‘Young & Restless’ Has Been The Number One Soap For 30 Straight Years

Robert Voets/CPTCBS Television Network

The daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless has claimed one of the most remarkable achievements in television, an outstanding 30 years as the number one soap on daytime.

The CBS mainstay has been the most-watched soap opera for a remarkable 1,560 consecutive weeks according to The Hollywood Reporter.

This is a significant achievement, noting that in 1998 there were 13 daytime dramas on the air on ABC, NBC and CBS.

Before Netflix, Amazon and daytime talk shows there were soap operas, a weekly serial of stories that spanned each type of relationship, family crisis and outlandish scenario that could ever be told on television.

Today there are just four soaps and 15 syndicated and network talk shows.

Young and the Restless has been the most-watched soap every week since 1998 and no entertainment program in history has had such a fabulous and profitable run.

Angelica McDaniel, executive VP daytime programs at CBS, credit the longevity of the series in a time when scandal and mindless chatter rule the airwaves.

The Young and the Restless has some of the best actors in the industry — not in soaps, not in daytime, but in television,” McDaniel told The Hollywood Reporter. “We have iconic, legacy characters that have been on our show for decades.”

“Melody Thomas Scott will be celebrating her 40th year on the show in February. Peter Bergman just reached his 30th anniversary in November. Eric Braeden started in 1980. We just have an incredible arsenal of actors who are so talented and play these characters so well that you don’t even realize they’re characters. They become people who are part of your life, part of your daily existence,” she exclaimed.

For 2018, Young and the Restless is averaging 4.42 million daily viewers — more than about a third of primetime shows on the broadcast networks and more than every single daytime talk show and every single late-night program.

The most significant fact of Y&R‘s popularity is that the great majority of the people who are viewers watch the episodes on the day they air.

“The great thing about daytime television is we have loyal, passionate viewers, and they really like to tune in day and date,” she said. “They want to stick with their stories and see what’s happening today. … Having said that, The Young and the Restless is also one of the top streamed shows on CBS.com. As trends evolve, we are where our viewers our and we’re making shows readily accessible so they can get their fix and follow their stories.”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.