The bubble has burst. Soap operas, those daytime TV staples, are dying a sad, slow death, with the announcement that All My Children and One Life to Live would be added to the long list of daytime TV shows that have bitten the dust. That leaves the three major networks with just four soap operas between them — General Hospital on ABC; Days of Our Lives on NBC; and The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS. Typing that made me think about my grandma.
P&G has ended its namesake 77-year sponsorship of daytime drama. And in today’s announcement Brian Frons, president of daytime at Disney ABC/Television Group said, “We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days.” In their place, the network is adding a food show called The Chew and a lifestyle show called The Revolution.
The typical daytime TV viewer used to be the housewife or stay-at-home mom. We wrote only this morning that womens’ tastes in TV programming are changing, with the ladies gravitating toward shows outside of the usual Lifetime fare. So as daytime TV undergoes this transformation (remember, Oprah is leaving us also), it’ll be interesting to see what actually does take the place of the once venerable soap opera.
And as WebProNews notes, it may not be television at all that daytime viewers are interested in. At SXSW, Zynga’s director of brand advertising Manny Anekal said,”More women are playing Farmville than watching soap operas.” Not sure that’s necessarily better than All My Children, but you get the idea.