While soap operas still have a small but strong fan base, the general audience for the shows continues to dwindle.
Theories abound as to why the enthusiasm for soaps is on a steady decline. It could be anything from station budget cuts, to the ever-increasing popularity of reality TV, to the fact there simply aren’t as many stay-at-home moms to watch the daytime dramas.
“I think it’s the natural progression of things,” said Drew Tyler, instructor of digital media at Weber State University.
“The Guiding Light” is now gone after 72 years on the air — counting 15 years on radio. “As the World Turns” was canceled after more than half a century on TV, said professor Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University in New York.
“The daytime soap opera is surely on its last legs,” Thompson said.
He believes the cause could be the changing demographics, coupled with high production costs — compared with cheaper programming alternatives such as talk shows.