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'General Hospital' Leads Daytime Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings

The ratings for daytime soap operas have stabilized over the past two seasons after years of audience erosion, and the cancellation of five shows.  The four remaining daytime dramas have each showed signs of growth, and the networks are using social media to stay engaged with viewers and encourage live viewing.

In the Nielsen Live +Same Day TV ratings for the week of October 20-24, 2014, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless were each up year over year in three key demographics: Women 18-49, Women 18-34 and Women 25-54. Days of our Lives was ahead of its pace in total viewers from the same week in 2013. General Hospital remained steady.

The viewership numbers below may be a far cry from each show's peak (General Hospital averaged 14 million viewers in 1981), but they represent an extremely loyal and passionate audience that potential sponsors can count on to tune in.

Nielsen TV Ratings
(Live + Same Day)
The Young and the RestlessCBS
The Bold and the Beautiful
General HospitalABC
Days of our LivesNBC

The ratings look even better when compared to the same week in 2012, with all four soaps increasing their audience. Y&R and B&B showed the biggest gains, adding over half a million viewers each.

To promote their shows, the networks are using Twitter and other social media tools to engage viewers.  Regular tweeting sessions are scheduled during a live broadcasts in both daytime and primetime in which cast members answer questions and interact with fans.

The audience for sites like Twitter and Facebook is being studied and measured by companies like Nielsen and General Sentiment.  The Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are released daily and weekly for primetime "series and specials" and sporting events.

Data for daytime dramas has not been released until now.  For comparison, Serial Scoop obtained the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings for the same week as above.  General Hospital topped the chart with an  unique audience of 75,000 per episode, with an average of 6,000 tweets per episode.

Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings*
of New
Average Unique
Audience per
Average Tweets
per Episode
General HospitalABC
The Young and the RestlessCBS
Days of our LivesNBC
The Bold and the Beautiful

ABC also led the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings for broadcast network shows in primetime that week, with a new episode of Scandal hitting 241,000 tweets and reaching a total audience of 1.96 million. Scandal is the season’s most-social broadcast series, with an average of 346,609 tweets per episode, helped in part by ABC's #TGIT marketing campaign.

The correlation between social media success and TV ratings is not clear. Having a show or character trending on Twitter does not always lead to increased Nielsen ratings, but it does demonstrate a level of viewer engagement and interest that networks can use as a promotional tool.

To follow the daytime soap opera conversation on Twitter, use the official hashtags: The Bold and the Beautiful (#BoldandBeautiful), Days of our Lives (#DAYS), General Hospital (#GH) and The Young and the Restless (#YR). Follow Serial Scoop at @SerialScoop.

*Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before, during and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to an episode from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am.

* Nielsen Out-of-Home TV Test Results: Daytime Sees Largest Increases
* 'The Walking Dead' Tops Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings (10/27 - 11/02)


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