Saturday, January 3, 2009

FLASHBACK: Entering Wedge 1950

Entering Wedge

TIME Magazine
December 11, 1950

For a while it looked as if TV might escape the daily soap opera. Du Mont, after five sponsorless months, dropped A WOMAN TO REMEMBER. In a one-month sustaining run, NBC was unable to sell THESE ARE MY CHILDREN. But this week, with Procter & Gamble's THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS (weekdays 2:30 p.m., CBS-TV), commercial daytime soap opera put a determined toe in the television door.

The first episode plunged right into the teary wedding morning of Chris and Connie Thayer (Jimmy Lydon and Olive Stacey) and THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS intends to sob-and-smile its way through in-law troubles, childbirth, alienated affections and innumerable reconciliations. Recalling the long runs of some of radio's continued dramas ("One Man's Family," "Life Can Be Beautiful"), Adman Walter Craig has foresightedly signed his leading characters to seven-year contracts. But it's hard to stop a soap opera, once it really gets going. Says Craig: "Suppose one of the mothers-in-law should drop out—we'll just say she was killed in a plane accident. Then we'll write a new character in and, perhaps, have her become intrigued with the widower."

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