A soap opera is the kind of show that a person grows up with or grows into. If you are a soap fan, you know what I mean. If you are a soap fan, you also know how serious us fans can get when it comes to our favorite storylines and characters. When a favorite character is suddenly fired from a soap opera, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook explode with emotional pleas and outbursts of frustration. When a storyline isn’t going the way the fans want, the networks are bombarded with letters, phone calls, and campaigns galore. Soap fans, including myself, feel deeply about the genre in general and will do just about anything to show it. Which begs the question: If we, as fans, feel so passionately about our soaps, why are they getting canceled at a rapid rate of speed?
In recent years soap fans have said goodbye to Another World, Passions, Sunset Beach, Guiding Light, and As the World Turns. In recent months, we got word that All My Children and One Life to Live were canceled as well. That leaves ABC soap fans with General Hospital and CBS soap fans with Bold and the Beautiful and Young and the Restless. Could these shows be on the chopping block soon? Rumor has it that General Hospital will be the next to go now that Katie Couric has inked a deal for a new talk show on ABC. If not canceled, General Hospital could be modified to a half hour program in a new time slot. Rarely are changes like this made to keep a soap opera on air, especially at ABC.
Sadly, besides soap actors themselves, soap fans are the last to know when a soap is canceled or changed in any way. Once the news is out, fans will go to many lengths to “save the soaps”. Even sadder still, the campaigns, letters, phone calls, tweets, facebook posts, etc. usually go unnoticed. Network execs have their own agendas and those agendas do not focus on the thoughts or feelings of one fan, let alone a fan base of millions. These same execs know exactly where the latest bread and butter is coming from: reality shows.
Where does this leave our favorite genre? Well, according to Jamey Giddens from Daytime Confidential, CBS soap fans can breathe sighs of relief since Bold and the Beautiful and Young and the Restless are under the safety of contracts until 2013 and 2014, respectfully. The fate of ABC’s General Hospital remains unknown, for now. As sad as it is, and as wonderful as being a soap fan can be, I think it is time for us to wake up and smell the silk roses and come to terms with the fact that networks are weeding out soaps to profit off of the reality scene.
Sometimes fandom just isn’t enough — ..