Soap Opera Ratings: 'General Hospital', 'Days of Our Lives' and 'The Young & the Restless' Down in Total Viewers, All in Women 18-49

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May 25th, 2012


Ratings for the week of May 14-May 18, 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 4,255,000 (-64,000/-643,000)
2. B&B 3,082,000 (+20,000/+235,000)
3. DAYS 2,358,000 (-76,000/+17,000)
4. GH 2,339,000 (-103,000/-238,000)

1. Y&R 3.3/11 (+.1/-.2)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (+.1/+.3)
3. DAYS 1.8/6 (same/same)
3. GH 1.8/6 (-.1/-.1)

Women 18-49 Viewers
1. Y&R 827,000 (-37,000/-119,000)
2. B&B 664,000 (-9,000/+145,000)
3. GH 595,000 (-48,000/-126,000)
4. DAYS 512,000 (-32,000/-157,000)

Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.3/9 (same/-.1)
2. B&B 1.0/7 (-.1/+.2)
3. GH 0.9/6 (-.1/-.2)
4. DAYS 0.8/5 (-.1/-.2)


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.

  • maria

    Bring back brenda and out her back with sonny. Put todd with carly and lose olivia, kate, anna, maxie, and give the quartemaines more screen time then this soap gh will have a chance.

  • A-Bomb

    Not a surprise the soaps would drop that week, they had been up for 2-3 weeks straight. The numbers still look good though for all four of them as none of them are under 2 million viewers and GH.

    I’m interested to see how GH does once GMA starts up in July. By then I can imagine GH picking up even more returning or new viewers as this show is seriously making a comeback.

    DAYS is like a soap that’s just there right now with nothing interesting going on except Will finally coming out the closet.

  • A-Bomb

    @ Maria: I agree people love the Quartermaines that’ll really put GH on the map if they bring them back into the main storylines. They need to bring back Emily from the dead.

  • Scandalfan

    For the life of me I can not understand why people watch that trashy soap? I’m talking about B&B. Classy soap like AMC got canceled when trash like B&B is still running. How is that fair? I guess most folks prefer junk to good stuffs.

    As for Y&R it has gotten better the moment they got Sharon away from that psycho Adam however they need to fire MAB, she’s destroying the best soap that is left.

  • Stephen judson


    Thanks. I didn’t see it on the main headlines like it usually is.

  • Fanny

    I agree with “Rickster” comment. The decline of broadcast TV is not only on daytime but also on primetime. The invasion of “reality” shows at night is nauseating. The major networks(ABC-NBC-CBS) can’t seem to find a way to compete with all of the cable channels on the air, so they produce cheaper shows instead.
    I love my soaps during daytime and I love my comedies & dramas at night because they tell a story and entertain me. And it saddens me to see less and less of that quality TV.

  • Jane

    Bad numbers all around. DAYS is pointless and will hit another “reset” soon. Doubt it will help, the show has been already screwed too much with Corday´s incopetence and is wormed through with nepotism. The vets are just shade of their former self and not popular enough anymore, characters like EJ, Sami, even Nicol, played out, and there is nobody fresh and interesting enough to replace them. I expect DAYS and GH both canceled next year.

  • Justin121

    @Rickster, try The Bold & The Beautiful. Give it a few weeks. Brook, Stephanie, Taylor, Amber and the entire Forster clan are fascinating to watch.

    @Doris, The Bold and The Beautiful is better than all soaps presicely because of that. When it does do romance, it does it better than everyone else.

    @Scandalfan, The Bold and The Beautiful is the best soap of all time.

  • Sadie

    If they would poll the age 50 to 75 demographic the numbers would be huge, we still shop we still buy things they advertise probably more so than the young and we have more time to waste watching soaps. I will never figure that out.

  • Jeff Stinson

    Bold and Beautiful is a fun soap opera, it is intentionally campy, you aren’t meant to take it that seriously.

  • Richard

    It looks like B&B continues to be the story of the year as far as ratings go. I have never watched the show but their ratings rise and the fact that over the last few months they have been able to stabilize for the most part is a good thing. Esp. since this time last year they were also struggling.

    As far as the other soaps some of them have returned back close to where they were before the few weeks rise and some are just dropped some. Will be interesting to see if it was a one week slump or if the drops will continue to drop further.

    According to some GH has been doing good this week. Will that see great ratings? Also some are saying that GH has some big stuff coming up – at least one big stormy night coming up. So maybe GH can get people back. But then again others across the boards still have no desire to see the stuff since it involves the characters it does.

    And Jeff I will agree with you on one thing GH does need Bobbi Spencer. Carly has needed her Mother to come on and set her straight about some things for a few years now.

  • Richard

    Rickster, I agree with you that the decline is over all of TV, but the biggest thing hurting daytime soaps more than the overall schedule is the budget.

    And no one wants to even acknowledge that because all that many want to do is examine the show and not take in any of the logistical matters.

    Bottom line soaps have big casts, big staffs, and they air five days a week. That costs money.

    I mean just take Days for example which some of us have discussed over the last few weeks. I don’t watch the show but I have been reading some of the stories where they have been talking about budget. And see some of the tweets about it.

    Their budget is taking big hits to the point that some stars have tweeted that they are no longer being allowed to rehearse scenes. They get the script, act it out and it goes to print now.

    How long can you produce anything of quality when you don’t even have the money to rehearse.

    Ratings might be down across the board but soaps are taking the biggest hits from the drops because they already cost so much. How long before those same type of budget cuts start hitting the other soaps?

    From looking at the ratings it looks like the only one truly safe at this point is B&B.

  • Richard


    From the numbers that are presented on SON alone it is easy to see that the biggest part of the soap opera audience are older viewers. They make up a big percentage.

    Actually some weeks we talk about it here how the numbers we see for the most part soaps are down but they still go up in total viewers. That means that the rise was in those older viewers.

    Sadly those are the viewers that advertisers are not seeking. It has been that way for so long and even though I and many others thing some things have changed in our society — advertisers don’t see it that way.

    They still see older viewers as set in their ways and even they know they have money — they think it is those young more hop viewers who will be more likely to try out a new product or make a change.

    But the biggest thing that I am wondering about with advertisers are is it in a new trend coming in advertising. Look at GM who is starting to question things with the way things have been done. First they remove their ads from Facebook and then decide to put them back for awhile. And now they are looking at choosing not to advertise during the Super Bowl any longer as the costs of advertising there are not yielding enough sales to justify paying the high costs.

    Shows at least advertisers are really thinking about how they are spending their money.

  • Chrisann D

    GH really has improved. They have alot of good music in the background that fits the scenes. The lighting has been amazing. To me if there are budget cuts they are using what money is availible wisely. They have had a better balance of characters. Good cliffhangers……did Heather take Anthonys body or da da da DA….did David Hayward come to Port Charles??!!! Stay tuned!

  • Jack

    The fact remains that ALL soaps will eventually be cancelled and that DAYS and GH are likely to bite the dust within the year. Yes, GH was renewed for 1 year. Big deal! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that ABC only wants its longest running soap to reach the half century mark. Nothing will save GH, even if and when it airs an hour earlier. There are so many followers of soaps who don’t watch them during broadcast time. Why should anybody want to watch 25 minutes of depressing commercials? If you’re home or at work around lunchtime, I can see someone watching Y&R. I think that is the primary reason this soap has double the audience. Summer ratings will trend even lower. Bringing back aging former soap stars is a sign of panic. The recycled scripts and predictability of storylines are so boring, one has to be totally without a life to watch soaps these days. What is the alternative? Certainly not replacement talk shows, cooking shows and whatever low budget low life crap that is aired. Bring back the test pattern.

  • Richard

    Jack — Recent movements in primetime too don’t look good for soaps. NBC had 7 million built in viewers every week for Harry’s Law but they said sayonara to the show — even risking not even showing the finale during May Sweeps to air a repeat of another show.

    If a network can feel that it can say goodbye to 7 million viewers then you know that these networks are desperate in trying to get those younger viewers. They would rather get 3 to 4 million 18-49 viewers than have almost 7 million older viewers watching their network during that hour.

    And look at CBS’ annoucement yesterday that will no longer do the Jesse Stone movies. Those movies always attracted 10 million or more viewers but they were older viewers. It is sure that some cable network will pick them up and run with them and target that older audience. But networks don’t want them because they can’t get advertisers to pay the ad dollars for them.

    If soaps continue to skew older it won’t matter if they are pulling in 4 or 5 million viewers if they are not younger viewers or at least the majority younger viewers then you can bet the same thing will happen to them that has happened to Harry’s Law and Jesse Stone.

    Viewers don’t care about that big number of viewers watching unless they are of the younger variety — well in that target demo of 18 to 49. And unlike primetime they don’t even care much about the men in that 18 to 49 age bracket. They want the women.

  • JayTN

    Not to get too political, but it looks like the best day last week for “Days” was Monday, the only before the character of Will ‘came out’ to his parents, and thus the only day that really did not focus on the whole ‘gay storyline’. Could this possibly influence the writers/producers to drop or backburner the Will storyline?

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with the storyline, after all it isn’t really new or groundbreaking, as AMC, ATWT, OLTL, GL, GH, and even Y&R (and now B&B) have currently or previously featured gay characters. In the case of AMC and ATWT, they were prominently featured and the ratings did not really suffer as a result. (In fact, it has been argued that the ‘Luke is gay’ story on ATWT keep that soap relevant its last couple years on the air.)

    One thing I did notice about the ‘gay storyline’ on “Days” is that, at times, it can be rather preachy (like when EJ lectured Sami that Will was born gay or when Kate similarly lectured Sami). I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with that sentiment, but as someone (I think it was Chrisann D or MBmomof3) said a while ago, it would be refreshing to see someone not fully accept Will due to his sexual orientation. Who better to fill that role, than his mother?

    For those interested, here are the list of highest to lowest rated days for the soaps last week (from Soap Opera Network, where you can see the actual daily viewer totals):

    B&B: Wednesday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, Tuesday
    Days: Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
    GH: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (the only soap to continually lose viewers throughout the week)
    Y&R: Thursday, Wednesday, Monday, Friday, Tuesday

  • Kelby

    If you ask me the soaps need to stay relevant and realistic. That is the only way they are going to survive and sadly, they are not going to. The last several years have shown us that this industry is failing its audience in a huge way. The writing is awful. They have had a lot of trouble staying relevant and realistic the last several years. Hell, well over a decade! Some of them two! Enjoy what you can of them. I try. A lot of I do not, so I just fast foward. Whatever. What can we do?

  • Chrisann D

    Jay, I think it was Diana that said she would like to see someone have a problem with Will being gay.

    It just blows me away that GH is losing viewers. It makes me wonder if my taste is shows is off or if it is others. I couldn’t enjoy GH more…… well I could but I don’t like to drink in the afternoons.

  • jan

    I have watched “Days” since day one…I continue to stick with them and there have been some tough times…I love the storyline with Stephano, EJ, Sami, Nicolle, well, I could go on, but the point being “Days” has a lot to offer and I hope they continue for another 46 years…

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