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, the original vision for the character of Nancy Hughes was explained. In Part 5, the character description for Edith Hughes, who would be played by Ruth Warrick, was revealed. In Part 6, the characters of Fred (Grandpa) Hughes Bobby Hughes were described. In Part 7 below, Chris and Nancy's other children, Penny and Don, are fleshed out.
PENNY HUGHES, a copper-haired young girl of sixteen, upstairs in her room picks up a bracelet, not her own, puts it on her wrist, then takes it off and puts it away. She's done that many times in the past few weeks. No, she doesn't dare wear the bracelet because of her mother. You see, the bracelet had belonged to her sister Susan, who only a little over six months ago dove into the pool at high school, struck her head, and died of a concussion.
Penny, when she permits herself to think of her sister, has a deep sense of guilt - and resentment too. It seemed to Penny that her fourteen year-old sister has always been the center of the family's attention. Friends said she was a pocket edition of Nancy Hughes. There was no reason why Penny should have been jealous, not really; it was just that Susan always seemed to be Mom's favorite, and Mom never knew, nor does she know today, the reason for her sixteen-year-old daughter's antagonism - Penny on the threshold of maturity, Penny loving and hating her mother, Penny with the problems not only in the home but in her relationship with the world outside of the home.
There are two people to whom she's devoted, really devoted, her aunt Edith and her brother Kit, or Christopher Junior. There's a real bond between these two young people, one that might soon be broken.
DON, in his senior year at high school, has his sights on the future, but what to do about that future? An honor student, the young man, who undoubtedly might be eligible for a scholarship in several universities, reads the headlines in the evening paper night after night with but one thought in his mind: "I'm going to have to get this army business over with before I can think of my future." I guess you might say that Kit is another Christopher Hughes Senior.
These, then, comprise the family unit - the people that will provide the main storyline of..."AS THE EARTH TURNS".
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the next part the first six months of projected storylines start to be revealed.