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Born and raised in New Orleans, I went to school at St. Edwards in Metairie, Rummel High and on to LSU. I have been living "On The Air" in New Orleans for 20 years.

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Are the days of the Soap Opera nearly over?

Not that I’m a big Soap Opera fan although I’ll admit I catch “The Young & the Restless every now and then at 11pm on Soapnet. That’s only because I know Christian Leblanc who’s from here. But now the cancellation of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” sent shock waves through an already-reeling soap-opera industry. Remember last year, CBS killed off two of the longest-running daytime serials — “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light” — which was already a major blow for an industry that was losing viewers. But ABC’s surprise twofer announcement seemed to confirm that one by one, broadcast networks are giving up on the idea of daytime Soaps. Lets face it Soaps may have been the butt of jokes for years for their melodrama and over-the-top story lines, but they provided an original hour (or half-hour) of content five days a week without reruns. Imagine “Mad Men” or “The Office” attempting that feat. I just interviewed 3 stars from Day’s Of Our Lives and they made a point to tell how grueling it is to grind out soap episodes with no rest and very little time between script and air date, leaving performers to refer to their soap jobs as “acting boot camp.” Yet let’s admit that Soaps have produced major, award-winning stars such as Morgan Freeman, Julianne Moore, Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei and Laurence Fishburne, to name just a few. For generations of loyal fans including our Mom’s who were known to get wrapped up in all the tiny machinations of every character, soaps truly were the first must-see TV. So did shows like Dallas, Dynasty, Peyton Place, Melrose Place, and today Grey’s Anatomy’ and Desperate Housewives erode the audience over the years? A gradual loss of fans led to less advertising revenue — which didn’t impact soaps right away. But when the soaps became too costly to support the loss of revenue, their descent accelerated. So what's more popular than soaps? CBS replaced “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns” with “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Talk,” The “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” time slots will be filled by “The Chew” and “The Revolution” — all talk, game or lifestyle shows. I guess the next big question is how long it will take before daytime viewers get tired of yet another cooking show or weight-loss show.

04/19/2011 1:27PM
Are the days of the Soap Opera nearly over?
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