Daytime drama series are an increasingly endangered species. With the announcement of Passions' cancellation last week still looming large, Australian soap fans are about to get their own dose of bad news. The top-rated American soap, The Young and the Restless, is about to end its 30-plus-year run on Australian television.
The Young and the Restless has been airing on Australia's Channel 9 since 1974, just a little over a year after the show's March 26th, 1973 debut in The States. But even in Australia the soaps are fighting a ratings slump - and Y&R is about to be replaced by a much cheaper fare: a talk show.
Insiders in the Aussie television world hint that comedian Libbi Gorr will assume Y&R's 2:00pm timeslot with a talk show entitled "The Catch-Up." The talk show is scheduled to hit the airwaves as early as mid-February.
A spokesperson for Channel 9 declined to comment on the possible demise of Y&R, saying that the network was "looking at updating the schedule, which happens every year."
Days of our Lives, which also airs in Australia on Channel 9, is not expected to be affected by the "cancellation" of Y&R.
The Australian cable-and-satellite television company, Foxtel, has picked up the rights to show Y&R and will begin doing so on April 2nd. While there will be a one-month break between the last episode on Channel Nine and the first episode on Foxtel, a Foxtel rep tells soapcentral.com that there will be no lost episodes. Australian fans will just have to get used to being a month behind -- which is certainly better than having no Y&R at all!
Speaking of "The Catch-Up," in most of the world, American soaps are broadcast several months - sometimes even several years - behind the broadcast dates in The U.S. In 2004, Channel 9 made the decision to get caught up with American audiences. The network aired a program in which they crammed several years' worth of storylines into a two-hour special.