Saturday, May 18, 2024

NBC First Run Soap “Days of Our Lives” Finally Hits Number 1 For the First Time Since Richard Nixon was President


It’s finally happened. “Days of our Lives” is number 1.

The NBC soap finished in first place the week of June 29-July 3, beating “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The fourth soap, “General Hospital,” is not posting ratings during the rerun pandemic because they’re so low.

The last time “Days” was number 1 was in 1973, when there were 16 soaps. (The last time it was number 2 was in 1995.) But I predicted this when the other shows went into reruns. “Days” producer Ken Corday is so cheap that he shoots six months in advance so by luck, sheer luck, he had first run shows well beyond the other soaps.

But Corday also let everyone go before the pandemic hit, and then made them sign new contracts. He got rid of a lot of popular actors and nickel and dimed everyone else. Some, like Kristian Alfonso, objected. She quit after 37 years.

“Days” is entertaining largely because of the head writer, Ron Carlivati, who gave the show a little life after years of stagnation.

The show scored 1,770,000 viewers in this last ratings week. It also picked up 23,000 viewers from the previous week and finished first in all the age demos.

If NBC does some promotion, they can build on these numbers. The other shows won’t be back with new episodes until Labor Day or a little before then.

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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