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Will soap opera fans continue to support their TV genre?

Will soap operas stay on the screen as TV evolves?
Will soap operas stay on the screen as TV evolves?
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With the future of the soap operas deeply in doubt, is it wise for those who claim to support the genre to only root for 'their' show? One doesn't actually need to watch the combined 3.5 hours of daily daytime drama that CBS, ABC and NBC offers in order to patronize this art form. But, there are positive ways to support the cause.

Honest competition generally improves lives. Rooting for other businesses to fail, rather than promoting the good of all, often creates unexpected consequences. Sports stands as a comparable example, so let's punt to the next paragraph.

Many people consider themselves to be fans of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB or of other professional sports. Among team competitions, people generally root for one squad, within a preferred sport (or sports), throughout their entire lives. There are those who switch allegiances along the way as well, which is their right.

Sports' fans root for their team to win a game, or a series. But, they don't want to put their opponents out of business.

The purpose of professional sports is for a large group of teams to survive. Logically, there would be no one left to play if all defeated opponents died. It's also obvious that the audience for any particular sport would drastically shrink if destruction were intended because people would have been forced to pursue other entertainment interests after their team was crushed.

CBS, ABC and NBC formerly filled their early- to mid-afternoon schedules with numerous sudsers. During those distant days many shows competed directly with each other. That's hardly the case today, as 'The Young and the Restless' (CBS), 'The “Bold and the Beautiful' (CBS), 'General Hospital' (ABC) and 'Days of Our Lives' (NBC) are the only teams left in the league.

DOOL competes directly with YR, in many markets, during at least half of its daily run. BB and GH are generally shown when no other soap is on. The 13 million-plus daily viewers of all soaps combined still represent a powerful market segment and plenty of resulting advertising dollars. So, daytime drama should survive for awhile.

All fans are obviously entitled to support whatever soap, or soaps, they prefer. But, no member of SAG-AFTRA wants more jobs to be lost through the cancellation of any remaining show.

Viewers who genuinely appreciate the human beings whose lives are connected to the continuance of these great televised plays must consider the rising importance of their own actions in a constantly evolving and connected world. Most people will surely find ways to support their TV team, while also endorsing the genre overall.

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