Soap Opera Ratings Preview: CBS Fell Hardest After the Pandemic, But Both Have Largely Bounced Back
Although we do not have the numbers for General Hospital or Days Of Our Lives just yet, CBS has excellent news. For the week of June 28th through July 2nd, both CBS soap operas have hit their highest viewer levels since February 8th. However, that week was an anomaly because only one episode aired that week due to the impeachment hearings.
Previously All Four Soaps Hit A Season High During A Strange and One Episode Week In February
Consequently, every soap hit its season-high that week, with only GH surpassing that high since. It was just this last week that GH was able to reach that point. Last week was GH’s highest-rated week of episodes since April of last year. That was the final week all four soaps aired original episodes.
GH Hit A High The Prior Week, Followed By Both CBS Soaps The Week Ending July 2nd
When looking past the outlier in February, CBS soaps have hit an even more significant milestone. The highest Young and The Restless has gone this season outside of that week in February were the two weeks that preceded it. Those two weeks had Y&R at nearly identical viewer levels of 3.341 and 3.344 million. This past week the soap had averaged at least 3.37 million viewers, which would be the highest-rated week (not counting the outlier) of episodes since April when the last episodes before the shutdown occurred.
Y&R Had Biggest Drop After Hiatus
Young and The Restless had the most significant drop in viewers when it initially returned from the hiatus on August 10. The highest-rated and older of the two CBS soaps are was the last to return to production after Bold and The Beautiful on July 20th and ABC’s General Hospital on August 3rd.
Y&R Has Been #1 In Total Viewers Every Week But One Since 1988
The CBS soap has been number one every week since 1988 except for one which involved preemptions of the soap that did not affect Bold & The Beautiful, allowing the younger soap to spend its first and only week in the top spot. Last season before the shutdown, Y&R averaged 3.70 million viewers. In the final weeks of original episodes, the soap hit a season-high of 4.213 million. It averaged above 4 million for four out of the five final weeks, the last of which averaged 4.042 million viewers.
B&B’s Return Was Warning For Other Soaps, But Bounced Back
Bold and The Beautiful was the canary in the coal mine when it returned with just 2.105 million viewers. The soap’s final week in April averaged 3.275 million viewers, and only weeks before had hit a season-high of 3.66 million viewers. The decline meant a loss of 36% from the final week, 43% from the season-high, and 35% from the season average up to that point. The premiere marked a series low, far below the 2.642 million viewers of the previous one. The second week would fall another 4% to a new low of 2.033 million. The first six weeks after the return from reruns would tick upwards but averaged just 2.27 million viewers. However, B&B would return to far more substantial numbers. So far this season, B&B is averaged 2.78 million, down 13% but much higher than the initial return from hiatus.
GH Dropped The Least Upon Return
General Hospital also saw declines, although the decrease in viewers was not as pronounced. GH returned with 1.907 million, a 13% decline from the 2.17 million viewers tuning into its last week of originals. The ABC soap it a two-year-high just a few weeks earlier with 2.57 million viewers and 2.21 million for the season up through the hiatus. The soap would drop as low as 1.665 million viewers in September due to a scheduling mishap due to baseball. Since the beginning of this season, GH has declined the least in total viewers and is averaging 2.12 million viewers, a decline of 3% from last season and 4% not including the post-shutdown episodes. Last week the soap pulled in 2.276 million, a season-high and best since the beginning of April 2020.
Y&R Has Rebounded From Series Lows
Young and The Restless returned a week after GH with just 2.685 million viewers, down 34% from the last week of originals and 28% for the season to date before the hiatus. The soap would remain in first place despite the drop, even after it fell to 2.542 million. The turnaround was relatively swift as it surpassed 3 million viewers the following week. This season is down 13% from the entire season and roughly 14% from before the hiatus.
DAYS Remained On Air Without Interuption, Currently At Series Lows
Days Of Our Lives has not aired any reruns due to its unique production scandal. The lowest rated soap is pulling in 1.70 million viewers each week this season, down 9% from last season’s 1.91 million average. The only NBC soap hit a series low of 1.489 million viewers. DAYS logged four of its lowest viewed weeks in the the last two months. The series was renewed for two seasons keeping it on the air until 2023.