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The Survival of Soap Opera
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The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era

Sam Ford, Abigail De Kosnik, and C. Lee Harrington

Abstract

The soap opera, one of U.S. television’s longest-running and most influential formats, is on the brink. Declining ratings have been attributed to an increasing number of women working outside the home and to an intensifying competition for viewers’ attention from cable and the Internet. Yet, soaps’ influence has expanded, with serial narratives becoming commonplace on most primetime TV programs. This book investigates the causes of their dwindling popularity, describes their impact on TV and new media culture, and gleans lessons from their complex history for twenty-first-century media industr ... More

Keywords: soap opera, U.S. television, cable, Internet, serial narratives, primetime, TV programs, new media, media industries, General Hospital

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9781604737165
Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604737165.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sam Ford, editor

Abigail De Kosnik, editor

C. Lee Harrington, editor

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Contents

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Section One Challenges to the Future of Soaps

Introduction

Sam Ford, Abigail De Kosnik, and C. Lee Harrington

Perspective

C. Lee Harrington

Perspective

Sam Ford

Perspective

Giada Da Ros

Perspective

Abigail De Kosnik

Daytime Budget Cuts

Sara A. Bibel

Giving Soaps a Good Scrub

Jaime J. Nasser

The Way We Were

Melissa C. Scardaville

Section Two Capitalizing on History

Perspective

Sam Ford

Perspective

C. Lee Harrington

Perspective

Sam Ford

Perspective

Abigail De Kosnik

Perspective

Abigail De Kosnik

Perspective

Sam Ford

Preserving Soap History

Mary Jeanne Wilson

Section Three Experimenting with Production and Distribution

It’s Not All Talk

Deborah L. Jaramillo

Guiding Light

Patrick Erwin

From Daytime to Night Shift

Racquel Gonzales

Section Four Learning from Diverse Audiences

Soaps for Tomorrow

Abigail De Kosnik

Perspective

Abigail de Kosnik

The “Missing Years”

O’Meara Radha

Constructing the Older Audience

C. Lee Harrington, and Denise Brothers

End Matter