The week of July 19-23, 2021 marked the one year anniversary since CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” returned to airing originals, the first scripted series in the United States to do so since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in March 2020 which forced a worldwide shut down in order to lower the curve. Initially, there was worry that airing reruns for three straight months might have turned viewers away from daily soap opera viewing, and there was ample evidence that gave credence to that thinking as viewership kept sinking from the initial interest in watching classic episodes.
By the time the soap returned to originals during the week of July 20-24, 2020, just 2.105 million viewers on average tuned in. In its second week, that number went down to just 2.033 million. By week three, the numbers had risen to 2.207 million but the show had been down more than one million viewers compared to its performance during the same three weeks in 2019. Would this become the new normal for “B&B” and the genre as a whole? Thankfully, just like its fashion, “B&B” doesn’t follow a trend. It makes them.
With an average of 2.866 million viewers tuned in during the week of July 19-23, 2021, “B&B” was up 761,000 viewers compared to its performance one year earlier and is relatively on par with its performance in 2019 (3.062 million, week of July 22-26, 2019). In fact, since May the show has been trending higher with viewership figures not seen since at least the week of April 20-24, 2020, the final week of “B&B” episodes filmed pre-pandemic, when excluding the week of February 8-12, 2021 – only one episode aired as the rest of the week was preempted due to coverage of the second impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.
For the week, in the rounded numbers currently available to Soap Opera Network, “B&B” is tied for second place in Women 25-54 (0.7 rating) with “The Young and the Restless” and the first half-hour of “The Price is Right.” In Women 18-49, the show is tied for third place with the first half-hour of “The Price is Right” (0.4 rating). Unrounded figures will be released shortly.