Soap Opera Ratings: New Lows for 'Young & the Restless' and 'Days of Our Lives'

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April 13th, 2012

Ratings for the week of April 2-6, 2012

Source: Soap Opera Network

Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 3,960,000 (-164,000/-603,000) <—– new low *
2. B&B 2,811,000 (-174,000/-16,000)
3. GH 2,244,000 (-11,000/-361,000)
4. DAYS 2,162,000 (-137,000/-201,000) <—– new low **

* Previous low: 4,065,000 (March 19-23, 2012)

** Previous low: 2,228,000 (March 28 – April 1, 2011)

1. Y&R 3.0/10 (-.1/-.3) <—– ties low
2. B&B 2.2/7 (same/+.2)
3. GH 1.7/5 (same/-.3)
4. DAYS 1.6/5 (-.1/-.1) <—– ties low

Women 18-49 Viewers
1. Y&R 763,000 (-102,00/-131,000)
2. B&B 609,000 (-89,000/+106,000)
3. GH 538,000 (-32,000/-262,000)
4. DAYS 439,000 (-51,000/-175,000) <—– new low * (3rd straight week)

* Previous low: 490,000 (March 26-30, 2012)

Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.2/8 (-.2/-.2) <—– ties low
2. B&B 1.0/6 (-.1/+.2)
3. GH 0.8/5 (-.1/-.4) <—– ties low
4. DAYS 0.7/5 (-.1/-.2) <—– new low *

* Previous low: 0.8/5 (March 26-30, 2012)

All ratings are Live+Same Day DVR viewing.

Source: Soap Opera Network

Y&R = The Young & The Restless, B&B = The Bold and The Beautiful, GH = General Hospital, DAYS = Days of Our Lives.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

  • 90210

    well let’s hope they’re counting Online streams because Days is available to watch at nbc.com I LOVE days! i tried watching the other soaps but I can barely stomache them. BB has hot guys on there and basically eye candy ont he mute button along with predictable random storylines that get made fun of on the Soup. General Hospital seems good. Very complicated but not too bad. Y& R is alluring and draws you in. Days I like because I’ve been watching it since 2002. and my friend who watched it since the late 70s educated me on it. I REALLY hope Days pulls another stunt or something because this show deserves alot better ratings than this. Days is forever underrated. I still have the time when they won 2 daytime emmys few years back that clip is on my DVR still haha

  • I like this show


  • MWF

    @Pat: clearly you are surprised that ABC renewed GH, that’s fine. There are many of us who are not surprised and have been saying for some time that it would make sense to renew GH. This view has been endorsed by ABC’s renewal of GH and this is a fact. Speculating about how it was all about The Revolution’s dismal ratings seems rather simplistic. It’s clearly more complex than that which is perhaps why you are surprised GH was renewed.

    @Jeff: Glass looks half full to me too!

  • Thomas Blake Castle

    One last thing, as a devoted fan of the soap opera genre in general, I was no different from many of you as I thought the soaps needed to change somehow in order to survive. I was ignorant to the true facts for many years regarding this issue. I saw the viewing numbers decrease year after year and as most of the viewers, assumed that people were no longer interested in these programs. When All My Children and One Life to Live were cancelled by ABC last year I was appalled by the incredible number of individuals who reacted negatively to the cancellations. This caught my attention and at first based on simple speculation, i began to wonder if it was an actual loss of viewership that caused these cancellations or just a failure of the Nielsen ratings system to adjust it’s perimeters in which it used to accumulate the ratings data to properly account for all the recently prevalent viewing options. At that thought, I began to investigate how Nielsen determined those numbers and what they excluded and included in the weekly ratings releases that I had watched religiously to much disappointment for many years. Upon commencement of my investigation, I found out that the ratings released each week did not properly reflect actual viewership of these programs. They did not include soapnet. They did not include internet viewing. They did not include viewers who watched on DVR if they FF through any of the commercials or watched after midnight
    I also learned that Nielsen ratings are just an estimate which uses one viewer for every thirty thousand to determine who is viewing what. I had recently seen a press release from ABC that had the top ten shows overall that were viewed online which had three of the soaps in the top ten of all TV programs including prime time which made me wonder how shows that are supposed to be bleeding viewers can be in the top ten of any group of tv shows> I had been to the TV guide website several times each week for many months and always saw Days of our Lives and Y&R in the top five videos of the day category I mean those two shows were in the top five videos above all primetime and other format shows everytime I went on that website> Then i realized that the soaps were still as popular as ever but the problem was that in recent years new viewing options were being utilized by the viewers and that all viewers were not being counted.

  • Thomas Blake Castle

    The thing about the soaps that I just recently realized is that they now have as many as four generations of viewers in any particular family and I would not be able to validate this claim as it would be virtually impossible to do but there could be more viewers now than ever, but due to circumstances that cant be helped out, at this time we have no idea. The people I know and my employees and friends watch them regularly, on DVR, soapnet, the internet. There are as many who watch them now as I can remember. I own a store and we always run out of soap mags every week no matter how many copies we receive. Customers will call on Fridays to see if the soap mags have been received yet. I see people walking around with a soap mag on their cart reading it as they shop. I find soap mags hidden in work areas as employees have been reading them. This is how it has always been for my entire life so in other words people still love the soaps as much as ever>

  • j


  • me

    While I can agree that more and more people watch soaps at other times of the day, the fact is a network is not going to make any money producing shows that we just watch later at night on our DVRs and FF through commercials.

    And no one will ever make me believe that 361,000 people suddenly figured out how to work their DVRs just this past year and said “I think I’ll tape GH now instead of watching it live”.

  • Derrick

    Especially Y&R. Sony better do something about MAB!!!!
    Days is NOT doing so good either!!
    HELL, all soaps are awful!

  • Andrew


    Why do you think Y&R and B&B will be around? Because they’re popular worldwide?

    I think Dave A mentioned CBS will make a decision based on the performance on their network, since they don’t own those. If it was international success as the factors, ATWT, Sunset Beach, Guiding Light, and the British series Taggart (OK, not a soap but it was sold to around 70 countries) would’ve still been on the air.

    But none of them are and Taggart was axed last year after 28 years on the air, and the Australian series Neighbours has shocking ratings Down Under (hence the move to digital there) and only the UK providing a huge bulk of the production costs keeps it alive. The moment the UK ends their funding, Neighbours will be off the air.

  • CrimTV

    I’ve never really looked at daytime ratings to be honest but are the viewing numbers of each episode on Monday-Friday averaged into these numbers seen above?

  • MBmomof3

    Other than rare occassions, I haven’t watched my soaps in real time since we purchased our first VCR back in the late 1980s. I now watch primarily on SoapNet (which will soon be gone)or the internet. Because I knew SoapNet was going away and I mostly watch online, I really believed that AMC, OLTL and eventually GH would end up online. In hindsight I feel pretty naive that I believed ABC/D and Prospect Park when they told the fans their shows would be available online after network cancellation. However, I really feel for the talented cast members from both shows who were onboard with PP, only to be offered $50 per episode and a move to Canada. That figure was reported in Soap Opera Digest in an interview with Jill Larsen who played Opal on AMC.

    I still think soaps could succeed online even if they weren’t called AMC or OLTL. I’m curious; do any of the posters on this site watch any of the online soaps such as The Bay, Gotham, Venice, or others?

  • MBmomof3

    @90210, I agree that B&B makes great fodder for The Soup (not hating B&B, just a big Soup fan). Joel McHale used to do a whole segment on soaps called “My Stories”. After OLTL went off the air I sent SoupTV website an email suggesting they do commentary on The Revolution and/or The Chew. I haven’t seen them actually do one, but I’m sure there is plenty of material to work with.

  • Rob R

    Thomas Blake Castle — Thank you for your very thoughtful posts and your analysis of the alternate measurements of the total viewing for DAYS. It is not just soap operas that the media keeps saying are hitting “NEW LOWS!” in viewership. It is certainly happening for prime time shows as well. The most desirable viewers to advertisers (reasonably affluent persons between the ages of 18 and 49) are PRECISELY the viewers that rarely sit down and watch television live or before midnight on their DVRs. They are watching on mobile devices, on weekend DVRs. Can the networks figure out how to monetize this or not? It is a huge issue not just for soaps but for prime time as well. I am guilty too. I have not missed an episode of DAYS in ten years, am in the desirable demo (barely), but this week I only watched one episode of DAYS on my DVR before Midnight, and I fast forwarded through a few of the commercials. I watched the other four episodes of DAYS more than 24 hours after they aired (in full), so if I had been a Nielsen viewer, this devout fan of DAYS would not have been counted.

  • MBmomof3

    Speaking of Joel Mchale, I saw him interviewed on Piers Morgan (by fill-in Rosie O’Donnell) and they discussed the network cancellation of his show Community and a save from cancellation by the devoted fans. He said that it really had to do with the demographic of the fans. Saying that if his father’s generatiion were the fanbase they couldn’t have saved the show, because it was done primarily through social media. I found that really interesting becuase I think that had a lot to do with why ATWT & GL weren’t saved. I know Richard has asked that question, why OLTL fans think only their show was worthy of being saved. I firmly believe it was that those shows skewed an older demo than some of the other soaps. I’m sure someone on here will correct me if I’m wrong. :)

    The reason AMC & OLTL weren’t saved by the fans has to do with the machinations of ABC/D & PP. Thus my hatred for those entities. I was at the store with my daughter the other day and saw a license plate “LUVDIZNY” I said, “I’m going to get a plate that says “H8DIZNY”. Of course I was joking, but she was mortified at the thought. A mother’s job is never done.

  • Pat

    @ MWF

    You’re probably right that there were a few complex internal factors (contracts of actors/crew members, etc) that went into ABC’s decision to reup GH that none of us publicly on the outside know about or will ever know about. After all, none of us have access to all of the exact financial data that ABC/Disney was dealing with at the exact time of their decision-making.

    But from looking at the ratings data at the top of this page, it just doesn’t appear (from the outside, at least) that ABC decided to renew GH primarily due to its own ratings peformance. These numbers for GH are on par with and actually lower than what GL, ATWT, and AMC were getting at the time of their cancellation notices in the last few years.

    Talk shows have slightly lower ratings expectations than soap operas because they’re much cheaper to produce, as you see with ABC’s The Chew and CBS’s The Talk in the low 2.0-2.3 mil range. But it seems merely because The Revolution was so embarrasingly low and not showing any signs of improvement (stuck on 1.2-1.5 mil/roughly half of OLTL’s numbers) that ABC knew it had to pull the plug to save face. If it had been even 400-600K viewers higher and/or looked to be on some kind of upswing, it probably would’ve been more profitable and attractive to keep than GH.

    To use a football analogy, ABC wasn’t expecting The Revolution to score a touchdown. It would’ve gladly settled for a field goal, but instead it was quickly 3 downs and out, and on 4th and 10 had to be punted away.

  • Lisette

    You said things I have suspected for a long time. The current rating system is out of date, that has been being reported for decades, yet nothing has been done to update it.

    Also, I am appalled by negative comments posted “everywhere” (all soap message boards, TV-related MBs, etc.) by people who claim to be life-long fans of soaps. I sometimes wonder if people enjoy complaining more than they enjoy (love) their soaps. JMO, though. I’ll say I wonder if we soap fans are “loving” our soaps to death? Are we over-thinking them to death? When I dissect any TV show (soap or other), it takes most of the enjoyment of viewing away. I’m trying to keep positive so I can continue to find some enjoyment in the remaining soaps. If we soap fans don’t support our shows, I don’t know how we can expect anyone (networks, TPTB, etc.) else to!

    As things stand now, soaps are doomed to disappear from daytime altogether, sadly reality TV is becoming the new norm. That will continue. All we can do is hope to save a few soaps (and only a few remain). If all soaps are canceled from network TV, Brad Bell may be able to move B&B online and keep selling overseas (since he has a great B&B site already setup). If he can do this, B&B may be the lone survivor among the soaps current on network TV. I don’t see that being an option for the other three soaps for a number of reasons: from poor ratings to hour-log shows being more costly, etc.

    Reality TV is here to stay. It’s NOT going away. The cancellation of The Revolution changes nothing except giving GH a chance to survive for now.

    SOS: Support Our Soaps!

  • Joe

    UUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Y&R needs to wake up!!!!, don’t understand Days, ive been loving it, especially this last week!!!!

  • Lisette

    I meant TBC. Sorry, Thomas. I found your comments very enlightening. Many truths in what you say – esp re: the Neilsen system being inaccurate and out-of-date! We need a new industry standard. Sadly, it’ll come to late to help most soaps. Great posts.

    @Chrisann: Hi, girl! :)


  • Richard


    If you would actually give some real information each week that is substantiated by anything else online I might believe you. But you don’t.

    And you constantly state things that can’t be backed up. Like you say above that the Season to Date Numbers actually add about 4 points to each rating when DVR viewing is added.

    Well here are the current Season to Date Numbers for Soaps:

    1. Y&R 3.6
    2. B&B 2.5
    3. DAYS 2.0
    4. GH 1.9

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.5
    2. GH 1.1
    2. B&B 1.1
    4. DAYS 1.0

    And here are the current numbers for the week:

    1. Y&R 3.0/10 (-.1/-.3) <—– ties low
    2. B&B 2.2/7 (same/+.2)
    3. GH 1.7/5 (same/-.3)
    4. DAYS 1.6/5 (-.1/-.1) <—– ties low

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.2/8 (-.2/-.2) <—– ties low
    2. B&B 1.0/6 (-.1/+.2)
    3. GH 0.8/5 (-.1/-.4) <—– ties low
    4. DAYS 0.7/5 (-.1/-.2) <—– new low *

    They do go up when it the DVR viewing is added in but still not as much as you say every week.

    And you also say something new each week. Your protestation up until this last post has been to say that the numbers posted by SON never include any DVR viewing. Well as reported each week by SON they say the ratings posted included 1 day of DVR viewing included for the weekly numbers and the Season to Date numbers include the 7 day viewing.

    Nielsen does not track anything after 7 days.

    Also you are the only person ever saying that if a person fast forwards the commercials it is not counted. I have written Nielsen and asked if that was true and they said no. In the season to date numbers they give to the networks all DVR viewing is included.

    So who am I supposed to believe someone who says he works in the Industry or direct info from Nielsen.

    Nielsen did say that they look at various data for shows as requested by advertisers and shows. And those reports are sent to the networks but they apply the same standards across the board in reporting season to date numbers, etc. So sorry but even though it is not without faults, I will continue to buy the industry standard.

    For all of your proclamations about how many viewers are added through alternative viewing, etc. I ask you this again WHAT GOOD IS IT TO ANYONE BUT YOU?

    Will it save your shows? No and that has been proven. You can add 50 million viewers through alternative viewing but the networks still have to rely on the Nielsen numbers to get money out of advertisers. If they go into an advertiser and say look at all these people who watch our show on You Tube or wait until 15 days after they DVR to watch it. We've got 4 million more viewers than Nielsen says. That advertiser is going to look at them and bust out laughing.

    Advertiser's used the tried and true and the standard. Maybe someday in the future some of this stuff will matter, but right now the bottom line is advertisers pay advertising rates on the soaps and primetime by the Nielsen ratings. And that is what determines stays on the air and what doesn't.

    Also you guys have to be totally delusional if you think this really boosts your show above everything else.

    Logic would only tell you that if the Nielsen numbers are wrong for soaps then they have to be wrong for everything else. Contrary to popular believe soaps are not the only thing that is DVRed or watched via other mediums.

    You may want to believe it is only soaps, but come on get real. If alternate viewing is going to bring up one show, then logic would tell you that it is going to bring up other shows as well. So you can't get a true counting until you apply the standard across the board.

    I know many people who DVR The View every day. You will find a few shows who will add more DVR than maybe another popular show, but still the numbers for all shows are going to go up some. So in the end you are most likely going to see few shows that actually move up in rankings.

    If you will even look at some of TV By The Numbers posts, you will see some low rated primetime shows that add a lot of DVR viewing but live viewing is so low that even with the added DVR viewers they still fall well below other shows. So they don't suddenly beat all their competition by adding in the added viewers.

    I am not a "HATER" as all of you keep wanting to say. Just looking at things realistically, and not from the point of a fan who wants to believe delusionally that no one else DVR's anything but soaps. So soaps have to be number 1 in daytime just because of that.

    I see Robert needs to add another Fan Excuse box to the Fan Excuse Bingo Card now too — My shows have more people who buy and read magazines at the supermarket so the ratings have to be wrong. Ranks right up there with how many people illegally download it and how many people talk about it on the message boards.

  • Shelly

    How did ALL daytime programming perform during the holiday/spring break week; including game shows and the talk shows?

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