Home Television Soap Opera Chaos as Number 1 Show “Young and the Restless” Falls...

Now, it’s really trouble at CBS’s “The Young and the Restless.”

New ratings just released for the week of May 13-17, in the middle of “sweeps,” show the number 1 daytime drama fell below 4 million viewers. The total for the week was 3,958,000.

The drop has been coming for a while, but this cinches it: the show should be in emergency mode. Over the December 25th – December 31st Christmas week in 2017, “Y&R” boasted 4.8 million viewers.

But sudden changes, actors being written out or leaving, caused a steep drop that they’ve never recovered from. The show fired its EP, Mal Young, and immediately brought back who they could. But the damage was apparently done. Even when things looked better, a new problem came: for some reason they fired popular Emmy winning actress Gina Tognoni and replaced her with her predecessor, Michelle Stafford. It doesn’t sound like much, but the news seems to have been the last straw. Fans headed to the exits.

So now what? All the soaps are down, but “Y&R” sets the pace. On May 13th, they had 4.2 million viewers. The very next day the rating slipped by 300,000 people to 3.9 million. In one day, they collapsed.

The writers and executive producers of soaps are notorious for hubris, and giving the fans what they don’t want. The adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” never seems to apply to these people. They are constantly trying and failing to re-invent the wheel. “Y&R” has to get Eileen Davidson back on camera, as well as Christel Khalil. Executive producer Anthony Morina had better make some changes fast, or they’re all going to be out of jobs.

Meantime, the situation is just as dire at the three other soaps, particularly “General Hospital,” which has lost its own hundreds of thousands of viewers in the last year.

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