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Prime Time Soap

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A serialized drama that's like a daytime Soap Opera but shown in the evening.

In the US, prime time soaps tend to have a once-a-week format. Their glory days have passed since Dallas was cancelled. Most prime time soaps since then have been short-lived (such as 2000 Malibu Road and Pasadena) or targeted at teenagers. MyNetworkTV, in its first year, attempted to give the genre a comeback by infusing it with a daytime soap-esque play schedule (a new ep every night of the week). It went over about as well as one would expect — all of the shows were US remakes of Latin American telenovelas, which meant that their target audience was more inclined to watch new shows en español.

In the U.K. and Australia, the distinction between "prime time" and "daytime" soaps doesn't really exist, with standard soaps forming a major part of the prime time schedule (although in the UK, Australian soaps are generally relegated to daytime, while American daytime soaps have really caught on in the UK to the extent of Dallas), with the likes of Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale being the most popular shows in the UK (until the likes of Britain's Got Talent and The Voice came along, but that's another story).