Days of Our Lives Moves to Peacock

NBC’s famous peacock logo – the former home of DOOL | Source: Wikipedia

The world of daytime soap operas was shaken by NBC’s seismic announcement that the long-running Days of Our Lives is moving to Peacock. But is this move an isolated event or part of a more significant trend in the rise of streaming over cable?

Is cable television dying? 

According to a report from July of this year, the historically eponymous scorekeepers of television ratings—Nielsen’s—said more than a third of TV viewing in June 2022 was via streaming platforms. This viewership is an increase of 6 share points compared to just a year ago. 

As of September 12th, the daytime drama fixture will be featured exclusively on Peacock, snapping an almost six-decade run on the flagship NBC channel. All-new episodes of the Emmy-winning drama will be broadcast first on Peacock every weekday.

This move follows two spinoff programs, dubbed Beyond Salem, that have already been featured on Peacock recently. Along with new episodes, the show’s entire library is available on the streaming platform for Peacock Premium subscribers. 

Days Of Our Lives is not being replaced with daytime drama

Days of Our Lives (DOOL) was launched on NBC in 1965 to a rocky start. Since then, the show has become a cornerstone of the network’s daytime programming. 

The 1973 Horton Family of DOOL | Source: Wikipedia

In its place, NBC announced it would fill its empty time slot with NBC News Daily instead ofa different daytime drama or original creative program.

Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a statement that the programming shift will “benefit both Peacock and NBC.” He added that the move reflected a broader strategy to “strengthen engagement with viewers” and that it would maximize the reach of the network’s portfolio. 

Lazarus acknowledged that a large portion of the audience was already tuning into the show digitally and that the move enabled them to “build the show’s loyal fanbase” via streaming. 

He added that replacing the show with a news program simultaneously bolsters the network’s daytime offering of “urgent, live programming” opportunities for “partners and consumers.”

A further decline of daytime soap operas?

The number of daytime soaps on broadcast networks has declined for some time. Once a staple of afternoon cable television with multiple shows on almost every channel, the choice for sudsy shows has been culled down to four. 

The decline slowed in 2011 after ABC had canceled All My Children and One Life to Live. The cancellations seemed to be over after that, leaving The Young and the Restless (Y&R), Bold and the Beautiful (B&B), and General Hospital (GH) to fight it out with DOOL. 

Streaming for soaps has a poor record 

Ironically, there was an attempt to save the canceled ABC soaps in 2011 by a deal that would offer the shows online. It didn’t work back then—but today’s streaming options are much more varied and accepted by audiences. 

DOOL is currently the least-watched daytime drama show with only 1.8 million views and a .3 rating with women 18-49. On the other hand, Y&R holds the current rating crown as the most-watched daytime drama (3.7 million), followed by B&B and GH. 

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