Deborah Blackwell is a little less restless now. The general manager of SoapNet was ecstatic Thursday, after the network secured same-day airing rights to top-rated soap opera The Young and The Restless from Sony Pictures Television.
The multiyear deal, terms of which were not disclosed, also gives SoapNet, which now holds shows from all Big Three networks and the top five most-viewed soaps overall, the rights to archival episodes of the CBS series that can be used for stunts and specials.
“We’ve been talking about Y&R since I got here in June 2000, and the interest preceded my arrival,” Blackwell said. “This is the fulfillment of a goal since the network’s inception.”
Beginning April 24, SoapNet will position same-day weeknight airings of Y&R— the soap leader in total viewers for 17 years (896 consecutive weeks) and among women 18 to 49, as well — at 7 p.m. “That’s a good time slot, going up against news and access programming.”
The Y&R addition will result in a shift in the network’s evening lineup. NBC’s Days of Our Lives, which SoapNet acquired from Sony in December 2003 and began airing in March 2004, will move to 11 p.m., while original series SoapTalk will move to midnight. The daily talk show will also run at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., effectively book-ending the day-and-date lineup.
SoapNet’s current day-and-date weekday lineup, which will continue to feature the ABC series All My Children at 8 p.m., One Life To Live at 9 p.m. and General Hospital at 10 p.m., currently averages a 0.6 rating against women 18 to 49 for No. 7 in all of basic cable, according to network officials.