It is an end of an era. The age of the American soap opera is almost totally dead. On Thursday, ABC announced that it would cancel their once uber-popular All My Children and One Life to Live daytime dramas. These two soaps have been a staple for eons. All My Children has been on the air for forty years and One Life to Live debuted forty-two years ago. And the main demographic for these once popular programs? Stay at home moms. Is a new breed of stay at home moms – or the lack of them – the reason for the soap opera era’s demise?
The two shows are said to be replaced by shows that will focus on health and food. Topics that are probably more in line with the interests of the average American mom these days. The escapism found in soap operas is one that women of today, particularly moms, aren’t flocking to. It seems they’d much rather spend their time finding out about some new family recipes or discovering how to work on those ab muscles. Watching Erica Kane get married once again, apparently does hold the same power it once did. And if today’s woman wants betrayal, lies, and drama, reality TV fits the bill. The Real Housewives franchises fill that void with countless moms tuning in after the kids have been put to bed.
During the day, modern moms are busy. With more kid focused playdates, lessons, camps, the SAHM of today is out of the house doing this and that. Twenty-years-ago, it seemed (to me at least) that moms were less scheduled and overwhelmed and could just pop on the TV for an hour of soap opera fun in the middle of the day.
Do you think that it’s just a cultural sift in entertainment or is the modern stay at home mom (or the rarity of them) to blame?