Sound the alarms. Something must be done quickly about the CBS soap, “The Young and the Restless.” The bottom has literally dropped out of the ratings.
For the week of July 22-26th, “Y&R” hit its all time low– 3.5 million viewers. They are down 760,000 fans since a year ago last week. All three of the other daytime dramas are way off, too, this summer. But “Y&R” sets the pace, and they are in real trouble right now.
The show has been adrift since former executive producer Mal Young got rid of a lot of the veteran actors and tried to replace them with new characters. It didn’t work. In the melee, many important names– Eileen Davidson, Christel Khalil– left the show. They have not returned. The show has lost its main focus. Also missing, except for guest appearances, is Emmy winner Jess Walton.
Newer executive producer Anthony Morina so far has not won back the viewers who left, and the erosion is now significant. Summer is always a slow time for soaps– kids are out of school, people are on vacation. But this is serious. Morina has got to restore the old order of the show pronto. For one thing, the stories move like glaciers. They’ve got to pick up the pace.
Just to compare: two years ago, “Y&R” was headed toward 4.8 million viewers by the end of 2017. Where did all those people go?
Meanwhile, “Bold and the Beautiful” is off by more than 400K viewers from one year ago, and “General Hospital” is down by over 300K. “Days of Our Lives” is down by 200K.
The networks don’t need much incentive to cancel all the remaining soaps. If the ratings don’t improve drastically, they will use them as an excuse to fill the time with reality programming or talk shows. Someone had better tell the EPs of all the shows to make some swift, and positive, changes.