Morning! On this fine Saturday I thought I'd write a little bit about the Soap Fan base and how different we are than most fans out there and why the execs should pay attention.
Loyalty: Has there ever been a group of people that has lasted (as a unit) for over 40-50 years? Newbies are added all the time, but many of us loyalists remain. You may not even watch for a number of years, but then one day you pick the show back up. I still say one of the reasons Kelly Monaco won DWTS is because of all of us GH fans. That was a new show, it wasn't a ratings hit yet--but we, the daytime peeps tuned in to see one of our own on the dance floor. We follow our actors LONG after they leave the show. If you're a fan, you are a fan for life. Even if they go on to movies or writing books. We're there. We don't forget.
Passion: Not one fan base out there can claim our passion. I don't care if you're dressing up to go to the Star Trek convention every year. Can't come close. As a group, we've written more letters, had more petitions, arguments and attened more events than anyone. If a show is canned, we get behind each other (even if you never watched the show) and try to save it. Just read some message boards when it comes to couples, you'll see what I mean about passion!
Spending: Ah...spending. Isn't that every media outlet's dream?? Who buys more t-shirts? We have over 50 events around the country to chooose from. They are usually filled. Daytime Stars could do WAY more, and we'd still come! One of the reasons Super Soap Weekend was canceled at Disney was that the size of the crowds were becoming too large. There are soap cruises. A fan club weekend for GH is sold out every year. We buy those silly things in the ABC shop because we saw our faves wear them on the show. CD's...DVDs..you name it. Daytime still has THREE print magazines. Uh..I think that says something in this day in age.
Ratings: Sorry, I don't buy the numbers that are out there. SoapNet is it's own channel for godsakes. How many peeps DVR or watch their shows later in the day/week? Do they even count online viewing? I think the problem is no one has come close to really counting our numbers. If they did, I do believe they'd be impressed.
Charity: I challenge any prime-time show to match our charity donations across the board. The actors on Daytime are forever giving, appearing and appealing for causes ranging from MS (Brandon Barash), Lung Cancer (Nancy Lee Grahn) to Deaf Awareness (Kassie DePaiva). There are just too many to list here. Broadway Cares is an AIDS movement...the stars walk in LA and NYC's AIDS marathons. Fans give MUCH money to stars' fave charities for birthdays and holidays. I keep waiting for a major news outlet to focus on Daytime's Giving. So far, hasn't happened. ALL the shows across ALL the networks are involved. Homegrown charity at it's best.
This brings me to something that is happening right now that I think is pretty cool. Drew Garrett's fans have started a movement to keep him on the show. Before you say 'oh, that's been done before'...this is a bit different in the attention it's been getting around the net. They've been on three podcasts so far. Now, Drew's hometown news has picked up on it and did an interview with him about Facebook and Twitter (@keepdrewgarrett) . "Fans Fight for Local Soap Star" . Next up is the West Palm Beach news, which will have an column about it soon. That's rallying the troops!
We all know about the popular couple "Kish" leaving OLTL so abruptly. They too have a huge following and the fans recently staged a rally at Good Morning America studios. Both stars have done interviews with many online and media outlets about their being let go.
POINT? It's about time the dang "Powers that Be" recognize us way more than they do now. By "us" I mean fans and online websites and bloggers that work tirelessly for their shows. Yes, the ratings have come way down in years but there are still millions of core, loyal viewers that tune in or DVR day in and day out. Advertisers know they have a built in base with us. You can replace the soaps with syndicated talk shows all you want, in the end I still think that's a bad idea. Daytime peeps are some of the most loyal, passionate and great fans out there. It's time they started recognizing that instead of patronizing us. Not showing the Daytime Emmys is one. Cheapening the genre is two. (remember when Franco came on? It was like he was "slumming" it or something.) We know our actors work ten times as hard as anyone else out there. We appreciate it. Do they? Not so sure.
We've taken to the net..look how many indy shows there are now. "Venice" "Gotham" "Imaginary Bitches" all boast a great following. My fave "The Subpranos" is a comedy by one of GH's extras Chrissie Fit. The soon to come "Reality Bytes" will star Tristan Rogers and many soap vets. Watch out TV land..we are biting at your heels.
So, you can cut our shows, reduce budgets, get rid of fan faves...ditch events and recognition like airing the daytime emmys but WE'LL STILL BE HERE. We always were, always will. Pay attention.