The Death of Daytime Television Drama

Categories: Daytime and Soap Opera TV Ratings

Written By

April 27th, 2008

All My Children’s Susan Lucci as Erica KaneThe obituary was apparently written long ago.  I published daytime numbers for a few months or so, and then I just stopped.  Our access was somewhat limited, and even on "we're OLD and we know it CBS"  who typically has the largest share of the daytime audience, we were only looking at around 4 million viewers for the daypart, of which, less than 25% of them were typically in the 18-49 range.  ABC and NBC typically had fewer viewers overall, but a few more in the 18-49 year old demographic.

But even posts from a couple of months ago still get some traffic and we did get a few requests to see the information so Bill G. started posting it again as of this week. 

While things haven't changed much from a couple of months ago (things seem a little worse, but not much) some of the comments the post generated were very interesting.  Specifically some posts from reader "Doug" who also used to run a ratings based web site. 

Doug chimed in with some historical data from slightly less than 6 years ago.  Since that time, Days of Our lives is down 44% overall , 52% among 18-49 year old women and a stunning 74% among women 18-34.  74% in just six years.  The tombstone will read: "Young women no longer watched".  The sands in the hourglass appear to most definitely be running out for Days of Our Lives

No soap has bucked this trend completely, though some are better than others.  Older women are hanging on to All My Children and General Hospital which dropped only 37% and 31% respectively overall, but in the female age demos they're down more.  All My Children has lost roughly 43% of its 18-49 year old female base and a whopping 62% of its 18-34 year old females.   

Erica Kane just ain't what she used to be.

Bold & The Beautiful may be holding up better overall, and in the 18-49 demo, where it's lost 25% and 23% of its overall and 18-49 year old female base respectively since 2002, it still has lost 50% of its female 18-34 year old audience.

As the World Turns and Young and The Restless outperform the field in terms of youth drop, being down 29% and 17% overall respectively, but down "only" 19% and 15% among 18-49 year old women. Among women 18-34 they're down 30% and 37%.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures