Things are getting worse at CBS’s number 1 soap, “The Young and the Restless.”
For the first time ever, the total weekly number of viewers has dropped below 4 million. Previously, the soap had flirted with just under 4 million on individual days.
The ratings for August 27-31 were 3,927,000. The show lost 223K from the previous week and 281K from the same week last year.
Last December, “Y&R” was up to 4.8 million viewers, which means almost a million fans have left the show.
The stunning drop can be pinned to audience reaction at the dismissal or departure of over a half dozen popular actors since then, as well as some weird story telling that isn’t working.
Actors gone or leaving include Eileen Davidson, Paul Davidson (not related), and Mishael Morgan. The former two have been with the program 35 and 40 years, respectively.
Insiders close to EP Mal Young offer rational defenses for the show’s changes, like actors who don’t want to appear so often, live far away, have family issues, etc. But something obviously has gone wrong. The low ratings are a wake up call, if it’s not too late.
It could be argued that it was the week leading into Labor Day, and people were traveling. The last three days were all below 4 million. So we’ll wait and see if they came back and the following week before declaring a true state of emergency.