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The Crisis of Daytime Drama and What It Means for the Future of Television

(p.3) Introduction
The Survival of Soap Opera
Sam FordAbigail De KosnikC. Lee Harrington
University Press of Mississippi

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the main themes covered in this book. Daytime soap operas are currently struggling with declining ratings as well as uncertainty over who is actually watching, how to attract and retain new viewers while not losing long-term fans, and how best to capitalize on the deep histories of narratives that have been airing for decades. Indeed, soaps are facing many questions that trouble all television production today as it transitions from broadcast to digital media. The chapter discusses the reason why the soap genre warrants consideration; the cultural significance of soaps; different viewer reception and interaction stimulated by serial primetime shows and daytime dramas; and principles that distinguish daytime soaps from other television genres and storytelling forms.

Keywords:   soap operas, television programs, ratings

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