Young and Restless

The Young and the Restless’ Melody Thomas Scott On The Continuing Appeal Of Daytime Soap Operas

As she continues to celebrate her 45th year at The Young and the Restless, actress, and author Melody Thomas Scott penned a special guest column for Deadline in which she reflects on the ever-evolving, ever-relevant, ever-appealing world of daytime dramas.

Melody Thomas Scott Talks Soap Opera

“When I started playing Nikki in 1979, there were 13 daytime dramas on the air,” recalls Nikki Newman’s portrayer. “Y&R was No. 3 in the ratings and would claim the top spot in December of 1988. There was a certain excitement for someone watching their soap live long before VCRs, DVRs, streaming, and the ability to go online to read a recap of the episode. Fan mail was delivered by the truckload to the studio with cards and notes filled with commentary. Many of the actors required the help of an assistant to keep up with the volume of incoming mail; now viewers have the ability to post about the show’s storylines in real time using hashtags and handles to get an actor’s attention.”

But while viewing habits have changed, sudsers continue to rely on a tried-and-true methodology that fans can cling to. Says Scott:

“Anytime the genre has tried to adopt characteristics of other forms of programming (such as extreme pacing), it has learned a painful lesson not to veer too far from the recipe of success for the daytime drama: compelling storytelling with captivating characters who viewers want to invite into their homes five days a week.”

At their core, soap operas are about relationships, something Scott understands all too well:

“The relationship that a viewer forms with the characters of a daytime drama is unparalleled to any other medium. This bond between the audience and the show lends to Y&R being able to entertain and educate its audience while exploring relevant social issues such as substance abuse and mental health. The trust and stability a viewer shares with a daytime drama is the reason they will not only survive but thrive for years to come.”

Here, here!

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