Ratings, Rants and Raves: McBam, Liason Smooches Cause GH Spike; DAYS Hits New Low
Execs at Corday Productions and Sony TV must be chewing their finger nails to the quick over Days of Our Lives' ratings. The sudser hit a new all-time low among female viewers 18-49 the week of July 9-13. (Source: Soap Opera Network).
DAYS also lost a staggering 179,000 total viewers over the previous week, and tied its all-time low among the women 18-49 demo. DAYS managed to hold steady among the household, W18-49 and W18-34 demos, but that was little comfort, with the soap fast approaching a two-week Olympics-necessitated hiatus.
In story, someone continued to make it look like EJ (James Scott) "killed" Stefano (Joe Mascolo), as Will (Chandler Massey) kept on defending his man, er, employer. John (Drake Hogestyn) decided he wanted to claim his DiMera birthright. Chad learned from an offscreen Carly Manning that Melanie (Molly Burnett) hadn't been in contact with her and Brady (Eric Martsolf) did everything he could to convince Madison (Sarah Brown) that Ian (Ian Buchanan) had been doping him.
I'm not crazy about DAYS revisiting the whole "John is Stefano's brother" bit. That regrettable storyline was the retcon that broke the camel's back in terms of John's complicated, ever-changing backstory. I was really hoping DAYS would just continue to act like it never happened.
I won't be sad to see Ian Buchanan or Sarah Brown leave Salem. Both are amazing actors, but we've seen the older-man-trying-to-keep-younger-lovers-apart story done much better on this soap. It was called the Victor/Kim/Shane triangle. The big difference was, TPTB spent a considerable amount of time getting us to fall in love with Shane (Charles Shaughnessy) and Kim (Patsy Pease) as a couple in the 80's, before inserting the villainous Victor (John Aniston) into their mix. DAYS successfully mimicked the Victor/Kim/Shane template in the 90's, once again with Victor as the spoiler for his son Bo (Peter Reckell) and Carly (Crystal Chappell).
I know it's 2012 and things move much faster and blah, blah, blah, but I never had time to invest in Brady and Madison's insta-romance. Adding a nefarious, older dude, hellbent on keeping them apart really didn't help matters. This coming Friday, July 27, DAYS is set to quite literally explode. Let's hope when the purple dust settles two weeks later, we'll find a compelling, contemporary, fun, brazen soap, capable of luring back legions of lapsed viewers, because we're in the home stretch of DAYS' current contract at NBC.
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to see Star Jones and those other Today "professionals" get a full hour to snidely diss the news of the day. Way to keep it classy by suggesting Anderson Cooper came out for ratings, Ms. "Sponsor My Wedding (Please)!" Jones.
DAYS' Sony soap cousin, The Young and the Restless, dropped 103,000 total viewers over the previous week. Y&R held steady in households and among W18-49, but dipped one-tenth of a point among W18-34.
Genoa City was hopping the week of July 9. Cricket Blair (Lauralee Bell) found evidence linking her mortal enemy, Phyllis Newman (Michelle Stafford), to the hit-and-run that could have squashed The Bug and Paul (Doug Davidson) almost 20 years earlier. While I found it all kinds of contrived that Ricky (Peter Porte) would have been able to turn up a rental car credit card receipt from 1994, I gladly suspended my disbelief to witness an epic storyline, almost two decades in the making, play out.
Revisiting Cricket vs. Phyllis is the type of storyline Maria Arena Bell did successfully during her first year helming Y&R, which resulted in us praising her so heavily (Remember, Auntie Ri Ri?). She brought the Abbotts back to the forefront, re-centered Jabot as their driving force, brought Marge (Jeanne Cooper) back in a touching, far-reaching arc and wrote Billy (Billy Miller) reminiscent of Terry Lester's deliciously-caddish version of Jack Abbott.
Then before we knew it, things went terribly wrong. Poor, green Thom Bierdz was back, attempting to explain that Philip faked his death because he was afraid his two drag queen mothers wouldn't love him. Greg Rikaart was dressing up like rodents. Michael Muhney was in purple evening wear and the rest of the core cast suddenly had evil doppelgangers and/or were being accused of pushing people into volcanoes.
All of that being snarked, I am perfectly happy to let bygones be bygones, and bad storylines be bad storylines, if Y&R stays on a sane and seemly track toward smart, relevant, sexy storytelling, which honors history, as opposed to making a mockery of it. Oh, and as long as they end Shictor and back burner that groody Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) for a good, long while.
The Bold and the Beautiful lost 50,000 viewers over the previous week. B&B held steady in households and among W18-49, but dipped one-tenth of a point among W18-34.
Do I really need to tell anyone which three characters B&B's top story was about the week of July 9? Didn't think so. When everyone wasn't fretting over Moondoggy (Scott Clifton) getting fresh with Annette (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) on his wedding day to Gidget (Kimberly Matula), they managed to help Marcus (Texas Battle) and Dayzee (Kristolyn Lloyd) get ready for their own insta-wedding.
I can totally understand Marcus getting cold feet about marrying Dayzee. They've only shared four scenes during their entire courtship. Okay, I'm exaggerating. It's more like six.
B&B has to get better about balance and pacing. We've barely seen these characters during the last few months, now their wedding jumps from the Q story to the B story? I like the Dayzee/Marcus pairing, really, I do. It just would have been nice if we'd seen a bit more of their courtship actually happen on our screens.
I realize B&B is a 30-minute soap, but for much of its run, the frothy sudser was able to balance A/B/C stories just as well as an hour-long soap. What the heck happened? I get that B&B wants younger viewers, but it is possible to accomplish this without telling the exact same story for the exact same characters day after day, week after week.
The programs younger people are actually watching, MTV's Awkward, ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, manage to tell more than one story at a time. I strongly suggest Brad Bell and his wriiting team start doing some marathons of those series.