Irna Phillips created AS THE WORLD TURNS in 1955 and a pilot was shot in November of that year. AS THE WORLD TURNS debuted on April 2, 1956. In Part 1 of the original story bible for the soap, called AS THE EARTH TURNS at that point, some background details on the concept of the show and the locale were provided. In Part 2, the character of Christopher Hughes was described in detail. In Part 3, we found out more about Chris, his family and career. In Part 4 below, the original vision for the character of Nancy Hughes is explained.
NANCY HUGHES was the only child of parents of moderate means. Now at thirty-nine she can look back at the years between and sigh contentedly at the warmth she and Chris have created together. No, it wasn't easy along the way, and perhaps that's what makes it more pleasant to enjoy now. She has Chris, she has the children, they have their health, they have a nice home...if only...Yes, if only. Susan would have been fifteen next week. Try as she will, for the family's sake, Nancy can't adjust herself to the fact that Susan is no longer here...and as she lies in bed early in the morning now, she attempts to recapture the wonderful early morning sounds of little children, babies.
Nancy never needed an alarm clock to awaken her...it seems there had always been children, only now the sounds have changed. Yes, her family is growing up.
Kenny has reached the point in his young life of insisting on being called Ken, but he still bounces into the bedroom as soon as he's awake with a "Hi, Mom" and a "Hi, Dad." Somewhere in the distance there's the sound of a phonograph, with the same record over and over and over again - that's Penny getting up to music. Then there's the sound of a tuneless whistle - that's Kit finishing up some homework he hadn't done last night because of a not so old argument that had gone on and on.
Yes, it's morning, and time to start another day. Another day to serve your loved ones, to help them, to counsel, to bind up the wounds...to watch them all rush off to start their day outside, while you stay at home and ready everything for their return. And so you keep busy, Nancy, but there's so much time to think and to remember -- almost too much time.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The document sometimes refers to the characters we would later know as Don and Bob as Kenny and Kit. Other times they are called Don and Bob. The next part will focus on the character of Edith Hughes, who would be portrayed by the late, great Ruth Warrick.