Networks Play Follow Characters Hoping To Intrigue Audiences
December 15, 1977
The boys and girls over at NBC are an awfully wily bunch.
As we reported two weeks ago, the characters of Amy and Austin Cushing arrived on the network's top-rated soaper, ANOTHER WORLD, in advance of last week's FOR RICHER, FOR POORER debut. If AW's audience was sufficiently intrigued by the Cushing characters, it was hoped that the audience would follow their exploits from AW's Bay City to FR, FP's Point Claire.
To further insure a sizeable audience crossover from one show to the other, most popular character, AW's most popular character, Rachel Cory, traveled with Amy and Austin to the new show. Rachel estanged husband, Mac, followed shortly after. And if viewers want to pursue the story trail of an anticipated reconcilliation between Mac and Rachel, they will have to do likewise. That's sneaky but it's also brilliant programming - hopefully.
A few new FR, FP actors have taken over roles played by others in the show's initial stanza which was known as LOVERS AND FRIENDS last winter. Darlene Parks took over hte role of heroine Megan from L&F's Patricia Estrin, who's now on AW as Joan Barnard. Hero Rhett Saxton has had a name change to Bill and a change of actors from David Ramsey to Tom Happer. Cynthia Bostick inherited the role of conniving Connie from Susan Foster, while Albert Stratton has assumeed John Heffernan's role of Lester Saxton. Nancy Marchand is costarring in night-time's LOU GRANT series, so the role of Edith Cushing is now played by Laurinda Barrett. Original L&F players who are continuing in FR, FP include Rod Arrants (Austin), Richard Backus (Jason), Christine Jones (Amy), Stephen Joyce (George) and Floral Plumb (Eleanor).
Another asset to FR, FP is Patricia Barry as Viola Brewster. Ms. Barry was one of the most popular actresses on daytime TV when she portrayed Addie Williams on DAYS OF OUR LIVES three years ago. So immense was her fan following that the writers were forced to give her character a last-minute remission from a supposedly incurable illness after the studio was flooded by irate callers. Addie was married to Doug, who sired Addie's menopause baby, Hope. Addie's reprieve was short-lived, however. The writers wrought their revenge by having poor Addie run down in the middle of a street by a Mack truck. Doug later married his step-daughter, Julie, thereby keeping it all in the family.
Ms. Barry's own life reads like a soap opera. Her ancesters were Iowa farmers and her father became a prominent surgeon in Davenport. By the time she met her husband, Philip Barry, Jr., she had garnered Broadway accolades. Philip, Sr., of course, aws the renowned playwright, best-known for "The Philadelphia Story." In his youth, Philip, Jr. romped around the world with his socialite parents whose charmed circle of friends include F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Hemingways.
Patricia assumed the mantle of her movie producer husband's jet-and-yacht-set ancestry. Although she's now in New York, working out of FR, FP's Brooklyn studio, she still maintains the family's columned, many servanted, multi-car garaged Beverly Hills mansion.
In addition to her aristocratic lifestyle, Patricia has done charity chores for the John Tracy Clinic for deaf children.