Why Soap Operas Are Not Washed Up

Much has been said in the media of the "death" of the soap opera genre. While there may be fewer soap operas on the air now than there were 20 years ago, it's not because the serial storytelling format is dead. In fact, soap fans are just as invested in their soaps now as they were then -- possibly even more so.

The truth is, networks have not made efforts to adapt the business model used in the 1980s to work in today's new age of technology. In the 1980s, soap operas were the "cash cow" for the big three networks. Rather than tweaking the business model, networks have allowed soap operas to remain unchanged for the past 30 years. Now that the networks have decided that "their time has come," it's the viewers who are being punished for something which they had no control over.

Soap fans have devoted countless hours to the networks -- not to mention billions of dollars to the companies that sponsor their favorite daytime drama series -- and are asking that networks offer the same commitment in return. Instead of heavy-handedly canceling programs that have been around for 40 years, soap fans are asking the networks to take the steps necessary to keep these shows on the air: hire creative talent from outside the current pool, consider using the telenovela format popular in Spanish-language soaps, and stop telling viewers what they want to see.