Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Commemorating 60 Years of Soap Operas on CBS-TV

Commemorating 60 Years of Soap Operas on CBS-TV
By Rob Wargo

On December 4, 1950, CBS-TV aired its very first daytime soap opera – THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS – sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The series starred James Lydon as “Chris Thayer,” who married “Connie Martin” (played originally by Olive Stacey and later by Anne Sargent) during the first week of the series, and thereafter moved his new bride into a decrepit three-story Victorian mansion. The couple’s problems with their living quarters, their middle in-laws, including Connie’s sister Margy, and the typical problems any newlyweds face gave credence to the show’s title, a reference to the old staying that the “first 100 years of marriage are the hardest.”

The series was produced on a budget of $8,650 per week and was directed by Gloria Monty, who subsequently directed THE SECRET STORM and produced GENERAL HOSPITAL.

Created and written by prolific radio soap writer Jean Holloway, the series aired lasted only until June 27, 1952, and is credited with being the first to use the Teleprompter. Although the show ranked among the top ten daytime programs in the spring of 1952, P&G officials reportedly felt that it was not drawing quite the audience the company desired, and replaced it with the television version of the long-running radio serial THE GUIDING LIGHT.

Others in the case were Don Robin and Valerie Cossart as Mr. and Mrs. Thayer; Robert Armstrong and Nana Bryant as Mr. and Mrs. Martin, and Nancy Malone (who later played “Robin” on THE GUIDING LIGHT) as Margy Martin.

No comments:

Post a Comment