And now we come to that time of the week where I go off the deep end upon viewing the latest cover of Soap Opera Digest. Yes, it's Eric Braeden from THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS again. Surprised?
"VICTOR'S SHOCKING RETURN!" is the latest headline. This is two week's after "GUESS WHO GETS VICTOR BACK?" and four weeks after "VICTOR'S STUNNING DEMAND!". Victor, Victor, Victor. Is Lynn Leahey obsessed with this man? Does Digest really believe this is the biggest thing happening on soaps next week which needs promoting? Has Newman Enterprises bought Source Interlink Media?
Let me break it down for you. Next week on our beloved soaps there are a number of stories more cover-worthy than yet another Victor Newman headline and face shot. There are also some huge breaking news items. Here are a few:
1) Grant Aleksander is returning to GUIDING LIGHT (where's the picture?)
2) Luke's new grandpa kisses him on AS THE WORLD TURNS (if this isn't shocking and newsworthy, nothing is)
3) Ridge and Brooke reunite on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (okay, this has happened a million times bebore but still not as much as Eric Braeden appearing on the cover of Soap Opera Digest!).
I hate to beat a dead horse with this, but with daytime ratings in the toilet and subscriptions down, seeing Digest on the newsstand might be the only thing that piques a lapsed fan's interested. And so those people are left with the impression that the only things happening on the soaps these days are the same things that have been going on for decades. How about trying to reel in some new fans or win some old fans back?
And in case someone at Digest hasn't noticed, no soap has lost more viewers than Y&R in the past year (nearly 800,000 viewers since last based based on the Nielsen Ratings for the week ending November 7). Despite the improvement in quality, the ratings are sinking fast so all this promotion isn't helping. Yet THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS has been the main cover or partial cover of Digest in 14 of the past 19 issues (that's 74%). And Eric Braeden has been on the cover seven times (with Victor menioned on an eighth). Digest, it's time to turn your attention to the rest of the soap world for a while.
UPDATE: Below is a message from Soap Opera Digest Editorial Director Lynn Leahey from the latest SOD Insider email.
"You've seen a lot of Y&R's Victor on our Digest covers lately, which has gotten a very positive response so far. That must be because even when he's not on air (as when Eric Braeden took time off recently), Victor is still at the center of the action these days. Now he's returning to Genoa City for Katherine's funeral, and we can expect fireworks ... and forgiveness. Braeden tells Digest in the new issue that he was pleased to see his character embrace certain family members again. 'It was difficult to play Victor being so hard on his family,' Braeden admits. 'I hate that kind of estrangement in real life, so I'm glad he's ready to move forward.' Victor's ready to move forward with son Adam too, but that won't be so pretty. Check out the new issue for details."
UPDATE #2: In looking at all these covers again, it is odd that Eric Braeden's name appears on all his covers (along with the names of the actors in the cover picture with him if there are any). But in all of the non-Braeden cover, the actor's real name is never mentioned.