Saturday, June 21, 2008

Did Lynn Marie Latham grow Y&R's ratings by stealing from ABC?

Sylph asked me, in early June 2008, "Mark, what happened to viewers Lynn Latham stole from ABC soaps?"

Do we have evidence she did this? I know her ratings spiked twice (John dies; Pheila returns). Did either of these claim ABC viewers?

I'd love to see that analysis!

But, my guess is that they are gone. Indeed, that is a fascinating proposition...

(1) If raters move to Y&R because they are disgusted with ABC, and they hear LML seems to be doing good stuff, I would argue such viewers are BY DEFINITION fickle. ("Real" soap viewers stick with their shows through thick and thin. I know there is disagreement about that on here, but I think this statement is generally true).

(2) So, fickle viewers (soap-switchers) come to Y&R. They have no emotional investment in the show. So, if the show goes bad..or if it just fails to engage their interest, they go away.

This raises a FASCINATING hypothesis, Sylph!

What if the APPARENT growth and stability of early-LML's Y&R was REALLY due to the migration of fickle ABC (and DOOL) viewers? So, when we saw ratings stability and ratings growth during LML, it REALLY masked the departure of long-term stalwart viewers and their replacement by this more fickle pool.

In this scenario, once Y&R returned to its' more traditional pace (which by all accounts it has), the ABC/DOOL viewers--fickle in nature because they have already proven to be soap-abandoners--flew away in droves. That would explain the sudden recent plummets.

I wonder if anyone has the data to track this kind of thing.

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