Daytime Soaps in Primetime? The Networks Would Be Crazy Not to Use *Our* Shows to Fill Out *Their* Fall Lineups
CBS (2), ABC, NBC
This may be a a terrible time for pretty much everything else in the world. But it’s the perfect time for CBS, ABC and NBC to introduce new viewers to their daytime dramas.
Owing to what we’ve come to call “these trying times” — and even that may be an understatement — the networks are facing what may be the strangest fall season in the history of primetime television. According to our sister site Deadline, while some comedy series may be able to complete a full season’s worth of episodes, most dramas are expected to only manage to pull off 18 — and that’s at best.
To give you an idea of how many fewer than normal installments that is, Season 15 of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy was comprised of 25 original episodes, Season 14, 24. (This past season — No. 16 — had just 21, but that was only because the show wrapped production four episodes early due to… well, you know.)
But here’s the thing: The networks could look at this situation and be like, “OMG, holy crap, what are we gonna do?” and then punt, or they could sit back, take a second and realize, “OMG, holy crap, we already put out at least an hour of new dramas every day — we could just repeat them in the evening and not only fill out our lineups but introduce those shows to a whole new audience!”
And frankly, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of Our Lives would make amazing companion series for programs already on the networks’ fall schedules. If ABC ran out of Grey’s Anatomy episodes, it could pair Station 19 with General Hospital (and maybe encourage the Mob-centric soap to introduce an actual medical case now and then). CBS could have The Young and the Restless reinstate Paul Williams (which it should really do, anyway) and run the sudser as a companion piece to Blue Bloods on Fridays.
Wait — we’re just getting warmed up. NBC could displace New Amsterdam from its cushy timeslot following This Is Us on Tuesdays and introduce fans of the Big Three to… well, the wild and tangled family trees of Days of Our Lives’ Salem. (Perhaps the proximity to This Is Us would even inspire NBC’s lone daytime drama to tackle race in a realer way.)
As for The Bold and the Beautiful… er, OK. CBS doesn’t really have a glamorous show on its primetime schedule with which it could be partnered. That’s all right, though. There’s never a wrong time for high fashion and hot tempers, is there? Plus, as the only 30-minute soap still in existence, it could easily be plopped anywhere in the network’s primetime lineup and still make viewers go, “Whoa!” when they got their first taste of Thomas and his unexpected remake of My Living Doll. (Fun fact: We didn’t make up My Living Doll; it was an actual series in the mid-1960s starring future Catwoman Julie Newmar as a curvaceous android.)
What do you think? Wouldn’t it be a terrific idea for the networks to introduce their primetime audiences to their daytime fare? The line between the two is so blurry, it barely exists, anyway, what with nighttime stars like NYPD Blue alum Kim Delaney playing Jackie on General Hospital, Hallmark Channel mainstay Alison Sweeney making tracks back to Days of Our Lives as Sami and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills pot stirrer Denise Richards putting both the bold and the beautiful in The Bold and the Beautiful as Shauna. And that’s just for starters!
Before you hit the comments with your thoughts on our scheduling idea, perhaps you’d like to check out the below photo gallery, which runs through a whole bunch of daytimers, from all four soaps, who left the genre, only to triumphantly return.