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, we saw the character description for Edith Hughes, who would be played by Ruth Warrick. In Part 6, the characters of Fred (Grandpa) Hughes Bobby Hughes were described. In Part 7, Chris and Nancy's other children, Penny and Don, were fleshed out. In Part 8 below, the first six months of projected story starts to be revealed.
SIX MONTHS PROJECTED STORYLINE
Needless to say, the past very often has a bearing not only on the present, but on the future. The problems that present themselves to the Hughes family today are really the result of the past, conscious and unconscious, actions of these people.
Before too long a decision will have to be reached regarding Fred Hughes. Chris knows that it's going to be difficult to convince his father that he can no longer pour money into land which yields little or no harvest.
How do a son and daughter-in-law make room for a man who's lived all of his sixty odd years on a farm? Fred will not be a problem to Chris and his family. From the time he leaves the farm his one objective is to find something to do, something to occupy his time, to find some way in which he can be useful. Like all of us, he wants to be needed, he wants to be independent. It won't be easy for Fred to find something to do. His efforts will indeed be identifiable with those of all elderly people today. Fred will find a job of sorts. He won't know for sometime that it was his son who was instrumental in placing him possibly in the local postoffice. Whether or not Fred, who has spent a lifetime outdoors, can adjust to "General Delivery" is something the man will have to find out for himself. In the long run we all have to find out whatever there is to find out for ourselves.
It is strange that Chris, who is so able in the art of persuasion, has not been able to convince himself that he should accept an offer from another law firm. To all intents and purposes Chris Hughes is successful. A man in the fifteen to eighteen thousand dollars a year bracket is more than moderately successful; but Chris can't measure success by dollars and cents. "Where am I going at age re" is a question that is constantly in the attorney's mind - "where am I going? Can I afford to make this change? Not as much money but a real chance."
Do you take chances at 43? Chris is no different from any of us. There are obligations to be met, a family dependent upon you, strings, invisible, that tie a man down. Chris will discuss the offer with his wife. She is as keenly aware as is he that altho her husband's salary should be more than adequate, the most they've been able to do is pay their insurance premiums and save a little here and a little there.
Don will be graduated from high school before too long, there's his college education; Penny, a junior in high school, her future must be considered; and Bobby even tho he's only eleven years old...well, it takes all of a week's pay check to meet the family expenses.
It will be Nancy who will urge her husband to leave the firm of Lowell, Barnes and Lowell and accept the position that has been offered him. She will point out that they've had a fairly high standard of living. She knows where corners can be cut. She wants Chris to have a chance to do the kind of legal work he's more capable of doing. Can she convince her husband there is only one path to follow? Why not. Why not? To go back to Chris' past, he was the one who had been given all the advantages; he married when he should have given his sister and brother at least some of the advantages which his parents had given him. No, Chris will not cut corners, he will not deprive his family of anything. At this time he can't possibly know that his name will someday become a household word in millions of homes.
Both Chris and Nancy are deeply disturbed about their elder son, Don. As the story opens he has practically made up his mind to enlist in the Armed Forces. If he were just an average boy - and for all of his seventeen years he's still a boy - it is more than likely that his parents would not interfere; but Don is above average, and his father and mother feel that he should take advantage of an education, get his schooling over and done with before he enters the Service. Like hundreds of thousands of boys his age today, he's not sure that he wants an education, he's not sure of anything...except a girl.
Perhaps you've asked yourself this question more than once; Why does a young man so often interest himself in an older girl? This happens to be true with Don. Don has alienated himself from his own age group because of Janice Turner who will in a few days celebrate her twentieth birthday. Janice has had a high school education, a year of business college, and now has a fairly good position in town. She has convinced herself that she's truly in love with Don Hughes.
No, Nancy doesn't resent Janice Turner; she's a very fine girl, but Don - Kit is only an adolescent, he can't possibly know his own mind or his own heart at this time. And so there's the problem of separating these two young people without leaving too much scar tissue. The story of young love is always poignant.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Stay tuned for more of the first six months of project storylines.