The soap opera had been a beloved form of programming to many around the world. People would tune in during the daytime to see many characters engaging in various situations, often with plenty of melodrama involved. People would often become excited about the detailed storylines in these shows.
But over the years, many soap operas have died off. Many prominent American soaps have gone under over the years. Guiding Light, As the World Turns, All My Children, and One Life To Life all ended in recent years, while Days of Our Lives has suspended production.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Neighbours was moved to a less prominent channel in recent years. British shows like Coronation Street and EastEnders continue to be popular, but their ratings have been on shaky ground on occasion.
It is clear that soap operas are not as popular as they used to be. There are many reasons why soap opera’s last days could come soon.
Questionable Creative Choices
Many people are being turned off by soap operas due to their unusual or questionable choices. Some of these choices have been rather unusual, from a woman being possessed by the devil on Days of Our Lives to a killer clone on Guiding Light, and even a storyline on Neighbours involving a dog’s dream. The late soap Passions has a full litany of odd choices that turned off prospective viewers, from a doll that comes to life to an orangutan nurse that the show’s crew tried to make eligible for a Daytime Emmy award.
Unsatisfied With Representation
Many viewers have cited representation-related issues over why they haven’t been watching soap operas. Some viewers are unhappy with how traditional families are not highlighted on these shows anymore. Others feel that there isn’t much diversity in these shows.
Other Programs Are Cheaper
One other point surrounding the decline of soap operas is that it is cheaper for television networks to air other shows in the daytime. Talk shows like the View and Ellen are cheaper to produce and arrange than soap operas. Game shows like the Price is Right and Jeopardy are also cheaper to run, even when the prize money is considered. Even if one of these shows gets lower ratings than a soap, it may still cost half as much to run.
The Rise of Reality
Reality television is the last factor to note. People who are interested in melodrama have found reality television programs to be more appealing, especially when the variety of these shows is considered.
Even the coverage of real events could prove to be more interesting to some people. An argument could be made that the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1994 and 1995 was more intriguing to many people than soap operas were. There are no guarantees that real events are more attractive than soap operas. American television networks had better ratings with soap operas, including Days of Our Lives, than what they were getting out of coverage of the Donald Trump impeachment hearings earlier this year.