ABC has canceled the long-running soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live.
TMZ has a statement from ABC saying, "Guided by extensive research into what today's daytime viewers want and the changing viewing patterns of the audience, ABC is evolving the face of daytime television with the launch of two new shows." These will reportedly be health and food-based.
About a month ago at SXSW, we attended a session in which Manny Anekal, Zynga's Director of Brand Advertising talked about storytelling through advertising, and specifically, targeting women/stay-at-home moms.
Pardon any stereotypes, but I'm fairly confident this is a significant part of the target market in the soap opera space.
Anyhow, according to Anekal, 1 in 5 Americans play Zynga games like Farmville, Cityville, etc. Cityville, he said, has almost a hundred million users. Last year, the average user played 68 minutes per day, and though is based on browser time, even if you cut that number in half, it's an "enormous amount," even compared to broadcast television.
"More women are playing Farmville than watching soap operas," he said.
Now, obviously many of Zynga's players are playing through Facebook, and add to that all of the other Facebook time (status updates, photos, etc. [now movies]), and perhaps that simply leaves less time for soap opears - especially ones that have been around for nearly 50 seasons.
The 40 year old mom spends the most amount of time playing these games, and also spends the biggest amount of money, said Anekal. "She is the new hardcore gamer."
Fans of the two soap operas in question can take some comfort in the fact that episodes and clips are available on Hulu.