Archive for April, 2009

Remembering Texas

Posted in Gone Too Soon with tags on April 27, 2009 by Jeff

texasNBC’s Another World scored impressive ratings for much of the 1970’s.  The show was second only to CBS’s blockbuster As the World Turns, and it actually tied for the top spot on occasion.  By 1978, both NBC and CBS saw their daytime ratings cool as ABC’s wildly successful “Love in the Afternoon” lineup was on the rise.  Another World slipped from second place to eight; and NBC decided to expand the soap to ninety minutes in an effort to boost ratings.  The experiment failed, and NBC wanted a new soap to air after the sixty minute version of Another World.  Paul Rauch, who was AW‘s producer at the time, worked with with Joyce and John William Corrington, who had just wrapped up a well-received stint on Search for Tomorrow, to create Reunion. Reunion was set in South the years after the civil war.  NBC balked at airing a costume drama opposite General Hospital, which by then was the highest rated soap on the air.  Rauch and the Corringtons went back to the drawing board, and came up with a spin-off of Another World.  With Dallas being the hot new primetime drama at the time, Rauch and the Corringtons decided to set their new soap in Houston, and make the soap about wealthy oil barons and their families.  To get Another World viewers to stay on for the new show, Rauch hired Beverlee McKinsey to move her AW character, Iris, from Bay City to Houston.  

And that is where the problems started.  While the late Beverlee McKinsey is widely recognized as one of the best actresses in daytime, Iris was a villain. How do you create an entire show around someone the audience is supposed to root against?  And that is where the problem continued.  The show quickly dismantled ever nuance of the troubled, insecure, spoiled Iris that was lovingly written for years by AW‘s legendary writer Harding Lemay, and turned her into a leading lady who was reunited with her long lost love.  Other stories focused on Arab royal families, a Vietnam vet who had been presumed dead, and a middle aged doctor having an affair with a younger doctor.  Texas hired GH‘s Kin Shriner, who had been the odd man out in the Luke/Laura/Scotty triangle, hoping to get some GH fans to tune in. However, the show introduced Shriner’s character as suffering from a severe heart condition.  Teenage girls who swooned over GH‘s Scotty Baldwin didn’t exactly fantasize about his Texas character, who might keel over at any given minute.  

The ratings tanked, Beverlee McKinsey chose not to renew her contract, and Gail Kobe came on board as executive producer.  Kobe quickly sped up the pace of the show, introduced new younger characters, and paired Carla Borelli, who played spitfire Reena Bellman, with daytime veteran Donald May as Grant Wheeler.  Later in the run, actress Pam Long (who played Ashley Linden) began writing the show.  Long wrote old fashioned love stories with a lot of heart, and ratings slowly began to perk up.  

Sadly, Texas was canceled by NBC and last aired on Decemeber 31, 1982.

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New Category

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2009 by Jeff

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be adding a new category called “Gone Too Soon.”  GTS will focus on great soap s, that unlike Guiding Light, didn’t have a long run. Check it out starting tomorow.

Guiding Light: Remember When Beth Loved Lujack

Posted in Remember When with tags on April 24, 2009 by Jeff

July 1984: Beth loves Lujack, but Phillip is never really out of the picture.

Guiding Light: Remember When Holly Admitted She Doesn’t Love Blake

Posted in Remember When with tags on April 23, 2009 by Jeff

1992:  Blake asks her mother if she loves her.

Guiding Light: Remember When Matt and Vanessa Were at the Fifth Street Fire

Posted in Remember When with tags on April 22, 2009 by Jeff

1995: Matt and Vanessa see each other after the fire.

Guiding Light: Remember When Alan Brought Reva to Springfield

Posted in Remember When with tags on April 21, 2009 by Jeff

December 1983: Alan goes to Tulsa to meet Reva (and to bring her back in order to break up Billy and Vanessa).

Guiding Light: Remember When Jonathan and Reva Bonded in the Fountain

Posted in Remember When with tags on April 20, 2009 by Jeff

November 2004: Jonathan takes his family place in the Springfield Country Club fountain.