Let's Discuss: The Soaps + The Emmys

Last Sunday the Daytime community was supposed to be honored at this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards. Even before the event there was drama leading up to it, instead of airing on TV, it was streamed online. The first awards show to have the dubious honor.

Unlike other mediums Daytime only has one night a year to be feted and one would hope that given the rarity of such an occasion, the time would be carefully taken to craft a proper send-up to the evening’s honorees. Well…that is not what happened.

The red carpet hostesses had never hosted anything before. The “social media experts” had a social media impact that had nothing to do with Daytime television and yet they were selected to interview the night’s stars. Meanwhile, amazing blogs for fans of the genre were at first not even going to be given access to cover the event.

A snafu that was eventually corrected. Here’s my question, why were soap-centered websites not the go-to hosts for the festivities? They are fans and their organization of the fan base has been instrumental in keeping the heart of Daytime pumping.

For years before the Daytime Emmys left television, the event had marginalized soaps in order to capitalize on talk shows and children’s programming. So it came as little surprise that the sole kudos-fest for this spectacular industry was left hanging.

Pleasantly surprising was the mainstream media’s coverage of the event and the red carpet blunders that took place. TV Line’s Matt Webb Mitovich was among those leading the charge. 

Seldom do the soaps get the respect they deserve and on the only official night that celebrates their well-earned achievements, they didn’t get it. Brittany Furlan, one of the hostesses admitted that she didn’t even know who the guests attending the event were, per The Wrap. If it were the Primetime Emmys or a movie awards show, would that lack of knowledge been tolerated?

It’s as if the soap genre is expected to be piled upon. As if the hard working people on soaps don’t deserve the respect those in other genres enjoy. Appropriately referred to, on a common basis, as the hardest working people in the entertainment industry, the soap industry deserves their due.

Before there was “Game of Thrones”, there was “General Hospital” and “Days of Our Lives”. They all share in common, devoted fanbases and soap fans are just as much of a force to be reckoned with as any high profile, Primetime drama's. Though the typical pop culture zeitgeist hardly gives soap fans, the recognition they deserve. At their core a lot of the Primetime series that have earned critical recognition and cult followings are soap operas, “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad” topping that definition. 

Looking at the ratings more people watch CBS’ “The Bold & the Beautiful” than AMC’s highly lauded “Mad Men”, for example. The last season of the retro-drama earned an average viewership of 2.49 million, per weekly episode (Wikipedia). While last week, “B& B” garnered 3.5 million viewers, a day (per TV By the Numbers)

Meanwhile, the top-rated sudser “The Young and the Restless” brought in 4.4 million viewers (TV By the Numbers) and last week's episodes of "Days of Our Lives" (currently the lowest rated soap) earned 2.3 million viewers; placing them neck and neck with "Mad Men". 

So why then is there such a disparity on the ink spent on these prestige programs in comparison to soaps? There is a perception that soaps are dying out and yet they are bringing in more ratings than some cablers that are viewed as runaway successes.

In closing, how big of a scandal would it have been, if the cast of any nighttime series were treated the way, the casts of Daytime were on the red carpet last week? I think we know the answer. Soap Operas have earned respect. Hopefully, they will receive some next year.

No comments