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When soaps die

A fly on the wall observing the fictional escapes of the soap world.

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If a soap is popular, like Coronation St or The Archers on Radio 4, in theory it can run until the earth burns up, but some do come a cropper, even ones that were massive at their peak. Here's how.
Ridiculous plotlines, Dallas and Dynasty in the early 80s were America's most popular dramas and the Who Shot JR episode saw half the population in Britain and America tune into Dallas, while Dynasty with its power dressing and mansions was just right for the yuppie days. However, to try and keep on top, both soaps developed ridiculous plotlines: the death of Bobby Ewing was revealed as a dream by his wife, while the cast of Dynasty were gunned down at the end of the 1985 series, but miraculously all came to life for 1986.
Not surprisingly when these soaps returned after their break, audiences halved and plotlines became more ridiculous such as JR being shot on a regular basis to try and save the programmes. Viewers on both sides of the Atlantic turned away and both shows were axed with almost no comment by the end of the eighties. In America for the last 20 years, the stupidity of the last years of the 2 Ds has meant soaps have been banished from peak time and are only shown in the morning to tiny audiences.
Similarly in Britain Brookside turned into a farce of murder and mayhem in its last years to try and retain viewers, but all that happened is the soap's reputation collapsed and viewers fled. A once respected soap became something viewers avoided en masse and it was scrapped in 2003 with no tears shed.
Changing tastes. Australia was notorious for its badly made, badly acted and cheap soaps, but as in Britain and America in the 80s shows such as A Country Practice, Sons and Daughters and Neighbours were top of the ratings. However, Australian viewers in the early 90s began to get sick of these badly made shows and demanded better from their broadcasters. Although Home and Away and Neighbours survive, as the export earnings are good and the budgets have increased, the notoriously crummy soaps familiar to daytime viewers over here have long since gone as viewers demanded a change.
Similarly the British equivalent, Crossroads, became a victim of changing tastes as viewers saw through it and ratings slumped to 7 million viewers. Also in an attempt to move upmarket, and most Crossroads viewers weren't attractive to advertisers, Central cancelled it in 1988 after 24 years.
Just plain terrible. Eldorado, Crossroads Mark 2, Echo Beach, Albion Market, Triangle, doomed from the start by bad acting and/or a low budget and dreary plots. Certainly a badly made mock up of a market in Manchester allied to hammy acting and very boring plotlines killed off Albion Market quickly.



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Scott Nelson wrote:If EastEnders ever dies, then I think it should be like this:

Pete Beale steps out of the shower, all ringing wet, and says to Kathy "Ere, Kaff! You neva guess what! I've just 'ad the most awful dream!"

:D

Oi Scott, another way of ending it would be for Nick Cotton to come back to life as a zen Buddhist, turn all the miseries and crooks in it into nice, happy people and pretend the last 23 years never happened. Oh and someone gets something novel on there called a washing machine, which they all have to work out how to use as no one in Walford has never seen one before.



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Scott
Have you ever noticed on Enders that when they have elderly characters they all have very old radios playing forties music? I wonder if Desmond Carrington has a hand on this as this would be his ideal job, broadcasting his old tripe on the country's most popular programme to try and brainwash everyone into thinking Light Programme trash was fashionable
However, surely Nick Cotton putting on Melodies for You would be a sick joke that only he could dream up. Unless it was John H or Patsy, I think most old people would suddenly regain their strength and try to escape. My grandparents, who would be in their nineties now, always hated it and switched it off at the first opportunity.



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Scott Nelson wrote:It has always made me wonder what radio station the oldies in Walford listen to because there are no radio stations here in the London region that broadcast Desmond Carrington/David Jacobs style rubbish whatsoever. Mind you, not many people in Walford appear to own a washing machine, either. In the 23 years the soap has been running, hardly anyone has invested in a washing machine and prefer to use the launderette.

Scott
Everyone has said the same for years, even the affluent characters in it still visit that scruffy laundrette which looks to me like it's full of MRSA or some other deadly infection. 95 per cent of households have a washing machine- but apparently none have in Walford. I also wonder if their televisions are black and white as well, or even if many of them have television if the lack of washing machines are anything to go by.



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Scott Nelson wrote:Well, I personally think Nick Cotton should come back as a reformed man - "he's seen the light" and has become a care assistant for old folk!

"Would you like me to put your teeth in for you, Mabel? Tell ya what girl, why don't we sit and listen to Alan Titchmarsh on the wireless later on after your blanket bath?" :D

I don't think EastEnders will ever die. Then again, neither will Corrie's Ken Barlow. I bet he would survive a nuclear war.



Listen to Alan Titface!!!! I thought you said Nick Cotton would be reformed? Sounds like he is torturing the poor old dears. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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What about Brookside?

Why was that killed off. was it poor ratings?

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I wasn't sure about Brookie, I always thought it was a pretty good show. But it had to be ratings, that is what normally kills a show.

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But can ratings be rescued by 'measures' like a a big story line. or hiring a well known star?

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smeggypants wrote:But can ratings be rescued by 'measures' like a a big story line. or hiring a well known star?


it seemed to work for Emmerdale Farm.

I wish they would resurrect Sunset Beach. Hammy acting and ridiculous plotlines galore!

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I'd like yet another attempt at Crossroads. It was so abd it was good. :)

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smeggypants wrote:What about Brookside?

Why was that killed off. was it poor ratings?


I think Channel 4 just started to get tired of it. It was getting moved around the schedule every week and it was on at so many different times. The changing of time slots all the time lost the show viewers, which resulted in the axe falling on it I think. I know by the time it was axed though, viewers were complaining that storylines were getting too far fetched and ridiculous - maybe that was part of its downfall? But I personally feel that Channel 4 ultimately killed it.



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davey_wavey wrote:
smeggypants wrote:What about Brookside?

Why was that killed off. was it poor ratings?


I think Channel 4 just started to get tired of it. It was getting moved around the schedule every week and it was on at so many different times. The changing of time slots all the time lost the show viewers, which resulted in the axe falling on it I think. I know by the time it was axed though, viewers were complaining that storylines were getting too far fetched and ridiculous - maybe that was part of its downfall? But I personally feel that Channel 4 ultimately killed it.

I did read an article about Brookie and what killed it was the ridiculous storylines in later years and the fact Channel 4 had another youthful soap called Hollyoaks that was taking away viewers. Audience figures had fallen from a peak of 7 milion to under 1 million by 2002 so the show had become too expensive and too unpopular to be viable.
Also the producer Phil Redmond began to see conspiracy theories everywhere and started to make the show bizarre and having in jokes that no one could understand, such as a character called Jack Michaelson, who was an anagram of the station's controller who just swore all the time and was such an awful character the cast lynched him.
Sorry but by 2000 the programme was worn out.



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