Latest Soap Opera Ratings: Week of 9/3/2021
Overall Audience Overshadows Demographic Drops For Now
How did it perform the first week of September? Pretty damn good. The soap added 115,000 viewers, up 3 percent from the 3.502 million viewers last week. Y&R hit a season-high with 3.617 million viewers- and you know that one week that each soap aired only one episode that inflated ratings for the soaps during the Impeachment Trial Week in February? That week was considered an outlier and an unfair standard to hold as the season’s best for the soaps unless they eventually beat that high, of course. Well, Y&R was just 5,000 short of the 3.622 million viewers scored in February, and that fell into the margin that disappears in rounding. So, congratulations to Y&R for trying its season-high.
Y&R Hits Season High in Viewers
The same week last year marked Y&R’s fourth week back on the air and consequently the first top 3 million viewers. Y&R was up 601,000 viewers, topping last year’s performance by 20 percent. Season to date, the soap has averaged 3.255 million viewers, a 9 percent drop from the 3.575 million average.
The soap has not averaged below its season average in 11 weeks. During that time, Y&R has averaged 3.42 million viewers compared to 3.199 million in all the available weeks average before that point in the season. The last four weeks alone averaged 3.501 million viewers, just short of last year’s season average by two percent. The soap surged by 732,000 viewers, above the same four weeks the previous year, beating those weeks by 28% when it averaged 2.729 million.
B&B Dips But Hits Fifth Week Above 3 million Viewers
Bold and the Beautiful dipped by 20,000 viewers this week for an average of 3.027 million. The younger of the two CBS soaps has pulled in more than 3 million viewers for the last five consecutive weeks, and it’s only such run at that level all season.
Season to date, B&B is averaging 2.823 million viewers, down just 7% from last season’s 3.022 million viewers. B&B has outdone the season average over the previous 11 weeks. Even more, telling is that B&B has outperformed the average from last season during four out of the last five weeks.
Just remember how things looked a year ago. Bold and The Beautiful averaged 2.331 million viewers in its first two months back on the air. The comparable two months has B&B with 664,000 more viewers with 2.995 million, marking a 28% climb. Compared to that period, this was just 24,000 shy of matching last season’s average.
B&B Stumbles Big in Demos
While overall things are looking positive in general for CBS, this week saw a sharp decline in demographic numbers for the network. B&B fell from a .69 to .61 in women 25-54, a pretty sizable 12 percent drop in one week. In women 18-49, the soap dropped from a .39 to a .32, a scarier 18% in the demographic.
Those were the worst performances for either demographic since March in women 18-49 and since May for women 25-54. The performance last week was the first time in six weeks that B&B was below its season-to-date average in women 25-54. In women 18-49, the soap has been overperforming each week since early June.
The demographic numbers for B&B have been there strongest of the four soaps compared to last season’s average- hopefully, this week was an anomaly. However, the soap only tied the previous year’s weak performance in women 18-49 after weeks of significant increases may worry the network. Still, B&B increased 5 percent year to year in women 25-54, and the total viewer momentum that the soap has picked up is undeniable. Plus, the audience response to storylines has been positive, and spoilers suggest more of that is on the way.
Y&R Dips Down in Both Demos Despite High in Viewers
Young and The Restless dipped 7 percent from last week in women 18-49, dipping from a .45 to .42. This week was the lowest-rated in women 18-49 since June 11th, when it earned a .41 in the demographic. The soap dipped below the season-to-date average in the demographic for the first time since then as well. The soap is down 13 percent from last year’s season-to-date average of .49 in the demographic. Compared to the same week the previous year, the soap improved on it’s .33 rating by 27 percent. After last week’s stellar performance, Y&R dropped seven percent from .75 to 70 in the 25-53 demographic. On the bright side, the soap matched its season-to-date average.
General Hospital Up In All Measures
General Hospital improved in every category this week after last week’s alarming drops. In total viewers, GH added 18,000 viewers to hit 2.12 million. This total increased 2 percent over last year’s 2.076 million and 2,000 more viewers than the season-to-date average of 2.118 million viewers. So far this season, GH is down less than 3 percent from last year’s 2.175 million viewers and has had the smallest decline of any soap opera in overall audience.
In women 18-49, GH moved up to a .32, a 7 percent increase from last week’s worrisome .30 rating. The ABC soap tied B&B for second place in the demographic, an exceedingly rare occurrence in past months. The last time that GH tied B&B in the demographic was the last week of March. Since that week, B&B has beaten GH by an average of 18 percent. Compared to the season up to that point, B&B only held a 4 percent advantage over GH.
Down In Demos From LY, GH Ties B&B for First Time Since March
Compared to last year, when GH ranked first, GH was down 18 percent in women 18-49. GH is averaging .35 in the demographic season to date, a decline of 21 percent compared to last year. The challenges GH has faced in the demographic have come into focus as of late. Earlier this season, ABC soap was only able to outrate the season average twice since April.
Ratings for Women 24-54 told a similar story, as the soap was up from last week’s .54 to a .55 but underperformed compared to the season average. The soap was down 17 percent from the same week when it pulled .66 in the demographic. GH was also off by 4 percent from the season average of a .57 in the demographic. The soap has only been ahead of the season average in women 25-54 three out of the last eleven weeks. The soap is down 17 percent in the category so far this season.
There is a rush to be hard on GH for its demographic numbers, but truth be told, the demographic declines have been fueled by shifts beyond the soap opera and the network’s control. The soap’s timeslot is the latest of the four soap operas and is often interrupted by news reports more so than its peers. Speaking of the news, GH built on it’s lead in, GMA3: What You Need To Know by 45 percent in women 25-54, 28 percent in women 18-49 and 30 percent in total viewers. GH topped the afternoon news program by 495,000 viewers.
GH Only Soap Beating Leadin
Y&R had a repeat episodes of Price Is Right as the lead in this week. The soap lost 632,000 viewers from it’s lead in and dipped 7 percent in women 18-49 but increased 4 percent in women 25-54. B&B, the only soap with another soap as it’s leading, lost 590,000 viewers from Y&R. That marked a 16 percent decline in total viewers. The soap also dipped by a13 percent decline in women 25-54 and 24 percent in women 18-49.
Days of Our Lives lacks the benefit of any other nationally scheduled programs as a lead in. A variety of local and syndicated programs ranging from court shows, talk shows, news and syndicated reruns air before DAYS and are decided by local affiliates.
Despite its demographic declines, GH has held up better than much of its network’s primetime lineup versus the past year. As a reminder, General Hospital adds more viewers to its audience in all three categories than its competitors in Live Plus 7 Day viewing.
Good DAYS Numbers Before Beyond Salem
Heading into the premiere of its limited series spin-off, Days of Our Lives had a solid week. The NBC soap had its best performance in total viewers since February. DAYS added 55,000 viewers, up 3 percent week to week for a total of 1.777 million viewers. Since returning from the hiatus during the Olympics four weeks ago, DAYS has averaged no less than 1.705 million viewers. The last time DAYS pulled in more than 1.7 million for this many successive weeks or more was back in February.
This week marked the fourth week in a row the soap surpassed its season-to-date average of 1.697 million viewers. Season to date compared to last year, DAYS is down 11 percent this year from last season’s 1.911 million viewers. DAYS was down 11,000 viewers from the same week the previous year.
DAYS Has Longest Streak Above 1.7 million Since February
In women 18-49, DAYs moved up 7 percent to hit a .29 in the demographic. The network has only rated higher in the demographic twice since February. The same week in February marks the last time the soap was able to outperform its season-to-date average. DAYS was stronger in the previous year when it pulled in a .32- a year-to-year decline of 9 percent. Season to date, the soap is averaging .31 in that demographic. DAYS is down 21 percent from last season’s .39 in women 18-49.
The story was similar in women 25-54, as the soap hit its highest rating in seven months, up 10 percent to .44. The soap was down from the same week last year by 14% from a .51 rating. The soap is down by 27% in women 25-54 from last season’s average- the highest decline of any of the four soaps.
Will Viewers Watch During Daytime? Or Continue to Flock To Peacock?
Since returning from the Olympic hiatus and the announcement of its spin-off that launched early this week on Peacock, DAYS has seen an uptick in total viewers. The streaming service’s spinoff was trending on Monday night shortly after it premiered on Peacock and appeared to have been incredibly well-received. Whether or not more viewers tune in to DAYS because of this remains to be seen, but it looks pretty likely.
The better question to ask may not be “if” but rather “how” the added viewers will watch? Will the viewers who enjoyed Beyond Salem tune into the soap opera on NBC during its regularly scheduled time, or will they join the growing audience referring to flock to Peacock on their schedule. NBC seems content with either answer but has shown the most support to DAYS than it had in years since the streaming service launch nationwide last summer.