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‘Y&R’ winning streak hits 24 years

CBS show is still most popular soap, also leads in demos

When it comes to domination in various network dayparts, nothing compares to CBS soap “The Young and the Restless.”

Last week, the sudser finished as the most popular daytime drama for a 1,248th consecutive week — or 24 years. The streak began in December 1988, a time when Scattegories was the most popular Christmas gift, “Rain Man” was the No. 1 movie and “The Cosby Show” ruled the smallscreen in primetime.

“The Young and the Restless,” produced by Bell Dramatic Serial Company in association with Sony Pictures Television, has also been the top-rated daytime drama in women 25-54 for 302 of the past 303 weeks and in women 18-49 for 297 of the last 298 weeks.

This season, “Y&R” is averaging about 4.4 million viewers, well ahead of runner-up “The Bold and the Beautiful” (3.2 million), also on CBS. The CBS soaps join NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” and ABC’s “General Hospital” as the only current network daytime soaps; when the “Y&R” winning streak started, there were 14 across ABC, CBS and NBC.

Next year could be a big one in Genoa City as “Y&R” will be celebrating its 40th season and potentially making it 25 years atop the ratings leaderboard.

CBS’ daytime lineup has also been No. 1 for 26 years, beginning with the 1986-87 season. Recent additions “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Talk” have taken over for canceled soaps and are showing year-over-year gains in either total viewers and/or women 25-54.

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