Disappearing acts

As some of my readers may remember, I went on a blogging hiatus last summer as Guiding Light neared the end of its run. I eventually changed my mind and came back to discuss the final days of GL and other topics.

But come this September, I really will be out of things to say. When As The World Turns is gone, my entire soap lineup will be no more.

I know the remaining six shows and there are aspects of each that I like. None of them have ever been “my” show, however, and I’m not sure if one will capture my attention in these next few months.

Meanwhile, it got me thinking about the collateral damage that these cancellations will do.

For example, my reaction is probably somewhat typical of others.  I wasn’t exactly a dedicated viewer of any other programs in the daypart, but I DVR’d two hours of shows (and commercials). Now that two hours will be down to zero – meaning less opportunities for advertisers to reach me (and others like me).

I don’t say this in a spoiled-brat, I’ll-show-you way. But I say this very seriously: I am considering simply dropping CBS from my viewing lineup. That’s one less potential audience member. That affects nighttime shows as well as the remaining daytime ones. I simply have too many other options to consider investing time and attention in programming by a network who has given a big chunk of fans the middle finger.

It makes me sad that the traditional soaps are disappearing, but as I’ve mentioned before, there’s been a fatal error repeated over and over by various shows: they stopped creating, writing and crafting the program for the people who actually watch it, and did everything under the sun to attract everyone BUT that audience. Thus far, it has made for EPIC FAIL.

6 thoughts on “Disappearing acts

  1. Completely. And they kept making the same mistake no matter how many times we said it…the press said it…the blogs said it……heck I know Sri Rou said it while he was promoting Night Shift 2…..when they went to chase the teens…they ignored the older viewers who were the traditional enterence to the medium. The older viewers didn’t recognize anyone on the screen and stopped watching….and stopped introducing their shows to thier children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc. And yet most of the PTB in daytime act like it’s all the fault of OJ. My sister worked at NBC at the time of the writers’ strike and she cited OJ as a reason why they kept the soaps on the air.

  2. I’m like you, Patrick. My mother got me watching GL and WT, and I picked up SFT and Cap along the way. But when WT goes, there will be no reason for me to turn on the TV in the day any more. I’m sure some of the other shows have their good points, but none will ever be MY shows.

  3. But Patrick, this has been going on for 15 years on all the networks! The execs have never listened–even before there were critics or blogs–and just kept pouring on more of the same. And the audience just kept deserting. Most of my early Marlena readers left years ago–at the end of the 90’s. CBS was just extra rude about it the last few years. Attitude always comes from the top.

    I remember the days when class people (at ABC, almost all women) ran the daytime divisions. They were a pleasure to know. Their pride in what they were doing showed up in their soaps,

    I have little to watch either in the afternoon anymore, either, dear. I am so bored.

  4. EPIC FAIL is a good way to describe it. Look at the shows that have found success — they have discovered the key lies in multigenerational, character driven storytelling. NOT plot-driven teenage crap! There is room for that kind of thing, but it’s kind of like being on an all-candy diet.

    You know when I think this downfall came? Start with the demonic possession on DAYS OF OUR LIVES in the ’90s. Then everyone had witches, Hell portals, virtual reality experiences, paintings that came to life, imagined cartoon sequences, time travel, talking dolls, serial killers, clones, yada yada yada. Soap operas became too reliant on plot devices to grab the audience’s attention.

    All the while, a little show like AS THE WORLD TURNS rocked along without much of that (until recently – I wasn’t a fan of the slasher story or the aging spa). This show was #3 in 2007! What the hell happened?! Was it a decline in quality? I think not … the viewers are just going elsewhere for their dramatic fix and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop the bleeding.

    I just hope that the people who run ATWT will let this series depart with its head held high. They will literally be closing the book on an entire era of P&G soap operas … let’s hope they don’t ruin it somehow by trying to do a summer of “love on the run” stories, know what I mean?

  5. Once again you have nailed it. I, too, in September will have lost both of “my shows”. I was not surprised by the cancellation, but I am very, very sad. I have recorded this show for years and starting in September will no longer be a daytime viewer of any show. I’ve watched OLTL a little on SoapNet and I enjoy it, but it has never kept my interest. I simply don’t have the years invested in OLTL like I do in ATWT and GL. I have also decided to not watch shows on CBS. They left this viewer behind so I will return the favor.

  6. It is an EPIC FAIL, and sadly I don’t think they have listened at all. In some ways, it is too late as even if they started today, it wouldn’t bring back all that was lost.

    I’ll miss reading your blog about soap opera related issues, but I completely understand stopping if there is nothing that grabs you.

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