Research Seminar: The Next Episode: The Future of Soap Operas

In this presentation, I examine the state of the genre in the UK, US, and Australia to understand the genre and its future.

Soap operas and serial narratives have been part of the public imagination and media and popular culture landscape for some time now.

They also have been a very lucrative television genre in the US and the UK.

When they were in their prime, they were drawing millions of audiences and loyal fans into their stories. However, since the mid-2000s, soap operas began facing some challenges.

Changing demographics, competition from other television genres and media forms, economic challenges and financial crises and other social and cultural pressures negatively influenced the popularity of the genre and caused a decline in audience ratings.

Due to these issues, several US-American networks cancelled their soap operas.

Although British soaps are still popular and produce healthy ratings, they also struggled with ratings during the late 2000s and the 2010s.

In this presentation, I examine the current status of soap operas. I closely examine the effects of COVID-19, social and political conditions, and economic pressures which are continuously threatening the future of the genre. In this presentation, I examine the state of the genre in the UK, US and Australia to understand the genre and its future.

About the author

Ahmet Atay (PhD, Southern Illinois University- Carbondale) is a Professor of Global Media and Communication at the College of Wooster.

His research focuses on diasporic experiences and cultural identity formations; television studies, particularly soap operas; the usage of new media technologies in different settings; and the notion of home; representation of gender, sexuality and ethnicity in media; queer and immigrant experiences in cyberspace.

Ahmet is the author of ‘Globalization’s Impact on Identity Formation: Queer Diasporic Males in Cyberspace’ (2015) and the co-editor of several books. His scholarship appeared in several journals and edited books.