I know it seems as if I’ve been awfully lazy lately, what with sharing links with all of you to other blogs and the like. I do have more original content coming (including the rest of The List).
But I had to namecheck Roger Newcomb’s We Love Soaps blog here and say “Bravo” for his latest post. Roger points out how a miniscule number of performers have monopolized most of the recent Soap Opera Digest covers. (I was shocked when I picked up my own copy of the magazine yesterday and said, “Eric Braeden – again??!!??”)
This isn’t exactly a new problem. I got very fed up in the mid-1990s with Digest, which at one point I started to call Days of our Lives Digest. For a good five or six years, every issue (it was bi-weekly then) was either Bo/Billie or Bo/Hope or John/Marlena or Sami/Carrie/Austin. Before Soap Opera Weekly became Reader’s-Digest-crossed-with-The-Globe a few years back, I counted on THAT magazine to at least be fair and equitable in what they displayed on the cover.
Roger makes a great point about the Luke/Noah story being incredibly popular and attention-getting, yet Van Hansis (Luke) has never been on the cover. Yes, perhaps Luke and Noah kissing on the cover would be a lot to handle for readers. But Hansis himself shoulda been a cover boy LONG ago. In a market where youth is king, I’m wondering why the magazines would feature the 67-year-old Braeden so frequently instead of the 27-year-old Hansis. And hey, I have mad respect for Braeden. This isn’t about ageism or pushing vets offstage – this is about BALANCE.
The magazines generally say that they are driven to put what’s popular and what sells on the cover. But it seems like that’s a bit of a chicken-or-egg discussion to me. I mean, I’m in PR and I completely understand the shows have their own agenda and want to push particular stories. But the magazines should endeavor to feature couples and stories from ALL shows that are making an impact.
GL’s dismal ratings have to be in part due to the fact that major stories from the show hasn’t been on the cover of either magazine for years (I don’t believe it was featured even for its 70th anniversary). How can you promote a compelling story when people have forgotten you existed and think you were canceled? Unfortunately, by promoting only a few shows (mainly GH, DAYS, and Y&R), the magazines may be aiding and abetting the death of daytime by making it a self-fulfulling prophecy.