Friday, August 4, 2017

Today in Soap Opera History (August 4)

1980: Another World spin-off Texas premiered on NBC,
starring Beverlee McKinsey as Iris.
"History is a vast early warning system."
― Norman Cousins

"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...

1966: Donald Briscoe assumed the role of Tony Merritt in Days of our Lives. A message appeared on the screen to explain the recast: "The part of Tony Merritt will be played by DONALD BRISCOE."

1980: Another World returned to 60 minutes daily, after more than a year of 90-minute episodes, to make room for Texas. Russ (David Bailey) and Tracy began their honeymoon, and Jamie (Richard Bekins) had dinner with Mac and Rachel.

1980: Texas ("starring Beverlee McKinsey" as Iris) premiered on NBC. The show was created by John William Corrington, Joyce Corrington, and Paul Rauch. The show lasted until December 31, 1982, with a change to "New Generation" midway through the run.

Texas was a spin-off of Another World set in Houston. In the premiere episode, Iris, who was bound for Bay City, returned to Houston at the insistence of a mystery man who turned out to be Alex Wheeler -- a lover from twenty-five years earlier who left her without a word. Now he was the wealthy Texan oil tycoon he had only pretended to be years earlier: he explained that he deserted her so that she would never learn he was just a poor sailor. But he said he never stopped loving her and believed they could start over.

1980: On The Edge of Night, Larry and Frankie tried to get answers out of "Kirk Michaels" (Tony Craig).

1981: On Another World, Mac (Douglass Watson) and Jamie were being held captive at the Cory cabin. Mac told Lenny (Ed O'Neill) he would make him pay if it took the rest of his life. Sandy (Chris Rich) showed up and untied Jamie but Lenny caught them before they could escape.

1983: Because a master tape went missing during the weekend of July 22nd, Search for Tomorrow was broadcast live from the Reeves Teletape Theater on West 81st Street for the first time in over 14 years.

Cain DeVore
Warren (Michael Corbett) and Wendy's (Lisa Peluso) steamy affair went off without a flub, Liza (Sherry Mathis) and Travis (Rod Arrants) left for a second honeymoon without tripping. The only visible evidence the show was live was a buzzing fly that landed smack on the cheek of Danny Walton, played by actor Cain DeVore. The uninvited pest marked a memorable beginning for DeVore, who made his television debut that day.

The show opened with the announcer saying, "Live from New York, it's Search for Tomorrow."

"We did it," shouted Peluso at the end of the broadcast, wrapping her arms around the nearest cameraman. "It was the fastest half-hour of my life. I think we should do it once a month to get our adrenalin going."

"There's too much room for error in live TV, said Larry Haines (Stu), who disagreed. "Why do that when we can perfect it on tape?"

1983: On Another World, Mac and Rachel married again, in a double wedding ceremony with Sandy and Blaine.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

1988: On General Hospital, Duke (Ian Buchanan) updated Anna (Finola Hughes) on the status of the Jerome family turning legitimate.

1992: On The Young and the Restless, Victoria (Heather Tom) assured Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) that Brandon (Paul Walker) might be her best friend for life but was not a guy she would marry.

1993: Actor Bernard Barrow died at age 65. Best known as Johnny Ryan in Ryan's Hope, he was playing Louie Slavinski on Loving at the time of his death. Barrow came in at #13 on our list of the Greatest Soap Opera Actors in 2010

1997: Kevin Spirtas debuted as Craig Wesley in Days of our Lives.

2004: Actor Frank Maxwell died at age 87. His soap roles included Dan Rooney in General Hospital and Henry Korman in The Young Marrieds.

2009: On One Life to Live, Viki (Erika Slezak) and Charlie (Brian Kerwin), and Clint (Jerry verDorn) and Nora (Hillary B. Smith), were married in a double wedding.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Frank Vincent (ex-Phil, The Sopranos) - 78
Sara Botsford (ex-Lilith, As the World Turns; ex-Lucy, Guiding Light) - 66
Laurie Heineman (ex-Sharlene, Another World; ex-Mary, As the World Turns)
Sebastian Roché (Mikael, The Originals; ex-Jerry, General Hospital) - 53
Crystal Chappell (Gina, Venice; ex-Danielle, The Bold and the Beautiful, ex-Claire, Beacon Hill; ex-Jane, The Inn; ex-Carly, Days of our Lives; ex-Olivia, Guiding Light; ex-Maggie, One Life to Live; ex-Jane, Santa Barbara; ex-All My Children) - 52
James Tupper (ex-David, Revenge; ex-Andrew, Grey's Anatomy; ex-Jack, Men in Trees) - 52
Timothy Adams (ex-Ron, One Life to Live; ex-Rob, Guiding Light; ex-Casey, Sunset Beach) - 50
Daniel Dae Kim (ex-Jin, Lost; ex-Dr. Kim, All My Children) - 49
Marcus Schenkenberg (ex-Ben, One Life to Live; ex-Max, As the World Turns) - 49
Michael DeLuise (ex-T.J., Gilmore Girls) - 48
Sabine Singh (ex-Greenlee, All My Children; ex-Wendy, One Life to Live) - 43
Daniella Van Graas (ex-Fiona, All My Children) - 42
Mick Cain (CJ, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 39
Abigail Spencer (ex-Becca, All My Children; ex-Miss Farrell, Mad Men) - 36
Meghan Markle (ex-Jill, General Hospital) - 36
Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa, Days of our Lives; ex-Maxie, General Hospital) - 33
Peter Weber (ex-Young Roman, Days of our Lives) - 26

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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