You don’t have to have followed ratings for decades to realize that the daytime soap audience has dwindled over the years, but for many people out there, who haven’t followed as closely as others, the reason why that has happened could be confusing.
Special Report: Where Is The Daytime Soap Audience?
There is actually a two-pronged reason why the numbers have taken a downward spiral, and you can pretty much point to two cataclysmic occurrences that hit the daytime landscape during the 1990s. The first and easiest one to note was the “trial of the century” as it was dubbed — O.J. Simpson standing trial for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and a young man named Ronald Goldman.
That trial not only took our favorite soaps off the air for a long period of time, enabling fans to develop other interests that didn’t involve spending a few hours each day in front of the television screen, but the other issue with that trial was a cast of characters were introduced during the proceedings who were infinitely more compelling, the stakes so much higher, than anything happening in our fictional soap towns. It quite possibly spawned, or at least increased, an appetite for reality television.
While talented daytime soap writers could come up with intricate tales that might be able to fix that problem, what they could never combat was the next cataclysmic event — the advent of cable, providing the available viewing audience with so many more choices. It was easy for soaps to get high numbers back when they were carried on three out of four channel options on TV. But once there were literally hundreds of channels, it was an impossible task.
That’s not to say that we don’t get incredible stories every day currently on The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless. Of course, we do! But with both of those huge events, it shouldn’t shock people why the daytime soap audience has shrunk over the ensuing years. Do you agree? Do you think there are other reasons? Let us know in the comments section below.
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