HOLLYWOOD—For those living under a rock, you should enjoy watching “Days of Our Lives” on Broadcast TV for next few weeks as it will soon be moving to NBC’s Peacock beginning September 12. It is a tough pill to swallow, but with this move on CBS’s “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and Beautiful,” in addition to ABC’s “General Hospital” will be the remaining three soaps on the air. So this means if you want to watch this soap, the streamer will be the only option available.
I mean I recall growing up my mother and aunts watching soaps from the start of the morning until nearly 3 or 4 p.m. in the mid-afternoon. Those days America are now long gone. Why? Since 2012 or 2013, I honestly cannot recall at this time, there were only four soap operas still on Daytime TV: “Y&R,” “B&B,” “GH” and “DOOL.” Before that you had even more soaps. Does anyone remember “Guiding Light,” “As the World Turns,” “Another World,” “All My Children,” “One Life To Live,” “Loving,” “Port Charles,” “Passions” and a host of others before that.
Yeah, Daytime TV was responsible for establishing the careers of many high-profile actors and actresses. Little known fact: actress Julianne Moore, who just happens to be an Oscar-winner, got her start on the CBS soap “As the World Turns.” Demi Moore got her start on “General Hospital.” Justin Hartley who was a staple on the recently ended NBC series “This is Us” starred on the NBC soap “Passions.” I can go on and on by listing a ton of other names, but the key is that people should know the soap opera genre is becoming extinct and it’s a damn shame.
Yes, people can point the finger to nighttime series in the present that mirror the typical soap opera, but in all honesty they don’t carry a torch. You don’t get the iconic stares and glance and long pauses that have become staple moments in the soap arena. Or those moments of dead silence where you just wonder, why the camera has this extreme close-up on a characters face. How about the soapy slaps and catfights that have become an iconic moment in soap opera history? There are just way too many to highlight and I don’t want to forget those iconic women whose moments have gone down in history and will be talked about for weeks, months, years and decades to come.
I guess the only question left to ask is why are soap operas no longer sustainable on Daytime TV? That is a question I wish I can give one the answer to because in all honesty people still watch them America. Even if you’d like to think they don’t they do and you might be surprised that it’s not just women who watch soaps. There are a lot of men who do the same. Soap operas are a great tool to teach writers about the importance of witty and catchy dialogue, and how to carry a conversation without having dull or stale moments.
In addition, soaps are a great tool for expository storytelling and how to keep the viewer’s attention from one day to the next or in some cases for months. Why? You want to know how the story will end, but in other cases you have all the information you’re just waiting for the characters to discover what you have known for months and in some cases a year or two.
With just three soaps remaining on the air, I feel the time is coming where the soap opera as we know it will no longer exist. I’m hoping that “Days of Our Lives” sustains on Peacock, but my gut tells me a lot of old school people who like watching things on TV and not streaming, may not jump ship fast enough to keep the viewership that the soap needs to remain airing. Maybe we have reached a point where the soap opera is no longer a staple; those are words that I thought I would never utter.