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Another World: Summer Desire

Another World (TV series)

Another World is a television soap opera that ran on the NBC network from May 4 1964 to June 25 1999. It was created by legendary serial creator Irna Phillips along with William J. Bell, and was produced by Procter & Gamble Productions in studios located in Brooklyn.

Set in the fictional town of Bay City, the show in its early years opened with announcer Bill Wolff (1964-1987) intoning its epigram, “We do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand other worlds,” which Irna said represented the difference between “the world of events we live in, and the world of feelings and dreams that we strive for.”

AW was the first soap opera to talk about abortion in 1964 when such subjects were taboo. It was the first soap opera to do a crossover, with the character of Mike Bauer from Guiding Light coming from Springfield to Bay City, and the first to go to one hour and then to 90 minutes and then back to an hour. It was the first soap to launch two spin-offs (Somerset and Texas) as well as an indirect one (Lovers and Friends, which would be re-named For Richer For Poorer).

AW was also the first soap opera with a theme song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 "(You Take Me Away To) Another World" by Crystal Gayle and Gary Morris, in 1987.

Development

Irna Phillips envisioned Another World as a spin-off of her popular soap opera As the World Turns, but CBS did not have room for it and would not allow a spin-off to air on a competing network. Phillips instead sold the show to NBC (eager to snap up a show by the successful Phillips), removing references to ATWT's Oakdale and cancelling plans to have character crossover appearances by the Hughes family, but used the name Another World in reference to its origins. Expectations were so high that Another World had six weeks of commercial time sold in advance.

On November 22, 1963, a group of executives (including Executive Producer Allen M. Potter and director Tom Donovan) met at the Young & Rubicam ad agency in New York to discuss the show’s opening story, the death of William Matthews, when they heard the news of another death in Dallas: the assassination of President Kennedy.

After opening with a death in the core Matthews family, Irna planned to follow up with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, a septic abortion, a shooting, and murder trial. As Allen M. Potter explained, “Irna just didn’t want to take a chance on waiting for the ratings. She felt that with this kind of showy story she could build an audience more quickly.” Said Tom Donovan, “In construction, Irna was attempting to follow the structure of As the World Turns. Irna would never conceive of a story not based on a family.”

The '60s

The first episode was the aftermath of the funeral of wealthy William Matthews. His widow Liz (most notably played by Audra Lindley and later Irene Dailey) did not like his working-class brother Jim (Shepperd Strudwick, later Hugh Marlowe) or his family. The fights between upper-class Liz and her middle-class in-laws started the show. As the '60s went on, the lives and loves of Jim's children (Russ, Alice, and Pat) took center-stage. Jim's wife, Mary (Virginia Dwyer), usually intervened when there was a crisis, which was most of the time.

In the first year, the show had a controversial storyline involving teenager Pat Matthews, having an illegal abortion after becoming pregnant. This was the first time that American television had covered the subject. In the story, the abortion made her sterile, and the shock from the news caused her to find her ex-boyfriend and shoot him in cold blood. Pat was eventually brought to trial and acquitted. She then fell in love and married her lawyer, John Randolph (Michael M. Ryan).

Another notable early storyline revolved around the star-crossed romance of Bill Matthews (Joseph Gallison) and Melissa Palmer (Carol Roux). Liz Matthews did not consider Melissa good enough for her son and was constantly interfering in their relationship. After many trials and hardships, Bill and Melissa were finally married, but their happiness was short-lived, as Bill later drowned in a boating accident.

After a one-year run, NBC was expected to cancel the program. But instead, former soap opera actor James Lipton was hired to write the show. His ideas included pushing the Matthews family into the background and introducing the Gregory family. Agnes Nixon, who was then the Head Writer of CBS's Guiding Light, was hired to write for the program. Beverly Penberthy replaced Susan Trustman in the role of Pat Matthews Randolph. Trustman had been on nearly every show while Miss Phillips was the writer, and she was exhausted. Nixon created the roles of hairdresser Ada Lucas Davis (Constance Ford) and her daughter Rachel (Robin Strasser), which were immediate successes. Rachel was a schemer who grew up in a lower-class background, and fought for what she wanted, even if it meant she had to resort to underhanded means. Her mother Ada was much more honest and down-to-earth, and provided a good foil for Rachel, as Ada was the only person Rachel really loved, besides herself.

The next year, businessman Steve Frame (George Reinholt) was introduced. A shrewd businessman, he grew up in a poor background and earned everything he worked for. He and Rachel immediately bonded over their respective pasts, but he also became involved with Alice Matthews (Jacqueline Courtney), who was more sophisticated, shy, and demure, something he really looked for in a wife. They courted and were to marry in 1969, but the marriage was called off when Rachel, who was married to Alice's brother Dr. Russ Matthews (Sam Groom), crashed the engagement party with the news that she was carrying Steve's child. She gave birth to a son, James (later referred to as Jamie), in November.

The '70s

Steve, Alice, and Rachel

The show's popularity shot up, thanks to a love triangle revolving around Steve, Alice, and Rachel.

As 1970 began, Alice had a breakdown and went to live in France. Steve and Rachel bonded yet again, this time over their child, but Alice eventually returned and she married Steve the next year.

After the departure of Agnes Nixon (who left the show in order to create One Life to Live for ABC), Robert Cenedella was briefly hired to replace her. He also created the spin-off show Somerset. It was decided that he should leave the original show to concentrate on the spin-off, so sponsor Procter &and Gamble hired a newcomer, playwright Harding Lemay, to write the program. Lemay's screenplays took the form of tragic plays, as they were carried out in five dramatic acts. As the show rose higher in the ratings, NBC brass wished to expand the show to an hour; the first regularly scheduled hour-long episode was telecast on January 6 1975.

Thoroughly convinced that her child would be instrumental in breaking up the new Frame marriage and snagging her Steve once and for all, Rachel enlisted the help of her drifter father, who tricked Alice into finding Steve and Rachel in a compromising position. She filed for divorce and again left town. Fed up with Alice's wavering ways, and already feeling an attachment to Rachel and a duty to have more of a role in his son's life, Steve married Rachel (now played by Victoria Wyndham, who succeeded Strasser and Margie Impert in the role). When Alice returned from Europe for a second time, she exposed Rachel and her father's scheme, which accidentally sent Steve to prison as an accomplice to embezzlement. When he was released, Steve reunited with Alice; although she had sent him away, he was too alienated against Rachel to rekindle any feeling.

As Steve and Alice were finally allowed to be together (they were married for the second time on the tenth-anniversary telecast), Rachel continued to scheme, even trying to evict Alice from the house Steve had given to her; Rachel tried to say that Steve had given her the house. After Alice had another mental breakdown, and Steve sided with Alice, Rachel decided to reform herself.

Rachel tried her best to stay away from the couple, and even found love with an older, wise magazine editor, Mackenzie "Mac" Cory (Douglass Watson). This was in tune with Wyndham's wish that Rachel be played with more facets to her character — for many years, her character was totally "black" in personality, compared to "white", good Alice. Both Lemay and Wyndham, who were at the time new to the series, wanted to change the character of Rachel as she was so blindly hated by many fans, who wrote to the NBC studios wishing that she be killed off.

Mac, Rachel, and Iris

Originally, Mac and Rachel were not planned to have a romantic coupling. Harding Lemay noticed the chemistry between actors Douglass Watson and Victoria Wyndham, and wrote a slow-developing love story for them. Fearing backlash from viewers who may have found an older man-younger woman relationship tasteless, Lemay penned chance encounters for the two characters, which led to innocent yet intimate conversations. By the time the characters had their first kiss, the story had gone on for six months. Continuing on the slow path, Mac and Rachel's relationship blossomed until they were wed.

Mac and Rachel were married by a justice of the peace in Mac's New York City townhouse on Valentine's Day 1975. The drama produced by their marriage and Mac's insanely jealous daughter, Iris Carrington (portrayed at this time by Beverlee McKinsey) fueled the storylines for most of the late 1970s. Iris, who was spolied and wanted to be the only woman in her father's life, resented Rachel, who also happened to be her same age. Iris's many schemes to drive Rachel away from Mac often backfired, driving a wedge between father and daughter, instead of bringing them together. The presence of the Cory maid, Louise (Anne Meacham), proved for sometimes comedic relief in an otherwise dramatic storyline. Other times, Louise served as a stern confidante and a sometime voice of reason for Mac during fights with either Rachel or Iris.

The Matthewses and the Randolphs

Steve was presumed dead in 1975 when his helicopter supposedly crashed in Australia. Alice became a backburner character for the first time in 11 years, in tune with Lemay's wish that Jacqueline Courtney leave the show. She was replaced by actress Susan Harney. Over time, Alice became a registered nurse, and cared for her adopted daughter, Sally (first played by Cathy Greene). While Alice's story finally calmed down, her siblings' stories expanded. Her sister Pat Randolph experienced marital problems with her husband John. He ended up divorcing Pat and marrying the maniacal Olive (Jennifer Leak).

The ratings for Another World had declined since its final peak at #1 in 1978. To keep the spot, executive producer Paul Rauch pitched the idea to NBC to make the show longer. Although not at its peak, the show was still the most successful soap in NBC's lineup, so they agreed. Lemay (with the help of Tom King), penned a special effects-laden storyline involving the fiery death of Michael M. Ryan's character John Randolph, who had appeared on the show since 1964. The storyline, which was meant to be kept secret from the press, was leaked a month before the scenes aired, prompting Guiding Light to counteract with their own shocking episode to air in the same timeslot: the rape of Holly by her husband Roger.

The 90 minute experiment/Iris's move to Texas

John's death on March 6, 1979, as he was saving his former sister-in law Alice from a burning building, coincided with the move to 90-minute episodes each weekday. It was at that time that Lemay, who had written since 1971, decided to hand over his duties to Tom King, citing overwork. While the ratings got a slight boost, most viewers did not like the change to longer episodes. The episode duration opened up space for many new characters to be introduced to the storyline; but most of these did not catch on with the audience.

In the final months of the 90-minute experiment, many characters debuted on Another World in storylines that focused on the character of Iris, played by Beverlee McKinsey, as she planned a move to Houston, Texas.

This fictional move was followed in the new spinoff serial Texas in 1980. A range of new characters who had been introduced in the storyline connected to Iris's move, also moved to the new series. To accommodate Texas, Another World went back to 60 minutes, and was moved from the three o'clock hour to two o'clock. Another two million viewers defected, partly due to McKinsey's departure, partly due to the time change, and partly due to the influx of new characters who then moved to Texas. Because of the audience erosion, the move to 90-minute installments is generally regarded as a failure.

The '80s

Mac, Rachel, Janice, and Mitch

Mac and Rachel had their own marital troubles, mostly regarding Rachel's decision to work full-time as a sculptress. Rachel did not want to pursue a career at first, thinking she could simply live off Mac's earnings as a publisher, but Mac encouraged her to find work in a field that interested her. When she found that she was very good at sculpting, it took up more and more of her time, even after giving birth to their daughter, Amanda, in 1978. After Rachel falsely accused Mac of infidelity (Mac was unfaithful years before, but this time he wasn't), Mac became involved with the editor of his Brava magazine, Janice Frame (now played by Christine Jones), and in 1979, Rachel asked for a divorce. To crack a scheme that Rachel suspected Janice was spearheading, Rachel slept with photographer Mitch Blake (William Gray Espy). The long-running Mac/Rachel/Janice/Mitch storyline carried on for a year until it culminated in a scene taped on location in St. Croix, in which Janice Frame's plan to kill Mac and acquire his estate was found out by Rachel. After a scuffle involving a knife, the two women fell into a swimming pool, and Rachel came out alive, having killed Janice.

Mac and Rachel were married again, but Rachel was saddened to find that she was pregnant — with Mitch's child. She was prepared to keep the secret until Mitch was "murdered." Rachel was forced to admit on the stand that the child (Matthew) in question was Mitch's. She was then sentenced to eight years in prison for Mitch's murder, and Mac started divorce proceedings, all the while believing that something wasn't right. After giving birth Rachel first arranged for her son to be raised by ex-husband Dr Russ Matthews (David Bailey) and his new wife, who was subsequently killed in a mob hit. However, Mac protested, desiring to raise Matthew himself. Following his intuition, he and son Jamie Frame, along with an escaped Rachel, tracked down Mitch, who was alive and didn't remember any events surrounding his supposed death. Mac freed Rachel from prison and even dropped the divorce, but he was always jealous of Mitch, who had returned to Bay City to be closer to his son. In the end, it could not be worked out and Mac and Rachel divorced a second time. Mac and Rachel once again fought over custody of daughter Amanda, and the break up caused conflict with Jamie, who had been named Mac's heir and given significant responsibilities at Cory Publishing. Mac was briefly engaged to Rachel's former rival Alice Frame, who was raising adopted daughter Sally (Jennifer Runyon), after failed romances with brother-in-law Willis Frame, Ray Gordon (Sally's biological uncle and ex-husband of Olive) and Dan Shearer, ex-husband of her cousin Susan Matthews Shearer.

Steve Frame came back from Australia, complete with daughter Diana (played by Anne Rose Brooks) in 1981 (it was revealed that he did not die in 1975; he also received a new look, thanks to David Canary taking over the role). Steve and Rachel reminisced about their old love affair and even planned a wedding, after Rachel nearly lost Steve after a column pinned him to the ground inside a building slated for demolition. On their wedding day in February 1983, a car accident claimed Steve's life — for good. Rachel survived, and Mac told Rachel how much he loved her. A double wedding was planned in the summer of 1983, with Mac's son Sandy (Christopher Rich) and his fiancée Blaine Ewing Frame (Laura Malone), ex-wife of brother Jamie Frame.

A new "Another World"

As the show went through the 1980s, the Love family became more prominent, at the expense of the core Matthews family. In 1982, Beverly Penberthy was written out of the show.

The Love family was headed by tyrannical patriarch Reginald (John Considine), who had either allied with or alienated all of his children. His daughter Donna (Anna Stuart) ended up marrying the love of her life in stable boy-turned-businessman Michael Hudson (Kale Browne). However, the fact that she was raped years ago by Michael's brother John (David Forsyth) complicated matters for years. Donna had twins, Marley and Victoria, who ended up reunited after many years apart. Victoria's nanny, Bridget Connell (Barbara Berjer), who raised her after the death of her adoptive parents, ended up moving in with the Hudsons and took care of the family until her character died.

Romance hits and misses

Love stories of the 1980s included Felicia Gallant's (Linda Dano) storybook wedding to Mitch Blake (who came back to town), and the pairing of John Hudson with Sharlene Frame (Anna Kathryn Holbrook). Also, the triangle of Vicky Hudson (Anne Heche) trying, and succeeding, to steal Rachel's son Jamie Frame (Laurence Lau) from Felicia's niece Lisa Grady (Joanna Going) interested many viewers.

One aborted love story was the impending marriage between M.J. McKinnon (Sally Spencer) and Adam Cory (Ed Fry). After a videotaped surfaced, showing M.J. in her prostitute days having sex with a client, Adam dumped her, and she left town. Adam, and M.J.'s old flame, and her former pimp, Chad Rollo (Richard Burgi), both left Bay City a year later.

Mac's death

In the late 1980s, Mac and Rachel's children came back as young adults (Amanda recast in the form of Sandra Ferguson and Matt Crane in the role of Matthew). Amanda was married to Sam Fowler, a budding artist, and Matthew started a relationship with Sharlene Frame's daughter Josie Watts (at that time the role was played by Alexandra Wilson). While these characters proved to be fan favorites, the importance of the Cory family on the show was shaken when Douglass Watson unexpectedly died while on vacation in Arizona in the spring of 1989. At the time of Watson's death, Another World was about to celebrate its 25th anniversary, which writers had scripted in the form of a 25th anniversary celebration for Brava magazine. The Corys, minus an absent Mac, hosted a gala celebration that featured the return of several veteran characters, including Russ Matthews (David Bailey), Alice Frame (Jacqueline Courtney), Pat Randolph (Beverly Penberthy), Dennis Carrington Wheeler (Jim Poyner), Gwen Frame (Dorothy Lyman) and Robert Delaney (Nicolas Coster). It also featured a mystical sequence with Rachel coaxed back from near-death by Steve Frame (George Reinholt), thwarting Janice Frame's (Christine Jones) attempt to lure Rachel "into the light".

Shortly after, it was revealed that the absent Mac had died off-screen while in Maine. Rachel and her family tearfully buried him on the June 16, 1989 episode. With Watson's passing, the show was left without a unifying center, as for the next few years, the character of Rachel tried to adjust to life without Mac, and sometimes stumbled on her way. Although actress Victoria Wyndham tried to fill the void left by Watson's absence, much of her central role shifted to Jensen Buchanan, who, by the early 1990s, had taken over for Anne Heche as scheming Vicky Hudson.

Mac's daughter Iris Wheeler (now played by Carmen Duncan) had returned to Bay City from Houston late in 1988. When it was revealed she had been behind a plot to take over his company, Cory Publishing, it had devastated Mac and he left town prior to the Brava anniversary to ponder the implications, dying without having ever reconciled with her. This set up a series of conflicts between Iris, Amanda and Rachel, who had been left equal shares of Cory Publishing, as Rachel attempted to head the company and counter Iris's continued interference. Mac's death also ushered in the appearance of yet another daughter, Paulina (first played by Cali Timmins), who fought to prove her legitimacy as a Cory and win over Rachel and her family, while constantly at odds with Iris.

The '90s

The age of AW's supercouples

As the show moved into the 1990s, Felicia and Mitch got a divorce due to both of them straying from their marriage vows. Felicia found the love of her life in the form of Lucas Castigliano (John Aprea), who hunted her down in an attempt to find the daughter she thought had died at birth. They discovered that their daughter, Lorna Devon, had moved to Bay City in 1991.

Felicia and Lorna (Alicia Coppola) had become enemies quickly, especially after Lorna went behind the scenes at Felicia's talk show and switched live footage with a videotape of a pornographic video Felicia's adoptive daughter Jenna Norris (Alla Korot) had unwittingly made. Felicia and Lorna ended up repairing their relationship, especially after Lucas's death.

Jenna found true love with rocker Dean Frame (Ricky Paull Goldin); their happiness, and Dean's success as a rock star, was chronicled in the nighttime special Summer Desire. After his first wife Kathleen McKinnon (Julie Osburn) was pronounced dead in a plane crash, Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) grew close to Reginald Love's daughter Nicole (Anne Howard). When Nicole Love was institutionalized for the murder of Jason Frame (Chris Robinson), Cass slowly became attracted to Frankie Frame (Alice Barrett), who came to town to investigate her uncle's murder. After many hindrances (including Kathleen's return to Bay City after being in the Witness Protection Program), Cass and Frankie were finally wed. They honeymooned on the Orient Express.

Jake McKinnon (Tom Eplin) came back to town for good in 1988, with his wife Marley Hudson. Their marriage broke down and the two were forced to get a divorce. After a reconciliation two years later, Jake asked Marley to marry him again. However, she had found out that he was in the midst of an affair with Paulina Cory (Cali Timmins, but by 1991, the role had gone to Judi Evans Luciano). Marley turned down his proposal, and Jake raped her. Then, Jake was shot and near death, and Marley was forced to go on trial for his attempted murder. In the end, it was proven that Paulina shot him. Jake and Marley were officially over, but it was just beginning for Jake and Paulina. Over the next five years, Jake and Paulina were married and divorced twice. While they still had a good partnership, Paulina was fed up with Jake's cons, swindles, and lies, and tied the knot with Joe Carlino (Joseph Barbara).

Amanda (Christine Tucci) saw two marriages crash and burn. The first, to Sam, didn't work out due to Amanda's affair with Evan Frame (son of villinous Janice Frame); the second, to Grant Harrison (Mark Pinter) due to Grant's infidelity with Lorna Devon (Robin Christopher). Matthew had developed a May-December romance with Donna Love, who had been very grateful that Matt helped get her savings back. Matt and Donna became a very popular couple and were broken up due to then-executive producer Jill Farren Phelps's insistence that Matt be paired up with someone his own age, and Donna likewise.

Rachel's mother, Ada Hobson, died in the summer of 1993 (veteran actress Constance Ford had died earlier that year), and she needed support more than ever; she found it in the unlikeliest source; a new love (and a new marriage) with Mac's former enemy, reformed villain Carl Hutchins (Charles Keating). Mac's daughter Iris didn't like this news one bit, and was prepared to startle the wedding crowd by firing blanks at Carl. Evan Frame (who had returned to town after a four-year absence) placed real bullets into Iris's gun, causing Iris to gravely wound Carl. She was convicted of the crime and sentenced to prison time, and she was never heard from again.

The final years: 1993-1999

The show was renewed in 1993, but the ratings still weren't good. The odds weren't in the show's favor that it would be renewed again in 1999. Early in 1995, news at the top signaled a change in executive producer. Jill Farren Phelps, who had won Emmy awards for her work on Santa Barbara, was given the job. Veteran cast members were fired; both cast members over the age of 55 (Barbara Berjer and David Hedison) had their contracts terminated, in an attempt to move the show in a more youthful direction. Show matriarch Rachel Cory Hutchins was placed in a storyline involving an evil lookalike countess, Justine Duvalier, who was the ex-wife of Hedison's recently axed character, Spencer Harrison. The Justine storyline was panned by the press as being worthy of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 level of ridicule. While in a scuffle, Grant Harrison killed his brother Ryan (played by fan favorite Paul Michael Valley), causing Justine to be shoved in front of a train. Justine did not die, and she caused more terror before finally being finished by Carl Hutchins and his letter opener. Actress Victoria Wyndham was quoted as liking the storyline at first, but after it was played out, she stated that she wished she had never appeared in it. In June 1999, NBC did not renew Another World, but decided to cancel it.

Budget cuts caused Phelps to institute a serial killer storyline, culminating in the gruesome murder of another fan favorite, Frankie (Alice Barrett). The story had actually called for Donna to be offed, but massive fan protest caused Phelps to rewrite the episodes. Phelps decided to then kill off either Frankie or Paulina, and when a focus group responded lukewarm to Frankie but warmer to Paulina, Phelps gave the greenlight to axe Frankie. However, this caused another massive rampage of upset protest from loyal viewers of the show and fans of Frankie, and Phelps quickly asked then-head writer Margaret DePriest to re-write Frankie's exit so that the character would at least still live. DePriest, eager to satisfy her wish to see Cass return to his former rogue ways, vehemently refused and left Frankie's death as written.

Rachel gave birth to twins, even though she was well into her fifties. Although the believability of this story was debated by fans, it was a nod back to when her mother, Ada, gave birth to Rachel's sister Nancy late in life. Robert Kelker-Kelly was lured back to the show in a different role from Sam Fowler, in which Vicky falls for the man who was given Ryan's corneas in a transplant. The storyline became convoluted as the man's mystery identity was rewritten and his former wife came to town to reclaim him. Lila Roberts (Lisa Peluso) ended up bedding Matthew Cory and having his baby before falling in love with Cass. Cass and Lila were engaged, and got married in the final episode of the show; they were the last couple to wed in Bay City.

After the final episode

In 1999, NBC decided not to renew Another World. Many reasons abounded for Another World's cancellation, one of the more notable events occurring in the summer of 1998; the then-San Francisco NBC affiliate KRON, one of the highest-rated in the nation, dropped the show off its schedule altogether, knocking it out of two million homes. Rumors abounded that Days of Our Lives might be the serial dropped, as renewal talks between NBC and Columbia Pictures Television (now Sony Pictures Television) were going poorly at the time. At the eleventh hour, Days of Our Lives was renewed, and it was the fate of Another World that was sealed. Its final episodes aired the last full week in June, with Passions debuting the following Monday. However, NBC canceled Passions in 2007 after an 8-year run to make room for a fourth hour of Today. It was moved to the DirecTV-exclusive channel The 101, but was again canceled and concluded its run in August 2008.

The show's former studio is now home for As The World Turns (which moved from CBS Broadcast Center on January 3, 2000).

After a series of 35th anniversary episodes, Rachel reminisced with Carl, remarked, "All's well that ends well," and the show ended with a still frame shot of Mac Cory.

Ironically, Irna Phillips' original plan of crossovers with As The World Turns was finally realized -- after Another World was cancelled. Another World characters Lila (Lisa Peluso), Cass (Stephen Schnetzer), Vicky (Jensen Buchanan), Donna (Anna Stuart), and Jake (Tom Eplin) all moved into ATWT storylines. By 2002, Vicky and Jake had been killed off violently in separate incidents, and the crossover experiment had, for the most part, ended. Schnetzer continued to make occasional appearances, as his character of Cass was used as a "visiting lawyer" in As the World Turns trials.

The show was commemorated in print twice in 1999. Another World, the 35th Anniversary Celebration, by Julie Poll, was a coffee-table style book chronicling the show's history on- and off-screen. Another World was the last of all the long-running soap opera programs of the time to be preserved in this way. The other book was decidedly different; The Ultimate Another World Trivia Book, by Gerard J. Waggett, listed several juicy tidbits about the show's stars and what happened behind-the-scenes. Many fans have treated Poll's book as they would a high school yearbook, getting Another World performers to sign their autographs in the book along with messages of appreciation or thanks for the fans' continued support in watching the program.

From July 2003 to April 2007, SOAPnet, an ABC channel, started rerunning old Another World episodes that originally aired from July 1987 to May 1991. The contract was not renewed to continue airing Another World, so that SOAPnet could begin airing episodes of both One Tree Hill and The O.C.. A lackluster The Another World Reunion aired on the channel on October 24 2003. Hosted by Linda Dano, the special program reunited fan favorites such as Stephen Schnetzer, Sandra Ferguson, John Aprea, Alicia Coppola, Kale Browne, and Ellen Wheeler. On the special, Dano interviewed the members of the assembled cast, one by one, interspersed with classic Another World clips. Before and after commercial breaks, Another World quiz questions were posed to the audience at home, and audience members told the viewers at home their favorite Another World moments, supplemented with clips from the actual episodes (for example, one viewer said her favorite Another World moment was from 1980, in which Rachel, on the stand for Mitch's murder, was forced to tell Mac that Matthew was not his child. Another viewer cited Ryan marrying Vicky while in Heaven). This special was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Special in 2004. The Another World Reunion was rerun in May 2004 to commemorate AW's 40th anniversary.

In 2006, Procter & Gamble began making several of its soap operas available, a few episodes at a time, through America Online's AOL Video service, downloadable free of charge. Reruns of older Another World episodes began from August 1, 1980.

On July 29, 2008, episodes also became available on the video streaming website Hulu. The episodes begin with the May 10, 1991 episode - the last one that ran on SoapNet. There were 24 episodes made available initially, with the promise of 3 more each week.

Ratings/Scheduling history

For most of a 15-year period between 1965 and 1980, Another World was NBC's highest-rated soap opera. During that time, NBC ran a 90-minute drama block consisting of Days of Our Lives, The Doctors and Another World, all of which enjoyed great ratings and critical success before declining at the end of the decade.

The 1960s

Another World did not take long to establish itself as NBC's highest-rating daytime drama, although it was still behind the then-dominant CBS lineup which would usually occupy the first six places on the ratings chart. Making its debut at 3 p.m. Eastern/2 Central, Another World slowly chipped away at ABC's General Hospital and CBS' daytime version of To Tell the Truth. Its efforts resulted in a swift rise to second place in 1967-1968; the show would remain in the upper end of the ratings chart until 1978. CBS later tried The Secret Storm, a soap that reputedly served as the model for Another World, against it, but to no avail.

The 1970s

On March 30, 1970, AW became the first daytime soap to produce a spinoff series, Somerset, which ran until 1976. For Somerset's first year, the two shows shared the same branding, with the mother show titled Another World in Bay City and the daughter show Another World in Somerset. NBC and P&G discontinued this after a year, and Another World dropped the reference to its location.

With the arrival of Harding Lemay, Another World would consolidate its place as not only the most popular and critically-acclaimed soap on NBC, but one of the highest-rated soaps of the decade. Between 1973 and 1978, it consistently attained second place in the ratings chart and tied with As The World Turns (its P&G sister) for first place twice--in 1973-74 and 1977-78. The earlier triumph was no mean feat when one considers that CBS put up its star game The Price is Right against it for two years.

When the one-hour 10th Anniversary special in spring 1974 proved a massive ratings success, NBC and Procter and Gamble made the decision to expand to 60 minutes permanently on January 6, 1975, replacing the original version of the game show Jeopardy, in a scheduling shuffle with the in-house-produced How to Survive a Marriage. Another World became the first serial to broadcast one hour daily, only some six years after the last two 15-minute soaps (CBS' Search for Tomorrow and Guiding Light, also P&G shows) finally doubled their daily lengths.

The show took over the entire 3-4 p.m./2-3 Central period, the latter part of which witnessed it beating back, to some degree, CBS' huge Match Game, then daytime's most popular program. However, starting in 1978, Another World began to experience an erosion in ratings caused mainly by the surge in popularity of General Hospital. Another World fell from a first-place tie in 1978 to eighth in 1979 (a drop from 8.6 to 7.5), but remained NBC's highest-rated daytime drama. Despite the fall in ratings, Another World became the first, and thus far only, soap to expand to 90 minutes, a move that proved unsuccessful--it remained in eighth place in 1979-80.

The expansion to 90 minutes and its impact on ratings

Although it is widely thought that Another World's expansion to 90 minutes was a cause of ratings erosion, the decision to expand the show was made at a time when its ratings (and that of NBC's other serials) were already in steady decline. It should be noted that even during the period when Another World ran daily for 90 minutes, it remained NBC's highest-rated soap opera, as it had been for a decade. In the second half of 1980, after the show returned to 60 minutes, Another World and fellow NBC serials Days of Our Lives and, most dramatically, The Doctors, experienced a collapse in ratings from which NBC's daytime soap lineup never fully recovered. It would not be until 1984 that both Days and Another World would recover some of their lost ground.

The 1980s

It is possible that the 90-minute format was intended to be temporary, with the added time used to prepare a storyline for a spinoff, Texas in 1980. For upon its debut, the mother show contracted to 60 minutes again, this time moving to 2/1 Central, where it remained for the remaining 19 years of its run. Texas, starring the hugely popular Beverlee McKinsey and attempting to cash in on the Dallas craze, while itself not a success, may have caused further erosion of Another World's viewership, to the point that it was no longer NBC's highest-rated serial, losing that position to Days of Our Lives (which itself, along with the rest of NBC's daytime lineup, was in serious ratings trouble). Another World fell from eighth to as low as 11th in the ratings chart, and by 1981-82 it sunk so low in the Nielsens as 4.7 (a drop of 3.9 points in four seasons). Much like General Hospital winning the 3/2 slot for ABC, One Life to Live came in strong at 2/1, with CBS attempting to get its new Capitol off the ground during that period.

After five years of sharply declining ratings, Another World experienced something of a mini-revival, and for the 1983-84 season, the show jumped to ninth place and 5.6 (compared with 10th place and 4.8 in 1982-83). The ratings increase was attributed to the emergence of supercouple Sally Frame (Mary Page Keller) and Catlin Ewing (Thomas Ian Griffith) and the return of actress Jacqueline Courtney (Alice Matthews Frame), who had been fired from the show nine years earlier despite being immensely popular with viewers. It remained in ninth place through the decade (occasionally moving up to eighth), pulling in generally stable numbers against One Life to Live and its Procter and Gamble sister As the World Turns.

The 1990s

In common with other daytime soaps, Another World experienced a gradual erosion of viewership but, amazingly enough given its turbulent history, held on to ninth place on the ratings chart until the end of its run. While it never showed signs of moving up through this period, it was for most part never in danger of falling to last place.

Spin-offs

The show spawned two spin-offs: Somerset (1970-1976) and Texas (1980-1982). (In 1970, the two shows were known as Another World: Bay City and Another World: Somerset before reverting to their unique names.) One primetime special aired in 1992: Another World: Summer Desire.

Airtimes

While individual NBC affiliates had the right to air any show whenever they wished, most of the affiliates (almost all of them, in the earlier days of television) aired the show when it would be transmitted to the network's direct affiliates. In the mid-to-late '90s, when AW was in its final ratings slump, many affiliates swapped AW's time slot with Days of Our Lives, which usually aired an hour earlier.

The network aired the show at the following times throughout its history:

Notable alumni

Before they were stars

Many well-known film and television actors and celebrities appeared on the serial before their big break, including:

Guest stars

Many well-known celebrities made cameo appearances on the serial, including:

Emmy wins

Another World won fifteen Daytime Emmy Awards.

  • 1975: Harding Lemay, Outstanding Writing
  • 1976: Outstanding Drama Series
  • 1978: Laurie Heineman, Outstanding Actress (Sharlene Frame Matthews)
  • 1979: Irene Dailey, Outstanding Actress (Liz Matthews)
  • 1980: Douglass Watson, Outstanding Actor (Mackenzie Cory)
  • 1981: Douglass Watson, Outstanding Actor (Mackenzie Cory)
  • 1986: Ellen Wheeler, Outstanding Ingenue (Marley and Vicky Love)
  • 1989: Margarita Delgado and Charles Schoonmaker, Outstanding Costume Design
  • 1990: Margarita Delgado and Charles Schoonmaker, Outstanding Costume Design
  • 1990: Angel De Angelis, Outstanding Hairstyling (head hairstylist)
  • 1991: Anne Heche, Outstanding Younger Actress (Marley and Vicky Hudson)
  • 1992: Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team
  • 1993: Linda Dano, Outstanding Actress (Felicia Gallant)
  • 1996: Charles Keating (actor), Outstanding Lead Actor (Carl Hutchins)
  • 1996: Anna Kathryn Holbrook, Outstanding Supporting Actress (Sharlene Frame Hudson) (18 years after the Emmy won by Laurie Heineman for the same role)

Head Writers/Executive Producers

Head writer(s) Years Executive Producer(s)
Irna Phillips with William J. Bell May 1964 – March 1965 Allen M. Potter
James Lipton March – October 1965 Doris Quinlan
Agnes Nixon November 1965 – October 1968 Allen M. Potter; Charles Fisher; Paul Robert; Mary Harris
Robert Cenedella November 1968 – August 1971 Mary Harris; Lyle B. Hill
Harding Lemay August 1971 – May 1979 Paul Rauch
Tom King May – November 1979 Paul Rauch
Tom King and Robert Soderberg November 1979 – December 1980 Paul Rauch
L. Virginia Browne December 1980 – November 1982 Paul Rauch
Robert Soderberg November 1982 Paul Rauch
Robert Soderberg and Dorothy Ann Purser November 1982 – December 1983 Paul Rauch
Dorothy Ann Purser December 1983 – February 1984 Rauch; Allen M. Potter
Richard Culliton March – June 1984 Stephen Schenkel
Richard Culliton and Gary Tomlin July 1984 – January 1985 Stephen Schenkel
Gary Tomlin January – July 1985 Stephen Schenkel
Sam Hall and Gillian Spencer August 1985 – March 1986 Stephen Schenkel and John Whitesell
Margaret DePriest March 1986 – January 1988 John Whitesell
Sheri Anderson February – April 1988 John Whitesell; Michael Laibson
Harding Lemay September – November 1988 Michael Laibson
Donna Swajeski November 1988 – November 1992 Michael Laibson
Peggy Sloane, Samuel D. Ratcliffe November 1992 – November 1994 Laibson; Terri Guarnieri; John Valente
Carolyn Culliton November 1994 – August 1995 John Valente; Jill Farren Phelps
Tom King and Craig Carlson August 1995 – May 1996 Jill Farren Phelps
Margaret DePriest May 1996 – January 1997 Phelps; Charlotte Savitz
Elizabeth Page
Tom King
Craig Carlson
January – March 1997 Charlotte Savitz
Tom King and Craig Carlson March – April 1997 Charlotte Savitz
Michael Malone April – December 1997 Charlotte Savitz
Richard Culliton December 1997 – May 1998 Charlotte Savitz
Richard Culliton
Jean Passanante
May – July 1998 Charlotte Savitz
Jean Passanante July 1998 Charlotte Savitz
Leah Laiman and Jean Passanante July 1998 – June 1999 Charlotte Savitz; Christopher Goutman

References

See also

External links

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