That's the point I have been trying to make, look how bizarre Y&R is getting, they've been renewed for two years but they are trying to make the actors take a pay cut and then as it says on other DC articles AMC is moving to L.A. for cheap labor. When will these idiot networks realize that people are watching them on DVR, TIVO and web viewing, I watch them on web. Maybe if Let's make a deal fails those idiots would finally wake up from there time warp and get into the 21 century. Don't watch LMD or your soap will be next and be treated like GL as some already are.
i truly don't want soaps to go. I can't take one more reality show especially when they gives us people like Spencer Pratt and his no talent wife Heidi. Even time this thing called Spencer is on a real tv show I feel sick. Why can't someone kick his ass and let him sit in a corner forever.
I agree the Nielsen ratings are out dated and need to be revamped because speaking for personal experience I watch some soaps online
Safer hits the nail on the head. The demise of the soap genre isn't because of writing, as some fans have claimed. Society has changed. We are not where we were 50 years ago (thank God). Women have entered the work force and left the laundry and cooking behind, for the most part at least. I do not know a single person who is home in the middle of the day, let alone watching television at one o'clock in the afternoon. As a busy college student, I watch my soaps online or I catch them on SoapNet when I'm at the gym. Either the soaps changed their formatting to adapt to new media (i.e. online viewing) or they're done. Sad but true. I suppose my kids will just be reading about soap operas in history class. RIP Guiding Light.
Let's face it. DC needs to expand its coverage of daytime in the future to stay viable. It will sound odd when this site just does night time coverage. I guess this site is transitioning to that with the other site name you see when you view stories involving night time programing. Times change. Whether that is for the better depends on who you talk to. All I know, diversity hasn't been used by soaps and other daytime shows have used it, albeit not in a flattering way (like when Maurey bring a girl in that has 20 guys come in for DNA tests on her baby or when any defendent speaks on a judge show). Soaps provide a less ugly, more romantic view of life. Talk shows and judge shows do not. So, diversity isn't getting depicted in a productive way I guess or is any way productive?
This story sounds like it won't be cutting edge news. Maybe I'l be wrong. I'm sure Ellen Wheeler will give one of her best performances when interviewed, saying she tried so hard and this was inevidable. Maybe the last part is true. I like to think it isn't true though. We all make choices. Safer chooses to believe soaps are only for women staying at home. Wheeler probably fed him that line. Is DNA test on Maury aimed at men that want to see if they caught something, so they check Maury for the biggest sluts in America? I guess informative TV like 60 Minutes will be okay. I think Brecht might go for it. He used theater to educate people (on the drawbacks of capitalism). He would love to show a judge's show, showing people wanting money in spite of being wrong or stupid.
I don't know. I will stick with night time programing as my best form of entertainment. Soaps are dying due to bad writing that makes characters impossible to move forward. My reality TV will be sports. There's no fake pretense to that, unless you watch ESPN and see them hype a player or team. It is what it is.
Cbs's decision to cancel guiding light is unforgivable and i believe cbs daytime will pay for it.
I hope some of you read this in time. CBS Sunday Morning is about to air a story on the demise of The Guiding Light and the fate of soaps in general. For those of you who don't know, CBS Sunday Morning is a 90-minute show that airs before noon in most of the country. If you read this in that timeframe, check out CBS and you might catch it!
By the way, I don't know how CBS's cancellation of Guiding Light can be considered unforgivable. How long are they supposed to keep money-losing shows on the air. How about we step back and realize CBS is the network that actually kept this failing show on the air as long as they did. Something to think about.
I agree they need put DVR/SoapNet in ratings!!
Another stellar post, TVGord. CBS gave GL a lot of rope and P&G hung itself. I'm amazed by how so many soap fans have their heads buried in the sand. There are fewer women watching soaps during the day and on their DVRs.
Morley Safer is a very smart man. He seems to genuinely care that soaps are dying and feel bad for the people that work on them and their fans. At least he didn't just use the old "they cost too much to make" line.
I am happy to see Mr. Safer being respectful of the genre. After his hatchet job on Anna Wintour last spring, I was concerned that his GL profile would be tongue in cheek as opposed to a critical examination of the place of daytime drama in the history of television.
This is CBS Sunday morning site, they post there segments eather later on today or tomorrow. They had a GL segment.
Here is a promo with Josh and Reva the 60 Min. Don't forget tonight..
Here is some more promos
Here is the CBS Sunday Segment of Guiding Light It's really good.
Don't watch Let's Make a deal or other soaps will suffer the same faith.
My question is Why is someone like Morley Safer wasting his time "reporting" on soap operas WHEN THERE IS A REAL WAR GOING ON? I mean what does this say about 60 minutes? They should be doing shows on IMPORTANT things like the war in IRAQ,the economy & President Obama's health care plan.It is ridiculous that a show like 60 minutes which use to be known as a relevant news show is now reporting on the state of soaps!
I think some of the reasons Safer gave for soaps demise are valid. While I think writing and stories can have some effect on the ratings I think the ultimate reasons for the cancellation of most soaps are due to factors that cannot be controlled. I just wish that AMC had a better HW and Frons was not controlling ABCD so it can at least go out decently when the time comes for it to end.
Rebecca, I see your point but I don't think the whole broadcast will be devoted to GL. I'm sure the show will cover other more serious issues before they show the GL story.
Rebecca, President Obama will also be on tonight's 60 Minutes broadcast, talking about the health care situation. Viewers do not exist on hard news alone. There's got to be a mix. 60 Minutes has done many fine pieces on the wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, so I think it's unfair to single out one story Safer has done on the state of soaps and react as though that's all he (or 60 Minutes) does.
I think the reason Safer is so keenly aware of what soaps are going through is because the news division started seeing its budgets slashed by the network executives back as far as the 80s. CBS (and all of the networks) used to have foreign correspondents in every major city of the world, but now it's not unusual to see a correspondent telling us a story about what's going on in the Middle East...from LONDON!!! Network news is a pale shadow of its former self and there was a time when people started saying 60 Minutes would become a thing of the past. What sets Safer's newsmagazine apart, though, is that it still has faithful fans who tune in week after week. If those viewers stopped watching, though, 60 Minutes would soon suffer the same fate as Guiding Light (and soon, it's expected, As The World Turns).
I've never watched GL, but I'll be tuning in this week to see the sad farewell. I watched one episode last week, and I have to say...I wasn't terribly impressed. I see what people hate so much about the new style of production. It cheapens the whole "feel" of the show. I was moved by one scene with Otalia telling their little girl that they would be all living in together, but other than that, it was kind of...sad (and not "sad" in a good way).
I’m going to DVR it and just watch the GL segment.
DVR Alert! Tennis is running late although they show every minuite of 60min. not how late it is, DVR might not now that, so set it up for 20 min. extra or so. Just thought I'd pass that along.
Gad, Obama-haters just can't help veering off-topic, can they?
Politics are always a touchy subject. This isn't about the health care issue. This isn't exactly a place where we talk off-topic either. Health care isn't remotely closely tied to the end of GL. If you can make the corralation, more power to ya.
I'm not sure a puff piece interests me that much.
What is an irrational right wing racially tinged attack on the President doing in a discussion about 60 minutes and GL?
I’m going to DVR it and just watch the GL segment. I don't like magizine shows they are boring.
DVR Alert! Tennis is running late although they show every minuite of 60min. no matter how late it is, DVR might not now that, so set it up for 20 min. extra or so. Just thought I'd pass that along.
If you miss the GL segment or just want to watch it, it will be posted later on this link.
Here is the CBS Sunday Segment of Guiding Light It's really good.
Don't watch Let's Make a deal or other soaps will suffer the same faith.
The writing is a big part of the problem is why soaps are in a decline. Why prime time and cable are getting back to intelligent writing, the soaps are doing a bad turnaround with bad writing and bad plots that has been done to death.
Yes, watching shows have change, but I still believe that people would watch them live and on the net too if the system doesn't make a change.
Why is soaps air episodes around 250 a year. So soaps around the world do a sabbatical around December and in the summer with two weeks on and two weeks off. I think that maybe soaps should bring down the number of soaps airing to bring cost down and save money.
The show has got to diversify the cast. Why is it that every casting is a white person instead of bringing on a ethic person to play the part? AA women is the majority of the viewing audience and Hispanic and Asian are now up there of the majority audience and it would be nice if the cast would be diverse in some way, not the lets get a minor role, but a major role for soaps today.
Stop with the same old s/ls and bring on something exciting and new to the old tale like WTD's s/l or the cheating s/l. Lets add some fired into these old tales.
If the show has to go the Peapeck way to save money, lets do it right and focus on the storytelling and not the sets. TPTB has to be creative to get the viewers attention. I know that they don't have the money for big sets anymore, but use some creative ideas to get the fans interest in our soaps.
And the last thing, listen to the fans if a s/l isn't working, fix it or just drop it. We want good drama and if the idiots don't get their acts together, I'm afraid it will not be the only cancellation for like GL.
A few points of clarification on few things said here in the comments:
1. 60 Minutes has ALWAYS had a mix of stories, between 3 -5 segments where at least 2 - 3 of these segments are "hard news" (whatever the top news stories are of the day or major interviews with people involved with same), 1 -2 segments that are important but not "hard news" (scientific advances, for example), and at least 1 segment that is "soft news" (celebrity interview, profile of a pop culture phenom, etc). To the point: 60 Minutes is not "ignoring" important stories of the day.
2. As I have written on numerous occasions here, television news divisions did not really start seeing budget cuts until the early 90's, not the 80's. This was following the period when Capital Cities bought ABC (1985) and Laurence Tisch bought a major stake in CBS (1986). CC & Tisch began to systematically slash costs across their respective networks, and NBC — which had been bought by General Electric also in 1986 — followed suit.
Previous to these takeovers and buyouts, the insanely profitable soap opera divisions of the networks literally paid for the news divisions, which were money losers for all of the networks for many of the reasons that TV Gord mentioned above. But it was soaps that paid for not only the news divisions but many of the licensing fees that networks paid to independent production companies for prime time, as well. That is why and how soaps became known as "the cash cows" for the networks.
Under Cap Cities, Tisch, and GE, all divisions were separated, including financially, and had to fend for themselves and become self-sustaining. Every division — including soaps — saw massive budget cuts under this reorganization (as anyone who remembers the soap budget wars of the 90's will remember); the network that made the arguably smartest move during this period was ABC, which bought all of its soaps and owns them all to this day. NBC repeatedly fumbled at its attempts to create and own its own shows (Santa Barbara, which was owned by New World, was the biggest high-profile casualty in those attempts), while CBS continued the old licensing fee model, as did NBC with Days.
That is the TRUE beginning of the end for soaps: the old economics which had worked so favorably for the genre in the past were no longer viable. Soaps were no longer paying for the news divisions; they were no longer seeding the licensing fees as the networks pushed further and further into producing their own shows for their own network and others venues; and their profit margins shrank further and further as the audience dwindled, thus making them less attractive to advertisers including the once dominate advertiser Proctor & Gamble — which had created and produced what we think of as modern soap operas in the first place.
Unfortunately, far too many fans continue to live in a "soap bubble," thinking that if only the writing were better or if only you played the vets or if only the so-called "idiots in charge" would "listen" to them that soaps could garner the same kind of ratings that Luke & Laura did when they got married. If only they would produce soaps the way they did in 1984 or 1996, then the genre wouldn't be an endangered species today.
Just finished watching 60 Min, If I'm crying now, how will I be fri? It's my family!!
I liked 60 Minutes tribute to GL. It was sad seeing the actors and crew filmng their last scenes. GL had a good run. It has been in the creative dustbin for a while, but nothing could be done to revive the ratings in a society where women are no longer at home during the day. The ratings for the remaining soaps will eventually do a swan dive until they are canceled as well.
J Bernard, what a bummer, LOL. Hey J, what do you think can happen to save the soaps industry? I love to get your opinion on how to save the soaps?
The 60 minutes tribute was excellent and I have even more respect for Morley Safer now
I liked the tribute tonight and loved how cast was in support of the fans and sympathetic to how the fans were receptive to the show. They understood what they wanted too from the show and the characters they grew to love, too bad Ellen didn't listen to them.
I think a lot of things have contributed to the demise of soaps over the years. Women in the workforce, social views changing, more people recording it than actually watching it, etc. it all adds up. I don't think moving production helped at all, it just made it look like the show was being taped in someone's backyard. But I think it all started going downhill when we started loosing core couples like Danny/Michelle and Gus/Harley, then they lost Laura Wright as Cassie, along with Gus and Harley. It was like a sinking ship with no captain at the helm.
I did love seeing the cast talking about the show and how much it saddens them to end it as well. It's going to be a tough week, it's like saying goodbye to long time friends.
Well the 60 minutes "tribute" was quickly short. I enjoyed it but it didn't stir any emotion with me. Of course Ellen Wheeler needed to cry....naturally. NOBODY wants to see her, they want to see the cast, the people we love: The Residents of the City of Springfield.
Simon, as is so often the case, if I knew the answer to the question of how to save soaps I'd be at a better pay grade. LOL
As such, I have a roundabout way of answering your question by saying that I think fans and observers "speculating" about what "killed" soaps is off-base. A lot of those reasons are inarguable: desperation & miscaluation on the part of networks & executives; changing viewing patterns; dwindling audiences, increased competition; and reformulated economic models. None of this can be denied and those who think that soaps could have somehow overcome these factors or who discount them altogether because it's easier to just blame bad writers, bad producers and "characters we don't care about" are deluding themselves.
In my opinion, we need to redefine what me mean by "soaps." In our current parlance, it is assumed we mean daytime soaps: serials whose primary airdate per episode is during the weekday afternoon.
If that is the case, then I believe — firmly — that soap fans need to completely disabuse ourselves of the notion of daytime soaps if the genre stands any chance of long term survival even if we get down to only one soap per broadcast network. If you talk to most soap viewers, the majority don't seem to watch them during the day at all, a massive irony given that many of those same fans dismiss the idea of daytime audience erosion. We, including myself, watch soaps in ways that are convenient to our lifestyles. We watch on DVR or SoapNet (where available) or some fans have taken to watching the sliced & diced versions on YouTube (which don't and shouldn't be counted toward ratings). And yet we WONDER why daytime soap ratings are down or fluctuate badly.
Second, I do not believe in many of the ongoing notions that gays are going to save soaps, that bringing back this character or that vet is going to save soaps, that such & such production model is going to save soaps, or that even good writing is going to save soaps, although good writing (and strongly defined characters) is where everything should begin.
Telenovelas are the rage the world over; British & European soaps remain steadfast parts of their cultural landscape; prime time soaps on American TV have taken many forms over the years and Ameircan audiences aren't phased. I believe that a radical approach to the American version of what we now call daytime soaps is needed to make them relevant to American popular culture again, not just among the soap fans who are left watching today.
I don't know what radical approach might be needed, but one thing I do know that today's soaps fans in general are more resistant to change of any kind than I've ever seen in the past, now to the point of strangling to death anything that even hints of upsetting their rigid & often intractable views of what a soap should be.
If I had my druthers and could find an approach that would work, I would sacrifice every current fan of soaps if it meant I could bring in a new, larger, and more receptive audience that would make soaps economically viable in whatever form it takes in the future and hope that most of those current fans eventually would come along for the ride.