...an NPR story almost made me faint right at the wheel: it was about Days of Our Lives.
ETA: There's a related piece at their Monkey See blog, too:
Writer Marlene McPherson tells Neda that story arcs used to stretch out for up to a year, and if you ever watched the "Marlena's demonic possession" or "Cruise Of Deception" stories, you know what she's talking about. Now, they try to wrap things up in shorter chunks. It's interesting that as nighttime television finds more space for long stories and serialization, soaps have to move faster to stay alive.