A Final Act of Betrayal
Last week, FOX canceled Lone Star, officially ending the era of the soap opera. Daytime soaps have been losing viewership since women started to seriously enter the working world in the 1960s. Soap manufacturers put the ‘soap’ in soap opera by sponsoring the shows to advertise to housewives. It’s sort of an odd testament to our society that these shows are becoming defunct.
After Guiding Light and As the World Turns were canceled, the studios considered a soap at night to try and target the once reliable audience, but it failed. Why? Vulture points out that the 1.0 rating it was pulling on FOX would have been a success on its cable channel FX. That’s a valid point. But, maybe it didn’t succeed because it betrayed the very essence of soap operas. Soap operas were created for women. The male characters in soaps are generally seen as either allies or villains. In this show, the protagonist was male. Instead of getting into the numbers and marketing and discuss the failed launch, we could just observe that a traditionally female audience was expected to connect to an adulterous male lead.