Latest Soap Opera Ratings July 19-23, 2021

Moving ‘Bold’-ly Towards Future ‘DAYS

Ratings Overshadowed By NBC’s Days Of Our Lives Spin-Off Announcement


Wow. What a week. The soap news cycle rises and sets by weekly ratings, but the live + same day viewing numbers as well as demographics might mean less than ever. How else does one explain the lowest rated soap on television being given a special 5 part limited series order? And mere weeks after hiring its lowest rated week ever. More on DAYS shortly, but first two soaps making the argument that live viewing is not a thing of the past, at least not yet: CBS’ Bold and The Beautiful and Young And The Restless.

Young and The Restless, as I have often repeated was clobbered upon returning just a little over a year ago. Back in August, just three weeks into its return with new episodes, Y&R dropped as much as 38% from before the pandemic from a high of over 4 million viewers to 2.542 million. Overall last season Y&R averaged 3.56 million viewers for the full season and 3.70 million prior to the shutdown. This season, the soap is averaging 3.218 million viewers and down just 10 percent year to year. This week was another solid step in the right direction.

CBS Sees Strong Numbers With Both B&B and Y&R

Y&R averaged 3.37 million viewers, just 3,000 less than its most viewed full week of episodes this season. Not counting the impeachment preemptions during February in which only one episode aired, this week is virtually tied as the highest since before the shutdown in April of 2020. The soap increased its audience for the second week in a row, up a little less than 1% as additional 24,000 viewers viewers tuned in. The last four weeks of episodes are all among the top five weeks since before the Y&R return from shutdown.

In women 18-49, Y&R was ahead of its season average of a .44 and is down a little over 11% in the demographic season to date. This week tied for the second highest demo rating of the season with a .47, and was up 9% from last week. Despite a drop in women 25-54, both from last week and versus last year’s average, Y&R remained in first place with a .71. The number one soap in the country is averaging a .7 season to date and slipped 3% from last week.


B&B Continues To Impress, Surges From Last Year

Bold and The Beautiful celebrated the anniversary of its return with some big numbers. B&B pulled in a .42 ahead of last year by 56% in women 18-49. The soap averaged just a .27 this week last last year and the following week hit its series low with a .24. B&B was up almost 75% from that record low with this week’s performance. The soap added 5% from last week up from a .40. In women 25-54, the soap went from last year’s .46 to a .66, increasing 43% year to year. B&B was up 36% from last year’s 2.105 million to 2.868 million, adding a 763,000 in its total viewer total. B&B is averaging 2.79 million viewers and has been on an upswing beating the season average for the last six weeks consecutively. The half hour soap opera is averaging just 7% lower than last season’s 3.01 million viewer. That deficit is likely to furtherbshrink over the next few weeks.

GH Is Up For 3rd Straight Week In Total Viewers

General Hospital will join B&B is having year to year comparisons next week. This week was positive for the longest running soap on television, as GH added 19,000 viewers to hit 2.138 million, up less than 1% from last week’s 2.119. This is GH’s third straight week of increases in total viewers. Compared to last season’s average, GH is down just 67,000 from 2.183 million to 2.116 million viewers. That 3% decline has consistently been the smallest of the soaps in total viewers year to year. The ABC soap has beaten the season to date average in nine of the last thirteen weeks.

Down In Demos, GH’s Streaming Numbers Picking Up Slack?

In women 18-49, GH is not performing as well the CBS soaps as it is seeing larger percentage declines. This week the soap dropped 6% to a .32 to for its third lowest this season. GH is down 21% to a .35 from last year’s .45. In women 25-54, GH dropped 4% to a .54, below the season average of a .57. The ABC soap has been known to add upwards of 20% to its total audience in both demographics when DVR viewing up to 7 days after an episode airs is includes. GH outranks B&B in women 18-49 when including those viewers, comes very close to Y&R, and widens the gap with DAYS in all measures. Considering how well DAYS performs in streaming, despite the weaker numbers in live viewing, I wonder how much better GH looks for ABC/Disney when Hulu’s viewers are added into the equation.


DAYS Hits 3 Month High in Total Viewers/Gets Spin-Off

Hot on the heels of the announcement of its first spin-off, Days Of Our Lives pulled in its highest total viewer count since at least April. The only NBC soap opera pulled in 2,000 more viewers than last week to hit 1.645 million, basically flat percentage-wise from the previous week. DAYS dipped among women 18-49 to a .26, a 4% drop from last week but in line with the recent trend. In women 25-54, DAYS climbed 8% to a .43 in the demographic. This tied for second highest in the demographic since March.

DAYS Has Had A Lot Of Good News Despite Ratings Struggles

This has been quite a positive few month for DAYS. After months of will-they-or-won’t-they renewal talks between NBC the shows’s producers, Sony Entertainment and Corday Productions, a deal was struck to keep the show on the air through 2023. This two year renewal was the first multi year renewal for the NBC soap opera since 2014. Back in 2014, the genre was experiencing a ratings renaissance after more than a decade of cancellations reduced the soaps on the air from ten to just four. The renewal for DAYS this time around came as much more of a surprise since it’s ratings have been- well terrible.

DAYS Is At Series Lows In All Measures Season To Date

Season to date, DAYS is averaging just 1.692 million viewers, a decline of over 11% from last season’s 1.91 million. This decline of over 200,000 viewers came despite the fact that DAYS is averaging less viewers than ever before in its history. The show has also under performed in both key demographics with double digit declines in both women 18-49 and women 25-54. The average in women 18-49 for the season is .31, a number the soap has not hit in at least four months. In the last six weeks alone, the show has hit or tied its lowest ratings in viewers (1.489 million in late June), women 18-49 (.23 just two weeks ago) and women 25-54 ( .37 in late June).

What is NBC Thinking With More ‘DAYS’?

How the 🤬🤬🤬 did the show get a renewal let alone a spin-off? Well, the answer is simple and positive for all four soaps. DAYS is thriving on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service that launched in the spring of last year. In fact, the dip from just under 2 million viewers to its current levels can be directly correlated to the launch and growth of the streaming service. NBC does not release the numbers for specific series on Peacock, but the network knows exactly how many viewers are watching on the service. These numbers are strong enough to make an investment and commitment in the soap opera and that it is a way to expose the streaming service to potential new subscribers. NBC even shifted DAYS to air exclusively on instead of the network’s website.

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