Is the nighttime soap dead in the water?
Looks like it’s not getting any easier for prime-time soaps to stay afloat: Fox’s ”Pasadena,” starring Dana Delany, has lured only an average of 4.3 million viewers on Fridays — even less than the 7.4 million who tuned in to NBC’s quickly axed Yasmine Bleeth sudser ”Titans” last year. Are viewers over weekly melodramas? ”Given that both ‘Titans’ and ‘Pasadena’ didn’t really evoke much sampling, my sense is that this genre needs a new twist to regain its popularity,” says Turner Broadcasting programming exec Garth Ancier — who was the only suit to champion ”Titans” while helming NBC Entertainment last year. ”Clearly no one has cracked that yet.”
But not for a lack of trying. ”Titans” creator Charles Pratt Jr. admits that he’s received four calls since the Sept. 11 attacks from networks desperate for escapist fare. ”They want the next ‘Dynasty.’ I say, are you kidding? But the truth is, I’d love to have the chance again. It’s something I’m an expert on,” says Pratt, who agrees the nighttime serial format needs to be tweaked: ”We’ve got to stay away from rich people.” And really, that’s a pretty good motto for life in general.