REMEMBERING "THE YOUNG MARRIEDS" – 45 YEARS LATER
By Rob Wargo
Forty-five years ago – March 25, 1966, to be exact – ABC aired the 380th and final episode of THE YOUNG MARRIEDS, a companion series of sorts to GENERAL HOSPITAL, launched approximately 18 months prior to TYM’s debut on October 5, 1964. The series was produced in Los Angeles by Selmur Productions, the same in-house production company responsible for producing GENERAL HOSPITAL, and purportedly was set in the same town as GH, although there was no interaction between the characters in the respective series. TYM was created by James Elward and written by him and Frances Rickett. During its 18 months on the air, TYM faced stiff competition from CBS’ THE EDGE OF NIGHT and NBC’s YOU DON'T SAY. Although the show ranked tenth out of seventeen soaps for the 1965-1966 season, ABC still decided to cancel the series. TYM had replaced QUEEN FOR A DAY on the ABC Daytime schedule, and was replaced by the struggling soap THE NURSES in the lineup. THE NURSES would limp along for another year before being canceled, having not improved on TYM’s ratings in the timeslot.
The show marked the return to daytime television of Peggy McCay, who had played Vanessa Dale on LOVE OF LIFE from 1951 to 1955. She played Susan Garrett, one half of four couples whose marital troubles served as the centerpiece for the drama. Paul Picerni played her husband Dan Garrett, while Susan Brown and Michael Mikler (pictured here on the cover of TV Week) played Ann and Walter Reynolds; Pat Rossen and Norma Connelly played Jerry and Lena Karr; and Charles Grodin and Floy Dean played Matt and Liz Stevens. Others in the cast included Irene Tedrow, Ted Knight, Robert Hogan, Brenda Benet and Susan Seaforth (Hayes). Susan Hayes played model Carol West on the series and recalled in her memoir “Like Sands Through the Hourglass,” that in the final scene of the final episode there was a cliffhanger concerning the Walter Reynolds character, with Carol at Walter’s front door screaming “Walter! Walter! Noooooo!” Offstage bang-thud. Fade to very black.
McCay, Brown and Connelly all later played prominent roles on GH, while Hayes and Benet (who also were roommates for a time in real life) also appeared on “Days,” as did McCay and Floy Dean.
Seven episodes of the series exist at the UCLA Film and Television Archives, including the episodes of 10/5/64, 10/6/64, 10/14/64, 9/15/65, 1/11/66, 3/17/66 and one undated episode. The show’s sultry theme music and opening and closing credits can be viewed below.