It happens each year, but long-time soap opera viewers typically do not appreciate losing out on two new episodes of their favorite serial dramas while colleges from around the country compete in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This year, the preemption dates coincide with the first day of spring, according to a report from SheKnows Soaps.
The First Four doubleheaders will take place on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18, but those two games will not affect soap opera viewing. Neither CBS Daytime drama will air on Thursday, March 19 or on Friday, March 20, as CBS airs games from the first round of the Big Dance during the sudsers' time-slots. Both Y&R and B&B will be back and playing new shows as usual on Monday, March 23.
After the first round of games reduces the field to 32, play begins on Saturday, March 21, for the second round. Then, the Sweet 16 airs Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27. The Elite Eight is scheduled for Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29. Finally, the Final Four square off on Saturday, April 4, with the final two teams playing for the NCAA National Championship on Monday, April 6.The week of March 16 will end up being a short one in Genoa City and Los Angeles as the residents of both soap cities will only have storylines for three episodes that week. Because fans know about the preemptions well in advance, they can make plans for what they want to watch or do during their usual viewing time and enjoy a change in routine. Some viewers might also choose to tune in and view the college basketball playoffs.
The break in the action for the two shows comes after the high drama and high stakes storylines featured for February Sweeps, as the network pulled out all the stops to pull in viewers. On Y&R, they celebrated Victor (Eric Braeden) and Newman Enterprises with a grand gala that ended with Victoria (Amelia Heinle) getting stabbed and all the fallout from that, including Adam (Mark Grossman) possibly stepping in at Newman. Meanwhile, on B&B, Sally (Courtney Hope) learned she had a rare condition that left her with mere weeks to live, causing she and Wyatt (Darin Brooks) to reunite during what could be the final days of her life.