With another year now behind us, daytime dramas continue providing audiences with the most product on television in terms of episodes aired each year. The genre also happens to lay claim to the most airtime hogs in all of TV land.
In a return of the popular Airhog Awards, tracking appearances of contract and recurring actors who appeared in the most episodes during the recently concluded calendar year, we must remind readers that “Airhog” is considered a term of endearment for those who appear the most on the four remaining daytime soap operas and no ill will is intended.
With that said, representing the last of their kind on American television, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless” collectively produced 1,009 original episodes during calendar year 2018, significantly more episodes than any other genre and more originals than the five broadcast networks each produced at any other given time during the year. The first soap episode aired in 2018 was by “Y&R” on January 1, 2018, and the last episode aired was December 31, 2018, again by “Y&R.” The other soaps did not air, aired a repeat or were preempted for sports programming on the first and last days of the calendar year.
Listed below is a summary of each soap’s top five Airhogs:
“The Bold and the Beautiful” is the most-watched daily serial in the world, and it knows where it’s bread and butter lies. Of the 253 episodes produced in 2018, “B&B” featured its top five actors in more episodes than any other soap did with their top hog — “B&B” is the only half-hour daytime drama on American television. Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) not only appeared in more episodes than any other performer on “B&B,” but she also appeared in the most episodes of any actor in daytime, appearing in 197 episodes. She led co-star Scott Clifton (Liam Spencer) by seven episodes, placing him in second place. Annika Noelle (Hope Logan) with 186 episodes placed third, while Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan Forrester) with 185 episodes and Thorsten Kaye (Ridge Forrester) with 177 episodes closed out the top spots as fourth and fifth, respectively. Only 49 actors appeared on “B&B” in 2018.
Producing the least amount of episodes of the four remaining soaps for the second straight year, “GH” aired 248 episodes during 2018, one more than it did in 2017. Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) again led the episode totals for the series, appearing in 161 episodes, down two from 2017 totals. Runner-up was Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) with 155 episodes (up 100 episodes from 2017) and in third place was Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos) with 151 episodes. Closing out the top five were Kelly Monaco (Sam Mccall) with 134 episodes and Billy Miller (Drew Cain) with 130 episodes. A total of 93 actors appeared in an episode of “GH” at some point in 2018, including rebroadcasts.
“Days of our Lives” had the most balance with their use of talent. Out of 254 episodes aired, Tyler Christopher (Stefan DiMera) led the pack in Salem, appearing in 135 of them. The actor held a slight lead over Billy Flynn (Chad DiMera), who appeared in 133 episodes. Marci Miller‘s turn as Abigail DiMera may have concluded in November, but not before the actress appeared in 121 episodes in 2018, ranking third. Adding in Kate Mansi‘s portrayal, the character appeared in 136 total episodes of “DAYS” and would have beat out the aforementioned Christopher for the top spot. Rounding out the top five were Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) with 117 episodes, placing fourth, and Kristian Alfonso (Hope Hernandez) and Camila Banus (Gabi Hernandez) tied in fifth place with 111 episodes each. As many as 70 actors appeared in Salem at some point during 2018.
“The Young and the Restless” celebrated 30 years at number one during the final week of the year and did so with Sharon Case (Sharon Newman) leading the way with 167 episode appearances out of 254 episodes aired. Gina Tognoni (Phyllis Summers) with 164 episodes was in second and Joshua Morrow (Nicholas Newman) was in third place with 159 episodes. Rounding out the top five were Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) with 154 episodes and Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) with 149 episodes. Just 61 actors appeared in Genoa City in 2018, the least number of actors of the three one-hour shows.
Listed below is a breakdown of the 50 actors who appeared in the most episodes among all soaps aired during 2018:
|51.||Drake Hogestyn||John Black||DAYS||91||254||-163|
|Greg Vaughan||Eric Brady||DAYS||91||254||-163|
|53.||Christel Khalil||Lily Ashby||Y&R||90||254||-164|
|54.||Mishael Morgan||Mishael Morgan||Y&R||88||254||-166|
|55.||Aaron D. Spears||Justin Barber||B&B||83||253||-170|
|56.||Rena Sofer||Quinn Forrester||B&B||67||253||-186|
|57.||John McCook||Eric Forrester||B&B||60||253||-193|
|58.||Alley Mills||Pam Douglas||B&B||59||253||-194|
|59.||Adain Bradley||Xander Avant||B&B||55||253||-198|
|Courtney Hope||Sally Spectra||B&B||55||253||-198|
Compilation Data: Considered a term of endearment to those who’ve appeared the most on your favorite daytime shows, Soap Opera Network compares a comprehensive list of episode rankings released by dedicated contributors each month against the yearly rankings they collectively produce at the end of the calendar year. This year, our thanks go out to SON Community members FrenchFan, jcar03 and Jason47, who each contributed to the tallies for “The Bold and the Beautiful and “The Young and the Restless,” “General Hospital,” and “Days of our Lives.” Their daily attention to the happenings on the soaps are unmatched and without them, this listing wouldn’t be possible.