'Dark Shadows' Premiered 50 Years Ago Today on ABC

The cast of Dark Shadows in 1967: David Henesy, Kathryn Leigh Scott,
Sharon Smyth, Anthony George, Robert Gerringer, Nancy Barrett,
Dennis Patrick, Alexandra Moltke, John Karlen, Jonathan Frid,
Grayson Hall, Clarice Blackburn, Dana Elcar, Louis Edmonds,
and Joan Bennett. Photo Credit: ABC
Gothic afternoon soap opera Dark Shadows premiered on ABC 50 years ago today. On June 27, 1966, the series aired at 4 p.m. ET, following medical dramas General Hospital and The Nurses in the network's lineup.

A year earlier, creator Dan Curtis told his wife that he had a dream about a mysterious young woman who was on a train. Curtis pitched the idea as a TV show to ABC, who greenlit production.  Art Wallace was hired to create a story from Curtis' dream sequence. Wallace wrote the story bible, Shadows on the Wall, the proposed title for the show that was later changed to Dark Shadows.

From the first notes of its distinctly haunting musical theme, to the innovative storylines that transformed daytime television, to its iconic cast of characters, Dark Shadows transported audiences to the mysterious town of Collinsport, Maine, and they never looked back.

Airing from 1966-1971, Dark Shadows became a pop culture phenomenon with the vulnerable vampire Barnabas Collins, a role made famous by Jonathan Frid.

During its initial run, the series spawned two feature-length motion pictures, House Of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night Of Dark Shadows (1971), as well as thirty-two tie-in novels, comic books, records, Viewmasters, games, models, and trading cards.

Decades Network will be featuring Dark Shadows episodes throughout the day on Monday, including the debut of vampire Barnabas Collins. Decades remembers the premiere of this cult favorite with the 12 episodes that marked the beginning of the Barnabas storyline, one that propelled the daytime series to new heights. The episodes will be presented in groups of three at 9 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. ET and 3 a.m. ET.

Daytime Ratings: 'General Hospital' Up, 'Days of our Lives' and 'The Young and the Restless' Hit New Low

The Live + Same Day daytime ratings are in for June 13-17, 2016. According to Nielsen, General Hospital was up 176,000 viewers versus the previous week, while Days of our Lives hit a new all-time low with only 2,074,000 people watching. Early week preemptions contributed to a big dip for The Young and the Restless.

Below is a breakdown of the daytime soap opera Nielsen ratings by category:

Total Viewers (versus previous week/versus same week last year)
1. The Young and the Restless 4,280,000 (-412,000/-602,000)
2. The Bold and the Beautiful 3,634,000 (-23,000/-233,000)
3. General Hospital 2,698,000 (+176,000/-30,000)
4. Days of our Lives 2,074,000 (-53,000/-229,000)*

* New low

Pop TV 'The Young and the Restless' Ratings (June 13-17, 2016)

Gina Tognoni plays Phyllis Abbott on Y&R.
The Nielsen ratings are in for Pop TV for the week of June 13-17, 2016. Same-day repeats of CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless averaged 469,000 viewers (based on four days of available data). Below is a day-by-day breakdown of Y&R ratings.

DateTotal ViewersAdults 18-49 RatingRank Among Cable Programs
Monday, June 13544,0000.10114th
Tuesday, June 14526,0000.09127th
Wednesday, June 15---
Thursday, June 16486,000
Friday, June 17320,0000.05144th

The Bold and the Beautiful did not crack the Top 150 during the week.

Today in Soap Opera History (June 27)

1966: Dark Shadows premiered on ABC.
1984: Guiding Light's Bert stood after losing her leg.
1995: One Life to Live's "Tommy" was enraged.
2003: Passions paid homage to the musical Chicago.
"If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree."
― Michael Crichton

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1952: ABC Radio aired the final episode of Lone Journey after a 12 year run on multiple networks with multiple sponsors.

1955: On The Brighter Day, Lydia Hamilton (Murial Williams) struggled with her conscience after taking a silver clock.

1963: On Ben Jerrod, Agnes (Jeanne Baird) lost her temper for the second time.

Thanks to Jeff for sending in the item above.

1966: Dark Shadows premiered on ABC. The show opened with Victoria Winters on her way to Collinsport and the following voice over:

"My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning - a journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me, and link my past with my future. A journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place - to the edge of the sea high atop Widow's Hill - a house called Collinwood. A world I've never known, with people I've never met. People who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, and who will soon fillthe days and nights of my tomorrows."

Six months into the Dan Curtis-created show's five year run, ghosts were introduced and then other supernatural elements which helped the afternoon soap opera become a favorite among younger viewers.

'General Hospital' Spoilers (June 27-July 1, 2016)

"Kill her, kill her now," Carlos advises Julian.
Check out the day-to-day spoilers and a sneak peek video below to find out what's happening on ABC soap opera General Hospital during the week of June 27-July 1, 2016.


Monday, June 27
Ava regrets her actions; Julian remembers what he must do; Finn delivers a troubling diagnosis.

'The Young and the Restless' Spoilers (June 27-July 1, 2016)

"Victoria is on the verge of having something real again, and you can't
handle it," Travis tells Billy.
Check out the day-to-day spoilers and a sneak peek video below to find out what's happening on CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless during the week of June 27-July 1, 2016.


Monday, June 27
Victor and Nick revisit their past; Mariah goes to extremes to protect Sharon, who is distracted by visions of Sage; Adam is convinced Victor set him up; Natalie tries to convince Kevin she is not working for Victor; Natalie squares off with Mariah; Kevin visits Victor; Michael asks Victor to help Adam.