Friday, February 23, 2007

DAYS's Sweeney to pull double duty as reality host

An NBC-Universal press release notes that DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Alison Sweeney ("Sami Brady") will replace actress/comedienne Caroline Rhea as host of the fourth season of the network's reality show The Biggest Loser.

The release specifically notes the passion and loyalty of Sweeney's soap fan base as a factor in the decision to replace Rhea with Sweeney, with the network clearly hoping to benefit from new sampling of Loser by soap opera fans.

Sweeney blogs about her new role on her NBC blog, noting that her hosting duties will correspond with an increasingly complex story for Sami.

Update: In an interesting note, Sweeney tells Soap Opera Digest that Loser will be scheduling around the DAYS schedule and not vice-versa, "They have agreed to work around my DAYS schedule, so....it's not going to change my shooting schedule or my DAYS storyline." Sounds like a welcome measure of accomodation by NBC and Loser for the daytime medium, star, and fan-base they hope to mine for new viewers. Is it a small, but good sign for DAYS future prospects?

3 comments:

K/Lennox said...

See, this is the part I don't understand. The NBC suits clearly get that DAYS has a longstanding, passionately loyal fan base, and a crop of young stars, like Sweeney, who are speaking right to the demographic sweet spot. They get it enough to frequently cross-pollinate (Sweeney was a guest star on FRIENDS as herself, as were several DAYS and PASSIONS stars over the years, remember?) and look to tap into that base for things like BIGGEST LOSER, and yet they have been unmercifully hostile to soaps (starting by canceling and not replacing SANTA BARBARA, one of soaps most celebrated offerings ever, groundbreaking GENERATIONS, PASSIONS youth-oriented predecessor SUNSET BEACH, and drivin the sword into decades long-running ANOTHER WORLD), and leave an axe of fear and uncertainty hanging over the legendary (and fairly successful) DAYS. What is with them? They seem to want to get out of the soap business, while at the same time seem to fully recognize the power of the soap product. It makes no sense.

James W. Mills said...

NBC continues to be bipolar (of two minds, depending upon the day, almost) when it comes to soaps. They get and love the passion and loyalty of the fan community, but see $$$ at every corner. Even when DAYS is at its strongest, the profit margin (how much they make vs. how much it costs) is still smaller than a very cheap talk show pprogram can charge almost as much for advertising. It was kind of how reality shows started taking over, they weren't necessarily better than the original shows, but they were cheaper and could make more money even with lower ratings. At one point, though does 1) an entertainment company has to actually entertain, not just make the maximum amount of money and 2) does the audience get sick of things like a "fourth hour of the TODAY show" and start tuning out?

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