Saturday, September 19, 2009

Decline of the Daytime Serial and Rise of Premium Cable

By Bobby Chang

As the news this week relates to Friday's conclusion, after 56+ years on television, and over 72 years overall including radio, of Procter & Gamble's (The) Guiding Light (the article was originally used in the early years), one interesting discussion came up in articles that were discussing the demise of the daytime serial drama (there are only seven remaining; of the seven, the youngest is Sony's The Bold and the Beautiful, started in 1987). Some are noting the sleaze in daytime dramas has been cut in recent years because of Super Bowl XXXVIII (in fact, GL fired writers after the backlash from The Incident), while the sleaze of premium cable has risen, along with ratings and Emmy Awards wins by the premium cable outlets. It makes me wonder if the thrill of television is now with the premium cable channels that are $20 a month and offer shows with the most sleaze possible as the FCC will not touch HBO or Showtime.

It brings closer to an end the era of why a daytime serial drama was called a "soap," as in the past ten years Procter & Gamble has now lost two of the shows they had, and have been dropped to just one. The dominant production company now is Disney (3 hours), followed by Sony (2 1/2 hours), and Procter & Gamble (1).

We have sadly put "sleaze" and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as the arbiters of what is quality television. At this rate, the MTV Video Music Awards would become "must see" television.


Oh, by the way: Cathy's comments on Rep. Wilson (who is my elected Representative) reminded me that the Pelosi/Slaugher Rules of the House prohibited Rep. Wilson from participation in the House as an elected member. Rather, as I have learned through Rep. Bachmann, he is treated as someone who must be ignored and cannot be heard. When your Congressman is not permitted to participate in the day to day operations of Congress and is relegated to just listening and not participating, what can he do? He is my elected Representative, and if I cannot have a voice in the House, what gives? Remember, on the day of the Terrorist Attacks of 2001, we had no Representative representing us. The Pelosi/Slaughter rules prohibit him from participating in the House.

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