If you were home in the afternoons, the choices for soapy fun used to be nearly limitless. The recent trend of viewer fragmentation, time shifting and the overall glut of entertainment choices has taken a bite out of soap operas. Where once there were many, now there are but few left. So let's take a look at the last four remaining soap operas and their chances of survival:
If you feel like General Hospital has been on forever, that's because it basically has. Premiering in 1963, General Hospital is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production. In the long-running world of soap operas, that's quite an accomplishment. Last year, ABC cleaned house by dumping both All My Children and One Life to Live, leaving Hospital the only sudser airing on the network. Is ABC ready to go soap opera-free, or will the doctors and patients of Port Charles keep the record going?
Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Running strong since 1965, Days of Our Lives has aired over 10,000 episodes. As the only remaining soap opera on the struggling NBC network, its position isn't one to be envied. Recently, the show has tried to shake up some of its storylines, even featuring a gay romance between Will (Chandler Massey) and Sonny (Freddie Smith) who locked lips again on Friday. Will this storyline makeover be enough to save it from cancellation?
The Young and the Restless (CBS)
The Young and the Restless started airing in 1973 chronicling the lives and loves of several families in fictional Genoa City. The show also includes one of the longest rivalries in American soap operas (which is impressive given the amount of soap opera feuds) between Jill Foster Abbott and Katherine Chancellor. Recently, The Young and the Restless saw a high profile departure when actress Genie Francis was fired from the show. While this might seem like bad news, the soap has been renewed through 2013, with the option to extend to at least 2014.
The Bold and The Beautiful (CBS)
The Bold and The Beautiful is the runt of the litter when it comes to years on the air. The show has only been playing since 1983, chronicling the dramatic world of fashion. It was also one of the last soap operas to be switched over to high definition in 2011. As the youngest soap opera currently airing, is it destined to end up on the chopping block? Considering the state of soap operas, the odds don't look good. Since CBS' other soap opera The Young and the Restless already has a renewal commitment, things look bleak for this once Beautiful soap.
Which soap operas do you think will survive? Sound off in the comments!