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I think a good point is being made here about older viewers. I've noticed alot of seniors are more active now and actually are coming out of retirement, which never used to be the case. Sure, some did but not like this. The economy is bad so that is likely a reason too and it's also why less woman watch. Some have more then one job and don't even have the time to watch it even if they DVR it so some may not even bother. It seems we always tend to focus on what is on the surface but I tend to think the reason for soaps declining more and more in ratings and demos is more then just the shows simply not giving fans what they want.

It's been mentioned ad nauseum how the ratings only seem to reflect events and gimmicks now and that is because that is the easiest audience to get back. The type of viewer who is just curious and wants to check out something big. That is why they stop watching shortly after...because the event is over. What we are seeing now is each soap has some core fans left. Those are the fans who stay no matter what. The core fans and other fans who were lost are the ones who are hard to come back and let me just say I don't think you can ever get back a majority of them back. That is why I think networks have stopped caring about the numbers. They know more seniors are active and out of the house now. They know some have more then one job or just don't have the time. They know more women are out in the workforce then ever before. Even those who stay home aren't so apt to just stay home anymore. They want to be active and do things. Let's also remember how some seniors have to end up a nursing home. My grandmother is at one right now because she became too ill to come home and she is the one that got me hooked on soaps. Now, she doesn't even watch. She checks out the weekly marathons on Soapnet if she can but that's if she isn't too tired to stay up that late for some of them and if she's not hanging out with one of her friends. You figure if more seniors are in nursing homes or assisted living or what have you, they may be watching in groups or not at all, which drastically affects the numbers.

All the factors I mentioned above are among the things I think are affecting the ratings and have been for years. Steve is right in that viewership is skewed older now but I think alot of that is economy-based. More adults going back to school. Less people home during the day. People working multiple jobs. Also, add in the fact that there are more entertainment choices. There are more channels then ever before. There is just more to it then soaps simply not delivering. I know people who quit watching soaps not because they wanted to but just because they just didn't have the time. They try to catch up when they can but that isn't too often.

When soaps became youth-obsessed, it was during a time when teens would stay home more and that was being proven by data. Now, teens don't like sitting still. They figure they can just tape it or watch it online or something, which leads to another factor. The Internet. If you can watch stuff online, why bother watching it live? That and there are so many spoilers and day to day breakdowns out there, you don't even have to watch.

I think the networks know all this and it's why they no longer panic over ratings, which is why I root for every soap to go up. If they don't care about ratings, how will the ratings going down result in a regime change? Most regime chances now happen because of a falling out more then ratings. Just look at primetime. Ratings are going down for many shows. Hell, the ratings every spring for most everyone the past two years have gone down. Some blame the time change happening in March rather then April because it means more chances to be outdoors and to do more things. Some think people just tend to get busier at that point because winter is over and school is winding down for some. The fact is that the ratings system sucks anyway. While it never has been accurate in terms of measuring quality, it's now outdated to the point where it's love overdue for a major change and not just some tweaks.

I think there are also alot of people who quit watching merely because soaps never evolved. In every decade, soaps have evolved and pushed the envelope to new heights. That has not happened this decade. Soaps aren't modernizing and they need to without losing their identity and the necessary traditional traits fans came to love about soaps.

Now, I still think Higley will be goon soon, as I've said in other threads. The blurb Jonatha posted only furthers to assure me of that prediction. I think Scott just has too much support from Sony and the cast and crew. I also think Corday and Higley are nearing a falling out, if they haven't had one already, which is always the last straw for any writer at Days.

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SOD: Backstage Drama at DAYS · General Daytime News