Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Today in Soap Opera History (November 4)

1975: Beacon Hill aired for the final time. 1985: EON's Sky
had a sword fight. 1988: Falcon Crest's Melissa
burned the house down. 1996: Days introduced Susan Banks.
"History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future."
― Robert Penn Warren

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1957: On The Edge of Night, Mary (Anne Sargent) begged Clayton (Leon Janney) to tell her where to find Billy.

1975: CBS aired the final episode of primetime soap opera Beacon Hill, an adaptation of the British series Upstairs, Downstairs. The story revolved around a wealthy family and their servants in 1920s Boston. Beacon Hill debuted with a large audience but quickly lost viewers and aired only 13 episodes. The New York Times wrote a story about the show ("The Making of a Lemon") and called it "an Edsel for 1975."

The promo below was for the October 28th episode of CBS-TV's Beacon Hill.

1975: On Another World, Clarice (Gail Brown) told Neil (John Getz) and Angie (Toni Kalem) about not trusting Iris (Beverlee McKinsey) with Robert.

1977: CBS aired the final 30-minute episode of Guiding Light. The show expanded to an hour on November 7th.

1983: On The Edge of Night, Sky (Larkin Malloy) stabbed and killed Donald Hext (Ralph Byers) in a sword fight.

1985: On General Hospital, Frisco (Jack Wagner) and Felicia said goodbye while Robert (Tristan Rogers) and Anna (Finola Hughes) searched for Robin in the Asian Quarter.

1986: NBC canceled Search for Tomorrow. "Search for Tomorrow came to us from CBS after 31 years, but the audience didn't come with it," Brian Frons, vice president for daytime programming at NBC, said. "We, therefore, had to treat the show as a new one, not one with a long history."

1988: On Falcon Crest, after years of fighting Angela Channing (Jane Wyman) for control of Falcon Crest, Melissa Agretti (Ana Alicia) couldn't take it any longer and set the house on fire. Note: The opening "cliffhanger" scene in this clip is from the November 4th episode with the remainder from the November 11th episode. Here, Days fans can see Kristian Alfonso in her Falcon Crest role as Pilar Ortega opposite Lorenzo Lamas as Lance Cumson.

Sidenote: These would be Ana Alicia's final episodes playing Melissa, as the character would die from her injuries. That same week, the actress discussed her firing on CBS This Morning with co-host, Kathleen Sullivan.

By March 1989, Falcon Crest producers would bring the actress back to play Melissa's lookalike, Samantha Ross.

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

1996: Eileen Davidson, who had been playing Kristen DiMera for three years in Days of our Lives, made her first appearance as Susan Banks.

1996: On Another World, Kirkland bonded with a ghostly Ryan (Paul Michael Valley) in the attic.

1998: Rebecca Budig aired for the final time as Michelle Bauer on Guiding Light. In her final scene, Michelle knocked out Mick with a rock on the beach.

2000: Polish soap opera M jak Miłość ("L for Love"), revolving around the multiple generations of the Mostowiak family, premiered. The continues running to this day and has been so popular in recent years a Russian adaptation was created.

2004: On The Bold and the Beautiful, Phoebe (Keaton Tyndall) and Steffy (Kylie Tyndall) sang at Taylor's funeral.

2005: Nicole Forester took over the role of Cassie on Guiding Light. She last aired exactly three years later on November 4, 2008.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2005: Laura Wright debuted as Carly Corinthos on General Hospital.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2009: On The Young and the Restless, back-from-the-dead Phillip (Thom Bierdz) told Nina (Tricia Cast) there was no one special in his life at the moment.

2009: On General Hospital, Michael (Drew Garrett) killed Claudia (Sarah Joy Brown).

2010: Actress Michelle Nicastro died at age 50.  She played roles in multiple soaps including Days of our Lives (Sasha Roberts), Santa Barbara and Beverly Hills, 90210.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Doris Roberts (ex-Flo, Soap) - 84
John Vickery (ex-Jesse, One Life to Live; ex-Richard, The Edge of Night) - 64
Steven J. Oliver (ex-Harper, General Hospital) - 62
Peter G. Boynton (ex-Tonio, As the World Turns, ex-Beau, The Catlins) - 59
Kathy Griffin (ex-Fashion TV Anchor, Ugly Betty; ex-Limo Driver, Days of our Lives) - 54
Ralph Macchio (ex-Archie, Ugly Betty) - 53
Annabelle Gurwitch (ex-Gina, Guiding Light) - 53
Gary Cowling (ex-Mitchell, Hustling) - 53
Samantha Smith (ex-Mary, Supernatural) - 45
Anthony Ruivivar (ex-Ricky, All My Children) - 44
Heather Tom (Katie, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Kelly, One Life to Live; ex-Victoria, The Young and the Restless) - 39
Emme Rylan (Lulu, General Hospital, ex-Abby, The Young and the Restless;  ex-Lizzie, Guiding Light) - 34
Travis Van Winkle (Jonah, Hart of Dixie; ex-Jamie, 90210) - 32
Gillian Zinser (ex-Ivy, 90210) - 29
Jean-Luc Bilodeau (ex-Josh, Kyle XY) - 24
Darcy Rose Byrnes (ex-Penny, Desperate Housewives; ex-Abby, The Young and the Restless; ex-Abby, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 16

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email [email protected].

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