Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oprah Turns the Soaps Down

11 comments:

Tiffany said...

Aww bummer. I think she's absolutely right though :(

Lebrat said...

Yep, Oprah is right. Our generation grew up an started working. We don't stay home and watch 3 hours of daytime soaps anymore. The numbers just aren't there. It's a new time and as painful as it is, we need to accept it. This was a long time coming :-(

cath said...

Oprah makes perfect sense....sad to say.

NuttyAboutSoaps said...

I respect Oprah for making this video and giving the soap fans an immediate answer. It was the right thing to do.

I also understand why she isn't willing to invest in daytime soaps, which have no secondary market. Unlike weekly shows, no one is interested in watching a year's worth of soap reruns. If they miss a show, they just catch up by watching new episodes. So, the network essentially has to produce five new episodes per week, knowing that they will only be shown ONCE. Oprah is more interested in producing weekly shows that she can run over and over again throughout the year. Realistically, soap episodes can only be rerun in the same week they were originally aired.

The other issue is availability. In my area, OWN is not part of the basic cable package - you have to buy a fairly expensive package to get it. Many people on fixed incomes were used to getting AMC for "free" on basic cable. As a result, I'm not sure how many of those 2.5 million loyal viewers would have followed the show to OWN - it would have cost them money.

Personally, I was hoping that OWN could have picked AMC up as a weekly show and produced 30 - 40 new episodes per year (and continually rerun them like a primetime show). It might not have worked for the actors, but it would have been a way to keep the franchise going.

boesveld2003 said...

I didn't think Oprah would take two scripted dramas for her new network, I thought the cost would be too much for her. So I wasn't surprised to hear her say no to the request - and she has every right to.

But what she didn't have to do was be a shill for the network, and repeat AGAIN the lie that the soaps don't make money. They do, and it's been proven over and over again. They just don't make as much as they did. And she also repeated that old chestnut about not enough women being home to watch anymore. Did she miss the past 20 years, with the advent of recording devices that eliminated the need to watch live?

All I really heard her saying by repeating the network arguments was her kissing up to both Disney and ABC, and probably the tv executive world at large. As powerful as she is, I doubt she wants to make enemies, certainly none that might impact the success of her new network. I also think Oprah is still a bit star-struck, and not all that interested in the little people who are the ones who actually made her so successful.

So Oprah, have your new network, cry your crocidile tears, and just STFU.

sonja said...

FYI, taped shows don't count towards ratings, so if you tape a show and watch it later, that doesn't help to show stay on the air. As I read elsewhere:

"The thing is, ratings are compiled almost solely for the benefit of the advertisers. Remember, commercial TV is not the product, and we the viewers are not the consumer; commercial TV is the hook by which the broadcasters deliver the actual product, the viewers, to the actual consumer, the advertisers. And if you're watching a show you've recorded, on tape or DVR, you're probably zipping past the commercials, thus defeating the purpose of compiling the ratings in the first place. So as far as the advertisers are concerned, if you're not watching their ads, they don't want you to be included in viewership totals."

Speaking of skipping through, I have to say that I watched about five minutes of yesterday's AMC. I just don't care about Erica's kidnapping or Kendall's storyline or...most of what is going on on AMC these days. I'll watch it till the end, and as sad as I am to see it go, I'm not exactly surprised.

I do still love the genre though. The first soap I started watching as a kid with my grandma was Days of Our Lives. They lost me when they went with all those supernatural storylines 15 years ago or so, but I've started up with Days again so I'll still have a soap in my life come fall.

boesveld2003 said...

She acted as if the weight of the world had been put on her shoulders by viewers asking her to put the shows on her network. WTH? That sort of self-pitying attitude is hard to take from someone who TELLS the world constantly how giving she is and how much she wants to help. So some folks post messages, call her production company and that’s somehow too much for her?? What exactly did she do except be told about it by some terrified staffer??

When she started repeating the Frons/ABC/Disney lies about ratings and profits, it was perfectly clear that she was closing ranks with the other network toadies, not to tell the truth, not to stand up for something, but to make sure she doesn’t make somebody mad that could cut into her profit margin. And like the others, she really has no consideration for the people who have MADE her rich, put her in this position – the viewers. We’re nothing more than wallet fodder to her. Oh, and people who can “adore” her when she toots her own horn about how wonderful and evolved she is.

And wasn't it special to be chided by the goddess of daytime like we were some sort of backward children who asked mommy something inappropriate?

Oprah has a very strong ego - too bad it isn't based in any reality.

NuttyAboutSoaps said...

Boeslveld2003, for what it's worth, I interpreted Oprah's reaction differently. To me, she seemed surprised - and somewhat embarrassed - that the fans had put her in this position, which required her to respond to something that had literally been dumped in her lap.

She did not have to respond, yet she did - quickly, honestly, and respectfully. And she stated HER truth, which is that soaps have had a great run, but that the audience and demographics that supported them have changed.

I personally didn't see or hear anything on that video that was the least bit insulting.

JMO

jsturgeon said...

How is the ratings news lies? Most of the people I've seen mourning say they watched that show when they were in college. Lately? Oh, not it probably 10 years.

You don't make money off a show people watched 10 years ago. Oprah has the business side of this down cold.

John said...

Oprah said that some soaps are even getting a single-digit rating...that's incorrect unless she's talking about a specific age group...but not even the lowest rate soap is averaging below a 1.0 rating..why did she have to make it sound worse than it is?
I'm very disappointed with O....she would have better off not making any statement than making the lame excuses she made IMHO.

Lisa said...

Keep on smiling Oprah...I, for one, never thought you could save anything but your "own" butt. I would have quit watching the soaps if Oprah had anything to do with them. I do not believe the numbers they are dishing out at all. What I do understand is there is going to be a lot more unemployed people from this huge mistake ABC is making. Not only are the soap stars and their staff going to be out of work, but there are many magazines that are going to have to lighten their loads too. ABC needs to fire Jerk Frons and do something different. I knew when they decided to move AMC to California that it would end up with disaster (which is what Jerk Frons wanted). I dearly hope to read the headlines soon..."Frons Fired!" Really...a talk show and cooking show...not for me!!!