|Viewing Single Post From: Another World (Series History)|
|Steve Frame||Aug 16 2007, 10:42 AM|
Posted Image Another World (NBC daytime)|
Runtime: 30 minutes (1964-1975); 60 minutes (1975-1979); 90 minutes (1979-1980); 60 minutes (1980-1999)
First Aired: May 4, 1964
Last Aired: June 25, 1999
Created by: Irna Phillips with William J. Bell
Production Company: Proctor & Gamble Productions
Setting: Bay City, Illinois
Episodes: 8891 episodes
Spinoffs: Somerset (1970-1976); Texas (1980-1982)
Special Episodes (out of the normal time slot):
May 1974: special 1 hour episode featuring the remarriage of Steve Frame and Alice Matthews
1992: Special primetime episode entitled Another World: Summer Desire
"We do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand other worlds."
3:00pm - 3:30pm (May 4, 1964 - January 3, 1975)
3:00pm - 4:00pm (January 6, 1975 - March 2, 1979)
2:30pm - 4:00pm (March 5, 1979 - August 1, 1980)
2:00pm - 3:00pm (August 4, 1980 - June 25, 1999)
Walter Curtin (Val Dufour) & Melissa Palmer (Carol Roux)
John Beal (Jim Matthews)
Virginia Dwyer (Mary Matthews)
Vera Allen (Grandma Matthews)
Susan Trustman (Pat Matthews)
Jacqueline Courtney (Alice Matthews)
Joey Trent (Russ Matthews)
Liza Chapman (Janet Matthews)
Sarah Cunningham (Liz Matthews)
Joe Gallison (Bill Matthews)
Carol Roux (Melissa Palmer)
William Prince (Ken Baxter)
Nicholas Pryor (Tom Baxter)
For thirty-five years, Another World was a much loved part of the NBC daytime lineup. Fans followed the Frame, Cory, Hudson, Matthews and many other families through trial and tribulation, pain and pleasure.
Another World was the first soap to expand to an hour (then 90 minutes from March 1979-August 1980). It also was the first soap to have spin-offs (Somerset & Texas).
In April of 1999, the parent company and network made a decision not to continue the program, and the show aired it's final episode in June of 1999. Although gone from the airwaves, the show will live on in the hearts of the fans.
Felicia Gallant (Linda Dano)
How It Began:
Six weeks before it's premiere on the NBC network on May 4th, Another World had lined up 12 advertising sponsors, and was sold out. It was an incredible feat for that day and especially for a daytime soap opera airing on NBC.
The advance sell-out was "a tremendous showing of faith by the clients and agencies in Irna Phillips and NBC daytime programming," NBC announced.
Premiering 13 months after The Doctors, Another World slowly took hold but once it took hold it pretty much stayed near the top of the Nielsen ratings well into the late 1970's.
Miss Phillips, acknowledged the "queen of daytime serial creators", created Another World as "the story of the lives of two brothers, William and James Matthews, in a suburban university town." The drama started with the death of William and set out to "trace the effect of this sad event on his widow Liz, their two grown children (Susan and Bill) and on his brother James and his family (Pat, Alice and Russ)."
The show opened with the funeral of William Matthews.
Liz Matthews (Audra Lindley)
Irna Phillips, writer-creator of many daytime radio and TV soap operas, was writing As The World Turns when she was called to create Another World for Procter & Gamble Productions. Writer William Bell, who was Irna's co-headwriter at As The World Turns, joined her to prepare the scripts, and Allen Potter, then producing As The World Turns, was named producer of Another World.
Doris Quinlan, later producer of One Life To Live, as named associate producer; Tom Donovan, later a producer of Where The Heart Is, was made director, and Norman Hall, later an Emmy nominee for The Doctors, was appointed associate director.
In the beginning the show was broadcast live from NBC's huge color studios in Brooklyn, a break from the norm for daytime soaps which were normally produced in Manhattan.
Another World was originally created by Irna Phillips and William J. Bell to be a spin-off of the hugely successful ATWT, and the plan was to have the central family of the new series (the Matthews family) to be close friends of the Hughes family of ATWT and the new town of Bay City was to be just a stone’s throw away from ATWT’s Oakdale. The daytime lineup at CBS was unbelievably solid with strong ratings, and there was no room for the new show. Hearing that a new Irna Phillips created soap opera was on the market, NBC jumped at the chance to have their own ATWT and snatched up AW. NBC had begun to get serious about creating a soap opera lineup to compete with the powerhouse competition CBS. Because the new series was now going to be on a different network, all direct connections between ATWT and AW were scrapped and only one minor character (attorney Mitchell Dru) was transferred over to the new series. Dru had earlier been transferred over to ATWT from another P&G soap The Brighter Day. Also there were minor references in the early months of Jim & Mary Matthews visiting Oakdale where they had friends. Instead of a spin-off Irna treated it as a sister soap of As The World Turns.
In the early days of AW, casting seemed to be a big issue with Irna Phillips who made many changes to her original cast for the show, sometimes it is said simply because she might not like someone's hair style.
Within a few weeks, Leon Janney was hired to replace John Beal as Jim; Audra Lindley replaced Sarah Cunningham as Liz; Fran Sharon was hired to play Susan; a new character was added with Olga Bellin hired to portray Ann Fuller, Melissa's social worker; and Augusta Dabney was brought in as Laura Baxter in May. In November of 1964, Shepperd Strudwick replaced Leon Janney as Jim. By 1968, only Virginia Dwyer and Jacqueline Courtney would remain of the 1964 cast.
1965 brought even more changes including many backstage changes. Michael M. Ryan was added to the cast as John Randolph and would remain with the show until 1979 when his character was killed off on the shows first 90 minute episode. Also brought on that year were Gaye Huston as Lee Randolph and Geoffrey Lumb as Mitchell Dru was brought over from ATWT. James Lipton, former actor on ATWT, was brought in as writer; Doris Quinlan was moved up to producer; Len Valenta was made director; and Bud Kloss, later producer of All My Children, was made associate producer.
In the first few years of the show, the opening included the now famous epigraph “We do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand other worlds.” Although the epigraph would disappear from the series early on, that mantra continued to be an unspoken running theme throughout its entire run. Even as late as the 1990s, promotional merchandise for the series would include that statement.
Pat Matthews Randolph (Beverly Penberthy)
Early Stories and Focus:
Following the two-family structure established by ATWT, AW had its focus the two branches of the Matthews family – one distinctly middle class like ATWT's Hughes family and one quite wealthy like ATWT’s Lowell family. The middle class Matthews branch was headed by Jim & Mary Matthews who had 3 children – college student Pat, and teen-agers Russ and Alice. The wealthy branch was headed by William & Liz who had 2 children, grown Susan and college student Bill. Also included in the family were Jim & William’s mother, simply known as Grandma Matthews, and Jim & William’s independent younger sister Janet, modeled after ATWT’s Edith Hughes. Despite it's similarities AW and ATWT were very different. Instead of the slow moving character studies that were the focus of ATWT, AW was hugely plot-driven. Phillips was well aware of NBC’s established habit of canceling new soaps quickly and wanted AW to be a hit right out of the gate. Due to that, Irna wasn't writing a new version of ATWT, she was writing her version of hugely melodramatic The Secret Storm. An excellent example is that AW was launched with the tragic death of William Matthews that had sent the entire Matthews family into mourning just as the death of Ellen Ames on Storm had done. In quick succession, tragedy upon tragedy befell the Matthews family.
Irna was way out of her element writing such plot-driven melodrama and the ratings were terrible. Disappointed with the show, Irna was replaced as head writer by James Lipton (now of Inside the Actor's Studio fame). Lipton was convinced that the Matthews family was the problem with AW and pushed them to the background and introduced a new core family named Gregory who took over the bulk of the action which didn't help the ratings either.
Most of the early stories followed the main theme: trials, troubles and high drama.
John Potter, a P&G executive, said about the show in the early 70's: "It was the troubles of Missy and Rachel and Bill that got Another World off the ground."
Never was a statement more true. The character's lives on AW were filled with high drama, and it was that high drama that hooked viewers and made them tune in each day "for the continuing story of Another World."
Next to the story of William Matthews death, the biggest stories in 1964 and 1965 centered on young heroine Pat Matthews (Susan Trustman). In 1965, Pat went on trial for the murder of her boyfriend Tom Baxter (Nicholas Pryor), who had impregnated her which led to Pat having the first abortion ever in daytime TV. Pat allowed herself to be seduced by Tom and she ended up pregnant, but Tom didn’t want her to have the baby and forced Pat to have an illegal abortion. The abortion turned out to be a back-street butcher job and Pat was left sterile (something forgotten by later writers as Pat gave birth to twins). Unable to handle the trauma, Pat went temporarily insane and shot and killed Tom! The crime plunged the Matthews family into scandal and Pat went on trial for murder, defended by town newcomer John Randolph (a widower with a teen-aged daughter named Lee). John got Pat acquitted due to temporary insanity and fell in love with the much younger girl in the process. John & Pat would eventually marry later in 1965.
Other early favorites were Bill (Joe Gallison) and his star crossed love for Missy Palmer (Carol Roux) which was met with many troubles of it's own mostly at the hands of Bill's mother, Liz, who tried everything she could to prevent her son from marrying Melissa who she felt was far below his station. One scheme culminated when Liz found Missy’s mother (played by legendary film actress Ann Sheridan) and it was learned that Missy was illegitimate (a major disaster at the time) and fled town. Eventually the couple was wed in 1966, but that did not stop Liz from trying to end the marriage.
Another early featured story was the rivalry between Liz and her daughter Susan, and her sister-in-law, Janet. Janet was Susan’s idol, but Janet was having a tawdry affair with her married co-worker Ken Baxter, father of Tom Baxter who was shot by Pat.
1966 brought in several changes in hopes of bringing up the ratings. On June 20th, the show began to be broadcast in color which brought new problems of it's own not faced by the production team before. Costume designer Hazel Roy made this statement to Daytime TV magazine about the change: "You not only have to think in terms of which color is flattering to an individual character, but you have to keep in mind who is going to play which scene with whom - making sure people didn't wear clashing colors and that their clothes are complemented by the colors on the set."
Joe Gallison quipped: "Now I have to start wearing ties that actually match the rest of my clothes."
The show's makeup man admitted his biggest task was "to restrain the actors. In black and white, actresses sho wanted to wear bright blue eyeshadow could be accomodated because it didn't show on the air. But now... well, nice females from refined homes don't walk around with bright blue eyeshadow during the middle of the day!"
Stories in 1966 focused on both the Matthews and Randolph families - continuing with the plot-driven themes.
Susan Trustman continued to play Pat at this time but would leave the show in 1967 due to being tired. She had been on every episode of the series while Irna was writing and wanted to take a break.
Lee Randolph and her step-mother Pat were trying to help John Randolph who was now confined to a wheelchair due to an illness. P&G brought Guiding Light character Michael Bauer over to AW to help further build the audience, and made Michael a conflict in the Randolph marriage as Pat and Michael became attracted to one another.
Steve & Alice Frame (George Reinholt & Jacqueline Courtney)
Another World's Miracle
1966 also brought Another World's salvation or miracle.
Despite the high drama of the early stories, AW's ratings were not that great, in fact rumors of cancellation were circulating. That all changed when Agnes Nixon came aboard.
Agnes Nixon, a former protégé of Irna Phillips who had already helped Roy Winsor create Search for Tomorrow and Irna Phillips create As the World Turns had been writing The Guiding Light successfully since the late 1950s. However, when Agnes presented a new soap opera (All My Children) to P&G and CBS, she was dismayed to find that there was no room on CBS’s schedule for it. Instead of shopping the new series around to another network (Agnes was convinced by the rejection that the new series wasn’t any good, she went back to TGL. P&G decided that Agnes might just be what AW needed and moved her over to head write the struggling soap. Agnes took the job as a challenge. She met the challenge and ended up turning AW into a certifiable hit.
Agnes’s first order of business was getting rid of Lipton’s new family and returning the Matthews family to prominence. To accomplish this, Agnes simply killed off the entire Gregory family in a plane crash. She then crafted a compelling storyline for Bill & Missy where Missy married the dastardly Danny Fargo (Antony Ponzini) out of convenience, was raped and impregnated by him, and then put on trial for Danny’s eventual murder, bringing Bill & Missy back together. Agnes also moved TGL characters Mike Bauer and young daughter Hope to AW and plunged Mike into a romantic triangle with rivals Pat Randolph and Lee Randolph while hooking up Lenore Moore (Judith Barcroft, and later Susan Sullivan), a former girlfriend of Bill’s and who’d been much more socially acceptable to Liz, with social climbing attorney Walter Curtin (Val Dufour). In the end, Agnes’s take on the show worked! Viewers couldn’t wait to see what twists and turns would befall the residents of Bay City and the ratings began to rise. Then Agnes would introduce two new characters and a storyline that would send the ratings through the roof.
Agnes was intensely invested in a conniving character in her rejected soap opera named Erica Kane and wanted, if nothing else, for that character to see realization on screen. To this end, she created the character of Rachel Davis along with her long-suffering mother Ada. Rachel & Ada (Robin Strasser and Constance Ford) had been abandoned years earlier by Ada’s husband and Rachel’s father Gerald. Ada was determined to make up for the abandonment and indulged Rachel’s every whim, leaving the poor young girl immensely spoiled. A conniver and social climber of the highest order, Rachel set her sights on her doctor – intern Russ Matthews – and married him in secret. Shortly thereafter, Agnes introduced the wealthy and rakish Steve Frame (George Reinholt) who was taken with Russ’s sister Alice. As Steve & Alice fell in love, Rachel grew dismayed with the life of a doctor’s wife and took a liking to Steve. Before long, Steve had slept with Rachel (who was still married to Russ) and got her pregnant, but Rachel attempted to pass the baby off as Russ’s. The Russ/Rachel/Steve/Alice quadrangle was a smash! Viewers swooned to Steve & Alice, sympathized with Russ, and loved to hate Rachel. It all culminated with one remarkable and now legendary scene during the party that celebrated Steve & Alice’s engagement where Rachel calmly and pointedly informed Alice that the baby she was carrying wasn’t Russ’s, but was Steve’s. Alice’s response, as any true heroine, was to calmly leave the party, Steve, and Bay City, ending the engagement.
Ratings skyrocketed. AW, once in danger of cancellation, was the first soap opera to break through CBS’s ratings dominance. For the 1966-1967 TV season, AW ranked 7th behind all of CBS’s soaps. For the 1967-1968 season, AW had shot up to 2nd, right behind ATWT.
The story made soap stars and household names of George Reinholt, Robin Strasser and Jacqueline Courtney. Even after Agnes left the show, what she started continued to grow and their popularity increased. When Daytime TV magazine initiated their viewers poll in 1970, the three stars were repeatedly in the Top 10 favorite actors and actresses. Robin Strasser as Rachel was the only soap opera villianess to ever appear at #1 on the Best Actresses more than once in the first 10 years of the poll. She was voted at the top twice in 1971 and once in 1972. The only other villianess to top the poll was Eileen Fulton from ATWT who topped the very first poll as favorite actress and never returned to the top again. Rachel was so popular but so hated by fans who consistently wrote the AW studios begging that she be killed off.
Reinholt and Courtney pretty much dominated the polls in the early years. Even while Courtney was off the show for a whole year after she married, she continued to appear in the Top 10 Best Actresses on a regular basis. She was the first actress to ever make the Top 10 for 100 months.
From 1970 to 1975, the year he was fired, Reinholt was the only performer in all of daytime to appear in every reader's poll in the Top 10.
Reinholt and Courtney won the year end polls as Best Actor and Actress for 2 years (1971 and 1974) - being beaten in 1972 and 1973 by Edward Mallory and Denise Alexander of Days of Our Lives.
Agnes’s success at AW didn’t go unnoticed. ABC, seeing the magic she’d worked, lured her away to create a hit soap for their own struggling line-up and Agnes jumped at the chance, leaving P&G for good. Although her ratings after her replacement slipped a bit, they continued to remain strong and NBC & P&G saw an opportunity to increase their forward momentum by creating a spin-off.
Ryan & Vicky holding Steven
The First Spin-off and the Lemay Years
In 1970, AW’s title was changed to Another World - Bay City to coincide with the premiere of new soap and spin-off Another World - Somerset. Ironically, AW (which had originally been intended to be the first daytime soap spin-off ever) begat the real first daytime spin-off. The names were established to connect the two series. Regular AW characters Missy Palmer Matthews (now widowed from Bill), her son Ricky Matthews (the biological child of the late Danny Fargo), and newlyweds Sam Lucas (Ada’s brother) and Lahoma Vane Lucas (former best-friend of both Rachel and Lee) moved to Somerset which was located 50 miles away from Bay City. Early in the show’s run, there was much crossing over between the two series. However, ratings for the new series were low and the ratings for the parent series were beginning to drop drastically. In an attempt to fix what was broken, Robert Cenedella (who was head writing both series at the time and who had created Somerset) was removed from AW so that he could focus all of his attention on the new series. The name of the parent series was changed back to Another World and the name of the spin-off was shortened to simply Somerset.
In an unusual twist, the normally cautious P&G hired a new head writer for AW with no significant soap writing experience - noted playwright, Harding Lemay, who had earlier written a few episodes for the unsuccessful syndicated supernatural soap, Strange Paradise). Lemay was soon joined by new executive producer, a former P&G executive, Paul Rauch. Because of Lemay’s inexperience with being a soap opera head writer, he was first paired with show creator Irna Phillips, acting as a consultant. However, Lemay and Phillips ideas on soap opera and the direction for the show clashed drastically. The partnership lasted only a matter of months before Lemay was off and running on his own.
Lemay turned AW into one of the most popular and critically regarded soaps of its day. He imbued characters with more depth than before, explored more motivations, and actively avoided traditional soap opera plot devices.
While the Matthews family continued to a central focus, Lemay also fleshed out the Frame family (basing them on his own large family) and introduced the Cory family. Lemay/Rauch brought AW more ratings successes than the show had ever before experienced. For much of the 1970s, AW consistently landed at #2 in the ratings, even making it up to #1 in a 3-way tie with As the World Turns and Days of our Lives for the 1973/1974 season and a tie for #1 with ATWT for the 1976/1966 season. Lemay was awarded with a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in 1975 (with another nomination in 1977) and the show won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 1976 (with other nominations in 1974 & 1977).
During this time period, AW strove to hire only the best talent in front of the camera and a long string of highly talented theater actors appeared on the show for a few years at a time. AW also helped launch the era of the soap opera actor as superstar. The names of the actors portraying the roles became just as well known as the characters they played. AW also helped usher in the era of behind-the-scenes news when Lemay/Rauch very publicly dismissed Jacqueline Courtney (Alice Matthews Frame), George Reinholt (Steve Frame), and Virginia Dwyer (Mary Matthews). The behind the scenes battles between Courtney/Reinholt and Rauch/Lemay were so public that both sides were quoted in magazine articles and Courtney/Reinholt even appeared in televised interviews about the firings (most notably on The Mike Douglas Show, a daytime talk-show).
Reinholt & Courtney on The Mike Douglas Show
AW also ushered in the era of the hour-long soap opera. While AW and spin-off Somerset could be considered, by some, as the first experiment with the 60-minute format, it was AW that made the first move to an hour in early 1975. In May 1974, AW had aired a special 60-minute episode to mark the show’s 10th anniversary that focused on the remarriage of Steve Frame & Alice Matthews. The show received huge ratings for the hour and Rauch/Lemay began to push P&G and NBC to let them expand permanently to an hour. P&G & NBC eventually agreed and, on January 6, 1975, AW aired its first regular 60-minute episode (with the announcer making that point to viewers with the words “And now, for the next 60 minutes…”, which would air as part of the opening until 1979) with another wedding – that of popular characters Lenore Curtin (Susan Sullivan) & Robert Delaney (Nicolas Coster). The focus of the series also began to shift from the Matthews family to the Cory family.
With Steve's presumed dead in 1975 when his helicopter supposedly crashed in Australia, Alice became a backburner character for the first time in 11 years, in tune with Lemay's wish that Jacqueline Courtney leave the show. She was replaced by actress Susan Harney. Over time, Alice became a registered nurse, and cared for her adopted daughter, Sally (first played by Cathy Greene). While Alice's story finally calmed down, her siblings' stories expanded for a little while. Her sister Pat Randolph experienced marital problems with her husband John. He ended up divorcing Pat and marrying the maniacal Olive (Jennifer Leak).
Mac & Rachel
Former villainess Rachel married Mac Cory on Valentine's Day 1975 and began to turn into a troubled heroine (coinciding with the new actress in the role Victoria Wyndham, a personal favorite of Lemay) as well as Mac & Rachel’s battles with Mac’s grown daughter Iris (played by Beverlee McKinsey, Iris would become the most popular villainess in AW history).
Originally, Mac and Rachel were not planned to have a romantic coupling. Harding Lemay noticed the chemistry between actors Douglass Watson and Victoria Wyndham, and wrote a slow-developing love story for them. Fearing backlash from viewers who may have found an older man-younger woman relationship tasteless, Lemay penned chance encounters for the two characters, which led to innocent yet intimate conversations. By the time the characters had their first kiss, the story had gone on for six months. Continuing on the slow path, Mac and Rachel's relationship blossomed until they were wed.
The drama produced by Mac and Rachel's marriage and Iris' insane jealousy fueled the storylines for most of the late 1970s. Iris, who was sheltered and wanted to be the only woman in her father's life, resented Rachel, who was her same age. Iris's schemes to drive Rachel away from Mac often backfired, and drove a wedge between father and daughter, instead of bringing them together. The presence of the Cory maid, Louise (Anne Meacham), proved for sometimes comedic relief in an otherwise dramatic storyline. Other times, Louise served as a stern confidante and a sometime voice of reason for Mac during fights with either Rachel or Iris.
Despite continued critical success and fan devotion, Lemay started to resort to the same classic soap opera plot-devices that he’d long worked to avoid. Also, AW’s trademark of talented theater performers began to work against it as new characters came and left the canvas after only a few years onscreen. 1978 saw AW's last time at #1 in the Nielsen ratings. AW began to fall and was starting to lose viewers to time-slot competitor General Hospital, which was beginning to experience a ratings resurgence (during the 1977/1978 season, GH jumped from #8 to #2 while AW fell from #1 to #8). Even so, Lemay/Rauch pushed to expand AW further. Despite its falling ratings, AW was still the highest rated soap opera on NBC and in March 1979, the series expanded to 90-minutes, making AW the first and only soap opera to ever regularly air for 90-minutes. To kick off the first 90 minute show on March 6, AW went with something big. Lemay (with the help of Tom King), penned a special effects-laden storyline involving the fiery death of John Randolph. The storyline, which was meant to be kept secret from the press, was finally leaked a month before the scenes aired, prompting Guiding Light to counteract with their own shocking episode to air in the same timeslot: the rape of Holly by her husband Roger.
Lemay, an accomplished playwright, enjoyed the length (with each episode being the equivalent of one stage play) and wrote nearly every script for the 90-minute AW himself, in addition to his head writing duties. However, the workload for the actors was enormous with hugely popular actors only being able to appear in 2-3 shows a week, with storylines sometimes not even over-lapping. Also, Lemay began to be criticized for stretching out scenes for much longer than they should have been with the bulk of each 90-minute episode being regarded as little more than filler. Before long, Lemay was burned out and left the series, handing the reigns over to his assistant, Tom King.
During the 90-minute era and the early days of Texas (see below), two million viewers defected, partly due to McKinsey's departure, partly due to the new time change, and partly due to new characters "taking over" the show (see below). Because of the audience erosion, the move to 90-minute installments is generally regarded as a failure.
In 1980, AW was finally cut back to 60 minutes to make room for a new spin-off titled Texas, which would focus on the immensely popular character of Iris Bancroft. Unfortunately, the loss of Iris cut sharply into AW’s ratings and it fell from its throne as NBC’s highest rated soap opera (a position it would never regain). In the end, McKinsey left Texas after a year and that show was cancelled in 1982.
In the final months of the 90 minute experiment, many characters debuted on AW and interacted with Iris, as she planned to move to Houston, Texas. In addition to the characters introduced solely to AW who did not catch on, AW viewers also saw characters for fleeting moments who were going to be moved to Texas in the long-term anyway. The viewers who defected from AW either followed McKinsey to Texas, or tuned out entirely due to confusion, as their favorite characters were being showcased less to make room for the short-term Texas storyline.
The most popular storylines of the time period and one of my personal favorites of AW stories was the Mac/Rachel/Janice/Mitch quadrangle.
Mac and Rachel had their own marital troubles, mostly regarding Rachel's decision to work full-time as a sculptress. Rachel did not want to pursue a career at first, thinking she could simply live off Mac's earnings as a publisher, but Mac encouraged her to find work in a field that interested her. When she found that she was very good at sculpting, it took up more and more of her time, even after giving birth to their daughter, Amanda, in 1978. After Rachel falsely accused Mac of infidelity (Mac was unfaithful years before, but this time he wasn't), Mac became involved with his secretary, Janice Frame (Christine Jones), and in 1979, Rachel asked for a divorce. To crack a scheme that Rachel suspected Janice was spearheading, Rachel slept with photographer Mitch Blake (William Gray Espy). The long-running Mac/Rachel/Janice/Mitch storyline carried on for a year until it culminated in a scene taped on location in St. Croix, in which Janice Frame's plan to kill Mac and acquire his estate was found out by Rachel. After a scuffle involving a knife, the two women fell into a swimming pool, and Rachel came out alive, having killed Janice.
Mac and Rachel were married again, but Rachel was saddened to find that she was pregnant — with Mitch's child. She was prepared to keep the secret until Mitch was "murdered." Rachel was forced to admit on the stand that the child (Matthew) in question was Mitch's. She was then sentenced to eight years in prison for Mitch's murder, and Mac started divorce proceedings, all the while believing that something wasn't right. Following his intuition, he tracked down Mitch, who was alive and didn't remember any events surrounding his supposed death.
In the end, Mac freed Rachel from prison and even dropped the divorce, but he was always jealous of Mitch; by this time he had returned to Bay City to be closer to his son. In the end, it could not be worked out and Mac and Rachel divorced a second time.
Steve Frame came back from Australia, complete with daughter Diana (played by Anne Rose Brooks) in 1981 (it was revealed that he did not die in 1975; he also received a new look, thanks to David Canary taking over the role). Steve and Rachel reminisced about their old love affair and even planned a wedding, after Rachel nearly lost Steve after a column pinned him to the ground inside a building slated for demolition. On their wedding day in February 1983, a car accident claimed Steve's life — for good. Rachel survived, and Mac told Rachel how much he loved her. A double wedding was planned in the summer of 1983, with Mac's son Sandy (Christopher Rich) and his fiancée Blaine Ewing (Laura Malone).
Throughout much of the 1980s, AW experienced a dizzying turnover in head writers and producers. Rauch, himself, who at 12 years was the longest running executive producer in AW history, was replaced as EP in 1983. Each head writing team seemed to try to refocus the series on new characters and families who came and went with each change in writers. Meanwhile, long-time popular characters were written out like Pat Randolph, Russ Matthews and Alice Matthews Frame and signaled the end of the Matthews family as the show’s focus. Even the once-popular Cory family fell onto the backburner by the mid-1980s. Despite some bright spots (including the introductions of future long-running characters Cass Winthrop and Felicia Gallant as well as the Love & McKinnon families), nothing seemed to work and, while many fans remained devoted and ratings remained, for the most part stable, the show couldn’t seem to climb out of its ratings doldrums. By the time head writer Donna Swajeski took over in 1988, AW was in what one magazine once dubbed “the longest state of transition in soap history”.
Swajeski (combined with new executive producer Michael Laibson who also took over in 1988) successfully refocused the series on the Cory, Frame, and Love/McKinnon families and brought the show renewed critical and fan success. Unfortunately, that success didn’t translate into a significant rise in ratings. Throughout the late 1980s/early 1990s, AW became somewhat of a “sleeper hit”. It received intense fan devotion combined with several Emmy nods and awards, including a nomination for Outstanding Writing in 1989, and the low-simmering popularity of the show continued for a few years past the departures of Swajeski in 1992 and Laibson in 1993.
The 1980's brought many hits and misses for AW's couples.
Felicia's storybook wedding to Mitch Blake (who came back to town), and the pairing of John Hudson with Sharlene Frame (at this time, the role was played by Anna Kathryn Holbrook), as well as, the triangle of Vicky Hudson trying, and succeeding, to steal Rachel's son Jamie Frame (at this time, the role was played by Laurence Lau) from Felicia's niece Lisa Grady (Joanna Going) interested and intrigued many viewers.
One aborted love story was the impending marriage between M.J. McKinnon (Sally Spencer) and Adam Cory (Ed Fry). After a videotape surfaced, showing M.J. in her prostitute days, having sex with a client, Adam dumped her, and she left town. M.J.'s old flame, and her former pimp, Chad Rollo (Richard Burgi) sent the tape to Adam in the hopes of a renewed romance with M.J.; it did not work.
Matt, Jenna & Dean
In the late 1980s, Mac and Rachel's children came back as young adults (Amanda recast in the form of Sandra Ferguson and Matt Crane in the role of Matthew). Amanda was married to Sam Fowler, a budding artist, and Matthew started a relationship with Sharlene Frame's daughter Josie Watts (at that time the role was played by Alexandra Wilson). While these characters proved to be fan favorites, the importance of the Cory family on the show was shaken when Douglass Watson unexpectedly died while on vacation in Maine in the spring of 1989. With a heavy heart, Rachel and her family buried Mac on the June 16, 1989 episode. With Watson's passing, the show was left without a unifying center, as for the next few years, the character of Rachel tried to adjust to life without Mac, and sometimes stumbled on her way. Although actress Victoria Wyndham tried to fill the void left by Watson's absence, she ended up passing the central role of the show to Jensen Buchanan, who, by the early 1990s, had taken over for Anne Heche as Vicky Hudson.
Mac's daughter Iris was devastated when she heard the news. She had returned to town late in 1988 (Australian Carmen Duncan had taken over the role) and hadn't formally reconciled with her father before his passing. During this shaky time, Rachel found that she needed to rely on her mother Ada more than ever.
By the early 1990s, the series (in ratings trouble since the late 1970s) was the recipient of numerous rumors of cancellation. Several times over the next decade, the cancellation of the series was all but a reality, but NBC would pull back at the last minute and reaffirm their dedication to the series. Unfortunately, after the departures of Swajeski & Laibson, AW was put back on the EP/HW merry-go-round and ratings began to slip further and further, never able to pull itself out of 9th place. Meanwhile, NBC began to push AW to be more like Days of our Lives (which aired immediately before AW), which had revitalized itself into somewhat of a far-fetched and far-out supernatural sci-fi soap opera. AW's attempts to delve into this area proved hugely unsuccessful with viewers, culminating with a rather widely criticized storyline involving a centuries-year-old man named Jordan Stark (David Andrew MacDonald), his manipulations of the residents of Bay City, and his pursuit of his true-love Amelie who was believed to have been reincarnated as Amanda Cory.
Highlights of the 90's included:
Felicia and Mitch got a divorce and Felicia found the love of her life in the form of Lucas Castigliano (John Aprea), who hunted her down in an attempt to find the daughter she gave up for adoption. He ended up finding his daughter and bringing her to town, but in true soap opera fashion, the reveal didn't come out until a very big gala.
Felicia and the woman in question, Lorna Devon (Alicia Coppola) had become enemies fast, especially after Lorna went behind the scenes at Felicia's talk show and switched live footage with a videotape of a pornographic video Felicia's adoptive daughter Jenna Norris (Alla Korot) had unwittingly made. Felicia and Lorna ended up repairing their relationship, especially after Lucas's death.
Jenna found true love with rocker Dean Frame (Ricky Paull Goldin); their happiness, and Dean's success as a rock star, was chronicled in the nighttime special Summer Desire. After Kathleen was pronounced dead in a plane crash, Cass grew close to Reginald Love's daughter Nicole (by now, she was played by Anne Howard). When Nicole Love was institutionalized for the murder of Jason Frame (Chris Robinson), Cass slowly became attracted to Frankie Frame (Alice Barrett), who came to town to investigate her uncle's murder. After many hindrances (including Kathleen arriving in town; she was really whisked off because she was in the Witness Protection Program), Cass and Frankie were finally wed. They honeymooned on the Orient Express.
Jake & Paulina
Jake McKinnon (Tom Eplin) came back to town for good in 1988, with his wife Marley Hudson. Their marriage broke down and the two were forced to get a divorce. After a reconciliation two years later, Jake asked Marley to marry him again. However, she had found out that he was in the midst of an affair with Paulina Cory (Cali Timmins, then Judi Evans). Marley turned down his proposal, and Jake raped her. Then, Jake was shot and near death, and Marley was forced to go on trial for his attempted murder. In the end, it was proven that Paulina shot him. Jake and Marley were officially over, but it was just beginning for Jake and Paulina. Over the next five years, Jake and Paulina were married and divorced twice. While they still had a good partnership, Paulina was fed up with Jake's cons, swindles, and lies, and tied the knot with Joe Carlino (Joseph Barbara).
Amanda saw two marriages crash and burn. The first, to Sam, didn't work out due to Amanda's affair with Evan Frame; the second, to Grant Harrison (Mark Pinter) due to Grant's infidelity with Lorna Devon (by this time Lorna was played by Robin Christopher and Amanda was played by Christine Tucci). Matthew had developed a May-December romance with Donna Love, who had been very grateful that Matt helped get her savings back. Matt and Donna became a very popular couple and were broken up due to then-executive producer Jill Farren Phelps's insistence that Matt be paired up with someone his own age, and Donna likewise.
Rachel found love with reformed villain Carl Hutchins (Charles Keating). Rachel's mother, Ada, died in the summer of 1993 and she needed support more than ever; she found it in the unlikeliest source. Mac's daughter Iris didn't like this news one bit, and was prepared to startle the wedding crowd by firing blanks at Carl. Evan Frame placed real bullets into Iris's gun, causing Iris to gravely wound Carl. She was convicted of the crime and sentenced to prison time, and she was never heard from again.
John & Sharlene
The Final Years & Cancellation
The show was renewed in 1993, but the ratings still weren't good. The odds weren't in the show's favor that it would be renewed again in 1999. Early in 1995, news at the top signaled a change in executive producer. Jill Farren Phelps, who had won Emmy awards for her work on Santa Barbara, was given the job. Veteran cast members were fired; both cast members over the age of 55 (Barbara Berjer and David Hedison) had their contracts terminated, in an attempt to move the show in a more youthful direction. Show matriarch Rachel Cory Hutchins was placed in a storyline involving an evil countess, Justine Duvalier, who was a former lover of Hedison's recently-axed character, Spencer Harrison. The Justine storyline was panned by the press as being worthy of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 level of ridicule. While in a scuffle, Grant Harrison killed his brother Ryan (played by fan favorite Paul Michael Valley), causing Justine to be shoved in front of a train. Justine did not die, and she caused more terror before finally being finished by Carl Hutchins and his letter opener. Actress Victoria Wyndham was quoted as liking the storyline at first, but after it was played out, she stated that she wished she had never appeared in it.
Budget cuts caused Phelps to institute a serial killer storyline, culminating in the gruesome murder of another fan favorite, Frankie (Alice Barrett). The story had actually called for Donna (Anna Stuart) to be offed, but massive fan protest caused Phelps to rewrite the episodes. Phelps decided to then kill off either Frankie or Paulina, and when a focus group responded lukewarm to Frankie but warmer to Paulina, Phelps gave the greenlight to axe Frankie. However, this caused another massive rampage of upset protest from loyal viewers of the show and fans of Frankie, and Phelps quickly asked then-head writer Margaret DePriest to re-write Frankie's exit so that the character would at least still live. DePriest, eager to satisfy her wish to see Cass return to his former rogue ways, vehemently refused and left Frankie's death as written.
Rachel gave birth to twins, even though she was well into her fifties. Although the believability of this story was debated by fans, it was a nod back to when her mother, Ada, gave birth to Rachel's sister Nancy late in life. Robert Kelker-Kelly was lured back to the show in a different role from Sam Fowler, in which Vicky falls for the man who was given Ryan's corneas in a transplant. The storyline became convoluted as the man's mystery identity was rewritten and his former wife came to town to reclaim him. Lila Roberts (Lisa Peluso) ended up bedding Matthew Cory and having his baby before falling in love with Cass. Cass and Lila were engaged, and got married in the final episode of the show; they were the last couple to wed in Bay City.
Although AW began to put itself back on track after the arrival of new EP Christopher Goutman in 1998 with quite a bit of increased buzz about the series and ratings seemed to be inching back upward, NBC finally decided to pull the plug after what seemed like a cancellation competition between AW and the lower-rated Sunset Beach (with both series ending up to be losers by the end of 1999) in favor of a new soap opera created by former Days head writer James E. Reilly, the man responsible for those far-fetched and far-out storylines NBC wanted AW to emulate.
Many reasons abounded for Another World's cancellation, one of the more notable events occurring in the summer of 1998; the then-San Francisco NBC affiliate KRON, one of the highest-rated in the nation, dropped the show off its schedule altogether, knocking it out of two million homes. Rumors abounded that Days of Our Lives might be the serial dropped, as renewal talks between NBC and Columbia Pictures Television were going poorly at the time. At the eleventh hour, Days of Our Lives was renewed, and it was the fate of Another World that was sealed. Its final episode aired the last full week in June.
Willis (Leon Russom) & Gwen (Dorothy Lyman)
When news of the cancellation broke, the networks and soap mags were deluged with mail in support of the show that blew everyone out of the water. It was the largest outcry over a soap opera cancellation in the history of the genre and fans across the country mounted campaigns to “save our show.” It was all to no avail.
AW ended on June 25, 1999, less than 2 months after the show’s 35th anniversary - making it the 2nd longest running soap opera to ever be cancelled – Search for Tomorrow beats it by several weeks. The show ended with an episode focused on the wedding of Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) to popular schemer Lila Roberts (Lisa Peluso). However, the continuing story of Another World would not end there.
In the final scenes, Rachel reminisced with Carl, and remarked, "All's well that ends well," and the show ended with a shot of Mac Cory's picture.
Life After The Cancellation
Despite the cancellation, there was some talk of the series switching networks like The Edge of Night and Search for Tomorrow had done. In fact, there was strong indication for a time that ABC would pick up AW in some modified form. Unfortunately, plans fell through and the switch never happened. However, AW did continue in some ways. Immediately after AW’s end, Irna Phillips orginal concept of having crossovers between ATWT and AW was realized when popular AW characters Jake McKinnon & Vicky Hudson McKinnon (played by Tom Eplin and Jensen Buchanan) were transferred over to ATWT and various AW characters like Cass Winthrop (who also popped up on fellow P&G soap The Guiding Light), Lila Roberts Winthrop, Donna Love, Marley Love, and Cindy Harrison would make scattered guest appearances on ATWT. Vicky was eventually killed off (Jensen Buchanan opted not to continue in the role, but would return for several ghostly appearances). Meanwhile, AW was kept alive in the pages of Soap Opera Digest as that magazine began to “re-run” classic storyline synopses of the show.
Jake McKinnon was eventually killed off ATWT in 2002, seemingly marking a final end of the series.
The show was commemorated in print twice in 1999. Another World, the 35th Anniversary Celebration, by Julie Poll, was a coffee-table style book chronicling the show's history on- and off-screen. Another World was the last of all the long-running soap opera programs of the time to be preserved in this way. The other book was decidedly different; The Ultimate Another World Trivia Book, by Gerard J. Waggett, listed several juicy tidbits about the show's stars and what happened behind-the-scenes. Many fans have treated Poll's book as they would a high school yearbook, getting Another World performers to sign their autographs in the book along with messages of appreciation or thanks for the fans' continued support in watching the program.
The show got to live again in the homes of many fans from July 2003 to April 2007. The cable soap network SoapNet began airing re-runs of AW, picking up with episodes from 1987 and introducing an entire new generation of viewers to the series.
In addition, both ATWT and GL continue to mention Bay City (the locale of AW) from time to time, giving many fans the hope and belief that, while no longer on the air, the continuing story might actually be continuing somewhere out there off-screen.
The Another World Reunion aired on the SoapNet channel on October 24, 2003. Hosted by Linda Dano, the special program reunited fan favorites such as Stephen Schnetzer, Sandra Ferguson, John Aprea, Alicia Coppola, Kale Browne, and Ellen Wheeler. On the special, Dano interviewed the members of the assembled cast, one by one, interspersed with classic Another World clips. Before and after commercial breaks, Another World quiz questions were posed to the audience at home, and audience members told the viewers at home their favorite Another World moments, supplemented with clips from the actual episodes (for example, one viewer said her favorite Another World moment was from 1980, in which Rachel, on the stand for Mitch's murder, was forced to tell Mac that Matthew was not his child. Another viewer cited Ryan marrying Vicky while in Heaven). This special was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Special in 2004.
In 2006, Procter & Gamble began making several of its soap operas available, a few episodes at a time, through America Online's AOL Video service, downloadable free of charge. Reruns of older Another World episodes began from the summer of 1980.
The 1999 Cast
For most of a 15-year period between 1965 and 1980, Another World was NBC's highest-rated soap. During that time, NBC ran a 90-minute soap block consisting of Days of Our Lives, The Doctors and AW, all of which enjoyed great ratings and critical success before declining at the end of the decade. During the 1980s, NBC dropped The Doctors and added Santa Barbara, which somewhat improved the network's fortunes for a time, before declining again.
Christine Baranski, Theodore Bikel, Charles Durning, Faith Ford, Morgan Freeman, Joanna Going, Kelsey Grammer, Jackee Harry, Anne Heche, Audra Lindley, Ray Liotta, Lindsey Lohan, Nancy Marchand, Rue McClanahan, Julian McMahon, Luke Perry, Brad Pitt, Ving Rhames, Kim Rhodes, Eric Roberts, Howard E. Rollins Jr., Kyra Sedgwick, Ted Shackelford, Susan Sullivan, Dolph Sweet, and Janine Turner
Famous Guest Stars
Dick Cavett, Jose Ferrer, Crystal Gayle, Donna Hanover, Liberace, Joan Rivers, Al Roker, Anne Sheridan, and Betty White
Another World has won fifteen Daytime Emmy Awards.
1975: Harding Lemay, Outstanding Writing
1976: Outstanding Drama Series
1978: Laurie Heineman, Outstanding Actress (she was the first actress to play Sharlene Frame)
1979: Irene Dailey, Outstanding Actress (Liz Matthews)
1980: Douglass Watson, Outstanding Actor (Mackenzie Cory)
1981: Douglass Watson, Outstanding Actor (Mackenzie Cory)
1986: Ellen Wheeler, Outstanding Ingenue (Marley/Vicky Love)
1989: Margarita Delgado and Charles Schoonmaker, Outstanding Costume Design
1990: Margarita Delgado and Charles Schoonmaker, Outstanding Costume Design
1990: Angel De Angelis, Outstanding Hairstyling (head hairstylist)
1991: Anne Heche, Outstanding Younger Actress (Marley/Vicky Hudson)
1992: Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team
1993: Linda Dano, Outstanding Actress (Felicia Gallant)
1996: Charles Keating, Outstanding Lead Actor (Carl Hutchins)
1996: Anna Kathryn Holbrook, Outstanding Supporting Actress (Sharlene Frame)
* Another World is the only daytime soap opera to have a theme song to make the Billboard charts. That song was "Take Me Away to Another World" by Gary Morris & Crystal Gayle.
* It was while on Another World that William Prince and Augusta Dabney married. The two had worked together previously but it was during their stint on Another World that the couple married. They married in May 1965, then went on a 3 month tour for of Japan for the state department. During that stint they were both released from Another World.
Now off the air for over 8 years, AW still maintains a healthy and loyal following of devoted fans that still mourn their favorite series. Meanwhile, new viewers were picking up the habit every day via re-runs on SoapNet, until SoapNet angered fans by cancelling AW a second time in favor of teen-oriented primetime soaps like The O.C. and One Tree Hill. Once again there was an outcry, but at this point SoapNet seems to be ignoring the outcry and choosing to stand by their decision.
When I try to think of what made Another World so special to me and to many fans I think it was the characters. Some shows have storylines or couples that dominate the thoughts when you think about the show, but for me as a fan of AW the many characters are the first things that come to mind. Characters such as Rachel, her mother Ada, Iris, Mac, Wallingford, the flamboyant Felicia, the cad and womanizing Cass, the comical maid Vivian, the hunk Steve, the long suffering Alice and so many others made AW so special and so many of them didn't feel like characters in a TV show but like the fans grandmothers, brothers, sisters, brothers, best friends and even enemies.
- Steve Frame, August 9, 2007
Sources: TV.com; Wikipedia; SoapOperaHistory.com; The Another World Home Page; Soap Opera Digest (various issues); The Soap Opera Encyclopedia; Daytime TV Magazine (various issues); Daytime TV Super Special
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