Saturday, August 4, 2012

FLASHBACK: SEARCH FOR TOMORROW Broadcasts Live After Tape Goes Missing (1983)

Cain DeVore

By Jennifer Dunning
The New York Times
August 3, 1983

All is not well in Henderson, the mythical small town in which the NBC-TV daytime soap opera ''Search for Tomorrow'' takes place every weekday afternoon. Sometime over the weekend of July 22, the tape of tomorrow's episode disappeared from an editing room.

The shooting schedule for the show is tight. And so, for the first time in 14 years, the series will be broadcast live from the Reeves Teletape Theater on West 81st Street, rather than taped in advance; there will be none of the normal margin for missed cues, flubbed lines or other on-camera goofs. ''With network feed, there will be no time to fool around,'' an NBC spokesman said.

For Cain DeVore, who will be making his series and television debut as handsome young Danny Walton, this will be just one more live performance after a career in repertory theater. And Damion Scheller, 13 years old, who plays Josh Moreno, is only nervous that everyone else in the cast will be so nervous that they'll ''mess up'' his lines.

No one is sure what happened to the tapes, though a formal police report was filed by NBC. ''There is no proof, but I'm convinced it was theft,'' Joanna Lee, executive producer of the program, said. If so, it was a puzzling choice. ''There was nothing particularly different about this show,'' a spokesman for NBC said. ''It wasn't that something fantastic was about to happen - someone dying or getting married.''

The show will deal with another episode in the lives of Travis and Liza Sentell, two longtime characters on ''Search for Tomorrow'' who are played by Rod Arrants and Sherry Mathis. ''He's very rich,'' the spokesman said. ''She's pregnant. And they're getting ready to go on a second honeymoon. They're a very happily married couple. One of the few in daytime television, if not in life. Foreboding stuff is about to happen to them, though, by the way.''

Warren Carter, played by Michael Corbett, will work his usual evil in tomorrow's show. ''He's a real scoundrel,'' the spokesman said. ''He's sleeping with his wife's best friend, Wendy Wilkins. He and Wendy will discuss his wife, Suzi, and her trauma when she caught them kissing. He's destroying both of them. They loved each other and they both loved him. Warren's a real hot, sexy, soap-opera guy. He knows he's naughty and delights in it.''

The live telecast, open to the press, will begin at 12:30 P.M., following a dress rehearsal taped, as the spokesman said, ''in case of emergency.''

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