Soaps have changed quite a bit since the early days. For one thing, they used to be on the radio, then on TV, and now you can catch them online whenever you want.
They used to be 15 minutes, then they went to a half-hour, then an hour. Another World was even 90 minutes for a short time period. They were live, then live to tape, then taped months in advance.
They’ve gotten more racially and ethnically diverse, they’ve introduced same-sex couples, they’ve gone on location, and they’ve tackled serious and controversial issues. But how much change is too much change? Almost 10,000 viewers expressed their opinions.
Hope and Change
Time waits for no man (or soap), remind 59% of you. The shows have every right — even an obligation — to evolve.
Right now, The Young and the Restless (YR) has gone to a model where every episode is a new day.
That means an end to the classic soap cliffhanger, where a scene ends one day and picks up in exactly that spot the next. It also means no more six-month long parties (yes, Passions, we’re looking at you).
All soaps have gone to shorter scenes and more modern dialogue. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Some Consistency, Please
Guiding Light changed its production model. And got canceled, anyway. Both The City and Sunset Beach tried to make their videotaped shows look like film, and fans rebelled. Those two barely lasted a decade.
That’s evidence enough for 40% of the audience that change doesn’t work. All it does is alienate long-time viewers.
You tune into soaps to watch characters you love, on sets you love, for stories you love. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The Powers That Be should, instead, focus on making today’s soaps as classic as the episodes that came before them.