Phew! 2014 was quite a year at LTAS and for the SOS movement as a whole! We at LTAS don’t like to toot our own horn—but it’s time for a “TOOT! TOOT!”Here is a quick run-down of the blog posts that have been tipping the scales in our favor—aiding in bringing back our soaps in 2015! I am going to present them in a sort of us/them format. The networks said “x,” we proved them wrong with “y.”
1. First I will simply point out the most basic and important (to ABC/Disney) fact. ABC/Disney said low ratings were the primary reason the soaps were canceled, and we all know ratings to be the bottom line for any network’s programming decisions, right? Well, “All My Children” (AMC) and “One Life to Live” (OLTL)were averaging a 2.4 Nielsen ratting (NOT including SOAPnet viewing, DVR recording and viewing, but only daytime views on ABC). The shows that replaced them, “The Chew” and “The Revolution” started at a 1.9 Nielsen Ratting, sinking to a 1.6 within a week. “The Revolution” was cancelled, but “The Chew” continues to founder at this lowest rating in the history of daytime at the time of this writing.
So, in 2014 LTAS covered these topics in our weekly blogs, topics vital to the arguments for getting our shows back
2. The networks said the sluggish economy was making it difficult for them to produce the soaps. But putting some faith and capital into a business enterprise, such as continuing to produce AMC and OLTL, would benefit the economy, which would then allow for continued production of those soaps (not to mention profit), and on and on in a feedback loop. Also, bringing the soaps back to NYC could allow for the (re)creation of forty-thousand jobs and up to four billion dollars in revenue for the city. We think Mayor DeBlasio would be very happy about this, don’t you? It’s not just actors, writers, director, producers and camera operators who come to work, its caterers, set designers, costumers and all the small businesses that open to service these people. We must tell the story of soaps to the city leaders. We must write them, email them, attend city meetings and ask them about bringing soap production back to the city. Do they know what they are missing and that there is a loyal fan base waiting for the soaps to return to NYC? Probably not! And bottom line, as we know that is the big concern for any business, the return of AMC and OLTL and other soaps to NYC will be a big boost to the NYC economy! Let’s tell TPTB!
- 3. Another untrue claim by the networks that they used as a reason for canceling AMC and OLTL was that young people don’t watch soaps. THIS YEAR, we brought on board two weekly Cliffhanger Friday bloggers who are “young people.” And all of us soap viewers know soaps make sure to cater to all age groups—even pre-school-age kids! Witness Spencer, Emma, and Cameron on “General Hospital
- 4. The networks said there is no money left in soap production. Our interviewee, Dr. Donald Boudreau proved that a total lie! He’s an expert on business and daytime dramas rightly pointed out that the daytime dramas have and were at the time of their cancellations big cash cows—with swollen udders and barely the ability to move!—for the ABC/Disney (not to mention other networks before them). In particular, Boudreau pointed out that daytime drama revenue helped fund their huge nighttime show franchises.
- 5.The networks love to say reality TV is cheaper to produce and as appealing to fans. We disagree. Reality TV doesn’t have lasting power. It comes and goes, because viewers ultimately see it for the fast food of TV fare it is—cheap, sure, but ultimately unfit for consumption and doesn’t fulfill their basic human needs—in the case of fast food, quality nutrition, and in the case of reality TV, quality storytelling.
- There is no international market for soaps, the networks say. Not true. The networks make millions and millions in royalties from the soaps airing overseas. Please see our wonderful guest blogger, Lidia’s, piece on the subject of U.S. soap popularity in Spain.
6. Ha! Look at that $20 million investment disaster known as “Katie”! Gone, because of low ratings. 20 millions train wreck. That failed because daytime viewers want the masterful storytelling of soaps, no more reality TV and Talk shows.
- 7.Disney axed SOAPnet saying a dedicated soap channel wasn’t making them money. We know this is wrong, right, soap fans? A place we can go to watch our soaps in re-run, or for the first time if we missed the original airing was a genius idea by whoever came up with it. I had SOAPnet on all the time in my home! And I know lots of other soap fans did too! And then, of course, any products advertised on a dedicated soap channel would see rises in consumption, benefitting advertisers and networks, and of course, they control programming decisions. Here’s another link to Dr. Boudreau’s interview post, part of which covers this topic:
- 8.ABC/Disney says they can’t reboot AMC and OLTL because of the ongoing lawsuit between them and Prospect Park. We interviewed a legal expert, Troy Veenstra, who looked at the case and told us otherwise. You can read the post via this link. Just know this one basic fact: ABC currently owns the rights to AMC and OTLT, and despite the lawsuit, which involved only a few characters and whose expenses to ABC are like a teardrop of a legal bill in their ocean of revenue, they can reboot them at any time!
9.The networks have said, or shown rather, by their actions, that soaps and soap stars are expendable, easily replaced by other fare. If this were true, would the cancelling of AMC and OLTL see a fan backlash like no other in television history? The networks said, and advertisers went along with, the insulting belief that we viewers can be trained, like simpleminded fools who will just take what they give and like it. Wrong! The Disney execs who tried to “train” us and follow their silly programming decision as the poor children followed the Pied Piper in that old fable, why are Frons, Sweeney, and soon Iger gone, while SOS groups, boycotts of all things ABC/Disney, and continuing actions by soap fans to save AMC, OLTL, Dallas, other soaps, and the soap genre going strong. We are not dogs waiting for our masters to teach us tricks! See our blog on this topic:
The networks want to make money. We understand. They have a bottom line, like any business. Our advice, BRING BACK OUR SOAPS, AS MANY AS POSSIBLE, IN 2015. We will not let them down, profit-wise, right readers? We are loyal, dedicated fans! Here is a challenge to the networks: first of all, get soap fans like us back on your side, and you won’t regret it—you’ll be rolling around naked in money on your beds! (Hmm—where was I going with that one!? But you and they know what I mean! J). CBS/Warner Brothers: bring back “Dallas” before ABC/Disney brings back “Dynasty” in 2015, which they are going to do. You don’t want to be behind them! Networks, when you see how soap fans make your primetime soaps a huge success (after giving them a chance, unlike was done with “Dallas 2.0,” cancelled before it could be nurtured and shown by fans to be hugely in demand, as the “Save Dallas” movement evidences, you (ABC don’t you want to be the vanguard here) will want to bring back your daytime soaps, and we fans won’t let you down!
Please comment, readers? What do you think about all these topics? What did the events of this past year show you about soaps and their imminent comeback,? What do you want to say to the networks about it? Comment, and subscribe in the upper-right corner of this page!
And, as always, Stay Soapy!