Daytime’s 40 Most Popular Shows

Monday, December 15, 2008 12:11 AM ET | By Errol Lewis

 ( — The economy is a bust and we’re in a recession. Advertisers are pulling ad dollars from network television and have instead decided to spend less and fire thousands. With daytime’s audience trending down for more than a decade, 2008 will forever be remembered as the year the daypart finally received its reality check.

So, instead of bringing you a what’s up and what’s down ratings report, we at Soap Opera Network have decided to launch a new feature where we pit soap against soap in the Nielsen Ratings. No, not who is doing better on a week to week basis, but who is the best-of-the-best, only day-by-day.

Without further adieu…

What remains the strory of the year is how low CBS’ “Guiding Light” can fall as it fights to survive and retain its title as broadcasting’s longest running program. With numbers so low (a 1.4 HH rating on Thursday), it would make “Port Charles” look like a ratings winner. Sadly, “Port Charles” was cancelled in 2003 with higher ratings than this despite airing in the wee-hours of the night. While NBC’s “Days of our Lives” loses 40% of its budget in the upcoming year and a loss of its two stars (Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn), three out of its five weekly episodes (Friday, Tuesday, and Monday) outranked every episode of ABC’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” The highest episode was its Friday broadcast with 2.9 million viewers. For the week, “DAYS” averaged 2.7 million viewers. “DAYS” is also the only soap to increase viewers year-over-year, gaining 120,000 viewers from the same point last year. “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” remain daytime’s most watched programs as they hold the 1-5 and 6-10 positions. “Restless,” however has lost the most audience year-over-year with a decline of 630,000 viewers. It’s Women 18-49 ranking, however, remains on par with its year-ago and up a point week-to-week.

After losing the most viewers collectively year-over-year in the early months of ’08, ABC has handed the title off to CBS (207,000 viewers vs 2.1 million  viewers). While the minor loss might not be so bad to one just seeing the numbers, it should  be noted that the network had already lost millions of viewers by mid-2007. More severe losses would have cost a show its cast and crew.

 Daytime Ratings:
Week of December 1, 2008
(in order of Households)

 Rank NetworkShow
change vs last week/last year)
 Total Viewers
(in millions;
change vs last
week/last year)
Women 18-49
change vs last week/last year)
 1 CBSY&R 3.6/13
 5,016,000 (-93,000/-630,000) 1.7/11
 2 CBSB&B 2.7/9
 3 ABCGH 2.2/7
 4 CBSATWT 2.0/7
 2,694,000 (-121,000/-434,000) 1.1/7
 5 NBCDAYS2.0/7
 2,736,000 (+5,000/+120,000) (+.1/same)
 6 ABCOLTL 2.0/7
 7 ABCAMC 1.9/7
2,541,000 (-217,000/-49,000) 1.2/7
 8 CBS GL 1.5/5
 2,011,000 (-181,000/-569,000) 0.9/5

Source: NTI Live+SD

 Soap Opera Episode Rankings:
Week of December 1, 2008
(in order of Total Viewers)



 Total Viewers
(in millions/rounded)
 1 CBS The Young and the Restless
 3.8 5,227 (5.2) Tuesday
 2 CBS The Young and the Restless 3.6 5,080 (5.1) Thursday
3 CBS The Young and the Restless 3.75,010 (5.0) Friday
 4 CBS The Young and the Restless 3.5 4,889 (4.9) Monday
 5 CBS The Young and the Restless3.5 4,874 (4.9) Wednesday
 6 CBS The Bold and the Beautiful
3,704 (3.7)Friday
 7 CBS The Bold and the Beautiful 2.6 3,602 (3.6)Thursday
 8 CBS The Bold and the Beautiful 2.6 3,593 (3.6) Monday
 9 CBS The Bold and the Beautiful 2.6 3,563 (3.6)Tuesday
 10 CBS The Bold and the Beautiful 2.63.523 (3.5)Wednesday
11 ABC General Hospital
 2.33,124 (3.1)
 12 ABC General Hospital 2.3 3,035 (3.0)Monday
 13 NBC Days of our Lives
2,880 (2.9)
 14 NBC Days of our Lives2.1 2,806 (2.8)Tuesday
 As The World Turns 2.12,787 (2.8)
 16ABCGeneral Hospital2.22,768 (2.8) Friday
 17 CBS As The World Turns2.02,756 (2.8) Monday
 17 ABC General Hospital 2.2 2,756 (2.8) Wednesday
 19 NBC Days of our Lives2.02,730 (2.7)Monday
 ABC One Life to Live
 2.02,719 (2.7)
 21 ABC All My Children
 2.1 2,714 (2.7) Monday
 22 CBS As The World Turns2.02,711 (2.7)Tuesday
 23 ABC All My Children 2.0 2,696 (2.7)Tuesday
 24 ABC One Life to Live2.0 2,687 (2.7)Friday
 25 CBS As The World Turns 2.02,684 (2.7) Thursday
 26 NBC Days of our Lives 1.9 2,633 (2.6)Thursday
 27 NBC Days of our Lives 1.9 2,630 (2.6)Wednesday
 28 ABC One Life to Live 2.02,620 (2.6)Wednesday
 29 ABC One Life to Live 2.02,602 (2.6) Monday
 30 ABC General Hospital 2.02,584 (2.6) Thursday
 31 CBS As The World Turns2.0 2,533 (2.5)Thursday
 32 ABC All My Children 1.92,494 (2.5)Wednesday
 33 ABC One Life to Live 1.92,463 (2.5)Thursday
 34 ABC All My Children 1.82,409 (2.4)Friday
 35 ABC All My Children1.92,393 (2.4)Thursday
 36 CBS Guiding Light1.5
 37 CBS Guiding Light1.52,091 (2.1) Tuesday
 38 CBS Guiding Light 1.52,024 (2.0) Friday
 39 CBS Guiding Light 1.41,997 (2.0)Wednesday
40 CBS Guiding Light 1.4 1,839 (1.8) Thursday
 Legend: Most Watched Episode
 Least Watched Episode

Source: NTI Live+SD

For more ratings data: Ratings for the week December 1-5, 2008

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