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80s Soap Operas That Took Over Daytime TV

by Kim

One of the most memorable things about the 80s was the rise in popularity of soap operas. The first soap operas had been produced in Britain and America back in the 1930s, but they didn’t start to take off until the 1960s. By the 1980s, almost every major network h, ad a daytime soap opera that they were airing either during the morning or afternoon time slots. As the decade went on, more and more daytime soap operas were being produced and many of them were trying to create a crossover appeal by introducing more characters that had become popular in prime-time television shows.

Some of the most memorable 80s Soap Operas included The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, All My Children, Another World, Santa Barbara and Knots Landing. Several short-lived shows aired for only a few years and didn’t resonate with audiences nearly as well as the other ones did. As is usually the case with these types of programs, the more popular ones are still on today while the others have either been canceled or rebranded into something else entirely.

While many people grew up watching these shows during their free time at home or during their lunch breaks at work, some enjoy them just as much now as they did then. For some people, it’s almost like reliving an important part of their childhood when they watch them again today. It’s not unusual for soap opera fans to get together in person and watch current episodes live or to attend special events such as conventions where there are actors from various soap operas on hand to meet with fans and sign autographs.

The 80s Soap Operas

General Hospital

Premiering in 1963, General Hospital is the longest-running soap opera in American television history. It was initially aired as a half-hour show and aired three times a week until it was changed to an hour-long show in 1978.

The show was initially set in a hospital and focused on the lives of the doctors and nurses, but over time they began exploring other storylines that were unrelated to the medical profession. The main characters are Luke and Laura, who have been married since 1981 and are two of the most well-known characters in soap opera history.

The Young and the Restless

This soap opera premiered in 1973 as a half-hour show and was initially aired twice a week. It soon became one of the most popular shows on television thanks to its high drama content and a strong cast of characters. It is currently one of only two soap operas that air during the daytime hours on CBS with General Hospital being the other one.

The show has an interesting history as it originated from another soap opera called Another World after both shows were canceled by ABC in 1975. ABC scrapped Another World after only three years on the air due to poor ratings but decided to revive it in 1976 by creating a spinoff called The Young and the Restless with some characters from both shows being carried over to this one.

Days of Our Lives

This is another long-running daytime soap opera that has been on the air since 1965. It is currently one of NBC’s longest-running shows and is seen by millions of people every single day.

The show takes place in the fictional town of Salem, which has been a setting for many different soap operas over the years. While there are still some characters that develop romantic relationships, it’s also become more focused on action and adventure storylines as well.

There are so many characters on this show that there have been numerous spin-offs based on them over the years such as Days of Our Lives: Medical Center, Days of Our Lives: Sunset Beach, and Days of Our Lives: Passions.

All My Children

This soap opera began airing in 1970 and was initially titled simply All My Children. In 1977, they decided to add a subtitle to the title called Another World Later which referenced another soap opera that was similar to this one that had been canceled a few years earlier.

The show was part of ABC’s daytime lineup until 2011, but it has since moved to online streaming video platforms with no plans for it to ever return to television again in any form

Santa Barbara

This primetime soap opera premiered in 1984 and aired on NBC for the first five years of its run. The show was set in the fictional town of Santa Barbara and focused on issues such as class warfare, family dynamics, and romance. After NBC canceled the show in 1989, it got picked up by CBS where it continued to air until 1993.

Knots Landing

This primetime soap opera aired on CBS for a decade starting in 1979. It was set in the fictional city of Knots Landing which was modeled after a real town called Palos Verdes Estates located east of Los Angeles.

There were some actors who made guest appearances on this show who were also well-known for their work on other popular television shows during the 80s such as Kevin Dobson (Family Ties), Betty Buckley (Twin Peaks), Robert Ginty (Miami Vice), Mare Winningham (Our House) and many others.

The Bold and the Beautiful

This show was based on a sudsy novel of the same name by Jacqueline Susann. It was initially aired as a primetime show on CBS in 1987 and then moved to ABC in 1993 where it remains in production today. The show’s title is often referred to as B&B by fans.

It originally focused on two rival fashion houses, but over time it developed into more of an ensemble drama with storylines focusing on a wide array of different characters. There have been two different spin-offs produced since it first aired, but neither one lasted very long before being canceled.

Another World

This primetime soap opera debuted in 1964 and only lasted for three years before being canceled by ABC. The network decided to revive the series in 1985 after canceling another soap opera called Somerset, but they dropped it again only two years later after dismal ratings continued to plague this series as well as the other soap opera that was launched alongside it, called One Life to Live.

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