Christopher Goutman: Goodbye Five Days A Week?

In the September 30th Soap Opera Digest, Christopher Goutman (Executive Producer of AS THE WORLD TURNS) says the following:

"I don't think there is an appetite in this society right now to watch this show five days a week; they don't have the time or the energy."

Goutman may or may not be correct with this theory. But why doesn't he produce a quality show five days a week before he determines no one wants to watch it? ATWT is a mess right now moving from one plot point to another going from one overly dramatic outdoor "event" to another. The latest is Ethan Snyder stuck in a hole.

Stephanie Sloane conducted the interview with Goutman and CBS Daytime Senior Vice President Barbara Bloom. Once again, only softball questions were asked and no real follow-up was done when they were giving the usual spin.

Why can't anyone confront Goutman, Bloom, Frons, Corday, etc. on the fact that the lack of interesting and imaginative writing is the biggest issue with these soaps? Why can't anyone get a straight answer about the lack of diversity on daytime? The answers given by Goutman and Bloom were the soap equivalent to John McCain saying "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" during a huge financial crisis for the United States. There wass an opportunity for real journalism here. Fans are thirsty for it, just like they are for a well-written daytime soap.

In regard to Luke and Noah, they give the usual double talk about it being an "important" storyline, but SOD does not ask why Noah has appeared in only a handful of episodes the past two months or why Luke and Noah have not had sex.

SPOILER ALERT: It looks like Lucy and Johnny may be on their way back, or at least included in a storyline in the near future. If so, speculation that the casting notice for Josie was really for a new Lucy would have been correct.


  1. I think it has to do more
    with not caring for what
    most viewer want
    That why they are not
    watching as much!

  2. There are plenty of shows outside of the daytime serial drama that are drawing millions of viewers in as well. Look at the viability of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, for instance, which comes on four nights a week in an hour block. Or look at World Wrestling Entertainment, which produces five hours of first-run TV each week, not counting the weeks they have PPV events, which would then be eight hours of new scripted drama. And add those to the millions upon millions who watch soaps every day, when you look at viewership across the genre.

    The key is, it looks like there's a significant number of people still happy with many hours of their programming per week. I don't think the genre's broke from an overall standpoint, but part of the problem is giving people a product that's consistent enough that they feel comfortable not just with tuning in themselves but recommending it to past fans who quit watching or, perhaps, new fans. In order to recommend, you need a show worth recommending on a consistent basis. And that's the problem with soaps...good or bad, many of them deal with a lack of consistency.

  3. Sam, you make some excellent points. The shows and networks seemed to be focused so much on stunt casting, reworking their business models (in all the wrong ways) and everything other than good writing that soap fans would enjoy and that doesn't insult their intelligence on a regular basis.