Soap Opera - I

A soap opera is purely a work of fiction. It is generally broadcast on television and radio. It is also available on mobile phones now.

Americans were the first to introduce soap operas in radio in the 1930s. Twenty years later, it found its way in televisions. With most of the shows being sponsored by companies' manufacturing soap, it got branded as soap operas.


Courtships, marriages, divorces, deaths and disappearances are the most common features of soap operas. Gossip is extremely important and acts as a commentary on the action.


In the 1970s, soap operas were viewed by approximately 20 million people, most of which were women, aged 18 and above. By 2007, the viewer ship is well past 200 million.


So popular had the soap operas become that a magazine was started which was dedicated to cover soap operas. During the 1990s, the magazine almost became a house-hold commodity. But, as years rolled on, subscriptions shrinked which led to its discontinuation in 2002.

Then came the Soap Opera Digest, a television programmed schedule chronicling the stories aired in America. The magazine, which made its debut in 1975, has a viewer ship base of 500,000 currently.

Because of the popularity of the soap operas awards were announced in 1984 to replace the less lavish Soapy Award which had run since 1977. These awards are meant to promote excellence in the soap opera genre and are decided by fans. The statue itself is made of call and in the shape of a heart.

Soap Opera Magazine is yet another a weekly periodical devoted to interviews and recaps of American soap operas. The magazine was run for many years before the publication ceased.

Longest Running

Guiding Light is the longest running soap opera in the world. It started in 1937. At that time it was aired on radio before finding a place in television in 1952. The storyline focuses on the Spaulding, Cooper and the Lewis families, who stay in Springfield.

New Trends

In 1963, the soap opera General Hospital started the trend of the 'super couple' for all soaps! The story is about the life and lifestyle of hospital staff.

Some of the biggest names of soap operas are

  • Willie Ames -The Edge of Night
  • F. Murray Abraham -How to Survive a Marriage, One Life to Live, Ryan's Hope
  • Bernard Barrow - Love of Life, the Edge of Night, Ryan's Hope, Loving
  • Bonnie Bartlett - Love of Life
  • Peter Bartlett - One Life to Live
  • Jennifer Bassey - Love of Life, 'Somerset, the Edge of Night, All My Children
  • Charita Bauer - Guiding Light

Some of the most successful soap operas of recent times are

  • The Young and the Restless
  • The Bold and the Beautiful
  • General Hospital
  • All My Children
  • One Life to Live
  • As the World Turns
  • Days of our Lives
  • Guiding Light and Passions

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