Sunday, January 6, 2013

Today in Soap Opera History (January 6)

On this date in...

1972: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Liz phoned Jim to say she was on her way back to Monticello with Orin.

1975: ANOTHER WORLD expanded to an hour full-time, the first daytime soap opera to go to 60 minutes daily. Liz told Alice it was all over between her and Mac thanks to Rachel. Iris promised Mac to do everything she could to make Rachel feel comfortable. Rachel agreed to let Mac handle Jamie's visits with Steve. Robert and Lenore spied on them from across the restaurant as Mac told Rachel that after many lonely years he had found in her something to look forward to.

On May 3, 1974, the show had aired a one hour special featuring Steve and Alice's wedding. It did well in the ratings leading to the decision to go to 60 minutes full-time.

1987: On GUIDING LIGHT, Alexandra (Beverlee McKinsey) remembered good and bad times with Simon.

1988: Actor Brent Collins died at age 46. He was playing the role of Wallingford on ANOTHER WORLD at the time of his passing. He previously played Mr. Big in AS THE WORLD TURNS.

1997: Actor Vince Williams died at age 39.  He was best known for his work as Hampton Speakes in GUIDING LIGHT.  He also played Lamar Griffin on AS THE WORLD TURNS and Joe Morgan on LOVING.  His final role was Dustin Carter on ANOTHER WORLD.

1997: Aaron Spelling's SUNSET BEACH premiered on NBC. The show ran until December 31, 1999.

2009: Taylor Spreitler debuted as Mia McCormick in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Bonnie Franklin (ex-Sister Celeste, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 69
Michael Wilding Jr. (ex-Jackson, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Alex, DALLAS) - 60
Scott Bryce (Frank, DECEPTION; ex-Craig, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Dr. Crosby, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 55
Andrea Thompson (ex-Genele, FALCON CREST) - 53
Greg Lauren (ex-Brett, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 43
Dick Billingsley (ex-Phillip, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Scotty, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 38
Danny Pintauro (ex-Paul, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 37

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to [email protected].


  1. Thanks for the reminder about AW expanding to 60 minutes. I remember how excited I was when it happened. Could get home from school and still get to see most of the show, whereas previously, I only got to see the last 10-15 minutes.

    But in hindsight, I often wonder where soaps would be now if they'd all stayed at 30 minutes. Was expanding to 60 minutes really good for the genre?

  2. Remember when AW expanded to 90 min? Was that too much?

  3. Good question James. I wonder this myself, although I can't blame the producers & networks for trying to capitalize off a good thing. The storytelling was so stellar at one time that one hour probably seemed to make good sense. I don't know whether media (especially TV) seriously thinks about long term thinking.

    On the list of things that bothers me about the business behind soaps operated, this would be lower down on my list. 'Wiping' and a lack of preservation of early episodes would've been the #1 thing that grieves me as a soap fan.

  4. We actually put expanding daytime soaps to 60 minutes on our 25 Biggest Blunders list. It expanded the casts, the writing teams and many were against it at the time.

    I think it worked for a while but long-term, having the daytime timeslots filled up with hour shows left very little room for new daytime soaps to get launched the last three decades.

  5. It's a doggone shame that 1-hour soap broadcasting turned an initially wonderful entertainment find into a major blunder over time. Sigh!

    Brian :-)