Sunday, April 8, 2007

Through the Looking Glass: Is Y&R the 'Australian PASSIONS'?

Perhaps it's appropriate that we Americans call Australia "Down Under," because the situation with going on with THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS there is sure to feel upside-down to U.S. soap fans.

In the U.S., CBS soap Y&R is the undisputed ratings champion in the race for total viewers--often performing a full ratings point above it's closest competitor--and has been for more than a decade. By contrast, NBC's PASSIONS, though a valuable tool for the network to reach the key 18-25 demo, is seen as an underperformer and has been pulled for a 4th hour of the TODAY SHOW, the popular (and less expensive) morning chat show.

What a difference a continental shift makes! In Australia, Y&R has been a long-running fixture on one of the country's networks. Recently, the Aussie net announced that it would be dropping the underperforming Y&R, despite its devoted and loyal fan base, giving its slot to their talk show, THE CATCH-UP.

However, in a move that many PASSIONS fans are hoping will happen here, Y&R has been snapped up by one of Australia's pay-TV (cable/satellite) great fanfare and accompanied by a press push that will bring long-time star Doug Davidson ("Paul Williams") to the land Down Under to promote the shift.

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