely escaped that awful FREE PUBLICITY that the American Family Association gave them. But they also let those potential new viewers slip like sands through the hourglass.
Honestly, my lifetime love affair with ATWT and GL is becoming harder and harder to sustain. P&G has over the years, made some of the dumbest business choices I’ve ever seen. They’ve frittered away a history that could have been capitalized on to the tune of millions of dollars. Their talent management skills are questionable. (Two words: Michael Zaslow.)
And creatively, it’s hard to invest in a storyline on a P&G show, even a great one, because budget restrictions and creative limitations almost guarantee that we, the viewers, will NEVER see a payoff to a story we love. The actor/actress will leave, or the show will get a new writer or producer, or the wind will blow south instead of east. When we don’t see a payoff, there is no reason to get invested in Chapter 1.
To TPTB: If you really, really think Luke and Noah are a huge, important part of the show….as a journalist I believe actions speak far louder than words. When I see that Parker and Liberty – two characters who are underage – are allowed to have sex onscreen? When I see that Jake Silbermann (Noah) is still NOT on contract? That tells me that any declarations that Luke and Noah is an integral part of the show? Are just words.
* EDITED TO ADD: Hey, I just wanted to clarify this number…. A quarter of a million hits is the number that the YouTube clips reached in just a matter of days once they were posted. According to the folks at VanHansis.net, the initial kiss has now been viewed by over a million YouTubers.
Thanks, guys, for helping me clarify a potentially confusing statement.