Soap opera
Overview
A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic
Episodic
Episodic can refer to* The nature of television series that are divided into short programs. See Episode* Episodic memory relates to the types of memory that result from specific incidents in a lifetime...

 work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive Company is an American diversified multinational corporation focused on the production, distribution and provision of household, health care and personal products, such as soaps, detergents, and oral hygiene products . Under its "Hill's" brand, it is also a manufacturer of...

 and Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers was a British manufacturer founded in 1885 by William Hesketh Lever and his brother, James Darcy Lever . The brothers had invested in and promoted a new soap making process invented by chemist William Hough Watson, it was a huge success...

, as sponsors and producers. These early radio series were broadcast in weekday daytime slots when most listeners would be housewives; thus the shows were aimed at and consumed by a predominantly female audience.

The term soap opera has at times been generally applied to any romantic serial, but it is also used to describe the more naturalistic, unglamorous UK primetime drama serials such as Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

.
Encyclopedia
A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic
Episodic
Episodic can refer to* The nature of television series that are divided into short programs. See Episode* Episodic memory relates to the types of memory that result from specific incidents in a lifetime...

 work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive Company is an American diversified multinational corporation focused on the production, distribution and provision of household, health care and personal products, such as soaps, detergents, and oral hygiene products . Under its "Hill's" brand, it is also a manufacturer of...

 and Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers was a British manufacturer founded in 1885 by William Hesketh Lever and his brother, James Darcy Lever . The brothers had invested in and promoted a new soap making process invented by chemist William Hough Watson, it was a huge success...

, as sponsors and producers. These early radio series were broadcast in weekday daytime slots when most listeners would be housewives; thus the shows were aimed at and consumed by a predominantly female audience.

The term soap opera has at times been generally applied to any romantic serial, but it is also used to describe the more naturalistic, unglamorous UK primetime drama serials such as Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

. A crucial element that defines soap opera is the open-ended nature of the narrative, with stories spanning several episodes. The defining feature that makes a television program a soap opera, according to Albert Moran, is "that form of television that works with a continuous open narrative. Each episode ends with a promise that the storyline is to be continued in another episode".

Soap opera stories run concurrently, intersect and lead into further developments. An individual episode of a soap opera will generally switch between several different concurrent story threads that may at times interconnect and affect one another or may run entirely independent of each other. Each episode may feature some of the show's current storylines but not always all of them. Especially in daytime serials and those that are screened each weekday, there is some rotation of both storyline and actors so any given storyline or actor will appear in some but usually not all of a week's worth of episodes. Soap operas rarely bring all the current storylines to a conclusion at the same time. When one storyline ends there are several other story threads at differing stages of development. Soap opera episodes typically end on some sort of cliffhanger
Cliffhanger
A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction...

.

Evening soap operas and those that screen at a rate of one episode per week are more likely to feature the entire cast in each episode, and to represent all current storylines in each episode. Evening soap operas and serials that run for only part of the year tend to bring things to a dramatic end-of-season cliffhanger.

In 1976, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine described American daytime television as "TV's richest market," noting the loyalty of the soap opera fan base and the expansion of several half-hour series to a full hour in order to maximize ad revenues. The article explained that at that time, many prime time series lost money, while daytime serials earned profits several times more than their production costs. The issue's cover notably featured its first daytime soap stars, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes
Susan Seaforth Hayes
Susan Seaforth Hayes is an American dramatic actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Julie Williams on the long-running NBC drama Days of our Lives, and her intermittent portrayal of JoAnna Manning on the CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless...

 of Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives is a long running daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965. It has since been syndicated to many countries around...

, a couple whose onscreen and real-life romance was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.

Plots and storylines

The main characteristics that define soap operas are "an emphasis on family life, personal relationships, sexual dramas, emotional and moral conflicts; some coverage of topical issues; set in familiar domestic interiors with only occasional excursions into new locations". Fitting in with these characteristics, most soap operas follow the lives of a group of characters who live or work in a particular place, or focus on a large extended family. The storylines follow the day-to-day activities and personal relationships of these characters. "Soap narratives, like those of film melodramas, are marked by what Steve Neale has described as 'chance meetings, coincidences, missed meetings, sudden conversions, last-minute rescues and revelations, deus ex machina
Deus ex machina
A deus ex machina is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.-Linguistic considerations:...

 endings.'" These elements may be found across the gamut of soap operas, from EastEnders
EastEnders
EastEnders is a British television soap opera, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985 and continuing to today. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End...

to Dallas
Dallas (TV series)
Dallas is an American serial drama/prime time soap opera that revolves around the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and cattle-ranching industries. Throughout the series, Larry Hagman stars as greedy, scheming oil baron J. R. Ewing...

.

In many soap operas, in particular daytime serials in the United States, the characters are frequently attractive, seductive, glamorous and wealthy. Soap operas from Australia and the United Kingdom tend to focus on more everyday characters and situations, and are frequently set in working class environments. Many Australian and UK soap operas explore social realist
Social realism
Social Realism, also known as Socio-Realism, is an artistic movement, expressed in the visual and other realist arts, which depicts social and racial injustice, economic hardship, through unvarnished pictures of life's struggles; often depicting working class activities as heroic...

 storylines such as family discord, marriage breakdown, or financial problems. Both UK and Australian soap operas feature comedy elements, often by way of affectionate comic stereotypes such as the gossip or the grumpy old man, presented as a sort of comic foil to the emotional turmoil that surrounds them. This diverges from US soap operas where such comedy is rare. UK soap operas frequently make a claim to presenting "reality" or purport to have a "realistic" style. UK soap operas also frequently foreground their geographic location as a key defining feature of the show while depicting and capitalising on the exotic appeal of the stereotypes connected to the location. So EastEnders focuses on the tough and grim life in London's east end; Coronation Street invokes Manchester and its characters exhibit the stereotypical characteristic of "Northern straight talking".

Romance
Romantic love
Romance is the pleasurable feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one's love, or one's deep emotional desires to connect with another person....

, secret relationships, extramarital affairs, and genuine love have been the basis for many soap opera storylines. In US daytime serials the most popular soap opera characters, and the most popular storylines, often involved a romance of the sort presented in paperback romance novel
Romance novel
The romance novel is a literary genre developed in Western culture, mainly in English-speaking countries. Novels in this genre place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending." Through the late...

s. Soap opera storylines sometimes weave intricate, convoluted, and sometimes confusing tales of characters who have affairs, meet mysterious strangers and fall in love, and who commit adultery, all of which keeps audiences hooked on the unfolding story twists. Crimes such as kidnapping, rape, and even murder may go unpunished if the perpetrator is to be retained in the ongoing story.

Australian and UK soap operas also feature a significant proportion of romance storylines. In Russia, most popular serials explore the "romantic quality" of criminal and/or oligarch
Business oligarch
Business oligarch is a near-synonym of the term "business magnate", borrowed by the English speaking and western media from post-Soviet parlance to describe the huge, fast-acquired wealth of some businessmen of the former Soviet republics during the privatization in Russia and other post-Soviet...

 life.

In soap opera storylines, previously unknown children, siblings, and twin
Twin
A twin is one of two offspring produced in the same pregnancy. Twins can either be monozygotic , meaning that they develop from one zygote that splits and forms two embryos, or dizygotic because they develop from two separate eggs that are fertilized by two separate sperm.In contrast, a fetus...

s (including the evil variety
Evil twin
The evil twin is an antagonist found in many different fictional genres. They are physical copies of protagonists, but with radically inverted moralities. In filmed entertainment, they can have obvious physical differences with the protagonist—such as facial hair, eyepatches, scars or distinctive...

) of established characters often emerge to upset and reinvigorate the set of relationships examined by the series. Unexpected calamities disrupt weddings, childbirths, and other major life events with unusual frequency.

Much like comic books—another popular form of linear storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values...

 pioneered in the US during the 20th Century—a character's death is not guaranteed to be permanent
Comic book death
In the comic book fan community, the apparent death and subsequent return of a long-running character is often called a comic book death. While death is a serious subject, a comic book death is generally not taken seriously and is rarely permanent or meaningful...

. On The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS Daytime. It premiered on March 23, 1987....

, Taylor Forrester (Hunter Tylo
Hunter Tylo
Hunter Tylo is an American actress, Author and former model. She is best known for her role as Taylor Hayes on The Bold and the Beautiful. She originated the role in 1990, and still continues to play it today....

) was shown to flatline
Flatline
A flatline is an electrical time sequence measurement that shows no activity and therefore when represented, shows a flat line instead of a moving one. It almost always refers to either a flatlined electrocardiogram, where the heart shows no electrical activity , or to a flat electroencephalogram,...

 and have a funeral. When Tylo reprised the character in 2005 a retcon
Retcon
Retroactive continuity is the alteration of previously established facts in a fictional work. Retcons are done for many reasons, including the accommodation of sequels or further derivative works in a series, wherein newer authors or creators want to revise the in-story history to allow a course...

 explained that Taylor had actually gone into a coma.

Stunts and complex physical action are largely absent, especially from daytime serials. Such story events often take place offscreen and are referred to in dialogue instead of being shown. This is because stunts or action scenes are difficult to adequately depict visually without complex action, multiple takes, and post production editing. When episodes were broadcast live, post production work was impossible. Though all serials have long switched to being taped, extensive post production work and multiple takes, while possible, are not feasible due to the tight taping schedules and low budgets.

Daytime serials

Soap operas became a staple of daytime television in the United States in the early 1950s. Along with game shows, rerun
Rerun
A rerun or repeat is a re-airing of an episode of a radio or television broadcast. The invention of the rerun is generally credited to Desi Arnaz. There are two types of reruns—those that occur during a hiatus, and those that occur when a program is syndicated. Reruns can also be, as the...

s of situation comedies, and talk shows, the soap opera was traditionally a fixture in the American broadcast networks' daytime schedules.

Many long-running US soap operas established particular environments for their stories. The Doctors and General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

, in the beginning, told stories almost exclusively from inside the confines of a hospital. As the World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

dealt heavily with Chris Hughes' law practice and the travails of his wife Nancy
Nancy Hughes
Nancy Hughes McClosky is a fictional character on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. From the show's inception in 1956 until 2010, Nancy Hughes has served as the core family's matriarch...

 who, tired of being "the loyal housewife" in the 1970s, became one of the first older women on the American serials to become a working woman. Guiding Light
Guiding Light
Guiding Light is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running drama in television and radio history, running from 1937 until 2009...

dealt with Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer
Charita Bauer
Charita Bauer was an American soap opera radio and television actress.Born in Newark, New Jersey, she began her career at the age of eight as a model for clothing ads...

) and her alcoholic husband Bill, and their endless marital troubles. When Bert's status shifted to caring mother and town matriarch, her children's marital troubles were showcased. Search for Tomorrow
Search for Tomorrow
Search for Tomorrow is an American soap opera which premiered on September 3, 1951 on CBS. The show was moved from CBS to NBC on March 29, 1982. It continued on NBC until the final episode aired on December 26, 1986, a run of thirty-five years. At the time of its final broadcast it was the...

mostly told its story through the eyes of Joanne Gardner
Joanne Gardner
Joanne Gardner was the main character on the long-running soap opera Search for Tomorrow. For 35 years, the role was played by actress Mary Stuart...

 (Mary Stuart
Mary Stuart (actress)
Mary Stuart was an American actress and singer/songwriter.She was born as Mary Stuart Houchins in Miami, Florida and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she graduated from Tulsa Central High School and attended the University of Tulsa before embarking on her professional career...

). Even when stories revolved around other characters, Joanne was frequently a key player in their storylines. Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives is a long running daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965. It has since been syndicated to many countries around...

initially focused on Dr. Tom Horton and his steadfast wife Alice. The show later branched out to focus more on their five children. The Edge of Night
The Edge of Night
The Edge of Night is an American television mystery series/soap opera produced by Procter & Gamble. It debuted on CBS on April 2, 1956, and ran as a live broadcast on that network until November 28, 1975; the series then moved to ABC, where it aired from December 1, 1975, until December 28, 1984...

featured as its central character Mike Karr, a police detective (later an attorney), and largely dealt with organized crime. The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS. The show is set in a fictional Wisconsin town called Genoa City, which is unlike and unrelated to the real life village of the same name, Genoa City, Wisconsin...

first focused on two families, the prosperous Brooks Family with four daughters, and the working class Foster family of a single working mother with three children. Its storylines explored realistic problems including cancer, mental illness, poverty and infidelity.

In contrast, Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows is a gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966 to April 2, 1971. The show was created by Dan Curtis. The story bible, which was written by Art Wallace, does not mention any supernatural elements...

(1966–1971) featured supernatural characters and dealt with fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 and horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

 storylines. Its characters included the vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

 Barnabas Collins
Barnabas Collins
Barnabas Collins is a fictional character, one of the feature characters in the ABC daytime serial Dark Shadows, which aired from 1966 to 1971. Originally played by Canadian actor Jonathan Frid, Barnabas Collins is a 200-year-old vampire who is in search of fresh blood and his lost love, Josette...

, the witch Angelique, and various ghost
Ghost
In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to...

s and goblin
Goblin
A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous illiterate creature, a grotesquely evil or evil-like phantom.They are attributed with various abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases, goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little...

s, both friendly and malevolent.

Originally serials were broadcast as fifteen-minute installments each weekday in daytime slots. In 1956 As the World Turns and The Edge of Night, both produced by Procter & Gamble Productions, debuted as the first half-hour soap operas on CBS Television. All soap operas broadcast half-hour episodes by the end of the 1960s. With increased popularity in the 1970s most soap operas expanded to an hour in length by the end of the decade (Another World
Another World (TV series)
Another World is an American television soap opera that ran on NBC from May 4, 1964 to June 25, 1999. It ran for a total of 35 years. It was created by Irna Phillips along with William J...

even expanded to ninety minutes for a short time). More than half of the serials had expanded to one hour episodes by 1980. As of 2010, five of the six US serials air one hour episodes each weekday. Only The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS Daytime. It premiered on March 23, 1987....

airs 30-minute episodes.

Soap operas were originally broadcast live from the studio, creating what many at the time regarded as a feeling similar to that of a stage play. As nearly all soap operas were originated at that time in New York, a number of soap actors were also accomplished stage actors who performed live theatre during breaks from their soap roles. In the 1960s and 1970s, new serials such as General Hospital, Days of our Lives, and The Young and the Restless were produced in Los Angeles. Their success made the West Coast a viable alternative to New York–produced soap operas, which were becoming more costly to perform.

By the early 1970s, nearly all soap operas had transitioned to being taped. As the World Turns and The Edge of Night
The Edge of Night
The Edge of Night is an American television mystery series/soap opera produced by Procter & Gamble. It debuted on CBS on April 2, 1956, and ran as a live broadcast on that network until November 28, 1975; the series then moved to ABC, where it aired from December 1, 1975, until December 28, 1984...

were the last to make the switch, in 1975.

Port Charles
Port Charles
Port Charles was a daytime soap opera which aired on ABC from June 2, 1997 to October 3, 2003. It is a spin-off of the serial General Hospital, which has been running since 1963 and takes place in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York...

used the practice of running 13-week "story arc
Story arc
A story arc is an extended or continuing storyline in episodic storytelling media such as television, comic books, comic strips, boardgames, video games, and in some cases, films. On a television program, for example, the story would unfold over many episodes. In television, the use of the story...

s", in which the main events of the arc are played out and wrapped up over the 13 weeks, although some storylines did continue over more than one arc. According to the 2006 Preview issue of Soap Opera Digest
Soap Opera Digest
Soap Opera Digest is a weekly magazine covering American daytime soap operas. It features onscreen and offscreen news about the series, interviews with and articles about performers, storyline summaries and analysis, and related promotional information...

, it was briefly discussed that all ABC shows might do telenovela
Telenovela
A telenovela is a limited-run serial dramatic programming popular in Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish television programming. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão , and novela, a Spanish or Portuguese word for "novel"...

 arcs, but this was rejected.

Though US daytime soap operas are not generally rerun
Rerun
A rerun or repeat is a re-airing of an episode of a radio or television broadcast. The invention of the rerun is generally credited to Desi Arnaz. There are two types of reruns—those that occur during a hiatus, and those that occur when a program is syndicated. Reruns can also be, as the...

 by their networks, occasionally they are rebroadcast elsewhere. Early episodes of Dark Shadows were rerun on PBS stations in the early 1970s after the show's cancellation, and the entire series (except the single missing episode) was rerun on the SciFi Channel in the 1990s. After The Edge of Nights 1984 cancellation, reruns of the show's final five years were shown on the USA Network
USA Network
USA Network is an American cable television channel launched in 1971. Once a minor player in basic cable, the network has steadily gained popularity because of breakout hits like Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Covert Affairs, White Collar, Monday Night RAW, Suits, and reruns of the various...

's latenight schedule from 1985–1989. On January 20, 2000 the SOAPnet
SOAPnet
SOAPnet is an American cable television channel that broadcasts current and past soap operas and primetime dramas, along with some original programming. The channel launched on January 20, 2000, and is owned by Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 network began retransmitting soap operas originally aired on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 and CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

.

Newer broadcast networks since the late 1980s, such as Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 and cable television networks, have largely eschewed soap operas in their daytime schedules, instead running syndicated programming and reruns. No cable television outlet has produced its own daytime serial, although DirecTV
DirecTV
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, and the Anglophone Caribbean. ...

's The 101 Network took over existing serial Passions
Passions
Passions is an American television soap opera which aired on NBC from July 5, 1999 to September 7, 2007 and on The 101 Network from September 17, 2007 to August 7, 2008....

, continuing production for one season. Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

, the fourth "major network," carried a short lived daytime soap
Tribes
Tribes (TV series)
Tribes is a daily half-hour soap opera geared at a teen audience that aired briefly on the Fox network in 1990. Created by veteran soap writer Leah Laiman, the cast included Michelle Stafford, who later went on to star on The Young and the Restless. It is the only daily soap opera Fox has ever...

in 1990. Yet other than this and a couple of pilot attempts, Fox mainly stayed away from daytime soaps, and has not attempted them since their ascension to major-network status in 1994.

The American soap opera
Guiding Light
Guiding Light
Guiding Light is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running drama in television and radio history, running from 1937 until 2009...

started as a radio drama in January 1937 and subsequently transferred to television in June 1952. With the exception of several years in the late 1940s when Irna Phillips
Irna Phillips
Irna Phillips was an American actress and most notably writer who created and scripted many of the first American soap operas.Phillips created radio and TV soap operas including:...

 was in dispute with Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is a Fortune 500 American multinational corporation headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and manufactures a wide range of consumer goods....

,
Guiding Light was heard or seen nearly every weekday since it began, making it the longest story ever told in a broadcast medium. With the cancellation of Guiding Light in 2009, the next oldest soap on television was the 54 year-old serial As the World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

, which ended its run on September 17, 2010. This left General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

(1963) as the oldest remaining American soap opera.

In 2011, it was announced that
All My Children
All My Children
All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 5, 1970 to September 23, 2011. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. The show features Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most...

and One Life to Live
One Life to Live
One Life to Live is an American soap opera which debuted on July 15, 1968 and has been broadcast on the ABC television network. Created by Agnes Nixon, the series was the first daytime drama to primarily feature racially and socioeconomically diverse characters and consistently emphasize social...

 would leave television and move their series exclusively on the internet
Internet television
Internet television is the digital distribution of television content via the Internet...

 in 2012, effectively making them web series
Web series
A web series is a series of episodes released on the Internet or also by mobile or cellular phone, and part of the newly emerging medium called web television. A single instance of a web series program is called an episode .While the popularity of web series is continuing to rise, the concept...

. However, it was later announced that because of economic issues with running daytime dramas on the internet, those plans were canceled.

Actors

See List of longest-serving soap opera actors


Due to the longevity of these shows it is not uncommon for a single character to be played by multiple actors. The key character of Jill Foster Abbott
Jill Foster Abbott
Jill Abbott Fenmore is a fictional character on the CBS daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. She is one of the series' original characters, and the only one remaining from its debut in March 1973...

 on
The Young and the Restless has been played by several different actresses.

Conversely several actors have remained playing the same character for many years. Helen Wagner
Helen Wagner
Helen Wagner was an American actress. Born in Lubbock, Texas, she is best known for her long running role as Nancy Hughes McClosky on the soap opera As the World Turns. Wagner also played the role of Trudy Bauer during the initial TV years of Guiding Light in the early 1950s...

 played Hughes family matriarch Nancy Hughes
Nancy Hughes
Nancy Hughes McClosky is a fictional character on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. From the show's inception in 1956 until 2010, Nancy Hughes has served as the core family's matriarch...

 on American soap
As the World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

from its April 2, 1956 debut through her death in May 2010. She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the actor with the longest uninterrupted performance in a single role. Fellow As the World Turns actors, Eileen Fulton
Eileen Fulton
Eileen Fulton is an American actress.Fulton is known for her role as Lisa Grimaldi on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns, a role that she played almost continuously for 50 years from May 18, 1960 until the show's cancellation on September 17, 2010.-As the...

 and Don Hastings
Don Hastings
Donald Francis Hastings is a longtime American actor, singer, and writer best known for his 50-year role as Dr. Robert "Bob" Hughes" on the soap opera As the World Turns...

 who played Lisa Grimaldi and Dr. Bob Hughes, respectively, played their roles nearly as long, both having joined the show in 1960, and remaining through the show's 2010 cancellation. William Roache
William Roache
William Patrick Harry Roache MBE is a British actor, best known for his role as Ken Barlow in the soap opera Coronation Street...

 has played Ken Barlow
Ken Barlow
Kenneth "Ken" Barlow is a long-standing fictional character from the ITV soap opera Coronation Street, played by William Roache, and created by Tony Warren. He is currently the world's longest-serving soap opera character, having appeared continuously from the programme's inception in December...

 continuously from 1960 on the British soap
Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

, which is also the longest-running soap in the world still in production. In Rachel Ames
Rachel Ames
Rachel Ames is an Emmy Award Winning American actress. She is the longest-running performer on ABC's longest-running daytime serial, General Hospital, playing Audrey Hardy, R.N. from 1964 to 2007. She also played Audrey Hardy on the General Hospital spin-off series Port Charles...

 played Audrey Hardy in
General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

from 1964 until 2007, and returned in 2009. Susan Lucci
Susan Lucci
Susan Victoria Lucci is an American actress and entrepreneur, best known for portraying Erica Kane on the daytime drama All My Children. The character is considered an icon, and Lucci has been called "Daytime's Leading Lady" by TV Guide, with New York Times and Los Angeles Times citing her as the...

 has played Erica Kane
Erica Kane
Erica Kane is a fictional character from the American daytime drama All My Children.The character has been portrayed by actress Susan Lucci since the show first aired in January 1970, until the last broadcast television episode aired in September 2011. Erica is considered to be the most popular...

 in
All My Children
All My Children
All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 5, 1970 to September 23, 2011. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. The show features Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most...

since the show's debut in January 1970. Ray MacDonnell
Ray MacDonnell
Raymond Arthur "Ray" MacDonnell is an American actor, best known for his role as Dr. Joe Martin on the daytime soap opera All My Children, a role he played for 40 years...

 played Dr. Joe Martin
Joe Martin (All My Children)
Dr. Joseph Henry "Joe" Martin Sr. is a fictional character on the American soap opera All My Children. Ray MacDonnell played the character from the show's inception on January 5, 1970 until his retirement on January 5, 2010. He reprised his role for three episodes in March 2011, and again for two...

 in that series from the show's 1970 debut until 2010. Erika Slezak
Erika Slezak
Erika Alma Hermina Slezak is an American actress, best known for her role as Victoria Lord on the American daytime soap opera One Life to Live...

 has played Victoria Lord
Victoria Lord
Victoria "Viki" Lord is the principal fictional character and matriarch of the Lord family on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live...

 on
One Life to Live
One Life to Live
One Life to Live is an American soap opera which debuted on July 15, 1968 and has been broadcast on the ABC television network. Created by Agnes Nixon, the series was the first daytime drama to primarily feature racially and socioeconomically diverse characters and consistently emphasize social...

since 1971 and Jeanne Cooper
Jeanne Cooper
Wilma Jeanne Cooper , best known as Jeanne Cooper, is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Katherine Chancellor on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless...

 has played Katherine Chancellor
Katherine Chancellor
Katherine Chancellor Murphy is a fictional character on the CBS daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless...

 on
The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS. The show is set in a fictional Wisconsin town called Genoa City, which is unlike and unrelated to the real life village of the same name, Genoa City, Wisconsin...

 since late 1973.

Starting from the 2000s it had become increasingly common for long-term regular cast members to be dropped from contract status to recurring status
Recurring status
In the U.S. soap opera world, recurring status is a term used to describe the status of a performer who consistently performs in less than three episodes out of a five-day work week, and is therefore let out of their multi-year contract in order for the show to save money...

, a part of contract negotiations largely restricted to U.S. soap operas. As recurring players they are paid only for those episodes in which they appear; this can be more cost effective for the series in the case of performers making sporadic or occasional appearances.

Other actors have played several characters on different shows. Sharon Case
Sharon Case
Sharon Case is an American actress. She is known for her roles on daytime television soap operas. Her most well-known role has been on CBS Daytime Television's The Young and the Restless. She has portrayed the role of Sharon Newman since August 1994...

, Genie Francis
Genie Francis
Eugenie "Genie" Francis Frakes is an American actress known for her portrayal of Laura Spencer on the ABC daytime drama General Hospital. She is currently playing Genevieve Atkinson on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless...

, Eden Riegel
Eden Riegel
Eden Sonja Jane Riegel is an American actress. She portrayed Bianca Montgomery on the daytime drama All My Children, and propelled the character into a gay icon, as well as a popular figure within the medium...

, Billy Miller
Billy Miller (actor)
Billy Miller is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Richie Novak on the ABC Daytime soap opera All My Children, and currently, as Billy Abbott on the CBS Daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless and "Charlie" on the CW Network drama Ringer .-Personal life:Born in Tulsa,...

, Elizabeth Hendrickson
Elizabeth Hendrickson
Elizabeth Hendrickson is an American actress. Her big break came when she was cast as character Frankie Stone on the daytime drama All My Children...

, Marcy Rylan
Marcy Rylan
Marcy Rylan is an American actress.-Career:Rylan is best known for her role as Lizzie Spaulding on the soap opera Guiding Light. She joined the show's cast on February 7, 2006 taking over the role from Crystal Hunt, until the finale on September 18, 2009...

, Amelia Heinle Luckinbill
Amelia Heinle
Amelia March Heinle Luckinbill is an American actress best known for her roles in American soap operas.-Career:...

, Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown
Sarah Joy Brown is an American actress. She is perhaps best known for originating the role of Carly Corinthos, which she portrayed on the American daytime drama General Hospital from 1996 to 2001, and which earned her three Daytime Emmy Awards. In 2008, she returned to General Hospital in a...

, Laura Wright
Laura Wright
Laura Wright is an American actress. She is perhaps best known for her role as Cassie Layne Winslow on Guiding Light , and since 2005, her portrayal of Carly Corinthos on General Hospital; the latter garnered her the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2011.-Filmography:* 1991 - 1995:...

, Veleka Gray
Veleka Gray
Veleka Gray , sometimes credited as Velekka Gray, is an American actress, best known for her roles as department store executive Vicki Paisley Cannell on Somerset, and as Mia Marriott on Love of Life from 1977 - 1980.-Career:...

, Robin Mattson
Robin Mattson
Robin Mattson is an American soap opera actress.Mattson was typically cast in supporting, "villainess" type roles, as in her roles in Santa Barbara and General Hospital, where she played an immoral goldigger and a psychopath, in the respective shows...

, Lenore Kasdorf
Lenore Kasdorf
Lenore Kasdorf is an American actress.-Biography:Kasdorf was born in New York City to an army colonel father. She is best known for her role as the alluring and promiscuous nurse Rita Stapleton Bauer, whom she played from 1975 to 1981 in the soap opera Guiding Light, and for her performance as Mrs...

, Roscoe Born
Roscoe Born
Roscoe Born is an American actor, born in Topeka, Kansas, who is best known for playing a variety of roles over the years in successful television shows, most recently in The Young and the Restless.-Career:...

, Judith Chapman
Judith Chapman
Judith Chapman is an actress known to fans of American daytime television. She gave her screen debut at the age of 16 in the Spaghetti Western Sette donne per i MacGregor. She has appeared on half a dozen daytime dramas since the mid-1970s...

, David Canary
David Canary
David Hoyt Canary is an American actor, who starred in both soap operas and prime time television. He is best known for his roles as the ranch foreman, Candy Canaday on Bonanza and identical twins Adam Chandler from 1983 to 2010 and Stuart Chandler from 1984 to 2009 on the daytime serial, All My...

, and Michael Sabatino
Michael Sabatino
Michael Sabatino is an American actor.-Private life:Sabatino attended the University of California, Irvine, where he set a school record for the pole vault of 17½ feet....

 have all played multiple soap roles.

Evolution of the daytime serial

For several decades most US daytime soap operas concentrated on family and marital discord, legal drama, and romance. The action rarely left interior settings, and many shows were set in fictional, medium-sized Midwestern towns.

Exterior shots, once a rarity, were slowly incorporated into the series Ryan's Hope
Ryan's Hope
Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera, revolving around 13 years of trials and tribulations within a large Irish American family in the Riverside district of New York City. It aired from July 7, 1975 to January 13, 1989 on ABC...

. Unlike many earlier serials which were set in fictional towns, Ryan's Hope was set in real location, New York City, and outside shoots were used to give the series greater authenticity.

The first exotic location shoot was made by
All My Children
All My Children
All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 5, 1970 to September 23, 2011. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. The show features Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most...

, to St. Croix in 1978. Many other soap operas planned lavish storylines after the success of the All My Children shoot. P&G-produced soaps Another World
Another World (TV series)
Another World is an American television soap opera that ran on NBC from May 4, 1964 to June 25, 1999. It ran for a total of 35 years. It was created by Irna Phillips along with William J...

and Guiding Light
Guiding Light
Guiding Light is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running drama in television and radio history, running from 1937 until 2009...

both went to St. Croix in 1980, the former show culminating a long-running storyline between popular characters Mac, Rachel and Janice, and the latter to serve as an exotic setting for Alan Spaulding
Alan Spaulding
Alan Spaulding is a fictional character on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light. He was played by Chris Bernau from the time of the character's introduction on November 7, 1977 until June 1988, when Bernau left the role due to health problems ; Daniel Pilon stepped into the role from 1988 until Alan...

 and Rita Bauer's
Rita Stapleton
Rita Stapleton Bauer was a fictional character on the CBS soap Guiding Light. The character was played by Lenore Kasdorf, and was created by Bridget and Jerome Dobson, shortly after they became Guiding Light's head writers in 1975. Rita was written out in 1981, when Kasdorf announced she was...

 torrid affair.

Search for Tomorrow
Search for Tomorrow
Search for Tomorrow is an American soap opera which premiered on September 3, 1951 on CBS. The show was moved from CBS to NBC on March 29, 1982. It continued on NBC until the final episode aired on December 26, 1986, a run of thirty-five years. At the time of its final broadcast it was the...

 taped for two weeks in Hong Kong in 1981. Later that year some of the cast and crew ventured to Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 to tape a love consummation storyline between Garth and Kathy.

During the 1980s, perhaps as a reaction to the evening drama series that were gaining high ratings, daytime serials began to incorporate action and adventure storylines, more big-business intrigue, and an increased emphasis on youthful romance. Serials also focused on developing supercouple
Supercouple
A supercouple or super couple is a popular or financially wealthy pairing that intrigues and fascinates the public in an intense or even obsessive fashion...

s.

One of the first and most popular supercouples was Luke Spencer and Laura Webber in General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

. Luke and Laura helped to attract both male and female fans. Even Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

 was a fan and at her own request was given a guest role in Luke and Laura's wedding episode. Luke and Laura's popularity led to other soap producers striving to reproduce this success by attempting to create supercouples of their own.

With increasingly bizarre action storylines coming into vogue Luke and Laura saved the world from being frozen, brought a mobster down by finding his black book in a Left-Handed Boy Statue, and helped a Princess find her Aztec Treasure in Mexico. Other soap operas attempted similar adventure storylines, often featuring footage shot on location – frequently in exotic locales.

During the 1990s, the mob, action, and adventure stories fell out of favor with producers due to generally declining ratings for daytime soap operas at the time, and the resultant budget cuts. In the 1990s soap operas were no longer able to go on expensive location shoots overseas as they had in the 1980s. In the 1990s soap operas increasingly focused on younger characters and social issues
Social issues
Social issues are controversial issues which relate to people's personal lives and interactions. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues...

, such as Erica Kane
Erica Kane
Erica Kane is a fictional character from the American daytime drama All My Children.The character has been portrayed by actress Susan Lucci since the show first aired in January 1970, until the last broadcast television episode aired in September 2011. Erica is considered to be the most popular...

's drug addiction on All My Children, the re-emergence of Viki Lord's Multiple Personality Disorder on One Life to Live, Katherine Chancellor
Katherine Chancellor
Katherine Chancellor Murphy is a fictional character on the CBS daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless...

's alcoholism on
The Young and the Restless and Stone and Robin dealing with AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 and death on
General Hospital. Other social issues included cancer, homophobia, and racism.

Some shows of the 2000s incorporated supernatural and science fiction elements into their storylines. One of the main characters in US soap opera
Passions
Passions
Passions is an American television soap opera which aired on NBC from July 5, 1999 to September 7, 2007 and on The 101 Network from September 17, 2007 to August 7, 2008....

is Tabitha Lenox
Tabitha Lenox
Tabitha Lenox is a fictional character and one of the main antagonists from the NBC/DirecTV daytime drama Passions. Tabitha has been played by Juliet Mills since the show's debut in 1999. Mills continued in the role when the show moved from NBC to DirecTV's The 101 in September 2007...

, a 300-year-old witch.
Port Charles
Port Charles
Port Charles was a daytime soap opera which aired on ABC from June 2, 1997 to October 3, 2003. It is a spin-off of the serial General Hospital, which has been running since 1963 and takes place in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York...

 has featured vampires and an angel. Frequently these characters are isolated to one of the ongoing story threads to allow a fan to ignore them if they do not like that element.

Traditional grammar of daytime serials

Modern U.S. daytime soap operas largely stay true to the original soap opera format. The duration and format of storylines and the visual grammar employed by US daytime serials set them apart from soap operas in other countries and from evening soap operas. Stylistically, UK and Australian soap operas, which are usually produced for early evening timeslots, fall somewhere in-between US daytime and evening soap operas. Similar to US daytime soap operas, UK and Australian serials are shot on videotape, and the cast and storylines are rotated across the week's episodes so that each cast member will appear in some but not all episodes. UK and Australian soap operas move through storylines at a faster rate than daytime serials, making them closer to US evening soap operas in this regard.

American daytime soap operas feature stylistic elements that set them apart from other shows:
  • A construct unique to US daytime serials is the format where the action will cut between various conversations, returning to each at the precise moment it was left. This is the most significant distinction between US daytime soap operas and other forms of US television drama, which generally allow for narrative time to pass, off-screen, between the scenes depicted.
  • In US daytime soap operas scenes often end with a pregnant pause and a close-up on the character. There will be no dialogue for several seconds while the music builds before cutting to a commercial or a new scene. This kind of segue is referred to in the industry as a "tag."
  • The traditional three-point lighting
    Three-point lighting
    Three-point lighting is a standard method used in visual media such as video, film, still photography and computer-generated imagery. By using three separate positions, the photographer can illuminate the shot's subject however desired, while also controlling the shading and shadows produced by...

     set-up routinely used in filmmaking
    Filmmaking
    Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

     and television production is also used on daytime soap operas, sometimes with accentuated back lighting to lift actors out of the background. This is useful in programs like soap operas which are shot on videotape in small interior sets. The backlight is frequently more subtle on filmed productions shot on location and in larger sets.
  • Domestic interiors are often furnished with stained wood wall panels and furniture, and items of brown leather furniture. This is to give a sumptuous and luxurious look suggesting the wealth of the characters. Daytime serials often foreground other sumptuous elements of set decoration; presenting a "mid-shot of characters viewed through a frame of lavish floral displays, glittering crystal decanters or gleaming antique furniture".
  • Few US daytime soap operas routinely feature location or exterior-shot footage (Guiding Light
    Guiding Light
    Guiding Light is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running drama in television and radio history, running from 1937 until 2009...

     began shooting many of its scenes outdoors in its final two seasons). Often an outdoor locale is recreated in the studio. Australian and UK daily soap operas invariably feature a certain amount of exterior shot footage in every episode. This is usually shot in the same location and often on a purpose-built set, with new exterior locations for particular events.
  • The visual quality of a soap opera is usually lower than prime time US television drama series due to the lower budgets and quicker production times. This is also because soap operas are recorded on videotape using a multicamera setup, unlike primetime productions which are usually shot on film and frequently using the single camera
    Single-camera setup
    The single-camera setup, or single-camera mode of production, is a method of filmmaking and video production. A single camera—either motion picture camera or professional video camera—is employed on the set and each shot to make up a scene is taken individually...

     shooting style. Because of the lower resolution of video images, and also because of the emotional situations portrayed in soap operas, daytime serials make heavy use of closeup shots. Programs in the United States did not make the full conversion to high definition broadcasting until September 2011, when The Bold and the Beautiful became the last soap to convert to the format.
  • Soap operas have idiosyncratic blocking
    Blocking (stage)
    Blocking is a theatre term which refers to the precise movement and positioning of actors on a stage in order to facilitate the performance of a play, ballet, film or opera. The term derives from the practice of 19th century theatre directors such as Sir W. S...

     techniques. In one common situation, a romantically involved couple start a conversation face-to-face, then one character will turn 180° and face away from the other character while conversation continues. This allows both characters to appear together in a single shot, and both facing the audience. This is unrealistic in real life and is not frequently seen in film or on television outside US daytime serials, but it is an accepted soap opera convention.

Decline

Soap opera ratings have fallen precipitously in the U.S. since the 2000s. A daily average of 6.5 million viewers watched soaps during the 1991–92 TV season, while just 1.3 million watched in 2009–2010. No new daytime soap opera has been created since Passions
Passions
Passions is an American television soap opera which aired on NBC from July 5, 1999 to September 7, 2007 and on The 101 Network from September 17, 2007 to August 7, 2008....

in 1999, while many have been cancelled. SOAPnet
SOAPnet
SOAPnet is an American cable television channel that broadcasts current and past soap operas and primetime dramas, along with some original programming. The channel launched on January 20, 2000, and is owned by Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

, which largely airs soap opera reruns, is expected to close in 2012 due to the general decline in the format. In 2012, only four daytime soap operas –
General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

, Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives is a long running daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965. It has since been syndicated to many countries around...

, The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS. The show is set in a fictional Wisconsin town called Genoa City, which is unlike and unrelated to the real life village of the same name, Genoa City, Wisconsin...

, and The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS Daytime. It premiered on March 23, 1987....

 – will air on the three major networks, down from 12 in 1990–91 and a high of 19 in 1969–70. This will be the first time since 1953 that there are four soap operas on broadcast television
Broadcast network
A broadcast network is an organization, such as a corporation or other voluntary association, that provides live television or recorded content, such as movies, newscasts, sports, Public affairs programming, and other television programs for broadcast over a group of radio stations or television...

.

The years 2009 to 2011 have seen the fall of America's veteran soaps. The longest-running program in television and radio history, Guiding Light
Guiding Light
Guiding Light is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running drama in television and radio history, running from 1937 until 2009...

, barely reached 1.5 million daily viewers in 2009 and was ended. As the World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

aired its final episode in 2010 after a 54 year run. As the World Turns was the last of 20 soap operas produced by Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is a Fortune 500 American multinational corporation headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and manufactures a wide range of consumer goods....

, the same company that initiated the "soap opera" expression back in the 1930s.
All My Children
All My Children
All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 5, 1970 to September 23, 2011. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. The show features Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most...

and One Life to Live
One Life to Live
One Life to Live is an American soap opera which debuted on July 15, 1968 and has been broadcast on the ABC television network. Created by Agnes Nixon, the series was the first daytime drama to primarily feature racially and socioeconomically diverse characters and consistently emphasize social...

, each having an over four-decade run, were both cancelled from ABC's schedule in 2011.

Beginning in the 1970s, as women increasingly worked outside of the home, daytime television viewing declined. Since more people were at work, fewer people are available to watch daytime serials. New generations of potential viewers were not raised watching soaps with their mothers, leaving the long and complex story lines foreign to younger audiences, and audiences who watch the programs in common settings such as restaurants, university common rooms, work breakrooms, and health clubs are not counted as ACNielsen
ACNielsen
ACNielsen is a global marketing research firm, with worldwide headquarters in New York City. Regional headquarters for North America are located in Schaumburg, Illinois. As of May 2010, it is part of The Nielsen Company.-History:...

 does not track this type of viewing. The three major networks do not count in the ratings the modern alternative ways to watch daytime soap operas such as on the internet, SOAPnet or on DVR; further underrating the performance of these shows. The rise of cable television and the internet have also provided new sources of entertainment during the day. Part of the genre's decline has also been attributed to audiences switching to reality programming as a source of TV melodrama.

Daytime programming alternatives like talk shows and game shows are less expensive to produce than scripted dramas, making those formats more profitable and attractive to networks, even if they receive the same or slightly lower ratings than soaps. As reflected by the cancellations of Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach
- United States :* Sunset Beach , in Cape May, New Jersey* Sunset Beach , in Pupukea, Oahu, Hawaii* Sunset Beach State Recreation Site, in Oregon* Sunset State Beach, near Watsonville, California- Canada :* Sunset Beach, Alberta...

and Port Charles
Port Charles
Port Charles was a daytime soap opera which aired on ABC from June 2, 1997 to October 3, 2003. It is a spin-off of the serial General Hospital, which has been running since 1963 and takes place in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York...

, it can sometime be more beneficial for a broadcasting network to return a timeslot to its local stations than to keep on the air a soap opera with disappointing ratings. Compounding the financial pressure on scripted programming was an advertising recession resulting from the financial crisis of 2007–2010, causing shows to reduce their budgets, sometimes resulting in cast reductions.

The primetime serial

Serials produced for primetime slots have also found success. The first real prime time soap opera was Peyton Place
Peyton Place (TV series)
Peyton Place is an American prime-time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes from September 15, 1964 to June 2, 1969.Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious, the series was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation. A total of 514 episodes were broadcast, in...

(1964–1969) on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

. It was based in part on the 1957 film also titled
Peyton Place
Peyton Place (film)
Peyton Place is a 1957 American drama film directed by Mark Robson. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes is based on the bestselling 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious.-Plot:...

(which was based on the 1956 novel
Peyton Place (novel)
Peyton Place is a 1956 novel by Grace Metalious. It sold 60,000 copies within the first ten days of its release and remained on the New York Times best seller list for 59 weeks. It was adapted as both a 1957 film and a 1964–69 television series....

).

The popularity of
Peyton Place prompted the CBS network to spin off popular As the World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

character Lisa Miller into her own evening soap opera, Our Private World
Our Private World
Our Private World is an American serial. It was the first prime-time spin-off from a daytime soap . Created by Irna Phillips and William J. Bell, it premiered on May 5, 1965 and aired Wednesdays and Fridays over the summer; the multiple-episode-per-week format was inspired by ABC's hit show Peyton...

(originally titled "The Woman Lisa" in its planning stages). Our Private World ran from May until September 1965. The character of Lisa returned to As The World Turns after the series ended.

The structure of the
Peyton Place with its episodic plots and long-running story arcs would set the mold for the prime time serials of the 1980s when the format reached its pinnacle.

The successful prime time serials of the 1980s included
Dallas
Dallas (TV series)
Dallas is an American serial drama/prime time soap opera that revolves around the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and cattle-ranching industries. Throughout the series, Larry Hagman stars as greedy, scheming oil baron J. R. Ewing...

, Dynasty
Dynasty (TV series)
Dynasty is an American prime time television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 12, 1981 to May 11, 1989. It was created by Richard & Esther Shapiro and produced by Aaron Spelling, and revolved around the Carringtons, a wealthy oil family living in Denver, Colorado...

, Knots Landing
Knots Landing
Knots Landing is an American primetime television soap opera that aired from December 27, 1979 to May 13, 1993 on CBS. Set in a fictitious coastal suburb of Los Angeles in California, the show centered on the lives of four married couples living in a cul-de-sac, Seaview Circle...

, and Falcon Crest
Falcon Crest
Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for nine seasons, from December 4, 1981 to May 17, 1990. A total of 227 episodes were produced....

. These shows frequently dealt with wealthy families and their personal and big-business travails. Common characteristics were sumptuous sets and costumes, complex storylines examining business schemes and intrigue, and spectacular disaster cliffhanger situations. Each of these series featured a wealthy, domineering, promiscuous and passionate antagonist
Antagonist
An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend...

 as a key character in the storyline – J. R. Ewing, Alexis Colby
Alexis Colby
Alexis Colby is a fictional character and the primary antagonist on the American TV series Dynasty....

, Abby Cunningham and Angela Channing respectively. These villainous schemers became immensely popular figures that audiences "loved to hate".

Unlike daytime serials which are shot on video in a studio using the multicamera setup, these evening series were shot on film using a single camera setup, and featured much location-shot footage, often in picturesque locales. Dallas, its spin-off Knots Landing, and Falcon Crest all initially featured episodes with self-contained stories and specific guest stars who appeared in just that episode. Each story would be completely resolved by the end of the episode and there were no end-of-episode cliffhanger. After the first couple of seasons all three shows changed their story format to that of a pure soap opera with interwoven ongoing narratives that ran over several episodes. Dynasty featured this format throughout its run.

The soap opera's distinctive open plot structure and complex continuity was increasingly incorporated into American prime time television programs of the period. The first significant drama series to do this was
Hill Street Blues
Hill Street Blues
Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police precinct in an unnamed American city, the show received critical acclaim and its production innovations ...

. This series, produced by Steven Bochco
Steven Bochco
Steven Ronald Bochco is a US television producer and writer. He has developed a number of popular television hits including Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue, as well as some notable flops such as Cop Rock....

, featured many elements borrowed from soap operas such as an ensemble cast
Ensemble cast
An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time in a dramatic production. This kind of casting became more popular in television series because it allows flexibility for writers to focus on...

, multi-episode storylines, and extensive character development over the course of the series. It and the later
Cagney & Lacey
Cagney & Lacey
Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from October 8, 1981 to May 16, 1988...

overlaid the police series formula with ongoing narratives exploring the personal lives and interpersonal relationships of the regular characters. The success of these series prompted other drama series, such as St. Elsewhere
St. Elsewhere
St. Elsewhere is an American medical drama television series that originally ran on NBC from October 26, 1982 to May 25, 1988. The series is set at fictional St. Eligius, a decaying urban teaching hospital in Boston's South End neighborhood...

, and situation comedy series, to incorporate serialized stories and story structure to varying degrees.

The prime time soap operas and drama series of the 1990s, such as
Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210 is an American drama series that originally aired from October 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000 on Fox and was produced by Spelling Television in the United States, and subsequently on various networks around the world. It is the first series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise...

, Melrose Place, and Dawson's Creek
Dawson's Creek
Dawson's Creek is an American teen drama television series which debuted on January 20, 1998, on The WB Television Network and was produced by Sony Pictures Television. The show is set in the fictional seaside town of Capeside, Massachusetts, and in Boston, Massachusetts, during the later seasons...

, focused more on younger characters. In the 2000s, ABC began to revitalize the primetime soap opera format with shows such as Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives is an American television comedy-drama series created by Marc Cherry and produced by ABC Studios and Cherry Productions. Executive producer Cherry serves as Showrunner. Other executive producers since the fourth season include Marc Cherry, Bob Daily, George W...

, Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy is an American medical drama television series created by Shonda Rhimes. The series premiered on March 27, 2005 on ABC; since then, seven seasons have aired. The series follows the lives of interns, residents and their mentors in the fictional Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital in...

, Brothers & Sisters, Lost
Lost (TV series)
Lost is an American television series that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010, consisting of six seasons. Lost is a drama series that follows the survivors of the crash of a commercial passenger jet flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, on a mysterious tropical island...

, Private Practice and most recently Revenge
Revenge (TV series)
Revenge is an American television drama inspired by the Alexandre Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo starring Madeleine Stowe and Emily VanCamp. It debuted on ABC on September 21, 2011, and currently airs on Wednesday nights at 10:00 pm Eastern/9:00 pm Central...

. While not soaps in the traditional sense, these shows managed to appeal to wide audiences with their high drama mixed with humor, and are soap operas by definition. These successes led to NBC launching serials, including Heroes
Heroes (TV series)
Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the stories of ordinary people who discover superhuman abilities, and how these abilities take effect in the...

and Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights (TV series)
Friday Night Lights is an American sports drama television series adapted by Peter Berg, Brian Grazer and David Nevins from a book and film of the same name. The series details events surrounding a high school football team based in fictional Dillon, Texas, with particular focus given to team...

.

The upstart MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV is a television broadcast syndication service in the United States, owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a division of News Corporation...

, a sister company of Fox, launched a line of prime time telenovela
Telenovela
A telenovela is a limited-run serial dramatic programming popular in Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish television programming. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão , and novela, a Spanish or Portuguese word for "novel"...

s (a genre that is similar to a soap opera in terms of content) upon its launch in 2006, but ended its use of the format in 2007 after disappointing ratings.

United Kingdom

See List of longest-serving soap opera actors

In the United Kingdom, soap operas are one of the most popular genres, most being broadcast during prime time. In comparison to US serials which frequently portray romantic storylines in sumptuous and glamorous locales, most UK soap operas focus on more everyday, working-class communities.

The most popular soaps are
Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

, EastEnders
EastEnders
EastEnders is a British television soap opera, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985 and continuing to today. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End...

, Emmerdale
Emmerdale
Emmerdale, is a long-running British soap opera set in Emmerdale , a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. Created by Kevin Laffan, Emmerdale was first broadcast on 16 October 1972...

, Doctors, and the Australian produced Neighbours
Neighbours
Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems...

and Home and Away
Home and Away
Home and Away is an Australian soap opera that has been produced in Sydney since July 1987 and is airing on the Seven Network since 17 January 1988. It is the second-longest-running drama and most popular soap opera on Australian television...

. The first three of these are consistently among the highest-rated shows on British television.

The 1986 Christmas Day episode of
EastEnders is often given as the highest-rated UK soap opera episode ever, with 30.15 million viewers (in 2007, the UK had approximately 54 million viewers). The figure of 30.15 million was actually a combination of the original broadcast which had just over 19 million viewers, and the Sunday omnibus edition with 10 million viewers. The combined 30.15 million audience figure often sees it attributed as the highest-rated program in UK television for the 1980s, comparable to the records set by the 1970 splashdown of Apollo 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

 (28.6 million viewers), and Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 (32.1 million viewers).

Coronation Street and EastEnders are popularly known as the "flagship" soaps, as they are the highest rating programmes for ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 and the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 respectively. Poor ratings for a UK flagship serial sometimes brings with it questions about the associated channel. The soaps are so popular they are not routinely scheduled against each other. Episodes of serials have clashed only on isolated occasions when extended episodes have been screened.

Origins

Soap operas in the U.K. began on radio and consequently were associated with the BBC. The BBC continues to broadcast the world's longest-running radio soap, The Archers
The Archers
The Archers is a long-running British soap opera broadcast on the BBC's main spoken-word channel, Radio 4. It was originally billed as "an everyday story of country folk", but is now described on its Radio 4 web site as "contemporary drama in a rural setting"...

, which has been running nationally since 1951. It is currently broadcast on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 and continues to attract over five million listeners, or roughly 25% of the radio listening population of the UK at that time of the evening.

An early television serial was
The Grove Family
The Grove Family
The Grove Family is a British television soap opera, generally regarded as the first of its kind broadcast in the UK, made and transmitted by BBC Television from 1954 to 1957...

on the BBC. 148 episodes were produced from 1954 to 1957. The series was broadcast live and only a handful of recordings were retained in the archives.

In the 1960s
Coronation Street revolutionised UK television and quickly became a British institution. Another of the 1960s was Emergency Ward 10
Emergency Ward 10
Emergency – Ward 10 is a British television series shown on ITV between 1957 and 1967. Like The Grove Family, a series shown by the BBC between 1954 and 1957, Emergency – Ward 10 is considered to be one of British television's first major soap operas.-Overview:The series was made by the ITV...

, on ITV. The BBC also produced several serials. Compact was about the staff of a women's magazine. The Newcomers
The Newcomers
The Newcomers may refer to:* The Newcomers , British soap opera aired by the BBC * The Newcomers , Canadian television series aired by the CBC * The Newcomers , American film...

was about the upheaval caused by a large firm setting up a plant in a small town. United!
United!
United! was a British television series which was produced by the BBC between 1965 and 1967, and was broadcast twice-weekly on BBC1.The series followed the fortunes of a fictional second division football team, Brentwich United...

ran for 147 episodes and focused on a football team. 199 Park Lane
199 Park Lane
199 Park Lane is a British television soap opera produced by the BBC in 1965.The series was a consciously upper-class affair, based around the residents of an exclusive block of apartments in London, and dealt with the intrigues of the Chelsea/Kensington set.All of this short-lived soap opera's 18...

was an upper class serial that ran for just 18 episodes in 1965. None of these serials came close to making the same impact as Coronation Street. Indeed most of the 1960s BBC serials were largely wiped.

During the 1960s
Coronation Street’s main rival was Crossroads, a daily serial that began in 1964 and was broadcast by ITV in the early evening. Crossroads was set in a Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

 motel and, although the series was popular, its purported low technical standard and bad acting were much mocked. By the 1980s its ratings had begun to decline. Several attempts to revamp the series through cast changes and, later, expanding the focus from the motel to the surrounding community were unsuccessful.
Crossroads was cancelled in 1988. (A new version of Crossroads was later produced, running from 2001 until 2003.)

A later rival to
Coronation Street was ITV's Emmerdale Farm (later renamed Emmerdale) which began in 1972 in a daytime slot and had a rural Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 setting. Increased viewing figures saw
Emmerdale being moved to a prime-time slot in the 1980s.

Pobol y Cwm
Pobol y Cwm
Pobol y Cwm is a Welsh-language television soap opera which has been produced by the BBC since October 1974. The longest-running television soap opera produced by the BBC, Pobol y Cwm was originally transmitted on BBC Wales television and later transferred to the Welsh-language station S4C when it...

(People of the Valley) is a Welsh language
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 serial produced by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 since October 1974. It is the longest-running television soap opera produced by the BBC.
Pobol y Cwm was originally transmitted on BBC Wales
BBC Wales
BBC Cymru Wales is a division of the British Broadcasting Corporation for Wales. Based at Broadcasting House in the Llandaff area of Cardiff, it directly employs over 1200 people, and produces a broad range of television, radio and online services in both the Welsh and English languages.Outside...

 television between 1974 and 1982. It then transferred to the Welsh language television station S4C
S4C
S4C , currently branded as S4/C, is a Welsh television channel broadcast from the capital, Cardiff. The first television channel to be aimed specifically at a Welsh-speaking audience, it is the fifth oldest British television channel .The channel - initially broadcast on...

 when it opened in the November 1982. The series was occasionally shown on BBC1 in London during periods of regional optout in the mid-late 1970s.
Pobol y Cwm was briefly shown in the rest of the UK in 1994 on BBC2
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

, with English subtitles. It is consistently the most watched programme of the week on S4C
S4C
S4C , currently branded as S4/C, is a Welsh television channel broadcast from the capital, Cardiff. The first television channel to be aimed specifically at a Welsh-speaking audience, it is the fifth oldest British television channel .The channel - initially broadcast on...

.

The 1980s

Daytime soap operas were non-existent until the 1970s because there was virtually no daytime television in the UK. ITV introduced
General Hospital
General Hospital (UK TV series)
General Hospital is a British daytime soap opera produced by ATV which ran on ITV from 1972 to 1979. It was modelled after the American drama of the same name....

, which later transferred to a prime time slot, and Scottish Television
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

 had
Take the High Road
Take the High Road
Take the High Road was a Scottish soap opera produced by Scottish Television, and set in the fictional village of Glendarroch , and claims to have about 2 million fans, including the Queen Mother...

, which lasted for over twenty years. Later, daytime slots were filled with an influx of older Australian soap operas such as The Young Doctors
The Young Doctors
The Young Doctors is an Australian early evening soap opera. The series was set in the fictional Albert Memorial hospital and primarily concerned with romances between younger members of the hospital staff, screened on the Nine Network from Monday, 8 November 1976 until Wednesday, 30 March...

, The Sullivans
The Sullivans
The Sullivans is an Australian drama television series produced by Crawford Productions which ran from 1976 until 1983. The series told the story of an average middle-classMelbourne family and the effect World War II had on their lives...

, Sons and Daughters
Sons and Daughters (Australian TV series)
Sons and Daughters was a Logie Award winning Australian soap opera created by Reg Watson and produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation between 1981 and 1987. The first episode aired in December 1981, during the Christmas/New Year non-ratings period, and the official broadcast date of the final...

, A Country Practice
A Country Practice
A Country Practice is an Australian television drama series. One of the longest-running of its kind, produced by James Davern of JNP Productions, it ran on the Seven Network for 1,058 episodes from 18 November 1981 to 22 November 1993. It was produced in ATN-7's production facility at Epping,...

, Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill (TV series)
Richmond Hill was an Australian television soap opera made in 1988 by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Ten Network. It was devised by Reg Watson who also created Neighbours...

and eventually, Neighbours
Neighbours
Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems...

and Home and Away
Home and Away
Home and Away is an Australian soap opera that has been produced in Sydney since July 1987 and is airing on the Seven Network since 17 January 1988. It is the second-longest-running drama and most popular soap opera on Australian television...

. These achieved significant levels of popularity. Neighbours and Home and Away were moved to early-evening slots and the UK soap opera boom began in the late 1980s.

When Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 began in 1982 it launched its own soap, the Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 based
Brookside
Brookside
Brookside is a defunct British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982, and ran for 21 years until 4 November 2003...

, on its first day. Over the next decade Brookside re-defined soap. The focus of Brookside was different to previous soaps. The setting was a middle-class new-build cul-de-sac, unlike Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm which were set in established working-class communities. The characters in Brookside were generally either people who had advanced themselves from inner-city council estates, or the upper middle-class who had fallen on hard times. Though Brookside was still broadcast in a pre-watershed slot (8pm and 8.30pm on weekdays, around 5pm for the omnibus on Saturdays),
it was more liberal than other soaps of the time: the dialogue regularly included expletives. This stemmed from the overall more liberal policy of the channel in that period. The soap was also heavily politicised. Bobby Grant
Bobby Grant
Bobby Grant is a fictional character from British soap opera, Brookside played by Ricky Tomlinson. Bobby appeared in Brookside from the first episode in 1982 until the character's departure in 1988...

 (Ricky Tomlinson
Ricky Tomlinson
Eric Tomlinson , known by his stage name Ricky Tomlinson, is an English actor and comedian, best known for his roles as Bobby Grant in Brookside, DCI Charlie Wise in Cracker and James "Jim" Royle in The Royle Family....

), a militant trade-unionist anti-hero, was the most overtly political character. Storylines were often more sensationalist than on other soaps (in the soaps history there were two armed sieges on the street) and were staged more graphically with violence (particularly, rape) being often used.

In 1985, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's London based soap opera EastEnders
EastEnders
EastEnders is a British television soap opera, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985 and continuing to today. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End...

debuted and was a near instant success with viewers and critics alike, with the first episode attracting over 17 million viewers. Critics talked about the downfall of Coronation Street, but Coronation Street continued successfully. In 1994 when the two serials were scheduled opposite each other, and Corrie won the slot. For the better part of ten years, the show has shared the number one position with Coronation Street, with varying degrees of difference between the two.
In the late 1980s Central TV acquired the Australian soap opera
Prisoner
Prisoner (TV series)
Prisoner is an Australian television soap opera which was set in the Wentworth Detention Centre, a fictional women's prison. The series was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation and ran on Network Ten for 692 episodes from 27 February 1979 to 11 December 1986.The series was inspired by the 1970s...

, which was produced between 1979 and 1986. It was eventually screened around the country in differing slots usually around 11pm, under the title Prisoner: Cell Block H. Its airing in the UK was staggered, so different regions of the country saw it at a different pace. The series was immensely successful which led to it being repeated after the series had reached its conclusion in the Midlands. Rival network Five also acquired repeat rights for a full rerun of the series, starting in 1997. In 2011, the television network 111 Hits in Australia began a full rerun of the series to its pay-tv subscribers.

The 1990s

In 1992 the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 launched Eldorado to alternate with EastEnders. The series was heavily criticised and only lasted a year. Nevertheless soap operas gained increasing prominence in UK schedules. In 1995 Channel 4 introduced Hollyoaks
Hollyoaks
Hollyoaks is a long-running British television soap opera, first broadcast on Channel 4 on 23 October 1995. It was originally devised by Phil Redmond, who has also devised shows including Brookside and Grange Hill...

, a soap with a youth focus. When Five began in March 1997 it came with its own soap opera, Family Affairs
Family Affairs
Family Affairs was a British soap opera broadcast on Five, from 1997 to 2005. It was the second programme to be broadcast on the channel on 30 March 1997, the channel's launch night...

, which debuted as a five-days-a-week soap.

Brooksides premise evolved in the 1990s. It phased out the politicised stories of the 1980s, shifting the emphasis to controversial and sensationalist stories such as child rape, sibling incest, religious cults, and drug addiction.

Coronation Street and Brookside started to release straight-to-video features. The Coronation Street releases generally kept the pace and style of conventional series episodes with the action set in foreign locations. The Brookside releases were set in the usual series location but featured stories with adult content not allowed on pre-watershed television, with these releases given '18' certificates.

The success of more sensationalist soaps led to Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television, now officially known as ITV Yorkshire and sometimes unofficially abbreviated to YTV, is a British television broadcaster and the contractor for the Yorkshire franchise area on the ITV network...

 renaming Emmerdale Farm to Emmerdale and remodelling the series. Many of the changes where executed via a plane crash that partially destroyed the village and killed several characters. This attracted criticism as it was broadcast near the fifth anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing. The revamp of the series was a success and Emmerdale grew in popularity.

Throughout the 1990s the soap operas Brookside, Coronation Street, Eastenders and Emmerdale continued to flourish. Each increased the number of weekly episodes transmitted by at least one, further defining soap opera as the leading genre in British television.

The 2000s

Since 2000 new soap operas have continued to be developed. Daytime drama Doctors began in the spring of 2000, preceding Neighbours on BBC1. In 2002, as the ratings continued to fall for Scottish serial High Road, BBC Scotland launched River City
River City
River City is a Scottish television soap opera, first broadcast in Scotland on BBC Scotland on 24 September 2002. River City storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional district of Shieldinch in Glasgow...

. River City proved popular and effectively replaced High Road when it was cancelled in 2003. The long-running serial Brookside ended in November 2003 after 21 years on air, leaving Hollyoaks as Channel 4's flagship serial.

A new version of Crossroads featuring a mostly new cast was produced by Carlton Television
Carlton Television
Carlton Television was the ITV franchise holder for London and the surrounding counties including the cities of Solihull and Coventry of the West Midlands, south Suffolk, middle and east Hampshire, Oxfordshire, south Bedfordshire, south Northamptonshire, parts of Herefordshire & Worcestershire,...

 for ITV in 2001. It did not achieve satisfactory ratings and was cancelled in 2003. In 2001 ITV also launched a new early-evening serial entitled Night and Day
Night and Day (TV series)
Night and Day was a British soap opera which was produced by Granada Television for LWT and ran on ITV from 2001 to 2003.Its theme-song, "Always & Forever", was sung by Kylie Minogue.-Synopsis:...

. This series too attracted low viewing figures and after being shifted to a late night time slot was cancelled in 2003. Family Affairs, which was broadcast opposite the racier Hollyoaks, never achieved significantly high viewing figures leading to several dramatic revamps of the cast and marked changes in style and even location over its run. By 2004 Family Affairs had a larger fan base and won its first awards, but was cancelled in late 2005.

ITV launched the new soap opera The Royal Today
The Royal Today
The Royal Today was a British medical soap opera, a spin-off of the similarly themed drama, The Royal. The concept is that whilst The Royal is set in the late 1960s, The Royal Today featured the same hospital in the present day, with a new set of characters working in the same location...

in 2008. The Royal Today was a daily spin-off of popular sixties drama The Royal
The Royal
The Royal is a British medical drama series produced by ITV. The show comprises one hour episodes which were normally first aired on ITV in the Sunday early evening slot....

, which had been running in a primetime slot since 2002. Just days later soap opera parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 series Echo Beach
Echo Beach (soap)
Echo Beach was a short-lived British teen-drama series that aired on ITV in 2008. Set in the fictional Cornish coastal town of Polnarren, it ran for twelve weekly episodes from 10 January to 21 March 2008...

premiered alongside its sister series, the comedy Moving Wallpaper
Moving Wallpaper
Moving Wallpaper was a British satirical comedy-drama television series set in a TV production unit. It ran on ITV for two series in 2008–2009. The subject of the first series was the production of a soap called Echo Beach, each episode of which aired directly after the Moving Wallpaper episode...

. Both Echo Beach and The Royal Today ended after their initial first season. Due to poor viewing figures neither were picked up for a second run.

Radio soap opera Silver Street
Silver Street
Silver Street was a radio soap opera, the first such to be aimed at the British South Asian community, and was broadcast on the BBC Asian Network. It was introduced in 2004 as part of the Sonia Deol show, which was replaced from 24 April 2006 by the Anita Rani show, and until 12 May 2006 each...

debuted on the BBC Asian Network
BBC Asian Network
BBC Asian Network is a British radio station serving those originating from and around the Indian subcontinent. The music and news comes out of the main urban areas where there are significant communities with these backgrounds. The station has production centres in Birmingham, Leicester and London...

 in 2004. Poor ratings and criticism of the series led to its cancellation in 2010.

Format

UK soap operas for many years usually only aired two nights a week. The exception was the original Crossroads which began as a five-days-a-week soap opera in the 1960s, but was later reduced. Things started to change in 1989 when Coronation Street began airing three times a week. In 1996 it expanded again, to air four episodes a week. Brookside began in 1982 with two episodes a week. Starting 1990 it aired three episodes a week. The trend was followed by EastEnders in 1994 and Emmerdale in 1997. Family Affairs debuted as a five-days-a-week soap in 1997 and regularly ran five episodes a week its entire run. The imported Neighbours screens as five new episodes a week, which are shown once at 1:45 pm and repeated at 5:30 pm on Five each weekday.

Currently Coronation Street (which began screening two episodes on Monday nights in 2002) and Hollyoaks both produce five episodes a week, while EastEnders screens four. In 2002 Brookside went from three half hour episodes on different week nights to airing one ninety minute episode each week. In 2004 Emmerdale began screening six episodes a week. Doctors screens five episodes a week. It is the only soap without a weekend omnibus repeat screening.

In a January 2008 overhaul of the ITV network the Sunday episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale were moved out of their slots. Coronation Street added a second episode on Friday evenings at 8:30 pm. Emmerdale's Tuesday edition was extended to an hour, putting it in direct competition with rival EastEnders.

In July 2009 the schedules of these serials were changed again. Starting 23 July 2009 Coronation Street moved from the Wednesday slot it held for 49 years, to Thursday evenings. Emmerdale's reverted to screening just one thirty minute episode on Tuesday evenings and the other thirty minute installment was moved to Thursday evenings.

UK soap operas are shot on videotape in the studio using a multicamera setup. Since the 1980s they routinely feature outdoors footage in each episode. This footage is shot on videotape on a purpose built outdoor set that represents the community the soap focuses on.

Australia

See List of longest-serving soap opera actors

Australia has had quite a number of well known soap operas, some of which have gained cult followings in the UK and other countries. The majority of Australian television soap operas are produced for early evening or evening timeslots. They usually produce two or two-and-a-half hours of new material each week, either arranged as four or five half-hour episodes a week, or two one-hour episodes. Stylistically they most closely resemble UK soap operas in that they are nearly always shot on videotape, mainly in the studio using a multicamera setup. The original Australian serials were shot entirely in the studio. During the 1970s, occasional filmed inserts were used to incorporate outdoor-shot sequences in soap operas. Outdoor shooting later became commonplace and starting in the late 1970s it became standard practice that there will be some location-shot footage in each episode of any Australian soap opera, often to capitalise on the attractiveness and exotic nature of these locations for international audiences. Most Australian soap operas focus on a mixed age range of middle-class characters and will regularly feature a range of locations where the various, disparate, characters can meet and interact, such as the café, the surf club, the wine bar, or the school.

Early serials

The genre began in Australia, as in other countries, on radio. One such radio serial, Big Sister, featured actress Thelma Scott
Thelma Scott
Thelma Scott was an Australian actress whose 70-year career in theatre, radio, film and television made her one of her country's most recognisable personalities....

 in the cast and aired nationally for five years from 1942. Probably the best known Australian radio serial was Blue Hills
Blue Hills (radio serial)
.Blue Hills, written by Gwen Meredith, was an Australian radio serial about the lives of families in a typical Australian country town called Tanimbla. "Blue Hills" itself was the residence of the town’s doctor....

which ran from 1949 to 1976. With the advent of Australian television in 1956 daytime television serials followed. The first Australian television soap opera was Autumn Affair
Autumn Affair
Autumn Affair was an Australian television series made by the Seven Network. It premiered 24 October 1958 and continued until 1959. The series was the first ever Australian television soap opera....

(1958). Each episode of this serial was fifteen minutes and it screened each weekday on the Seven Network
Seven Network
The Seven Network is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach...

. The series failed to secure a sponsor and ended in 1959 after a run of 156 episodes. This was followed by The Story of Peter Grey
The Story of Peter Grey
The Story of Peter Grey was an Australian television daytime soap opera made by the Seven Network in 1961. James Condon starred in the title role as a church minister. Other cast members included Thelma Scott, Lynne Murphy, Moya O'Sullivan. The series had a run of 164 fifteen-minute episodes, and...

(1961). Again this was a Seven Network series screened weekdays in a daytime slot, with each episode fifteen minutes in duration. The Story of Peter Grey had a run of 164 episodes.

The first successful wave of Australian evening soap operas started in 1967 with Bellbird produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

. This rural-based serial screened in an early evening slot in fifteen minute installments and was a moderate success but built-up a consistent and loyal viewer base, especially in rural areas, and enjoyed a ten-year run. Motel
Motel (TV series)
Motel was an Australian television soap opera made by ATN-7 in 1968.The series was screened in a daytime slot and was an attempt at an Australian version of the British serial Crossroads. Motel dealt with the Gillian family, who ran the Greenfields Motel.The series had a cast of thirteen regulars...

(1968) was Australia's first half-hour soap opera. Screened in a daytime slot the series had a short run of 132 episodes.

1970s hit soaps

The first big soap opera hit in Australia was the sex-melodrama Number 96
Number 96 (TV series)
Number 96 was a popular Australian soap opera set in a Sydney apartment block. Don Cash and Bill Harmon produced the series for Network Ten, which requested a Coronation Street-type serial, and specifically one that explored adult subjects...

which began in March 1972, screening on Network Ten
Network Ten
Network Ten , is one of Australia's three major commercial television networks. Owned-and-operated stations can be found in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, while affiliates extend the network to cover most of the country...

 in a nighttime slot. Number 96 brought such rarely explored topics as homosexuality, adultery, drug use, rape-within-marriage and racism into Australian living rooms en masse. The series became famous for its sex scenes and nudity and for its comedy characters, many of whom became cult heroes in Australia. By 1973 Number 96 had become Australia's highest-rating show. In 1974 the sexed-up antics of Number 96 prompted the creation of The Box, which rivaled it in terms of nudity and sexual situations and screened in a nighttime slot. Produced by Crawford Productions
Crawford Productions
Crawford Productions is an Australian television production company founded by Hector Crawford; the present incarnation of the company, Crawfords Australia, is now a subsidiary of the WIN television corporation.-History:...

, many critics considered The Box to be a more slickly produced and better written show than Number 96, and in its first year it was extremely popular. Meanwhile in 1974 the Reg Grundy Organisation
Reg Grundy Organisation
The Reg Grundy Organisation was an Australian television production company founded in 1959 by businessman Reg Grundy . It has since branched out into Europe and the USA. The company first produced game shows, before branching into soap operas in 1973...

 created its first soap opera, and significantly Australia's first teen soap opera, Class of '74. Its attempts to hint at the sex and sin shown more openly on Number 96 and The Box along with its high school setting and early evening time slot meant it came under intense scrutiny of the Broadcasting Control Board who vetted scripts and altered whole storylines. By 1975 both Number 96 and The Box, perhaps as a reaction to declining ratings for both shows, de-emphasised the sex and nudity moving more in the direction of comedy. Class of '74 was renamed Class of '75 and also added more slapstick comedy for its second year, but the revamped show's ratings dwindled and it was cancelled in mid-1975.

A feature film version of Bellbird entitled Country Town was produced in 1971 not by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation but by two of the show's stars, Gary Gray and Terry McDermott. Number 96 and The Box also had feature film versions, both of which had the same title as the series, released in 1974 and 1975 respectively. As Australian television was in black and white until 1975 these theatrical releases all had the novelty of being in colour. The film versions of Number 96 and The Box also allowed more explicit nudity than could be shown on television at that time.

Launched on the Nine Network
Nine Network
The Nine Network , is an Australian television network with headquarters based in Willoughby, a suburb located on the North Shore of Sydney. For 50 years since television's inception in Australia, between 1956 and 2006, it was the most watched television network in Australia...

 in late 1976 was The Sullivans
The Sullivans
The Sullivans is an Australian drama television series produced by Crawford Productions which ran from 1976 until 1983. The series told the story of an average middle-classMelbourne family and the effect World War II had on their lives...

, a series chronicling the effects of World War II on a Melbourne family. Produced by Crawford's this show was a ratings success and attracted many positive reviews. At around the same time Grundy's created a new teen-oriented soap, The Young Doctors
The Young Doctors
The Young Doctors is an Australian early evening soap opera. The series was set in the fictional Albert Memorial hospital and primarily concerned with romances between younger members of the hospital staff, screened on the Nine Network from Monday, 8 November 1976 until Wednesday, 30 March...

, which also screened on Channel Nine starting late 1976. This show eschewed the sex and sin of Number 96 and The Box instead emphasising light-weight storylines and romance. It was also popular but unlike The Sullivans it was not a success with critics. Meanwhile in 1977 Number 96 would re-introduce nudity, with several much-publicised full-frontal nude scenes featured in an attempt to boost the show's plummeting ratings.

Rise of the Grundy Organisation serials

Bellbird, Number 96 and The Box were all cancelled in 1977. All had been experiencing declining ratings since 1975 and various attempts to revamp the shows with cast reshuffles or spectacular disaster storylines had proved only temporarily successful. Late that year they were replaced by such successful new shows as the Crawfords Produced Cop Shop
Cop Shop
Cop Shop was an Australian police drama television series produced by Crawford Productions that revolved around the everyday operations of both the uniformed police officers and the plain-clothes detectives of the fictional Riverside Police Station....

(1977–1984) on Channel Seven, which was a meld of soap opera and police drama, and The Restless Years
The Restless Years
The Restless Years is an Australian soap opera which followed the lives of several Sydney school-leavers and young adults. It was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation for Network Ten. It debuted December 1977 and ran until late 1981. It was not renewed by the network due to declining ratings...

(1977–1981) on Channel Ten, which was another teen soap produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation.

The Reg Grundy Organisation subsequently reached even higher levels of success with women's-prison drama Prisoner
Prisoner (TV series)
Prisoner is an Australian television soap opera which was set in the Wentworth Detention Centre, a fictional women's prison. The series was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation and ran on Network Ten for 692 episodes from 27 February 1979 to 11 December 1986.The series was inspired by the 1970s...

(1979–1986) on Network Ten, and melodramatic family saga Sons and Daughters
Sons and Daughters (Australian TV series)
Sons and Daughters was a Logie Award winning Australian soap opera created by Reg Watson and produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation between 1981 and 1987. The first episode aired in December 1981, during the Christmas/New Year non-ratings period, and the official broadcast date of the final...

(1981–1987) on the Seven Network. Both shows achieved high ratings in their first run, and unusually, found success in repeats after their original runs ended.

The Young Doctors and The Sullivans ran on Nine until 1982. Thereafter Channel Nine attempted many new soap operas, several produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation, including Taurus Rising
Taurus Rising
Taurus Rising is an Australian television soap opera produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation and Dixie Normus for the Nine Network in 1982. Originally intended by the network to be a replacement for The Sullivans, the series was one of a number of attempts to provide an Australian alternative to...

, Waterloo Station
Waterloo Station (TV series)
Waterloo Station is an Australian television series produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Nine Network in 1983.The cast included Ron Graham, Sally Tayler, Danny Roberts, John Bonney, Jenny Ludlam, Bartholomew John, Steven Grives and Andrew Clarke.Waterloo Station was an attempt by...

, Starting Out
Starting Out
Starting Out is an Australian television soap opera made for the Nine Network by the Reg Grundy Organisation in 1983.The series was the network's replacement for The Young Doctors and was set at a medical college with an emphasis on young people getting their first experience of living away from...

and Possession
Possession (TV series)
Possession is an Australian television series screened in 1985 and made by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Nine Network. It was the brainchild of the television producer, Reg Watson....

, along with Prime Time
Prime Time (TV series)
Prime Time is an Australian television series produced by Crawford Productions for the Nine Network in 1986.The series was set at a fictional television station, Channel 5, and dealt with the behind-the-scenes goings-on on the set of a current affairs series called "Assignment".Prime Time was not a...

produced by Crawford's. None of these programs were successful and most were cancelled after only a few months. The Reg Grundy Organisation also created Neighbours
Neighbours
Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems...

, a suburban-based daily serial devised as a sedate family drama with some comedy and lightweight situations, for the Seven Network in 1985.

Produced in Melbourne at the studios of HSV-7
HSV-7
HSV is a television station in Melbourne. It is part of the Seven Network, one of the three main commercial television networks in Australia, and its first and oldest station, having been launched in time for the 1956 Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne....

, Neighbours rated well in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, but not in Sydney. Sydney was the only city where it was shown in the earlier 5.30 p.m. timeslot which put it up against hit dating game show Perfect Match
Perfect Match (Australian game show)
Perfect Match is an Australian dating game show based on the format of The Dating Game. Perfect Match was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation.It originally aired on Network Ten for 30 minutes most weekdays from 5:30pm between 1984 and 1989...

on Channel 10 so Neighbours had low ratings in Sydney, and Seven's Sydney station ATN-7
ATN-7
ATN is the Sydney flagship television station of the Seven Network in Australia. The licence, issued to a company named Amalgamated Television Services, a subsidiary of Fairfax, was one of the first four licences to be issued for commercial television stations in Australia...

 quickly lost interest in the show. HSV-7 in Melbourne lobbied heavily to keep Neighbours going but ATN-7 managed to convince the rest of the network to cancel the show and instead keep ATN-7's own Sydney-based dramas A Country Practice
A Country Practice
A Country Practice is an Australian television drama series. One of the longest-running of its kind, produced by James Davern of JNP Productions, it ran on the Seven Network for 1,058 episodes from 18 November 1981 to 22 November 1993. It was produced in ATN-7's production facility at Epping,...

and Sons and Daughters.

After the network cancelled Neighbours it was immediately picked-up by Channel Ten. They revamped the cast and scripts slightly and from January 20, 1986 aired the series in the 7.00 p.m. slot. It initially attracted low viewing figures however after a concerted publicity drive Ten managed to transform the series into a major success, turning several of its actors into major international stars. The show's popularity eventually declined and it was moved to the 6.30 p.m. slot in 1992, yet the series retains consistent viewing figures in Australia and is still running today, making it Australia's longest-running soap opera.

The success of Neighbours prompted the creation of somewhat similar suburban and family or teen-oriented soap operas such as Home and Away
Home and Away
Home and Away is an Australian soap opera that has been produced in Sydney since July 1987 and is airing on the Seven Network since 17 January 1988. It is the second-longest-running drama and most popular soap opera on Australian television...

(1988–) on Channel Seven and Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill (TV series)
Richmond Hill was an Australian television soap opera made in 1988 by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Ten Network. It was devised by Reg Watson who also created Neighbours...

(1988) on Channel Ten. Both proved popular, however Richmond Hill emerged as only a moderate success and was cancelled after one year to be replaced on Ten by E Street
E Street
E Street is an Australian television soap opera created by Forrest Redlich and produced by the Ten Network from 1989 to 1993.Whereas Neighbours is set in a middle-class suburb, Home and Away in a seaside town, and Richmond Hill a semi-rural ordinary community, E Street was set in a tough inner-city...

(1989–1993).

Meanwhile Nine had still failed to find a successful new soap opera. After the failure of family drama Family and Friends
Family and Friends
Family and Friends was a short-lived Australian television soap opera debuted on 7 February 1990.The series was intended to be the Nine Network's response to the already successful soaps on the rival channels - Neighbours on the Network Ten and Home and Away on the Seven Network.Set in a suburban...

in 1990 they launched the raunchier and more extreme Chances in 1991. Chances resurrected the sex and melodrama of Number 96 and The Box in an attempt to attract attention. Chances achieved only moderate ratings, although the increasingly bizarre storylines were much-discussed. The series continued into 1992, albeit in a late-night timeslot, and was cancelled in 1992.

Australian soaps internationally

Several Australian soap operas have also found significant international success. In the UK starting in the mid 1980s daytime screenings of The Young Doctors, The Sullivans, Sons and Daughters and Neighbours achieved significant success. Neighbours was subsequently moved to an early-evening slot. Grundy's Prisoner began screening in the United States in 1979 and achieved high ratings in many regions there, however only the first three years of the series would be screened in that country. Prisoner was also screened in late-night timeslots in the UK beginning in the late 1980s, achieving enduring cult success there. The show became so popular in the UK that it prompted the creation of two stage plays and a stage musical based on the show, all of which toured the UK, among many other spin-offs. In the late 1990s Five repeated Prisoner in the UK. Between 1998 and 2005 Five ran late-night repeats of Sons and Daughters. During the 1980s the Australian attempts to emulate big-budget US soap operas such as Dallas and Dynasty had resulted in Taurus Rising and Return to Eden
Return to Eden
Return to Eden is an Australian television drama series starring Rebecca Gilling, James Reyne, Wendy Hughes and James Smillie. It began as a three-part mini-series, shown on Network Ten in 1983. Gilling and Smillie would reprise their roles for a 22-part weekly series screened in 1986.-Mini-series...

, two slick soap opera dramas with big budgets and shot entirely on film. Though their middling Australian ratings ensured they ran only a single season both programs were successfully sold internationally.

Other shows to achieve varying levels of international success include Richmond Hill, E Street, Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach is an Australian television series made by Village Roadshow Pictures. It is associated with New World Television for the Nine Network that aired between 1993 and 1994...

(1993–1994), and Pacific Drive
Pacific Drive
Pacific Drive is an Australian television series made by Village Roadshow in association with New World International for the Nine Network between 1996 and 1997....

(1995–1997). Indeed these last two series were designed specifically for international sales. Channel Seven's Home and Away, a teen soap developed as a rival to Neighbours, has also achieved significant and enduring success on UK television.

Teen-oriented serials to the world

Since 1990 most new Australian serials have been based on the successful Neighbours formula of foregrounding youthful attractive casts in appealing locations. The main exception to this was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation produced Something in the Air, a rural-based serial examining a range of characters in a small country town. This series ran from 2000 until 2002.

Attempts to replicate the success of daily teen-oriented serials Neighbours and Home and Away saw the creation of Echo Point
Echo Point
Echo Point was an Australian television soap opera produced by Southern Star Productions for Network Ten in 1995.The series was devised as an attempt by the Ten Network to rival the opposition soap Home and Away on the Seven Network...

(1995) and Breakers
Breakers (TV series)
Breakers is an Australian television series made by the Network Ten between 1998 and 1999. It was shown in Ireland on TV3 and City Channel. It was also screened on BBC1 in the United Kingdom and TV4 in New Zealand.-Premise:...

(1999) on Network Ten. None of these programs emerged as long-running successes and Neighbours and Home and Away remained the most visible and consistently successful Australian soap operas in production. In their home country they both attract respectable although not spectacular ratings. By 2004 Neighbours was regularly attracting just under a million viewers per episode — low for Australian prime time television. By March 2007 Australian viewing figures for Neighbours had fallen to fewer than 700,000 a night, prompting a revamp of cast and graphics used on the show, and a deemphasis on the action oriented direction the series had moved in with a move to refocus the show on the family storylines it is traditionally known for. However, Neighbours and Home and Away both continue to achieve significant ratings in the UK. This and other lucrative overseas markets, along with Australian broadcasting laws that enforce a minimum amount of local drama production for commercial television networks, help ensure that both programs remain in production. Both shows get higher total ratings in the UK than in Australia (the UK has three times Australia's population) and the UK networks make a major contribution to the production costs.

It has been suggested that with their emphasis on the younger, attractive and charismatic characters, Neighbours and Home and Away have found success in the middle ground between glamorous, fantastic US soaps with their wealthy but tragic heroes and the more grim, naturalistic UK soap operas populated by older, unglamorous characters. The casts of Neighbours and Home and Away are predominantly younger and more attractive than the casts of UK soaps, and without excessive wealth and glamour of the US daytime serial, a middleground in which they have found their lucrative niche.

Neighbours, which is celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2005, was aired on the US channel Oxygen in March 2004, however it attracted few viewers, perhaps in part because it was scheduled opposite well-established and highly popular US soap operas such as All My Children
All My Children
All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 5, 1970 to September 23, 2011. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. The show features Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most...

and The Young and The Restless
The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS. The show is set in a fictional Wisconsin town called Genoa City, which is unlike and unrelated to the real life village of the same name, Genoa City, Wisconsin...

, and due to low ratings it was cancelled shortly afterwards.

New Australian serial headLand
HeadLand
headLand is an Australian drama television series produced by the Seven Network which ran from 15 November 2005 to 21 January 2006. The Seven Network filmed 52 episodes in the first series. Production on the second series had begun before any episodes were aired.Set in a university, headLand...

premiered on Channel Seven in November 2005. This new series rose from the ashes of a proposed Home and Away spinoff that was to have been produced in conjunction with the UK's Channel Five, which screens Home and Away. The spin-off idea was cancelled after Channel Five pulled out of the deal, which meant that the show could potentially screen on a rival UK channel, so Five requested that the new show developed as a stand-alone series and not feed off a series they own a stake in. The series premiered in Australia on November 15, 2005 but was not a ratings success and was cancelled January 23, 2006. The series broadcast on E4
E4 (TV)
E4 is a channel on British digital television, launched as a pay-TV companion to Channel 4 on 18 January 2001. The "E" stands for entertainment, and the channel is mainly aimed at the lucrative 15–35 age group...

 and Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 in the UK.

After losing the rights to screen Neighbours in the United Kingdom to channel five, the BBC commissioned new serial Out of the Blue
Out of the Blue (2008 TV series)
Out of the Blue is an Australian serial drama commissioned by the BBC, produced by Australia's Southern Star Entertainment. It began screening on BBC One on weekday afternoons on 28 April 2008. The programme attracted lower than desired ratings figures, prompting the broadcaster to shift it to its...

as its replacement. Out of the Blue was produced in Australia. It began screening on BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

 on weekday afternoons on April 28, 2008 but after lower than desired ratings figures it was shifted to BBC Two
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

 from May 19, 2008. Production on the series was not renewed beyond its first season.

Canada

Due to the economics of television production in Canada, relatively few daily soap operas have been produced on English Canadian television, with most Canadian stations that do air soap operas airing American or British ones. Notable daily soaps that did exist included Family Passions
Family Passions
Family Passions was the first hour long television serial produced in Canada and Germany. It was produced and distributed by Baton Broadcasting System and ZDF between 1993 and 1994...

, Scarlett Hill
Scarlett Hill
Scarlett Hill was a Canadian soap opera first broadcast on the CBC in October 1962. This was the first daytime soap opera produced for Canadian television, although it was based upon an American radio drama created by Robert Lindsay....

, Strange Paradise
Strange Paradise
Strange Paradise is a Canadian occult / supernatural soap opera of 195 episodes, initially launched in syndication in the United States on September 8, 1969, and later broadcast on CBC Television from October 20, 1969 to July 22, 1970...

, Metropia, Train 48
Train 48
Train 48 was a Canadian television soap opera, broadcast on Global Television Network or CH airing from 2003 until 2005.Train 48 was based on the format of an Australian television program called Going Home....

and the international coproduction Foreign Affairs. Family Passions was an hour long, as is typical of American daytime soaps; all of the others were half hour programs. Short-run soaps, including 49th & Main and North/South, have also aired. Many of these were produced in an effort to comply with Canadian content
Canadian content
Canadian content refers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission requirements that radio and television broadcasters must air a certain percentage of content that was at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons from...

 regulations, which require a majority of programming on Canadian television to originate from Canada.

Notable prime time soap operas in Canada have included Riverdale
Riverdale (TV series)
Riverdale is a Canadian prime time soap opera which ran for three seasons .The series was set in the Toronto community of Riverdale, which had the reputation of being home to many CBC employees at the time. It focused on a variety of characters and their interactions in everyday life...

, House of Pride
House of Pride
House of Pride was a Canadian television soap opera, which aired on CBC Television from 1974 to 1976.The series opened with the death of family patriarch Dan Pride, and focused on the families of his five adult children...

, Paradise Falls
Paradise Falls
Paradise Falls is a weekly soap opera shown nationally on the Showcase channel in Canada, starting in 2001. It is set in a summer cottage community in Central Ontario....

, He Shoots, He Scores
Lance et compte
Lance et Compte is a series of Quebec téléromans revolving around a Quebec City ice hockey team. The series aired from 1986 to 1989 on the Radio-Canada network, and revival series on TQS in 2001 and on TVA from 2004 to the present....

, Loving Friends and Perfect Couples
Loving Friends and Perfect Couples
Loving Friends and Perfect Couples was a Canadian television soap opera, which aired in 1983. Originally aired on the pay TV network First Choice, the series was later rerun on Global....

, North of 60
North of 60
North of 60 is a mid-1990s Canadian television series depicting life in the sub-Arctic northern boreal forest . It first aired on CBC Television in 1992 and was syndicated around the world. It is set in the fictional community of Lynx River, a primarily Native-run town depicted as being in the...

, and The City. The Degrassi franchise of youth dramas also incorporated some elements of soap opera.

On French language television in Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 the téléroman
Téléroman
A téléroman is a French-language dramatic programming television series, similar to a soap opera or a Spanish language telenovela, in Canada. In France, the téléroman genre is known as feuilleton télévisé...

has been a popular mainstay of network programming since the 1950s. Notable téléromans have included Rue des Pignons
Rue des Pignons
Rue des Pignons was a French-Canadian TV series which ran from 1966 to 1977. Radio-Canada has reportedly lost most of the episodes of the series, only managing to trace about 35 of the 414 episodes from 1966 to 1977...

, Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut
Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut
Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut is a Canadian television drama series, which aired on Radio-Canada from 1956 to 1970. One of the longest-running programs in the history of Canadian television, the series produced 495 episodes during its 14-year run and was one of the first influential...

, Diva, La famille Plouffe
La famille Plouffe
La famille Plouffe was a Canadian television drama, more specifically a téléroman, about a Quebec family that first aired in the French-language on Société Radio-Canada in 1953. The show was created to fill a void in francophone television in Canada...

, and the soap opera parody Le Cœur a ses raisons
Le Cœur a ses raisons
Le cœur a ses raisons is a French language Québécois téléroman which heavily parodies American soap operas, often involving great exaggeration to ridiculous proportions. Its English title would literally be The Heart Has Its Reasons, but the distributor has chosen to translate it by Sins of Love...

.

India

India has many soap operas also. These started to come in the late 1980s, as more and more people began to buy televisions. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, soap operas became an integral part of Indian culture. Indian soap operas mostly concentrate on the conflict between love and arranged marriages occurring in India, so most of the soap operas include conflicts between mother-in-laws and wives. Soap operas create dramatic tension and a source of entertainment for many people.

The most common languages in which Indian serials are made in are Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

, Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

, Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

, Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

, Kannada, Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

, and Malayalam. This variety is due to the sheer number of languages spoken throughout India.

Many soap operas produced in India are also broadcast overseas in the UK, USA, and some parts of Europe, South Africa, and Australia. They are often mass-produced under large production banners, with houses like Balaji Telefilms—run by Ekta and Shobha Kapoor, daughter and wife respectively to Hindi film star Jitendra—running the same serial in different languages on different television networks/channels.

Remakes of Australian serials

Australian serial The Restless Years
The Restless Years
The Restless Years is an Australian soap opera which followed the lives of several Sydney school-leavers and young adults. It was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation for Network Ten. It debuted December 1977 and ran until late 1981. It was not renewed by the network due to declining ratings...

was remade in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 as Goede tijden, slechte tijden
Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden
Goede tijden, slechte tijden , also known as GTST, is the longest-running Dutch soap opera, which began on 1 October 1990 on RTL4. The programme was the first daily soap in the Netherlands. The soap is produced by Joop van den Ende and to date over 4,000 episodes have been broadcast...

(first broadcast 1990) and in Germany as Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten
Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten
Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten is a German television soap opera.In 1990, the first commercial channel in the Netherlands, RTL 4 had a spectacular ratings success with its soap Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden, a remake of the Australian soap-opera The Restless Years...

(since 1992): both titles translate to "good times, bad times". These remakes are still running although they have long since diverged from the original Australian storylines. They are the highest rated soap operas in their respective countries.

A later Australian serial, Sons and Daughters
Sons and Daughters (Australian TV series)
Sons and Daughters was a Logie Award winning Australian soap opera created by Reg Watson and produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation between 1981 and 1987. The first episode aired in December 1981, during the Christmas/New Year non-ratings period, and the official broadcast date of the final...

, has inspired five remake
Remake
A remake is a piece of media based primarily on an earlier work of the same medium.-Film:The term "remake" is generally used in reference to a movie which uses an earlier movie as the main source material, rather than in reference to a second, later movie based on the same source...

s produced under license from the original producers and based, initially, on original story and character outlines. These are Verbotene Liebe
Verbotene Liebe
Verbotene Liebe , often abbreviated to VL, is a Rose d'Or Award-winning German television soap opera. The show was created by Reg Watson and first broadcast on Das Erste on 2 January 1995...

(Germany, 1995– ); Skilda världar
Skilda världar
Skilda världar was a Swedish soap opera from 1996-2002 about two families in Stockholm and their friends. One rich family and one poor and about Daniel and Sandra who are from the two families and fall in love. Later in the series it is discovered that Daniel and Sandra are twins...

(Sweden, 1996–2002); Apagorevmeni agapi (Greece, 1998); Cuori Rubati (Italy, 2002–2003) Zabranjena ljubav
Zabranjena ljubav
Zabranjena ljubav is a Croatian daytime soap opera about the lives and loves of both young and older characters, focused on the major Croatian city of Zagreb...

(Croatia, 2004–2008).

Both The Restless Years and Sons and Daughters were created and produced in Australia by the Reg Grundy Organisation
Reg Grundy Organisation
The Reg Grundy Organisation was an Australian television production company founded in 1959 by businessman Reg Grundy . It has since branched out into Europe and the USA. The company first produced game shows, before branching into soap operas in 1973...

.

Netherlands

Serials have included Goede tijden, slechte tijden
Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden
Goede tijden, slechte tijden , also known as GTST, is the longest-running Dutch soap opera, which began on 1 October 1990 on RTL4. The programme was the first daily soap in the Netherlands. The soap is produced by Joop van den Ende and to date over 4,000 episodes have been broadcast...

(1990–present), ONM (1994–2010) and Goudkust (1996–2001).

US daytime serials As The World Turns and The Bold and the Beautiful have been broadcast in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. As the World Turns has been aired since 1990, with Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 subtitles.

Germany

In the 80s, German networks successfully added American daytime and primetime soap operas to their schedule before Das Erste
Das Erste
Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen , marketed as Das Erste , is the principal publicly owned television channel in Germany...

 introduced it's first self-produced weekly soap with Lindenstraße
Lindenstraße
Lindenstraße is a German television show on ARD's Das Erste, one of Germany's two publicly administered TV channels. The first episode was aired on December 8, 1985, and since then has been broadcast weekly. Its current timeslot on Das Erste is Sundays at 6:50 pm...

, which was seen as a German counterpart to Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

. Like in other countries, the soap opera met with negative reviews but eventually proved critics wrong with nearly 13 million viewers turning in each week. Even though the format proved successful it took until 1992 before Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten
Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten
Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten is a German television soap opera.In 1990, the first commercial channel in the Netherlands, RTL 4 had a spectacular ratings success with its soap Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden, a remake of the Australian soap-opera The Restless Years...

became the first German daily soap opera. Early ratings were bad as were the reviews, but as the network RTL
RTL
RTL may refer to:* RTL Group, Europe's second-largest TV, radio, and production company** RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg, a Luxembourgish main television station** RTL Television, a German commercial television station** RTL , a French radio station...

 was willing to give its first soap opera a chance, ratings got better and claimed to seven million viewers in 2002. Not long after Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten, Das Erste
Das Erste
Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen , marketed as Das Erste , is the principal publicly owned television channel in Germany...

 introduced Marienhof
Marienhof (TV series)
Marienhof is a daily German soap opera, first shown on October 1, 1992 on German TV channel, Das Erste. The show was canceled in February 2011 and aired its last episode on June 15, 2011.-Background:...

, airing it two times a week.

After successfully creating the first German daily soap, production company Grundy Ufa wanted to produce another soap for RTL. Like GZSZ, the format was based on an Australian soap opera from Reg Watson
Reg Watson
Reginald James "Reg" Watson AM is an Australian television producer, best known for creating soap operas like Prisoner and Neighbours.-Career:...

. But RTL didn't like the series' outline about separated twins meeting each other for the first time after twenty years and falling in love not knowing that they are related. The project was then presented to Das Erste and Verbotene Liebe
Verbotene Liebe
Verbotene Liebe , often abbreviated to VL, is a Rose d'Or Award-winning German television soap opera. The show was created by Reg Watson and first broadcast on Das Erste on 2 January 1995...

premiered on January 2, 1995. With the premiere of Verbotene Liebe, the network turned Marienhof into a daily soap as well. In the meanwhile, RTL started Unter uns
Unter Uns
Unter uns is a German television soap opera, first broadcast on RTL on 28 November 1994. Centered around the lives of the people in a residential house, which is set in the fictional Schillerallee in Cologne. Since the show debuted the baker's family Weigel is the series core family...

in late 1994 also produced by Grundy Ufa.

The ZDF
ZDF
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen , ZDF, is a public-service German television broadcaster based in Mainz . It is run as an independent non-profit institution, which was founded by the German federal states . The ZDF is financed by television licence fees called GEZ and advertising revenues...

 started a business adventure with Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and co-produced the short-lived series Family Passions
Family Passions
Family Passions was the first hour long television serial produced in Canada and Germany. It was produced and distributed by Baton Broadcasting System and ZDF between 1993 and 1994...

, starring stars like Gordon Thomson
Gordon Thomson
Gordon Thomson is a Canadian actor. His most prominent role was in the American prime-time soap opera Dynasty playing the villainous Adam Carrington, son of Blake Carrington and Alexis Colby ....

, Roscoe Born
Roscoe Born
Roscoe Born is an American actor, born in Topeka, Kansas, who is best known for playing a variety of roles over the years in successful television shows, most recently in The Young and the Restless.-Career:...

, Dietmar Schönherr
Dietmar Schönherr
Dietmar Schönherr is an Austrian film actor. He has appeared in 120 films since 1944. He is famous for playing the role of Major Cliff Allister McLane in the German science fiction series Raumpatrouille....

 and a young Hayden Christiansen. It started on December 5, 1994 and lasted 130 episodes as a daytime serial. After it was canceled, the network introduced Jede Menge Leben to its audience. After a giant crossover with Freunde fürs Leben
Freunde fürs Leben
Freunde fürs Leben is a German television series....

, Forsthaus Falkenau
Forsthaus Falkenau
Forsthaus Falkenau is a German television series....

and Unser Lehrer Doktor Specht
Unser Lehrer Doktor Specht
Unser Lehrer Doktor Specht is a German television series about students and their teacher "Markus Specht" in High-Schools. It played in Berlin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Bavaria.- Actors :* Robert Atzorn = Lehrer Dr...

, the soap opera got canceled after 313 episodes.
Sat.1
Sat.1
Sat.1 is a privately owned German television broadcasting station. Sat.1 was the first privately owned television broadcasting station in Germany, having started one day before RTL Television....

 tried to get in the soap business as well, after successfully showing the Australian soap opera Neighbors
Neighbors
Neighbors is a 1980 novel by Thomas Berger. A film adaptation was made in 1981. The novel was adapted into a play by Eve Summer and premiered in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2007 ....

, which got canceled in 1995 to the talk show
Talk show
A talk show or chat show is a television program or radio program where one person discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host....

 phenomenon which took over most of Germany's daytime. The network first tried to tell a family saga with So ist das Leben – die Wagenfelds, before failing with Geliebte Schwestern. RTL 2 made its own short attempt with Alle zusammen - jeder für sich.

In 1999, after the lasting success of Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten, Marienhof, Unter uns and Verbotene Liebe, ProSieben aired Mallorca – Suche nach dem Paradies
Mallorca – Suche nach dem Paradies
Mallorca – Suche nach dem Paradies is a German television series....

, set on the Spanish island with the same name
Mallorca
Majorca or Mallorca is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the Balearic Islands.The capital of the island, Palma, is also the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The Cabrera Archipelago is administratively grouped with Majorca...

. After nine months the network gave up, thanks to high production costs and a too little audience. Even though ratings were getting better the show ended it's run in the morning hours. The soap opera became something like cult as it's 200 episodes were repeated several times in Free-TV
Free-to-air
Free-to-air describes television and radio services broadcast in clear form, allowing any person with the appropriate receiving equipment to receive the signal and view or listen to the content without requiring a subscription or one-off fee...

 and Pay-TV.

Alles was zählt
Alles was zählt
Alles was zählt is a German television soap opera first broadcast on RTL on September 4, 2006. The original plot revolved around Diana Sommer's dream to become a world class ice skater. She fell in love with Julian Herzog, who signed her at the prestigious Steinkamp Sport and Wellness Center, run...

became the last successfully introduced daily soap in 2006, airing as a lead-in to Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten and also being produced by Grundy Ufa. Since Germany started to produce its own telenovelas, all soap operas had to face a decline in the ratings. Unter uns was in a scare of cancellation in 2009, which was prevented by budget cuts and the firing of original cast member Holger Franke. Fans were outraged by his firing and the character's death, which resulted in a ratings spike in early 2010. After Unter uns was saved, Das Erste was about to make a decision in its soap line-up. Marienhof had to deal with multiple issues in story telling as well as in producing a successful half-hour of television. Several changes were made within months, but in the end Marienhof was canceled in the spring of 2011. Verbotene Liebe was about to get canceled as well, but could convince the network with its changes in 2010 as well as in 2011. The soap opera later was extended to an hour after Marienhof was canceled and the network tried to make up their mind about a new line-up.

While Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten, Unter uns, Verbotene Liebe and Alles was zählt are currently the only daily soaps on the air, the telenovelas Sturm der Liebe
Sturm der Liebe
Sturm der Liebe is a German television series....

and Rote Rosen
Rote Rosen (TV series)
Rote Rosen is a German telenovela produced by Studio Hamburg Serienwerft Lüneburg and broadcast by Das Erste since November 6, 2006. The show is a complex telenovela, who tells one love story every season about women in their forties....

are considered soaps by the press as well, thanks to the changing protagonists every season.

Belgium

In Belgium the two major soap operas are Thuis
Thuis
Thuis is a Belgian television soap opera, which airs on één , which is in the hands of VRT, the national broadcasting channel of the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium....

(Home) and Familie (Family).

Italy

The most successful soap operas in Italy are the evening Un posto al sole (A place under the sun), which airs on the channel Rai 3 since 1996 and the daytime Centovetrine (Hundred shop windows), which began it's airing in 2001 on Canale 5. A bunch of other Italian soaps have been produced as well such as Ricominciare (Starting over), Cuori rubati (Stolen hearts), Vivere (Living), Sottocasa (Downstairs) and Agrodolce (Bittersweet).
The most popular Italian prime-time drama series Incantesimo (Enchantment), that run from 1998 until 2008, has been transformed into daytime soap opera in its final two years, airing 5 days-a-week on Rai 1.

Television

In the early years of RTÉ
RTE
RTÉ is the abbreviation for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the public broadcasting service of the Republic of Ireland.RTE may also refer to:* Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 25th Prime Minister of Turkey...

 they produced several dramas but had not come close to a long running serial. RTÉ's first Television soap was Tolka Row was based in urban Dublin. For a number of years both Tolka Row and The Riordans
The Riordans
The Riordans was the second Irish soap opera made by Raidio Telefís Éireann . It ran from 1965 to 1979 and was set in the fictional townland of Leestown in County Kilkenny...

were produced by RTÉ, soon however the urban soap was dropped for the more popular rural soap opera The Riordans
The Riordans
The Riordans was the second Irish soap opera made by Raidio Telefís Éireann . It ran from 1965 to 1979 and was set in the fictional townland of Leestown in County Kilkenny...

– which began in 1965. Executives from Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television, now officially known as ITV Yorkshire and sometimes unofficially abbreviated to YTV, is a British television broadcaster and the contractor for the Yorkshire franchise area on the ITV network...

 visited the on location filming of The Riordans in the early 1970s and in 1972 began broadcasting Emmerdale Farm based on the successful format of the Irish soap opera. In the late 1970s The Riordans was dropped with great controversy. The creator of the series would then go on to produce the second of his "Agri-soap" trilogy
Trilogy
A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. They are commonly found in literature, film, or video games...

 Bracken starring Gabriel Byrne
Gabriel Byrne
Gabriel James Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined Londo's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne's screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the...

 whose character had appeared in the last number of season of The Riordans. Braken was soon replaced by the 3rd "Agri-soap" Glenroe
Glenroe
Glenroe was an Irish television drama series broadcast between September 1983 and May 2001 on RTÉ One. The programme was a spin-off from Bracken, a short-lived RTÉ drama itself spun off from The Riordans. Glenroe was broadcast on Sunday nights at 20.30, generally from September to May. The show was...

which ran until 2001. RTÉ wanted a drama series for Sunday nights rather than a soap opera, On Home Ground (2001–2002), The Clinic
The Clinic (TV series)
The Clinic is an award-winning Irish primetime television medical drama series produced by Parallel Film Productions for RTÉ. It debuted on RTÉ One in 2003 to positive reviews and proved to be one of the network's most popular shows. The show ran for seven seasons between September 2003 to November...

 (2002–2009) and RAW (2010 – Date) replaced the agri-soaps of the previous decades.

In 1989 RTÉ decide to produce its first Dublin based soap opera since the 1960s. Fair City
Fair City
Fair City is an award-winning Irish television soap opera on RTÉ One. Produced by Radio Telefís Éireann, it was first broadcast on Monday, September 18, 1989...

initially went out one night a week in the 1989/1990 season, and similar to its rural soaps much of the footage was filmed on location – in a suburb of Dublin City. In 1992 RTÉ made a major investment into the series by copying the on location houses for a on site set in RTÉ's Headquarters in Dublin 4. Carrickstown is the fictional setting of the series. By the early 1990s it was running two nights a week and it was broadcast for 35 weeks a year. With competition from the UK soap operas RTÉ choose to begin a three night week in 1996, with one night a week during summer, soon this became four nights a week and two nights during the summer. Until the early 2000s when RTÉ had the series produced 52 weeks of the year with four episodes a week. In 2009 Fair City celebrated 20 years on the air. Fair City airs Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8.00 pm GMT on RTÉ One
RTÉ One
RTÉ One is the flagship television channel of Raidió Teilifís Éireann , and it is the most popular and most watched television channel in Ireland. It was launched as Telefís Éireann on 31 December 1961, it was renamed RTÉ Television in 1966, and it was renamed as RTÉ One upon the launch of RTÉ...

. With broadcasts of Coronation Street on rival network TV3 moving to Thursday night, the Wednesday night episode of Fair City broadcasts at 7:30pm each week.

TG4
TG4
TG4 is a public service broadcaster for Irish language speakers. The channel has been on-air since 31 October 1996 in the Republic of Ireland and since April 2005 in Northern Ireland....

 is the only other Irish broadcaster to produce a soap opera. The Irish language soap Ros na Run
Ros na Rún
Ros na Rún is an Irish soap opera produced for Irish language TV channel TG4. It broadcasts for 35 weeks of the year, airing 2 episodes each week.It airs in Ireland, Scotland and the United States.-Show history:...

. Ros na Run is set in a tiny village near the city of Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

 called "Ros Na Run". It runs twice a week for 35 weeks of the year. "Ros na Run" translates as Headland of the Secrets or Headland of the Sweethearts. It was originally broadcast on RTÉ One in the early 1990s before the existence of TG4. Ros na Run airs Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8:30pm GMT on TG4
TG4
TG4 is a public service broadcaster for Irish language speakers. The channel has been on-air since 31 October 1996 in the Republic of Ireland and since April 2005 in Northern Ireland....

.

Although Ireland has access to international soaps, such as Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

, Emmerdale
Emmerdale
Emmerdale, is a long-running British soap opera set in Emmerdale , a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. Created by Kevin Laffan, Emmerdale was first broadcast on 16 October 1972...

, Eastenders
EastEnders
EastEnders is a British television soap opera, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985 and continuing to today. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End...

, Home and Away
Home and Away
Home and Away is an Australian soap opera that has been produced in Sydney since July 1987 and is airing on the Seven Network since 17 January 1988. It is the second-longest-running drama and most popular soap opera on Australian television...

, Hollyoaks
Hollyoaks
Hollyoaks is a long-running British television soap opera, first broadcast on Channel 4 on 23 October 1995. It was originally devised by Phil Redmond, who has also devised shows including Brookside and Grange Hill...

, Neighbours
Neighbours
Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems...

etc., Fair City
Fair City
Fair City is an award-winning Irish television soap opera on RTÉ One. Produced by Radio Telefís Éireann, it was first broadcast on Monday, September 18, 1989...

continues to out perform them all, and is Ireland's most popular soap-opera, with the show peaking at over 700,000 viewers.

Radio

On radio RTÉ Radio
RTÉ Radio
RTÉ Radio is a department of Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ Radio broadcasts four analogue channels and five digital channels....

 produced its first radio soap Kennedy's of Castleross which began broadcasting on April 13, 1955 and ran until 1975. In 1979 RTÉ long running TV soap The Riordan's moved to Radio until December 24, 1985. In the mid-1980s RTÉ began a new radio soap entitled Harbour Hotel until the mid-1990s. Riverrun was a short lived radio soap followed in 2004 by Driftwood. RTÉ do not run any radio soaps, however during their night schedule on RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1 is the principal radio channel of Irish public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann and is the direct descendant of Dublin radio station 2RN, which began broadcasting on a regular basis on 1 January 1926...

 they still broadcast radio dramas.
Radio New Zealand
Radio New Zealand
Radio New Zealand is a New Zealand public service radio broadcaster and Crown entity formed by the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. It operates news, current affairs and arts network Radio New Zealand National and classical music and jazz network Radio New Zealand Concert with full government funding...

 began airing it's first radio soap You Me Now
You Me Now
You Me ... Now is New Zealand's first radio soap opera written and created by All The Way Home Productions. Season One was 25 episodes long and originally aired on Radio New Zealand in 2010...

 in September 2010. It is available for podcast on their website.

France

France had no real tradition of daytime series, until the creation of Plus belle la vie
Plus belle la vie
Plus belle la vie also known by the acronym PBLV is a French daily feuilleton télévisé created by Magaly Richard-Serrano, Bénedicte Achard, Georges Desmouceaux et Olivier Szulzynger, and produced by Hubert Besson, Michèle Podroznik and François Charlent...

in 2004 for French public television channel France 3
France 3
France 3 is the second largest French public television channel and part of the France Télévisions group, which also includes France 2, France 4, France 5, and France Ô....

. It airs every weekday at 8.00 pm. After initial poor ratings, the show became a huge success and has been one of the most highly rated series on the network. Other attempts were made by competitors to create soaps (including Seconde Chance, Cinq soeurs and Paris 16ème) but have not achieved success.

ANT1

An early serial was Sti skia tou hrimatos (Money Shadows) (1990–1991). September 1991 saw the debut of Lampsi (the Shining) by Nicos Foskolos. This series would become Greece's longest-running soap opera. After the success of Lampsi came the short lived To galazio diamandi (Blue diamond) and Simphonia siopis (Omertà).

Lampsi was canceled in June 2005 due to declining ratings. It was replaced by the new soap opera Erotas (Love) which ran from 2005 to 2008. After that ANT1 abandoned the soap opera genre and focused on comedy series and weekly dramas.

Greece's second longest-running soap is Kalimera Zoi (Goodmorning Life). It premiered in September 1993. It was cancelled June 2006 due to unsatisfactory ratings.

MEGA

Mega Channel began soap opera production in 1990 with the prime time serial I Dipsa (The Thirst). This series had a run of 102 episodes. Their daytime shows included Paralliloi dromoi (1992–1994) and by Haravgi (Daylight) (1994–1995). The ratings of both shows were low.

Other serials include Apagorevmeni Agapi (Forbidden Love) 1998–2006; Gia mia thesi ston Ilio (A Spot Under the Sun) 1998–2002; Filodoxies (Expectations) 2002–2006; Vera Sto Deksi (Ring on the Right Hand) 2004–2006. Vera Sto Deksi proved a successful rival to Lampsi, causing its ratings to decline.

Ta Mistika Tis Edem (Edem Secrets) debuted in 2008. This new serial was created by the producers of Vera Sto Deksi, and it has eclipsed that show's success. Its ratings place it constantly on the top three daytime programs.

ERT

IENED (renamed ERT2 in 1982) was responsible for the first Greek soap operas I Kravgi Ton Likon and Megistanes. ERT also produced long running soap O Simvoleografos.

Since 2000 and with the introduction of private TV, ERT produced further daily soap operas, but these failed to achieve high ratings and were canceled shortly after their premiere. These included Pathos (Passion), Erotika tis Edem (Loving in Eden), Ta ftera tou erota (The Wings of Love).

ALPHA

Alpha produced Kato apo tin Acropoli (Under the Acropolis) which ran two and a half years.

Weekday shows

The first daytime soap opera made by a Cyprus channel was LOGOs TV Odos Den Ksehno ('Don't Forget' Street) which premiered on January 1996 but was canceled by December the same year. It was followed by To Serial which was also broadcast for one year from September 1997 to June 1998. CyBC
CYBC
CYBC may refer to:* Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, Cyprus' public broadcasting service.* The IATA code for Baie-Comeau Airport, in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada....

 created the third weekday soap which was Anemi Tou Pathous (Passion Winds) beginning January 2000 and finishing June 2004. It was followed on the CyBC daytime timeslot by I Platia (The Square) which premiered on September 2004 and finished on July 2006. Epikindini Zoni was aired on 2009–2010 season but was cancelled after 120 episodes. Vimata Stin Ammo is CyBC current weekday soap aired since September 2010 and will continue for a second season for 2011–2012.

On Sigma TV
Sigma TV
Sigma TV is a commercial network in Cyprus that commenced broadcasting on April 3, 1995. It is a private service and is currently the second-rated channel in Cyprus. Sigma TV is geared at a younger audience, with the focus on the 18-45 age group. It broadcasts a mix of original programmes as...

 their first weekday show was the comedy Sto Para Pente which was shown from September 1998 until June 2004 and is the longest weekday show in Cyprus history. Other Sigma TV weekday shows include Akti Oniron (1999–2001), Vourate Geitonoi (2001–2005) (which is the most successful weekday show achieving ratings up to 70%), Oi Takkoi (2002–2005), S' Agapo (2001–2002), Vasiliki (2005–2006), Vendetta (September 2005 – December 2006), 30 kai Kati (2006–2007), Mila Mou (September 2007 – January 2009). Its current soap opera is Se Fonto Kokkino shown since September 2008 and broadcast more than 400 episodes.

ANT1 Cyprus
ANT1 Cyprus
ANT1 Cyprus is a free to air terrestrial TV channel established in 1993. The channel is partly owned by ANT1 Greece. It is a general entertainment channel screening international, Greek and some locally produced programs. It transmits on channels 48, 35, 60, 41, 63, 65, 23, 26, 67, 24, 56, 37,...

 aired the soap I Goitia Tis Amartias in 2002 which was soon canceled. Dikse Mou To Filo Sou followed (2006–2009), followed by Gia Tin Agapi Sou (2008–2009) and then by Panselinos (since 2009).

Weekly shows

The longest-running weekly show on Cyprus television is Istories Tou Horkou (Villages Stories, 1996–2006 and 2010–2011) (CyBC
CYBC
CYBC may refer to:* Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, Cyprus' public broadcasting service.* The IATA code for Baie-Comeau Airport, in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada....

) which was premiered on March 1996 but was canceled on June 2006. It returned for a new season on September 2010 but the ratings were so low, that CyBC canceled the show again on March 2011. Second is Manolis Ke Katina (Manolis And Katina, 1995–2004). Most controversial is To Kafenio (The Coffee Shop, 1993–2000) which premiered on CyBC on 1993 as a weekly show, moved to MEGA Channel Cyprus 6 years later (1999) as a weekday show and then to ANT1 Cyprus on 2000 where it was canceled a year later. Plans of moving back to CyBC again as a weekly show for a 9th season, in 2001, with the original cast never realised. Currently the most successful weekly show in Cyprus is Eleni I Porni (Eleni, The Whore) by ANT1 Cyprus (premiered in October 2010) and Stin Akri Tu Paradisou (At The Heaven's Edge) by CyBC
CYBC
CYBC may refer to:* Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, Cyprus' public broadcasting service.* The IATA code for Baie-Comeau Airport, in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada....

 (premiered in 2007). The most successful weekday show was Aigia Fuxia shown on ANT1 Cyprus (2008–2010).

Internet and mobile soap opera

With the advent of internet television
Internet television
Internet television is the digital distribution of television content via the Internet...

 and mobile phones, several soap operas have also been produced specifically for these platforms, including EastEnders: E20
EastEnders: E20
EastEnders: E20 is a British Internet soap opera, which began airing on 8 January 2010. A spin-off from the established BBC soap EastEnders, it is set in EastEnders regular setting of Albert Square, a Victorian square in the fictional borough of Walford, in the East End of London...

, a spin-off of the established EastEnders
EastEnders
EastEnders is a British television soap opera, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985 and continuing to today. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End...

. For those produced only for the mobile phone, episodes may generally consist of about 6 or 7 pictures and accompanying text.

Parodies

Several soap opera parodies
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 have been produced.

The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show is a variety / sketch comedy television show starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway. It originally ran on CBS from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, for 278 episodes and originated from CBS Television City's Studio 33...

(1967–78) featured a recurring skit, "As the Stomach Turns
As the Stomach Turns
As the Stomach Turns was a parody of soap operas, most notably a play on the title of a very popular soap at the time, As the World Turns, and was featured on The Carol Burnett Show....

", that spoofed the American soap opera As the World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

. The recurring "Acorn Antiques
Acorn Antiques
Acorn Antiques is a parodic soap opera written by Victoria Wood as a regular feature in the two seasons of Victoria Wood As Seen On TV, which ran from 1985 to 1987. It was turned into a musical by Wood, opening in 2005.-Television version:...

" skit on the UK's Victoria Wood As Seen On TV
Victoria Wood As Seen On TV
Victoria Wood As Seen On TV was a British comedy sketch series starring comedienne Victoria Wood, with Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston, Susie Blake and Patricia Routledge...

(1985–87) was modeled on Crossroads and other British soap operas of the 1970s.

Two of the most famous U.S. parodies were the series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is an American soap opera parody that aired in daily syndication from January 1976 to May 1977. The series was produced by Norman Lear, directed by Joan Darling and starred Louise Lasser...

(1976–77) and Soap
Soap (TV series)
Soap is an American sitcom that originally ran on ABC from 1977 to 1981.The show was created as a parody of daytime soap operas, presented as a weekly half-hour prime time comedy. Similar to a soap opera, the show's story was presented in a serial format and included melodramatic plot elements such...

(1977–81). Fresno
Fresno (TV miniseries)
Fresno is a 1986 television comedy miniseries that parodied popular prime time soap operas of the day such as Falcon Crest, Dallas, and Dynasty...

was a 1986 American miniseries
Miniseries
A miniseries , in a serial storytelling medium, is a television show production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. The exact number is open to interpretation; however, they are usually limited to fewer than a whole season. The term "miniseries" is generally a North American term...

 spoof of the primetime serials of the period.

Dirty Sexy Money
Dirty Sexy Money
Dirty Sexy Money is an American prime time drama series created by Craig Wright, which ran on the ABC from September 26, 2007 to August 8, 2009. The series was produced by ABC Studios, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Berlanti Television and Gross Entertainment...

was in a way a soap opera parody but, in actuality more of a satire that operated in a humorous way that similar to a parody. The series was critically acclaimed but, last only two short seasons.

Let The Blood Run Free
Let The Blood Run Free
Let The Blood Run Free was an anarchic Australian spoof soap opera set in St Christopher's Hospital and created by comedy collective, The Blood Group.- Conception :...

(1990–94) was an Australian parody of medical drama series. Shark Bay (1996) was an Australian parody of glamorous beach side soap operas. It featured many actors who had appeared in Australian soap operas Sons and Daughters, Prisoner, Home and Away and Neighbours.

Grosse Pointe
Grosse Pointe (TV series)
Grosse Pointe is an American television parody series which aired on the WB Network during the 2000-2001 television season. Created by Darren Star, it was a satire depicting the behind-the-scenes drama on the set of a television show, and was inspired in large part by Star's experiences as the...

(2000–2001) on the WB
The WB Television Network
The WB Television Network is a former television network in the United States that was launched on January 11, 1995 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. and Tribune Broadcasting. On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation and Warner Bros...

 was a self-parody of creator Darren Star
Darren Star
Darren Bennett Star is an American producer, director and writer for film and television. He is best known for creating the hit TV shows Melrose Place, Beverly Hills, 90210 and Sex and the City.-Career:...

's behind-the-scenes experiences of producing nighttime soaps, in particular Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210 is an American drama series that originally aired from October 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000 on Fox and was produced by Spelling Television in the United States, and subsequently on various networks around the world. It is the first series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise...

.

South African comedian Casper de Vries
Casper de Vries
Casper De Vries is a South African actor, comedian, entertainer, composer, director, producer and author of sketches famous for his Afrikaans one man shows.-Background:...

 produced the soap opera parody Haak en Steek, based on South African soaps like Egoli: Place of Gold
Egoli: Place of Gold
Egoli: Place of Gold is a long-running bilingual South African soap opera which first aired on M-Net on 6 April 1992. South African television's first daily soap opera, on 3 December 1999 Egoli became the first South African television program in any genre to reach 2,000 episodes. As of 3 August...

.

Second City TV featured "The Days of the Week". "Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. These are...The Days Of The Week."

Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. The series follows the investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper , of the murder of a popular teenager and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer...

was a primetime soap opera that poked fun at the genre. Episodes in the first season of 'Twin Peaks' also included a soap within a soap, a fictional program entitled Invitation to Love.

See also

  • British Soap Awards
    British Soap Awards
    The British Soap Awards is an annual awards ceremony to honour the best of British soap operas.The first event took place in 1999 and takes place in May each year. Although it is an ITV production, the events were held at the BBC Television Centre, in London until 2010. The 2011 awards relocated to...

  • Daytime Emmy Award
    Daytime Emmy Award
    The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming...

  • List of longest-serving soap opera actors
  • List of radio soaps
  • List of soap operas
  • Love in the Afternoon
    Love in the Afternoon (advertising campaign)
    "Love in the Afternoon" was a well-known advertising campaign used by ABC to market its soap operas in the form of newspaper advertisements and television commercials...

  • Mobile soap opera
    Mobile soap opera
    A mobile soap opera is a soap opera developed for the mobile phone platform. The series can be viewed by mobile phones, the internet or MSN Messenger. Subscribers register online and receive two episodes a day, each episode consisting of about 6 or 7 pictures and accompanying text.Mobile soap...

  • Philippine drama
    Philippine drama
    Philippine drama can be classified into different forms and genres, with the most popular being the teleserye and teledrama. The teleserye/teledrama is a television form of melodramatic serialized fiction. It is rooted from two words: "tele", which is short for "television," and "serye", a Tagalog...

  • Radio theater
  • Soap Opera Digest
    Soap Opera Digest
    Soap Opera Digest is a weekly magazine covering American daytime soap operas. It features onscreen and offscreen news about the series, interviews with and articles about performers, storyline summaries and analysis, and related promotional information...

  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome
    Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome
    Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome is a term used to describe the practice of accelerating the age of a television character in conflict with the timeline of a series and/or the real-world progression of time. Characters unseen on screen for a time might reappear portrayed by an actor several years...

  • Supercouple
    Supercouple
    A supercouple or super couple is a popular or financially wealthy pairing that intrigues and fascinates the public in an intense or even obsessive fashion...

  • Telenovela
    Telenovela
    A telenovela is a limited-run serial dramatic programming popular in Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish television programming. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão , and novela, a Spanish or Portuguese word for "novel"...

  • Soaplife
    Soaplife
    Soaplife is a fortnightly UK magazine, released on Tuesday. Storylines of the shows it covers are from soap operas shown in the United Kingdom and from Australia....

  • Soapnet
    SOAPnet
    SOAPnet is an American cable television channel that broadcasts current and past soap operas and primetime dramas, along with some original programming. The channel launched on January 20, 2000, and is owned by Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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