In September 1984, the once-a-week sequential drama on night time, 'Dallas', became "the test case for rerun serials" when it was repeated 5 nights a week on syndication either in prime time or in a late-night time slot. Shown in some 112 markets across the U.S., 'Dallas' often competed against game shows such as 'Wheel of Fortune'. Pat Kenny of Lorimar insisted the point of rerunning 'Dallas' wasn't how many, but what kind of people were watching. It was pointed out there was "always the concept that the viewer isn't going to stay there night after night" with an already known plot line. 

On network television, 'Dallas' had mass appeal attracting good demographics with its original episodes. John Sisk of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency told the press in 1986, "These shows always take time to build audiences." In a normal month, only 8% of viewers would watch all 4 episodes of a non-serial program, while 25% of soaps watchers followed 'Dallas', 'Dynasty', 'Knots Landing' or 'Falcon Crest'. The 4 prime time soaps attracted 25% higher ratings with women 18-49 than the average TV program. 

David Jacobs told 'Orange County Register' in 1991, "'Knots' was never trendy, while 'Dallas' was. I'd always seen 'Dallas' as being very much a show of its time, while 'Knots Landing' changed and evolved with the times. Actually, I sincerely believe that the serial is more than ever the natural medium for television - not the nighttime soaps, necessarily, but the serialized form with ongoing stories and growing characters. This type of drama is really the only way network TV can compete with the other media ... The only way we can keep up is to play what happens when the curtain goes down." 

"Shows are renewed not only on the basis of ratings, but of research,'' David Poltrack of CBS disclosed. "Research can tell us there is something about a show that indicates strength.'' At ABC, CBS and NBC "you are not going to see as much movement and cancellation of shows this season (the 1984-85 season) as you have in the past. For basic economic reasons, it is very expensive to do. Also, the management at the networks are willing to give programs a greater opportunity to prove themselves.''

On reflection, John Severino of ABC remarked, "I think if you go back now and look at all the forecasts that the advertising agencies did going into the year, the one show that everybody thought was gonna be a runaway hit, myself included, was 'Paper Dolls' and for whatever reason, it didn't work and that caused us to really fall out of favor on all of Tuesday night." 

On daytime TV, the afternoon soaps underwent restructuring and reevaluation to keep up with the times and stayed in the ratings game by offering modern audience (or "today's women") more than dialogs over tea cups but intricately plotted stories, faster pacing, more scenes per act, lavish sets, stunning wardrobes and outdoor scenes. Big shows with higher budget pulled out all the stops. The wedding of Luke and Laura on 'General Hospital attracted 52% share of the audience in 1981. Some 30 million viewers were counted watching.

On 'Capitol', Peggy O’Shea expressed, "I think we are desperate in need of a happily married couple who could also be a role model and who really love each other but will have some built-in character conflicts. We thought we could give Julie the conflict born of coming from a mother who wheels and deals and manipulates which Julie hates, but Tyler, whom she loves, is heavily involved in politics, and she’s going to do her best to be a good wife, even though politics is at odds with her persona."

In 1983, Genie Francis could be seen on the NBC series, 'Bare Essence'. The 2-hour premiere following 'The A-Team' on Tuesday night attracted a 16.7 rating and a 25% share. Peggy observed, "I can’t compete with the hour shows in terms of ratings, in terms of sex, in terms of budget and in terms of network. You've got all these wonderful characters and you've only got 22 damn minutes!" 

Nick Nicholson of 'The Edge of Night' outlined, "What we have tried to do in the past year is to pick up the pace of our story, not only on a daily basis with shorter scenes, but we now try to tell a story every 13 weeks. Previously (the character) Sky had not been able to take his fate into his hands. He was at the mercy of villains. Now he's once again resumed control of his life … It's much more interesting to make things happen than to be a victim of circumstance." 

Andrea Payne of 'Soap Opera Digest' reported, "Choreographing a love scene is a very technical manner. There’s no passion running wild, no spontaneity, none of that good stuff we're told is so important for efficient lovemaking. There are, however, lots of people watching including cameramen, the technical crew, the stage manager, the director and some assorted others; interruptions just when things are getting steamy; and, at times, some uncomfortable working conditions."

Al Rabin of 'Days of our Lives' believed, "I have a basic philosophy and that’s what we try to do here (on 'Days') all the time – share a feeling between the character and the audience. If the audience can feel the pain, joy, love and laughter … it's working. I've never seen a soap opera character lie to the audience. In real life we are lucky if we find one person with whom we can share total honesty. Here, on the soaps, the audience has 20 people every day who never lie to them about their feelings."

Dr Peter Corea from the psychology department at Emerson College maintained, "One of the most pleasant aspects of the experience is that the viewer enjoys all the values of intimacy, the deepest of emotions, without psychological or moral cost or expense ... As in all dramatic presentations the viewer can participate in every kind of experience, yet always remain the objective healthy observer."

Psychiatrist Dr Anthony Pietropinto at the Luthean Medical Center in New York made the point, "Both movies and prime time force you to a solution in a brief episode, which is not the way life is. Certainly, when there is a condition caused by a temporary lack of love such as in a breakup of a relationship, a soap opera cannot be a substitute for life, but it can be helpful; when it may not be good to plunge into another new relationship right away … Unlike 'The Brady Bunch' where each episode has a resolution of a problem, soap viewers can care about the characters and sustain a more vibrant type of relationship."

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