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|Steve Frame||Jul 5 2008, 03:14 PM|
I disagree to a certain point.
I just posted something similar over at another board.
As most of us know CBS dominated the soap ratings through the 50's and early 60's because no network really tried. NBC had a network head who didn't like soaps and he tried everything he could to sabotage them - until they got rid of him and they finally started trying to build their daytime lineup. ABC didn't get into the game really until 1963 with GH and then didn't really try to build much on it at all.
Anyway none of them could really crack the CBS domination - even after AW really started getting good when Agnes Nixon took over in November of 1965. She really turned the show around concentrating first on the love story of Bill & Missy. By 1966 she started inching up and then she kept on building with the introductions of Steve Frame and Rachel Davis and established the couple of Steve and Alice with Rachel as the interloper.
It took almost 3 years but finally AW jumped up into the CBS stronghold of ratings. It was 2 seasons before she was able to take AW into the 9's which had pretty much been only CBS territory.
Later GH had a quicker rise to the top but even it wasn't instantaneous. If you will look at history soaps have gotten little surges from week to week, but they have never had instant rises. It takes good long consistent writing that proves to the audience it is not a passing fad.
What AW and GH had going for them too is that the lineup around them was trying too. Right now really only OLTL seems like it is trying. AMC did for awhile but even they don't seem to be anymore. Add to it that not only the lineup around the shows are not trying but the whole daytime soap genre doesn't seem to be trying.
When AW surged in the late 60's it not only helped The Doctors and Days which both saw their ratings go up but even on ABC and CBS the other shows rose in ratings too as more people were drawn to the genre. Dark Shadows finished the 66-67 season with a 4.3 but the 67-68 season they were the last place program but with a 9.2.
As to quality - it never has really meant anything in ratings. WTHI under the tenure of Labine/Mayer was one of the most critically acclaimed shows in daytime at the time. It never got good ratings. Same with Labine/Mayer at Love of Life. They helped the ratings a little, but not much.
ATWT was one of the worst shows critically when Irna Phillips returned to the headwriter position in the early 70's (she had really lost her touch) - but they still ranked at #1 for those seasons.
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