Saturday, January 23, 2010

James Mitchell on WHERE THE HEART IS

WHERE THE HEART IS debuted in September 1969 and ran through March 1973. Lou Scofield and Margaret DePriest created the series and before the end of its run it was being head written by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer. Set in the fictional town of Northcross, Connecticut, WHERE THE HEART IS focused on the sexual and psychological intrigues of the dysfunctional Hathaway family. James Mitchell played one of the three Hathaway children, Julian, who was professor of literature at the local university. Diana van der Vlis and Louise Shaffer played his sisters when the show debuted.

When the show first began, Julian had just married Mary, his son's former girlfriend. Mary was played by Diana Walker.

WHERE THE HEART IS and LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING went off the air the same day on March 23, 1973. WHERE THE HEART IS sped up stories to finish them off.

Julian revealed a secret to Mary: "Liz didn't have that abortion! The baby she's having is -- mine!"

Mary: "The baby is -- yours!"

The doorbell rings. Enter Liz Rainey, villainess extraordinary. Liz says brightly, "How's everything?"

Mary says: "Oh everything's just fine, considering that I've just found out you're carry Julian's child!"

Mary goes on to denounce Liz for (A) sleeping with Julian (B) marrying Julian's son Michael under false pretenses (C) craftily making Mary think Julian was actually sleeping with his blameless colleague at the university, a virginal Robert Browning specialist named Loretta and (D) worming her way into Mary's good graces. Mary winds up her true bill with: "I suppose you told Julian you got pregnant by accident!"

Liz says, "Of course it wasn't by accident!"

Julian is rocked by this. Liz has rocked him and rocked him and rocked him but only now in this elevnth hour does he show fight.

Julian says Liz's blackmailing days are over. He is going to spill the beans, all the beans, to Michael. "I suggest you start packing," says Julian to Liz. She goes rushing off to save her marriage. "I've got some packing of my own to do," says Mary, who has decided to end hers. She rushes upstairs for a suitcase.

WHERE THE HEART IS was replaced by a brand new soap, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, in CBS daytime lineup.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Rob Wargo for the wonderful photos.


  1. Unlike a majority of you, I am old enough to remember 'Where the Heart Is,' and I fondly remember James Mitchell as Professor Hathaway. He was the very essence of a college professor.
    May he rest in peace. A remarkable man. A remarkable career.

  2. What wonderful photos. Does anyone on the planet have clips of WHERE THE HEART IS? I would love to see them.

  3. I have seen one or two on some web sites, but, unfortunately, that's about it.
    But, when you think about it, out of that show, we got not only James Mitchell, but also Louise Schaffer, Joseph Mascolo and Delphi Harrington among others.
    To me, the show was the like 'The Little Engine That Could.' It was only 25 minutes in length (for 5 minutes for CBS midday news). I really don't think CBS put that much faith in the show. It was cancelled in March of 1973, along with 'Love is A Many Splendored Thing,' as we all know, the show's timeslot was taken over by Y&R.

  4. Hello Everyone who may have been a fan of James Mitchell's Palmer Cortlandt on All My Children, well he passed away Friday, Jan. 22, age 89. His absence from All My Children - although I believe he was still on contract (opening credits)- was noticeable. His whereabouts according to Opal on the show about two weeks ago, was that Palmer was in Switzerland I believe along w/Petey. At least we got to see him for the last time on the 40th Anniversary Special. God Speed Palmer.

  5. Does anyone recall who produced "Where The Heart Is"? Was it a CBS-owned show or some other production company? (My gut is telling me CBS produced it.) Did Y&R take the timeslot for WTHI or LIAMST? Since Y&R was only 30 minutes when it began, it didn't replace both shows. I wonder what CBS put on in its' place? Lastly, Old and Curious mentioned that WTHI was a 25-minute show due to CBS midday news (ah, newsbreaks--for those good ol' days when they didn't have to have hours upon hours of news on all day long!) would that have meant Love of Life was moved out of its' midday slot? Wasn't LoL on at 11:30AM for 25 minutes to allow for the midday CBS newsbreak? Somewhere, someone must have a spreadsheet of the CBS schedule year-by-year?

    Rest in peace, Mr. Mitchell. I did not know your work, but you were a respected actor in the daytime drama field.

  6. I will try and answer some of your questions. Apparently, according to what I have read, in research, back in those days, they would re-use videotape, thereby erasing over previously done episodes. Only a handful of tapes are available for viewing at the Paley Center (formerly known as the Museum of Broadcasting).
    WTHI was owned by CBS.
    In Setpember of 1972, P&G wanted a 'block' of CBS, but did not want to compete with their NBC shows, AW and Somerset. Therefore, the 1:30 - 3:00 line-up consisted of ATWT, GL and Edge. LIAMST was moved from 2pm - 3pm in September 1972.
    Both WTHI and LIAMST were cancelled on March 23, 1973. From what I understand, both shows were given only a few weeks' notice.
    Y&R replaced WTHI, and to the best of my knowledge, 'The Price is Right' replaced LIAMST in the 3pm timeslot, because, I remember TEON nnouncer saying 'stay tuned for The Price is Right over most of these CBS stations.'
    The following year, in February 1974, The Secret Storm was cancelled. I believe it had the 4pm timeslot.
    As for LOL. It was at 11:30am, and it was abbreviated to 25 minutes for the 11:55am CBS Midday News with Douglas Edwards.
    That's what I remember.

  7. The late 1973 CBS daytime schedule was as follows:
    (this would be 3 - 6 months after WTHI and LIAMST were cancelled and Y&R started.)
    11:30 Love of Life
    11:55am CBS Midday News
    12:00 Noon Y&R
    12:30pm Search for Tomorrow
    1:00pm Local affiliates
    1:30pm ATWT
    2:00pm GL
    2:30pm EON
    3:00pm The Price is Right
    3:30pm Match Game '73
    (apparently, Match Game's premiere as delayed, according to what I read because of the televised Watergate hearings)
    4:00pm The Secret Storm
    and then, in Feb. 1974, when SS was cancelled, I believe the game show Tattletales took its place.
    I'm old, but I still have a memory.

  8. According to Robert Reid of Robert Reid Live on, he is good friends with Louise Shaffer, & he also learned that 3 videotaped episodes of WTHI are stored in the film/video archives at UCLA. This is the show where I first saw Mr. Mitchell as Professor Hathaway with Diana Van Der Vlis & Louise Shaffer as his sisters Kate & Allison, respectively. They both would appear a few years later on Ryan's Hope as Dr. Nell Beaulac/Dr. Sherry Rowan & Rae Woodard, respectively. Thanks For This Wonderful Information, Roger. These years take me back to my high school soap-viewing days! :)

  9. Someone mentioned having seen a couple of episodes of WTHI on a web site. Can you tell me the address or name of the web site? I'd love to see an episode. It has fond memories for me. I used to watch it in the early seventies while expecting my son. Any info would be appreciated.

  10. Mary, I have not see any clips of WTHI on YouTube ever. I have heard there are some that exist, like at the UCLA TV archives and would love to see them myself.