No longer owned by the likes of Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive or Lever Brothers, soap operas (named after the CPG company's focus on using them as a vehicle to sell soap, and other household items) are gasping their final breath.
ABC has just announed that as part of a continued shift away from daytime drama programming, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will be cancelled, and replaced with less costly talk shows/lifestyle programming. Their replacements will be "The Chew," which is about food, and "The Revolution," a makeover show.
Soap opera ratings have seen a steady decline in ratings since the 1990s. A daily average of 6.5 million viewers watched soaps during the 1991-92 TV season, while just 1.3 million watched in 2009-2010. There have been no new daytime soap operas since 1999, with reality show programming replacing the fantasies of soap operas.