The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era

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Sam Ford, Abigail De Kosnik, C. Lee Harrington
Univ. Press of Mississippi, Nov 3, 2010 - Performing Arts - 344 pages
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The soap opera, one of U.S. television's longest-running and most influential formats, is on the brink. Declining ratings have been attributed to an increasing number of women working outside the home and to an intensifying competition for viewers' attention from cable and the Internet. Yet, soaps' influence has expanded, with serial narratives becoming commonplace on most prime time TV programs. The Survival of Soap Opera investigates the causes of their dwindling popularity, describes their impact on TV and new media culture, and gleans lessons from their complex history for twenty-first-century media industries.

The book contains contributions from established soap scholars such as Robert C. Allen, Louise Spence, Nancy Baym, and Horace Newcomb, along with essays and interviews by emerging scholars, fans and Web site moderators, and soap opera producers, writers, and actors from ABC's General Hospital, CBS's The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, and other shows. This diverse group of voices seeks to intervene in the discussion about the fate of soap operas at a critical juncture, and speaks to longtime soap viewers, television studies scholars, and media professionals alike.


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So I get that all the major networks still operate by the almighty advertixing dollar and that dollar is based on numbers only. Well it makes no sense to keep this model. TV is recorded and ads are fastforwarded at least 70% of the times/. WHY? because everyone and I mean everyone hates having there program interupted by an ad. It really doesn;t matter if it a great supperbowl ad or not it is still force on the viewer. Why not have fans take up this matter. Soap fan even if they are 1.2 million to 3.2 million (rating numbers) are willing to do ANYTHING to keep there soaps alive. I know for myself I would have paid a heavy premieme to keep OLTL on the air. I would have been extremely loyal to any company advertizing on the show. In fact I have changed my purchase habits in support of advertizers of my soaps and have been on a mission to distroy Disney!!!!
Talk to psycologists , behaviorists etc...they will tell you soap fan are addicts and you have taken away something extemely dear and important.
There is a huge revenue model there if some idiot running network tevision is open to see it.
TV is now and will remain a niche market. You are ignoring the obvious here and still running the networks like you did 30 years ago.
Adapt and grow...I myself avoid all major networks except for my soap......cable makes much more sense to me. I pay and get the shows I want without commercial interruption.
Get a clue already.
I think if some idiot ever takes Y&R off the air I will make it my mission to damage CBS. ABC you have already let me down....I NEVER watch or buy anything connected with ABC!!!!



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About the author (2010)

Sam Ford, Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a research affiliate with Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Convergence Culture Consortium and Director of Customer Insights for Peppercom Strategic Communications.

Abigail De Kosnik, San Francisco, California, is an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Center for New Media and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

C. Lee Harrington, Oxford, Ohio, is professor of sociology and a Women's Studies Program Affiliate at Miami University. She has been conducting research on the daytime industry and soap fans since the late 1980s and is author of many published academic works on soaps, including Soap Fans with Denise D. Bielby.

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