Daytime network television isn’t what it was back in the day. Game shows are all but extinct. Soap operas are going the same route as loyal viewers shuffle off this mortal coil. (“Don’t you bother Mama now. She’s watching her stories.”)
CBS is the only network offering affiliates much, including the two surviving game shows, “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal.” It also has two soaps, “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and a talk show.
NBC, which once offered a full menu in daytime, is down to a single soap – “The Days of Our Lives.” (To be fair, four hours of “Today” eats up mornings.)
That brings us to ABC, which provides affiliates three hours — the ultimate dinosaur soap “General Hospital,” a cooking show and a talk show.
That talk show, “The View,” was a pioneer, with an all-woman panel led by Barbara Walters. Now it starts its 19th year among the worst tripe on TV, perhaps surpassed only by that thing on ESPN where blowfish sportswriters try to outshout each other.
Walters, 86, has retired, Whoopi Goldberg leads the daily catfight, Rosie O’Donnell is back, their paychecks are too high at $5 mil a year and the network is displeased. Ratings and ad billings are down. There is talk of cancellation.
But what to replace it with? Game shows and soaps are out. Bringing a judge show to network would be risky, and a first.
So, in a dubious victory for sisterhood, “The View” will struggle on.
Maybe they could liven things up by showing the behind-the-scenes bickering. Talk show meets soap opera. TV genius!