Feminism Killing Off the Soaps

Oh, the irony!

ABC today announced the end of two long-running soap operas — “One Life To Live” and “All My Children.”  Also consigned to the ash heap of history is the career of Susan Lucci, daytime soap’s most famous acress.

And why?  Here’s how the AP story reported the reason for the demise of these (and, likely, other) soaps:

Soap operas have slowly been fading as a TV force, with many of the women who made up the target audience now in the work force. In place of the two canceled dramas, ABC will air shows about food and lifestyle transformations.

ABC wouldn’t say such a thing, of course.  ABC’s spokesperson — a man  — put it this way: “Viewers are looking for different types of programming these days.”

Doh.  That is, as my old logic teacher used to say, “language guaranteed” when entirely different viewers are involved.  ” ‘All My Children’ is averaging 2.5 million viewers a day, down 9 percent from the last TV season, and the median age of a typical viewer was nearly 57,” the Nielsen Co. said. So, over half of that soap’s viewers are over 57?  I wonder if Nielsen has any other info on the viewing audience, such as how many of them have an income higher than, say, the average welfare stipend?  No wonder it’s hard to sell ads for these programs!

No, instead of a viewing audience of wives and mothers, safely installed in a domestic environment, supported by a husband, with freedom to take a break from her “comfortable concentration camp” (Betty Friedan’s term for that sort of situation), ABC now seeks to attract any out there who can watch daytime TV to view programs devoted to food and lifestyle transformations.

1 Comment

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One response to “Feminism Killing Off the Soaps

  1. Hmmm. And just who, I wonder, will be watching these new programs on “food” and “lifestyle transformations”? If all the men who’ve discovered their “feminine” sides and all the liberated wives/mothers are at work, who’s doing the cooking, and who has time or energy to transform anything? I suppose the network execs are counting on DVR to boost their ratings.

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