sopa operas


(This is my first post – forgive me if I did this incorrectly.)

Though the answer is essentially correct, it doesn’t go quite far enough. Soap operas originated on radio in the 1930s. James Thurber once wrote an overview of the field.

And one of the biggest producers of soaps to this day is Proctor and Gamble Productions.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Actually, they ought to call them yeast operas now, given all the Monistat commercials. Or blood operas and I won’t bother to explain why…

I understand that many long running soap operas are being dropped by the networks. Perhaps that is due to the dwindling supply of housefraus. I wonder who does watch daytime television now. Other than people waiting to get their tires mounted that is.

Tom McGonigle

Beruang, you done great! Good comment, nice link, etc. Welcome!

There’s been some churn in soap operas in the last ten years, but the actual number of soap hours per week hasn’t changed much. VCR’s have made a difference, for one thing.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

In the dim days before YV there was only radio.With no competition,it filled every niche.One of these niches was the desire of a housewife to escape from the dreariness of the time.
Soaps fille the void and they multiplied mightily.Their prime time ran from one to
four PM and each episode only lasted 15 minutes.
Since the audience consisted of housewives.the soap companies used them to pus their products.Most of them are gone now,but a few linger in my memory.“Camay-the soap of beautiful women” and others.
TV killed them off since a visible show is much more entertainig than voice only.

Some typos have unintended wonderful implications… and the idea that the soap companies would “pus their products” is one of them.

Reading Robert’s reply, I am reminded that back in the days of radio (and even early TV, for that matter), programs were often not developed by the networks or even production companies, but by the advertizers themselves. Thus a soap company would buy 15 minutes of daily air time on a network and fill it with an engaging story, in which the characters would ocassionally start talking about the sponsor’s products. An early form of product placement, I guess.

Also, TV may have replaced radio soap operas, but it did not kill them off, exactly. Many long-running TV soaps actually started on radio and then made the move to the new medium. “The Guiding Light” is one; I know there are others, but I can’t say for sure which.

" I wonder who does watch daytime television now. "

College students.

The unemployed

Cripes, you read some of the threads and topics on these boards, you don’t need soap operas.