Sunday, May 4, 2014

FLASHBACK: 'Another World' Puts You There (1964)

NBC daytime drama Another World premiered 50 years ago today. Below is an article published about the show during its first week.

'Another World' Puts You There

By Dick Du Brow
May 6, 1964

HOLLYWOOD, May 6 (UPI) - The happiness in our household is being relieved this week by the gorgeous misery of NBC-TV's new daily soap opera, Another World.

I was so shaken up by the debut Monday that I couldn't bear to write about it. I vowed not to even watch it Tuesday-but you know how it is: You miss one episode and it takes a year to catch up. Besides, it was another opportunity to study the craft of the show's creator, Irna Phillips, who is the Sandy Koufax of the soap opera business.

Miss Phillips is getting much attention these days because she not only has the new series on NBC-TV, but also turns out the soaper, As the World Turns, for CBS-TV, and has signed with ABC-TV as consultant for all night-time dramatic programs, including the coming twice-a-week prime-time serial version of "Peyton Place." In other words, she is in the employ of all three competing networks.

Another World is about two branches of a family living in a university town. There was little to do with a university yesterday but you can trust NBC-TV to keep its word.

Another NBC soaper, The Doctors, goes in for an orchestral theme instead of the good old suffering organ music--but not Miss Phillips and her new show. After the announcer's opening remarks--"we do not live in this world alone . . . but in a thousand other worlds"--after that, it was organ music, up and in, as richly predictable as the first whiff of a Caesar salad.

And then, finally, came those wonderfully resigned voices, the characters reveling in unhappiness. "I want so much to be be somebody." "You are are somebody." Hardly a smile in sight.

What is Another World about in its first week? Well, it is about life and love and death (somebody died to get things rolling) and like that.