The term "soap opera" was coined by the American press in the 1930s to denote the extraordinarily popular genre of serialized domestic radio dramas, which, by 1940, represented some 90% of all commercially-sponsored daytime broadcast hours. Over the decades, Soap Operas have taken over televison programming as well.
The defining quality of the Soap Opera is its seriality. A serial narrative is a story told through a series of individual, narratively linked installments. Unlike episodic television programs, in which there is no narrative linkage between episodes and each episode tells a more or less self-contained story, the viewer's understanding of and pleasure in any given serial installment is predicated, to some degree, upon his or her knowledge of what has happened in previous episodes.
- Soap Operas