Latest Soap Opera Ratings: Week Ending 8/20

Every Soap Opera (and Soap Fan) Has Reason To Celebrate

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Man, I love it when there’s just good soap news all around. Although there were losses in some categories for each of the four daytime dramas, they all show stability that was unthinkable a year ago. All four soaps dipped in total viewers, but only by the most negligible amounts.

Good News For All Soaps: Audiences Growing!

General Hospital hit multi-week highs in women 18-49, and Young And The Restless jumped in the category as well. Bold and The Beautiful and Days of our Lives saw slight declines in either viewers or demographics- but even in a down week, there was a lot to celebrate

B&B Barely Misses A Beat, Blows Last Year Out Of The Water

Bold and The Beautiful averaged 3.02 million viewers, down a scant 24,000 from last week- less than a percentage point- marking the third straight week B&B has topped 3 million viewers. In women ages 18-49 and 25-54, the half-hour soap dropped just .01 from last week to a .38 and .69 respectively.

Last year, both CBS soaps were gasping for air- B&B has just 2.376 million viewers and a .28 in women 18-49. Year to year, B&B was up 644,000 viewers for a 27% increase in overall audience. The 36% increase in women 18-49 is as bold and beautiful as the year-to-year comparisons come these days.

Y&R Ahead Of Peers, Ahead Of Last Year and Ahead of The Season To Date

Young And The Restless arguably had the best week of all four soaps, hands down. Not only was it number one in every category once again, it only lost 1,000 viewers week to week for 3.442 million viewers. Y&R increased from last week’s .43 to a .45 (up 5%) in women 18-49 and spiked in women 25-54 hitting a .74, outdoing ifs .70 from last week by 6%. That women 25-54 rating is the soap operas best since April 2020. In total viewers, this was a statistical tie with last week’s season-high in overall audience.

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Last year, Y&R looked more “old and restless” than anything else when just 2.542 million viewers watched in its lowest-rated week of all time. Y&R did not just improve over last year; it obliterated it by adding 900,000 viewers for an impressive 35% increase. As great as that is, nothing beats how it improved in women 18-49, up 55% from last year’s .29 rating.

GH Matches Season To Date This Week, What’s Up With The Demo Losses??

General Hospital found itself in a good place audience-wise despite a slight decline of 23,000 viewers to average 2.177 million- another nearly insignificant 1% decline. The soap opera made up for the drop by increasing to .35 in women 18-49, up 3% and tying for the highest in the demo since 6/25. The only actual loss was the drop from a .59 to a .57 in women 25-54- a drop of 2% but in line with the season average. All three numbers this week were almost identical to GH’s season-to-date standards.

Now here’s where things get murky for GH- year-to-year comparisons. In total viewers, GH added 101,000 more than last year for a 5% gain. This is positive for sure but pales in comparison to the vast jumps that CBS can point to in its data.

GH Had Bigger Thrills Last Year

To be fair, GH was pulling out the stops with the Nurses Ball and Wiley’s kidnapping while CBS had recaps and sex dolls. Harder to defend is GH’s performance in the demos year to year. GH dropped 13% in women 25-54 from a .65- a number GH has not hit this season. In women 18-49, it was down an even bigger 17% from last year’s .42, a number the show has not hit since just before the New Year.

GH Pulls In Strongest Numbers With Delayed Viewing

The audience is there- the increase in total viewers is proof of that, along with delayed and streaming viewing, in which GH thrives. Personally, I believe GH is getting hit hardest in the demos because, like Days of our Lives, the younger audience has moved on from watching on a schedule and prefers to make time whenever they please via Hulu and Peacock.

Great DAYS for DAYS Fans- Ratings Have No Effect

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Speaking of Days of our Lives, what’s the point of even going over the numbers? NBC has seen the light finally- Nielsen doesn’t correctly measure the value in more DAYS. The internal numbers from Peacock’s online streams are what matter. DAYS is doing enough to garner two years and a spin-off while being the lowest rated in every category on traditional television.

Still, even DAYS had a lot to celebrate with its 1.705 million viewers just off by 48,000 viewers week to week but up 70,000 from last year. In the demos, things were a bit like the story over at B&B- small dips week to week- and GH- drops year to year despite a more significant audience overall; DAYS was down 13% in women 18-49 to a .28 rating. Compared to the numbers from before the Olympic Games hiatus, DAYS is up 80,000 viewers but flat in the demographics.

CBS Has Most Reasons To Be Happy

Season to Date, Y&R remains on top in viewers and demographics with 3.241 million viewers down 9% from last season and 11% to .43 in women 18-49. B&B is down 13% to a .38 in women 18-49 and 7% in the general audience with 2.813 million viewers.

GH Could Benefit From ABC Shifting Focus To Hulu

GH is pulling in 2.118 million viewers, shedding just 57,000 viewers for the smallest decline of the four soaps, down 3% from last year. In women 18-49, GH is down 21% to .35 from last year’s .44 in the demographic. As a reminder, GH ended up averaging .54 in the demographic once Live Plus Seven Day viewing was counted.

DAYS is down an identical 21% in the demographic, although at a lower average of a .31 and down 11% in total viewers to 1.694 million. Oddly enough, DAYS hasn’t beaten its season-to-date average in the demographic since February and didn’t pull in a higher viewer total since then until this week.

Man, is it good to be a DAYS fan right now- you can look at these numbers and say “who cares, when the 🤬 is DAYS: Beyond Salem start”? I’m jealous. The aforementioned spin-off drops daily beginning 9/6 until the finale on 9/10 on NBC’s streaming service peacock!

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