Evolution Of The Daytime Soap Opera

By | November 4, 2017

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Originally, television programming was mostly conservative. Programs mimicked the likes of radio melodramas that were so very popular. Early on in the history of television broadcasting, the most racy subjects on air were stories on the evening news. Television was commonly used as entertainment, rather than an informational tool. Before too long, controversial programming reared its ugly head. One of those controversial television programming formats included what was, and is still, known as, “Soap Operas.”  

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soap opera [op-er-uh, op-ruh] NOUN: a radio or television series depicting the interconnected lives of many characters often in a sentimental, melodramatic way.

The origin of coining certain daytime television shows as “soap operas” dates back to the 1930’s. Television has always been known for having financial sponsors and it wasn’t long before soap manufacturers caught on. They were clever enough to realize that the people who were tuning in to daytime television were housewives. After all, men left the home each day to earn a living for their wives and families but the women were the ones home during the day. Not only were they at home, but they were also usually responsible for the household maintenance and economics of the household. Theoretically, women would tune in to the program, see a commercial ad for a product, and want to try it out. If the product was all it was billed to be…. BINGO!