Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Your Daily Nuke

Posted by Nick S. on March 16, 2008

A quick search on YouTube for “As the World Turns” comes up with – in the first page alone – a CNN story on Luke & Noah, Luke & Noah’s kiss, Luke & Noah on the Ferry, Luke coming out, and Luke & Noah’s kiss (same clip). Searching for ‘ATWT’ produces a page almost entirely of Luke & Noah clips. One clip of their kiss has over 1.1 million views. There are a number of websites (lukeandnoahfans.com is one – a website I’ve only just come across, but has around 600 members, and judging from the forum is reasonably active) dedicated strictly to the couple, and gay news site After Elton reports fairly frequently on the storyline (as well as a Nuke sub forum, which also plugs this blog).

 It’s fairly clear that Luke & Noah can be said to have something of a ‘cult following’ – that is, a number of people who are taking an active interest in the couple who are not watching the soap (or rather, watching it live, which is all advertisers really care about at this point). Furthermore, the people enjoying the story aren’t typical soap fans. The user responsible for the Luke & Noah story on YouTube (which is now, I think, at least on part 142) is a 28 year-old male. It’s rather stereotypical – but not unreasonable – to assume that a number of Luke & Noah fans are 18-35 males.

It would be interesting to find out exactly how Luke & Noah fans are getting their daily fix.I expect very few are watching the show directly, which leaves a number of options. People could be DVR-ing the show, or watching it online, but I’m unsure this is happening. Luke & Noah recaps on YouTube average around 12-14,000 viewers per part, which whilst reasonable isn’t as large as one might expect. There are also, I guess, a reasonable number (perhaps another 10,000, maybe more) of ‘textual followers’, people simply getting by reading the recaps (or maybe not even doing that).It’s not a large stretch of the imagination to assume that a number of vocal people with opinions on Luke & Noah don’t actually regularly watch the show.

Given that the Nielson ratings for ATWT haven’t exactly risen since the introduction of Nuke, and given that a new demographic supporting the couple has, it would be interesting to discover how Nuke-heads (perhaps that term will spread…) are getting their fix.


5 Responses to “Your Daily Nuke”

  1. jenn said

    I, too, noticed this phenomenon when I was searching youtube for ATWT clips from the 60s (and again later, when I started watching the Nuke clips).

    Is there any information available regarding the number of online viewings of the streaming videos on CBS.com for ATWT? It would be very interesting to see how many people are watching the episodes online (and also in comparison to the other CBS shows available online.) I imagine that the online viewers would consist more of the younger crowd, with classes and work during the day. Streaming video online gives great opportunity to catch up on ones favorite shows if there is no time to watch when they are regularly scheduled. And unlike viewers who may have been watching for years and have a schedule (perhaps taping, or DVRing episodes, reading soap opera weekly, etc) down for how they catch their daily ATWT fix, while newer viewers (including those captivated by the Nuke story) might just try to use the most convenient method.

  2. Sam Ford said

    I know that ATWT isn’t particularly popular through sites like BitTorrent, as far as I know, but there are a lot of YouTube archives, as well as I’m assuming on other video sites, in addition to the daily CBS airing and the video and audio available on CBS.com Through all of that, I would say there could be a decent number of other viewers watching outside of the primary viewing of the show. As far as I know, there’s no publicly accessible data as to how many download audio and/or video from CBS.com for their soap operas. As you point out, this demographic might be more likely to both have the need and the interest in watching teh show online. Nick, you point out that there are an average of 12,000 or 14,000 per clip on YouTube, but I know that–for some of the more iconic moments–there are multiple versions of this clip, so that may account for some differences. Like you, I figure there are quite a few cultural lurkers in this storyline, who may have seen a few of the clips but roughly follow it from afar.

    But I wanted to supplement the discussion with some info on ATWT viewing patterns. ATWT has been holding up fairly well compared to last year and sometimes even posting a few hundred thousand new viewers compared to this point a year ago. This has made it’s standing sometimes better than some of its fellow shows, and for the past several months, ATWT has been more consistently the #3 show (The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful are always #1 and #2 in overall viewers). Additionally, the show has been doing better in the 18-49 female demographic than it traditionally has (with its audience almost always skewing older than many other shows). While the show has always performed better than many others in terms of adult males under 49, the show has even been improving further on last year’s numbers, which could be attributed to Nuke, among other things.

    Now, this all depends on how much validity you want to put into Nielsen ratings, I’d say, but the argument could be there that it’s having some impact on the show’s ratings standing, not in increasing numbers but at least in helping curtail some of the decrease soaps have seen in the past 15 years or so.

  3. Mark said

    I’m a member over at vanhansis.net. We have done polls in the past and found out that there were more straight female fans than there were gay male fans. I know a lot of members are now watching the show, even when Nuke isn’t on. Every episode we have a Play-by-Play thread where we will comment on the show (sometimes reading those threads are more fun than the actual show, LOL). And it’s not just fans from the US. I’m Dutch, but we have members from countries like France, the UK, Sweden, Brazil and Peru too. There was a time that the international fans could watch it live at http://www.tvthug.com, but the CBS channels don’t seem to work there any more. Now I watch the West coast broadcast live over at http://www.tvunetworks.com (it comes on at 10 PM for me). Someone posten the ratings from the week before Noah’s debut and ATWT was #7. Now it’s #3 most of the time. I think that says a lot.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: