When the official “One Life to Live” cast photo shoot was unveiled last month Robin Strasser was one of two contract cast members (Hillary B. Smith being the other) not in attendance at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club with the rest of her c0-stars. However, it was pneumonia and not a snub from her new bosses that kept “One Life’s” grand dame from getting her close-up.
For more than 10 years fans of daytime soap operas have been coming to Soap Opera Network to find out how their favorite soap was faring in the weekly ratings report. From time to time we would also provide analysis of how they stacked up when compared to their broadcast counterparts in the talk show and game show genres, but we’ve never looked at how the broadcast soaps (and to a lesser extent the broadcast talk and game shows) compared to syndicated television. Not that it wasn’t easy to provide a comparison, it was just never something we found necessary. In recent months, with the introduction of several syndicated talk shows including “Katie” and “The Steve Harvey Show,” which together took over the 3:00 PM slot from “General Hospital” in much of the country this past September after “GH” moved to 2:00 PM, and the second season without “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” things have changed. Recently, Broadcasting & Cable came out with a report that showed how syndicated programs might be a solid alternative to our soaps in the key demographics when it comes to Madison Avenue buying advertising time. While we wouldn’t want advertisers to give up on our favorite shows, B&C does provide a solid rationalization and even highlights the value of soap operas when it comes to the all important key women demos (Women 18-49, Women 25-54, etc).
UPDATE, THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 5:30 PM ET: A previous version of this article incorrectly included the line “Big Trouble at ‘Live! with Kelly?’” in its heading.
We apologize for the sensationalized heading, and have corrected it to include the core information. While “Live! with Kelly” did hit 20 year lows, which made that tidbit of information more noteworthy, it is one of the few daytime shows (talk or otherwise) to have been on the air as long.
Additionally, despite its lows, “Live!” was the third most watched talk show for the week. This in spite of the show losing 39 affiliated stations, representing 10% of the U.S.