Friday, August 3, 2012


Wedding lifts `Days' to No. 1 soaps rating

By Robert Feder
Chicago Sun-Times
August 17, 1988

There's nothing like an old-fashioned wedding to boost the ratings of a soap opera.

In the case of DAYS OF OUR LIVES, the long-awaited nuptials of Patch Johnson and Kayla Brady helped catapult the NBC daytime drama to the top spot in the ratings for the first time in 14 years. Since the star-crossed lovers (played by Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans) exchanged vows on July 25, DAYS OF OUR LIVES has overtaken ABC's GENERAL HOSPITAL as the most popular soap in the country.

In Chicago, DAYS OF OUR LIVES airs from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays on WMAQ-Channel 5 - directly opposite ABC's ALL MY CHILDREN on WLS-Channel 7. Although CHILDREN still dominates local ratings during that hour, DAYS has won the time period nationally for the last nine weeks.

"It's a tremendous achievement," said Brian Frons, NBC vice president of daytime programs. "Even though this was realized during the recent writers' strike, the stories that were played out in the course of this climb were created and inspired by our writers, who share in the accomplishment."

Others attributed the ratings upheaval to viewers' dissatisfaction with the output of nonunion writers employed by ABC during the strike. "People are saying that our scab writers are better than their scab writers," said one NBC insider.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES, which debuted as a half-hour soap in 1965 and expanded to an hour in 1975, last led the daytime ratings for the week of March 11, 1974.


  1. This wedding was Days finest hour and most sparlking sand! The popularity of Steve and Kayla grew to the point that people from all walks of life and all soaps tuned in to watch them. I was a teen at the time and I remember that my friends and many other people had parties to watch this wedding. Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols have the ability to connect with an audience on such a human level and that is why to this day many remember this wedding and Steve and Kayla have a special place in the hearts of many!

  2. There hasn't seemed to be as much comment on the actors' list so far, compared to the actress' list. (Though those who've weighed in are certainly passionate.) I just want you to know I'm enjoying this list just as much.

    And if a certain actor with the initials DW doesn't wind up in the top 5, you'll hear me scream, too!