How Has the Number of Viewers of Daytime Soaps Changed?

The percentage of people watching daytime soaps in the US has dropped about 80% since the early 1990s. Whereas almost 6.5 million people watched daytime dramas or soap operas in the early '90s, only about 1.3 million do some 30 years later. Researchers believe the drop has to do with the increasing number of daytime television shows, as well as the increase of women in the workforce.

More facts about daytime soaps:

  • No new soap operas have aired in the US since 1999.

  • The longest running soap opera in both radio and television was Guiding Light, which premiered on the radio in 1937, and aired its last television episode in 2009.

  • Procter & Gamble has produced 20 soap operas. In fact, that's why daytime dramas were called soap operas to begin with — because Procter & Gamble manufactured soaps (among other things). The last of the Procter & Gamble produced shows to go off the air was As the World Turns, which last showed in 2009.

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