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Soaps and COVID-19

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    soapsarecool
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    Hey everyone. With people spending so much time now at home, do you guys think it’s an opportunity for soaps to improve their ratings? The problem is I’m guessing most of the shows (except for Days) don’t have more than 2-3 weeks of show and have stopped taping.

    What do you guys think will be the impact of the pandemic upon soaps?

    By the way: the real world now seems like one of those outbreaks on GH.

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    EmmyLoser
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    When I was watching GH yesterday, there was some dialogue about Josslyn not going to school and not interacting with people because of the brewing mob war, but it was surreal because of how applicable it felt to COVID-19 and what’s happening now. They’re certainly better primed than most to handle something like that.

    I was under the impression that most of the soaps are actually a few months ahead in taping, and so could go on a hiatus for at least a month/six weeks without running out of new episodes. When GH announced their hiatus, they said it would last until April 10, and didn’t anticipate an interruption of new episodes. My guess is that if the need for this level of restriction continues past the time when they have episodes filmed, they’ll figure out a way to produce and film the shows with minimal crews and taking lots of precautions.

    While it would be a silver lining if people being at home meant the ratings for soaps went up, I doubt it’ll happen. People are tuning into news stations or streaming things, and there’s not really anything juicy enough happening to draw people in. Is there anything happening on a soap currently that isn’t more or less just tried and true soap stuff (baby switches, fighting over companies, etc.) or the stuff that people make fun of soaps for? I’d love to be wrong about that, though.

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    Sean Phillips
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    EmmyLoser
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    TVLine correcting my bit of misinformation up there. I thought Y&R/B&B were further ahead.

    If the shows can’t resume production anytime soon, DAYS has a bazillion episodes waiting to go, but sadly for them, the show is not that great right now, and more eyeballs won’t do them a lot of favors.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    I have been watching old soaps online. I watched some Ryan’s Hope episodes and especially some 1989 Another World episodes. Luckily there is a treasure trove of old soap episodes, mostly from beyond 1979 though – not enough earlier than that but I have seen every available episode of The Doctors from December 1967 through November 1979 (so far), which has been great.

    My biggest wish would be if they could put up All My Children and One Life to Live in the 1970’s. There is hardly anything up online from before 1979 and some of it is audio only ):

    How I wish there was a soaps only online source where you could click on a show and find episodes in sequential order – whatever is available. I would gladly spend $10 a month for such a service!

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    EmmyLoser
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    TVLine and other outlets are now reporting that both Y&R and B&B will air their last remaining original episodes this upcoming Thursday, and after that will do themed weeks of shows from their archives. I’m pretty curious to see what the ratings look like for these encore airings. With Y&R especially, it’s pretty easy to imagine they have some classic episodes to air that many current fans haven’t seen but would love to. Next week Y&R will air episodes focusing on Katherine, while B&B will air episodes filmed in Monte Carlo. (When is the last time any other soap could afford to go to Monte Carlo?)

    https://tvline.com/2020/04/20/young-and-restless-last-new-episode-final-original-reruns/

    I have to say, I’m also kind of excited to see what kind of ideas come out of this break from the grind of writing a daily show for the writing staff. As people have said, this will maybe give Y&R a chance to take a look at itself and make some improvements to get fans more interested in the show again. The stories on B&B almost seem to write themselves, and I think the loss of momentum may be somewhat detrimental to GH. DAYS will probably benefit pretty strongly from a break, since Ron tends to come in after a break with some really strong ideas that can sustain a show for like a year before the cracks start showing. Between this forced break and the show’s long hiatus in the winter, we may get some really strong arcs coming up.

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    DramaKing
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    Hey Freeman – where are you watching the earlier episodes? Just on YouTube? I would love to go back and watch episodes of Another World. That was and still is my favorite soap of all time. I really wish Soapnet was still on the air. The would be a great time to start airing some of the classic soaps from the 70’s and 80’s.

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    Djoko
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    With Y&R and B&B in repeats and then eventually GH, I wonder if Days can finally take over as the top rated soap for the first time.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    Hey Freeman – where are you watching the earlier episodes? Just on YouTube? I would love to go back and watch episodes of Another World. That was and still is my favorite soap of all time. I really wish Soapnet was still on the air. The would be a great time to start airing some of the classic soaps from the 70’s and 80’s.

    On YouTube. Almost every show has epis available from post-1979 onwards. There are rare epis from before 1979 here and there.

    The Doctors is on RetroTV but due to covid-19 they have been unable to digitize any of the remaining episodes (they are at the end of December 1979 – Kim Zimmer is on the show as Nola, her first soap role). They are going to go back to the 1967 episodes until they can get new episodes from the last 3 years up and running.

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