Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ratings since the beginning of time :-)

Well, since the beginning of TV anyway.

My name is MarkH, and some of you may know me as a regular poster at usenet ( and an occasional poster at . I briefly wrote a column called "From the Other Side" for the Genoa City News too ... until my enthusiasm for Lynn Latham began to die.

This is really just a place for me to archive some things I have written at these places. However, I invite comment and feedback.

In this first post, I want to copy some of my dialogue with Sylph, over at SON, on ratings.

Let me start by showing soap ratings since they started being recorded. This first graph shows all soaps that ever existed. The figure is busy, but I put it up for nostalgia reasons...that list of titles warms and breaks my heart. The second graph shows only the surviving soaps.

The source of data for both graphs is a combination of SON's ratings archive (the older archive posted by Rick) and, for the missing years, the soap opera ratings shown at Wikipedia. I cannot affirm accuracy of either, but where they overlapped, SON and Wikipedia ratings were essentially identical. Data for the 2007-2008 season may not be complete up to the present.

Sylph polished up the second graph, adding in a few recently dead soaps

Now this next figure shows the year-by-year ratings average, collapsed across all soaps. Sometimes, there is power in simplicity.

So what does this mean? I summarize a bit of my thoughts in the next post

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