“They’re going to run out of shows, and I think that’s dangerous. All I know is that I remember the days when during the O.J. Simpson trial we lost a lot of viewers because once viewers tune out it’s sometimes hard to go back,” said “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital” star Wally Kurth about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the daytime soap opera business. He joined his on-screen son Freddie Smith on “The Freddie and Alyssa Show” podcast to discuss how they’re staying sane through it all. Watch above.
The O.J. Simpson trial was televised in the 1990s, and it preempted soap operas during the day, so the medium lost viewers it never got back. Now soap operas could have a similar problem. Most of them will run out of their stockpile of episodes before production resumes, so will people who get out of the habit of watching soaps ever get back into it again? The good news, Kurth argues, is that “the people who are watching soaps now are so dedicated. It takes a lot to get a viewer to stop watching nowadays.”
Even better for “Days” — and maybe the industry as a whole — is that the NBC series shoots so far in advance that they’ll be airing original episodes into the fall. “It will have the only original content for soaps,” Kurth notes. “I have a feeling we may gain a few viewers.” And maybe having “Days” as a lifeline to give people their fill of betrayals, affairs and power struggles will give “GH,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” a lifeline as well for when they eventually get back to work.