“All My Children” & “One Life to Live” Get Off to a Slow Start on OWN
The ratings for the first week of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on OWN are now available. Both shows averaged an underwhelming 0.1 Household rating, with individual episodes garnering between 666,000 and 154,000 Total Viewers, on par with the network’s prior daytime programming. This is not surprising since the network is airing the revamped series from the beginning, meaning that it is showing episodes that have been available online for months. All of the fans of the shows who have been watching them online have no reason to watch the repeats on OWN. Even people who have gotten behind are far ahead of the episodes that OWN is showing. (I am ashamed to admit that I am one of them thanks to a vacation to a location with spotty Internet access. Now I am so engrossed in the sex trafficking storyline on AMC that I will probably do a marathon and get caught up this week.) So OWN is left with just the fans who, for whatever reason, were not able to watch the shows online or were unaware of their resurrection until now. Many cable companies do not include OWN in their cheapest packages, meaning that plenty of potential viewers do not have access to it. Other cable companies don’t carry OWN at all. For all the complaints about the difficulties of watching soaps online, anyone with Internet access can watch the soaps for free on numerous sites, including this one.
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In addition, there was little promotion of the soaps’ move to OWN. There were only a couple weeks between the announcement that the soaps were coming to OWN and their debut. Networks typically have months to prepare for the launch of a new show. All OWN had time to do was run a few advertisements on other cable channels and do some minor league social media marketing. It’s a miracle anyone has found the shows online. For perspective, other than the surprise hit “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “Oprah’s Next Chapter“, most of the programming on OWN gets low ratings. Wednesday’s brand new prime-time episode of the Tyler Perry sitcom “Love Thy Neighbor” only managed 960,000 Total Viewers. For comparison, a decades old rerun of “Seinfeld” on TBS garnered 998,000. OWN’s previous daytime line-up was a hodge podge of reruns and old movies. It’s not comparable to when AMC and OLTL were on ABC as part of an established daytime line-up, including “Good Morning America” and “The View.” AMC and OLTL’s ratings are bad, but they aren’t any worse than a lot of other non-primetime programming on the network.
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With those caveats, I find OWN’s scheduling of the soaps baffling. The network runs two repeats of AMC followed by a new-to-OWN episode. Then it repeats that episode again. After that, it’s the same pattern: two repeat episodes of OLTL, followed by two consecutive airings of the same “new” episode. It’s confusing and weird. Nobody wants to watch the same episode twice in a row. People who want to watch both soaps have to put up with a two-hour gap between them. Why not run that day’s episode of AMC followed by OLTL, then rerun both episodes a couple of hours later? People are used to watching the shows back to back. It worked for decades. It would also make sense to air a late-night marathon on Tuesday night after new episodes of “The Haves and the Have Nots” when soap fans are already watching the network. If OWN wants to make the soaps work on its schedule, it needs to be more strategic.
B&B’s “Room 8” Becomes an Actual Web Series
“The Bold & the Beautiful’s” fictional Web series “Room 8,” starring the show’s two aspiring actors Carter (Lawrence St. Vincent) and Maya (Karla Mosley) is now becoming a reality. St. Vincent and Mosley have written and produced the actual episodes that we have seen them rehearsing on the show. The eight-episode series will debut online on August 8.
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I have found the “Room 8” plotline to be great comic relief. Caroline’s (Lindsey Godfrey) attempt to rewrite what was supposed to be a romantic comedy into soft-core porn in the hope that it would make Carter and Maya fall for each other in real life, and make Maya’s boyfriend Rick so jealous that he would break up with her, was genuinely funny. It was fun to see a soap scheme that was almost benevolent. After months of trying to wreck Maya’s life, it was hard to hate Caroline for a plan that would theoretically launch Maya’s acting career and give her a new love interest. What sold it for me was how much “Room 8” seemed like a real independently-produced Web series. It all takes place in one set. There are only two characters. The premise is cheesy — two strangers accidentally sign the lease on the same apartment. Though Caroline was purportedly ruining the series with her sexed up fantasy sequences, the stilted original dialogue that was shown seemed more like a student film than “Orange Is the New Black.” In short, it is exactly like every single Web series that is financed through Kickstarter and credit cards. The only difference is that “Room 8” is shooting on an actual soundstage, which, is, of course, the actual B&B studio instead of the producer’s apartment. Finally, B&B is taking advantage of its Los Angeles setting and doing a semi-realistic story about the entertainment industry. I especially like that Carter is a lawyer who took a job in L.A. because what he really wants to do is act. He figured he could go to a couple auditions on the side and would soon get discovered and be able to quit his day job. Other than the fact that he actually has talent, that is the most believable plot twist in B&B history. I look forward to seeing “Room 8” in all of its cheesy glory.