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Monday, May 18, 2009

What's in a Name?

For those who have been visiting my blog, you will notice a change in the title. Originally, a Days of Our Lives Blog, it has now been expanded to include other venues. Whether or not Days of Our Lives survives the current writing staff, I have moved on to other projects, which will be posted here along with other television news.

Many say that soap operas have outlived their time. That the fans have lost interest in the genre. That is so far from true. The only changes have been in the board rooms and in technology. The fans are just as loyal as ever; however, their viewership has changed.

The major difference is that they are no longer limited to viewing according the networks schedule. With the Internet, delayed viewing and Soapnet, people have more options of when and how to watch, which has been reflected in the ratings. In the past, soaps were a consistent and stable source of income for the networks. In many cases, they financially carried prime time TV; however, the current members of the board rooms choose to over look the genre's financial history and the loyalty of the fan base.

Part of the problem comes from the soaps as well. Originally, the writing in soaps was unique and fresh. They pushed the limits and addressed social issues. Many of the firsts in television happened in the soap opera genre. Nearly all the soaps have lost this edge. Instead, the writers and executive producers are attempting to compete with the more explicit content of the cable networks. T and A sells short term, but it is well written storylines and characters that keep viewer coming back.

The original three networks had an monopoly. No other network or venue can compete with the decades of loyalty the soaps had. Soap viewing is generational; unlike any other genre or venues, it is handed down from grandparents and parents to the future generation. Many people have fond memories of watching with their mother or grandmother. However, these days most of those same people will not allow their children to watch due solely to the inappropriate content.

I fully believe that if the soaps were to return to the basic that their profitability would again make the board rooms see them as assets to be nurtured, instead of liabilities to be replaced. It is still possible. But it is going to take one person with the courage and financial resources to prove it.

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