A look at how each soap opera performed during the week of December 6, 2021
Despite season-low, Y&R still powerful in ratings
No soap wants to hit a season-low in total viewers certainly not for two consecutive weeks. However, in the latest ratings, Y&R did just that losing a fraction of last week’s audience to hit 3.404 million viewers, the show’s smallest audience since July. But the bad news stopped there.
Y&R only lost 1,000 viewers from the week before, was up 3 percent in women 18-49 and a substantial 8 percent in women 25-54. Even more encouraging, the CBS soap was up in every category from last year- and not by small amounts either. Y&R was up 5 percent in both demographics and a pretty massive 15 percent from last year.
To top it all off, Y&R holds a commanding lead in all three categories this season. The show’s reign as the most-watched soap continues into its fourth decade among total viewers. In the demographics, the CBS soap has won every single week. For the season Y&R leads second-place B&B by 589,000 viewers, 17 percent in adults 18-49, and 16 percent in women 25-54.
B&B looking powerful, surging back to 2nd place in latest ratings
B&B had a rough few weeks in the demographics, losing to GH for two consecutive weeks among women 18-49 and three out of four weeks in women 25-54. But B&B bounced back big this week regaining second place in both demographics. The half-hour soap was also the only one to gain in total viewers from last week.
Adding to the good news, B&B was up a substantial 10 percent from last year. However, unlike Y&R, the soap fell compared to last year in both demographics. On the bright side, B&B’s decline of 6 percent in women 18-49 compared to 24 percent drops for both GH and DAYS is definitely encouraging.
B&B also has the most consistent audience in daytime right now. The difference between its season-high and its season-low is just 143,000 viewers- a smaller spread than any of its peers. And if you rewind all the way back to this time in 2011
GH faulters with demo dips
GH has weathered some tough news over the past couple of months: rumors of backstage discord and firings of vaccine mandates followed by actual firings of Ingo Rademacher and Steve Burton. The bright side has been that the ABC soap managed to keep its momentum in the ratings going- but this week the show hit a rough patch.
While GH held onto nearly all of its viewers from last week, it fell 6 percent in women 25-54 and fared worse in women 18-49 falling 9 percent. Plus, the show fell in all categories from last year. While all of network tv is seeing steep drops from last year in younger viewers, the 24 percent drop in women 18-49 is troubling. And this marks the rare occasion that GH has been down in viewers from last season.
What’s behind the ratings decline?
Are the controversial firings to blame? Absolutely not. First off, Jax was not exactly a driving force for storylines and contrary to popular belief Steve Burton’s Jason Morgan hurt ratings more than he’s helped (and by hurt, I mean really hurt the ratings).
So what gives? At this point last year, GH was in the midst of the fallout after the Floating Rib explosion. Storylines were beginning to pick up in the aftermath while this year was stunted by the last-minute departure of Burton. The unfortunate decision to have a baby die during the holidays has also turned off viewers. That being said, GH is the only soap opera up in total viewers from both last year and the season before in total viewers.
‘DAYS’ Ties Season Best Ahead of Big Holiday Special
It has to feel good to be a fan of DAYS right now. The show has already been renewed for next year and NBC is definitely putting a lot of promotional dollars behind the show. Just look at the teaser for the soap that aired signaling the return of a possessed Marlena and the recent trailer promoting the show’s various storylines going into the holidays.
Along with a ton of promotion by the network, there was also a five-part limited series spin-off on streaming service Peacock in September AND this past week’s made-for-streaming holiday movie. All of this came with DAYS stuck way back in fourth place among the four soaps. However, NBC doesn’t seem too upset by the show’s performance among traditional watchers of the soap. The show apparently performs well enough in streaming alone for the network to have regained confidence.
But don’t count the only NBC soap’s ratings out completely. This week DAYS basically matched its season-high for a week ago which marks the first time since August that DAYS has averaged more than 1.7 million viewers back to back. You would have to go back to February of this year to find two consecutive weeks where the soap hit season highs. Even better news: the soap was up in total viewers from last year for the first time this season.
Special thanks to Soap Opera Network, our source for raw ratings data that helps make posts like these possible.