Friday, May 24, 2024

Soap Opera Chaos as Number 1 Show “Young and the Restless” Falls Below 4 Mil Viewers During Ratings Sweeps


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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