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Writer Kay Alden on What Makes Soaps Unique

(p.101) Perspective
The Survival of Soap Opera
Sam Ford
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter presents Alden’s views about the elements that make soap operas unique. Alden says that no other genre can compare in terms of the sheer number of hours of entertainment programming. CBS’ The Young and the Restless, for instance, has been airing for thirty-seven years (since 1973) and is currently writing episode 9,410. Guiding Light (CBS), which broadcast its final episode in September 2009 after more than seventy years on the air, ended its historic network run with episode 15,762. The soap is a daily medium that relies on viewers tuning in tomorrow because of their loyalty to beloved characters. Daytime drama respects and elevates the process of living. The basis of the drama evolves from a focus on relationships and everyday life.

Keywords:   soap operas, daytime television, daytime dramas

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