Another World was an NBC network soap opera created by Irna Phillips & William J. Bell. which premiered on May 4, 1964.
The series focused less on the conventional drama of domestic life as seen in other soap operas and more on exotic melodrama between families of different classes and philosophies.
It was the first soap opera to do a crossover (with one of the characters from the soap opera "Guiding Light") and the first soap opera to expand to one hour, then 90 minutes and then back to an hour.
On April 12, 1999, NBC announced it was canceling the series due to low ratings with its final episode on the network airing on June 25, 1999, ending after 35 seasons & 8,891 episodes.
The first episode was the aftermath of the funeral of wealthy William Matthews. His widow, Liz (Audra Lindley) did not like his working-class brother, Jim (Shepperd Strudwick) 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 (Sam Groom), Alice (Jacqueline Courtney), and Pat (Susan Trustman), 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 Pat having an illegal abortion after becoming pregnant. This was the first time that American television had covered the subject on abortion.
In the story, the abortion made Pat sterile and the shock from the news caused her to find her ex-boyfriend, Tom Baxter (Nicholas Pryor), and shoot him in cold blood. Pat was eventually brought to trial and acquitted. She then fell in love with and married her lawyer, John Randolph (Michael M. Ryan). Trustman left the role of Pat in 1967 and was replaced by Beverly Penberthy.
Another notable early storyline revolved around the star-crossed romance of Bill Matthews (Joseph Gallison) and Melissa Palmer (Carol Roux). Liz 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 when Bill 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, then-head writer of Guiding Light, was hired after Lipton's departure to write for the program.
In 1967, Nixon created the show's most iconic character: Rachel Davis (Robin Strasser). Rachel was raised by her single mother, Ada (Constance Ford), who provided a good foil for Rachel.
Down-to-earth Ada could sit in her kitchen on Bowman Street and be perfectly content with her life. Rachel, on the other hand, was a schemer who was determined to escape her impoverished background, even if it meant she had to resort to underhanded means.
Rachel thought she hit the jackpot when she married Russ, but then she met wealthy businessman, Steve Frame (George Reinholt). Steve also grew up poor and he bonded with Rachel over their respective pasts, but it was Rachel's sister-in-law, Alice, who stole his heart.
Alice was sophisticated, shy, and demure—everything Rachel was not. They courted and were to marry in 1969, but the marriage was called off when Rachel crashed their engagement party with the news that she was carrying Steve's child. She later gave birth to a son named Jamie.
Steve, Alice, and Rachel
The love triangle revolving around Steve, Alice and Rachel took Another World to the top of the ratings. In June 1970, Alice went to live in France after suffering a breakdown. In her absence, Steve and Rachel bonded yet again, this time over their son. Alice eventually returned and reunited with Steve. The star-crossed lovers finally married.
When Robert Cenedella stepped down as head writer in 1971, sponsor Procter & 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. Many people consider Lemay's tenure the Golden Age of "Another World."
Victoria Wyndham took over the role of Rachel from Robin Strasser in 1972 and remained until the end of the show's run. Rachel was thoroughly convinced her son would be instrumental in breaking up the Frame marriage and snagging her Steve once and for all.
She enlisted the help of her drifter father, Gerald (Walter Mathews), who tricked Alice into finding Steve and Rachel in a compromising position. Alice filed for divorce and left town again. 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.
Steve tried to settle into his new life with Rachel and Jamie (Robert Doran), but Alice was always on his mind. When Alice returned to Bay City, she exposed Rachel and Gerald's scheme. Steve divorced Rachel and reunited with Alice. Steve was charged with embezzlement and sentenced to prison.
The day before he began his sentence, Steve and Alice married for the second time (on AW's tenth-anniversary telecast). Rachel continued to scheme, even trying to evict Alice from the house Steve had given her, causing Alice to have another mental breakdown. The triangle finally ended when Steve was supposedly killed in a helicopter crash in Australia.
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.
Mac, Rachel, and Iris
The marriage of Mac and Rachel in Mac's New York City townhouse on Valentine's Day 1975. Ralph Camargo, the actor who played the justice of the peace, is the real-life father of Victoria Wyndham (Rachel). This was the first time father and daughter had acted together.
Rachel began a new chapter in her life and stopped being the conniving troublemaker she had been for years. This was in tune with Victoria 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 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.
The love of a good man was ultimately what redeemed Rachel. At a welcoming party thrown in his honor, Rachel crossed paths with wealthy publisher, Mac Cory (Douglass Watson). Originally, Mac was a love interest for Liz Matthews, but Lemay noticed the chemistry between Watson and Wyndham and wrote a 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.
Mac and Rachel were married on Valentine's Day 1975. Mac accepted Jamie as his own child, but the same could not be said for Rachel and Mac's daughter, Iris Carrington (Beverlee McKinsey). Iris was a glamorous socialite who had left her husband, Eliot (James Douglas), and their son, Dennis (Mike Hammett), to go jet-setting. She was insanely jealous and resented Rachel, who she saw as beneath her family.
The drama produced by Iris interfering in Mac and Rachel's marriage carried the show for the rest of the '70s. Iris pulled numerous schemes to drive Rachel and Mac apart, but, unfortunately for her, they often backfired. After the birth of Mac and Rachel's daughter, Amanda (Nicole Catalanotto), it was revealed that Iris was adopted, which devastated her.
The presence of the Cory maid, Louise Goddard (Anne Meacham), provided comedic relief in otherwise dramatic storylines. Louise also served as a stern confidante and a sometime voice of reason for the Cory family.
The Matthewses, Randolphs and the Ewings
After Steve's death, Alice became a backburner character for the first time in eleven years, in tune with Lemay's wish that Jacqueline Courtney leave the show. She was replaced by actress Susan Harney. Alice became a registered nurse, and adopted an orphaned girl named Sally (Cathy Greene).
For many years, John and Pat had been one of Bay City's most stable couples and loving parents to their twins, Michael and Marianne. However, they began experiencing marital problems and divorced. Russ (now played by David Bailey) had a disastrous marriage to Sharlene Frame (Laurie Heineman).
Siblings Blaine (Laura Malone) and Larry Ewing (Rick Porter) arrived from Claxton, Wyoming. Blaine had had a summer romance with Jamie (now played by Tim Holcomb) and wanted to continue their relationship. Jamie and Blaine later married, much to Rachel's disapproval. Larry became a police officer and married Clarice Hobson (Gail Brown).
John went on to marry the maniacal Olive Gordon (Jennifer Leak), who committed a reign of terror on the Matthews & Randolph clans. She cheated on John with Evan Webster (Barry Jenner), blackmailed Marianne (Ariana Chase) to leave town, and ruined Michael's (Lionel Johnston) marriage to Molly Ordway (Rolanda Mendels), among other misdeeds. Believing Alice and John were romantically involved, Olive decided to murder Alice. The March 6, 1979 episode featured a building being set on fire by Olive with Alice trapped inside. John rescued Alice and was killed in the process.
The 90-Minute Experiment
The sensational, special effects-laden episode coincided with the move to 90-minute episodes each weekday. The details of the episode were meant to be kept secret from the press, but they were leaked a month before the scenes aired.
Both "Guiding Light" and "The Edge of Night" decided to counteract with their own shocking episodes to air in the same time slot: the rape of Holly Thorpe by her husband Roger (GL) and the shocking murder storyline of Wade Meecham (EON), respectively.
The reason for the change was because the ratings for AW had gone to #1 in 1978 and, in order to keep the top spot, executive producer, Paul Rauch, pitched the idea to NBC to make the show longer. The change prompted Lemay to quit after eight years, citing overwork.
At first, the ratings got a slight boost, but most viewers did not like the change to longer episodes. The episode duration opened up space for many new characters to be introduced, but most of them did not catch on with the audience.
The soap also started facing strong competition from ABC's "General Hospital" which enjoyed a significant resurgence in the ratings starting around mid-1978 under the direction of Gloria Monty with its more action and youth-oriented storylines.
Iris moves to Texas
In the final months of the 90-minute experiment, many characters debuted on Another World in storylines that focused on Iris as she planned a move to Houston, Texas.
This fictional move was incorporated in the new spin-off serial "Texas" which debuted on August 4, 1980. The initial concept was for a show set in the Antebellum South entitled Reunion, but NBC wanted something more in line with the hugely successful primetime soap, Dallas.
The show was renamed Texas and series producer, Paul Rauch, chose to have it revolve around Iris. Iris initially set out to visit her son, Dennis (now played by Jim Poyner), who had relocated from Bay City to Houston. Within a matter of weeks, Iris became involved with her first love (and Dennis's biological father), Alex Wheeler (Bert Kramer).
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", the show went back to 60 minutes and was moved from 3:00PM to 2:00PM.
Two million viewers defected from "Another World" (partly due to McKinsey's departure), partly due to the time change & 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.
Mac, Rachel, Janice, Mitch, (and again) Steve and Alice
Mac and Rachel had their own marital troubles, mostly regarding Rachel's decision to work full-time as a sculptress. Mac became close with the editor of Brava magazine (a part of Cory Publishing), Janice Frame (Christine Jones), who was also Steve's sister. Rachel and Mac began fighting regularly which eventually lead to a divorce.
Janice and Mac married, but she only wanted him for his money. Janice was having an affair with photographer and owner of a popular local discotheque, Mitch Blake (William Gray Espy), and the two plotted to kill Mac and acquire his estate.
The Mac/Rachel/Janice/Mitch storyline had carried on for a year when it culminated in scenes shot on location in St. Croix. To crack the scheme that Rachel suspected Janice was spearheading, Rachel slept with Mitch, who by then had backed out of Janice's plan. Rachel found Mac just as the poison Janice had given him was taking effect. After a scuffle involving a knife, the two women fell into a swimming pool and only Rachel came out alive, having killed Janice.
Weeks later, Rachel was mortified to find out that she was pregnant with Mitch's child, but she still remarried Mac. When Mitch was supposedly murdered by Rachel, she was put on trial. During the trial it came out that Mitch was the father of Rachel's baby, which devastated Mac.
Rachel was found guilty and sentenced to eight years in prison. Shortly after, she gave birth to a son named Matthew (Matthew Maienczyk). It turned out Mitch was still alive and was suffering from amnesia. Rachel was set free and the future seemed bright for the Cory family, but then Mitch and Rachel began an affair. Rachel decided to start a new life with Mitch and divorced Mac.
Further straining the Cory family was the arrival of Mac's illegitimate son, Sandy Alexander (Christopher Rich). Jamie (now played by Richard Bekins) and Sandy formed a brotherly relationship, but it was damaged when Jamie's scheming wife, Cecile (Nancy Frangione), and Sandy had an affair. Cecile and Sandy married and had a daughter named Maggie (Nicole Schrink).
Sandy left Cecile when he realized what kind of woman she was and started a relationship with Blaine. Mac became engaged to Rachel's former rival Alice Frame (now played by Vana Tribbey), who had returned to Bay City and was serving as his private nurse following a near-fatal gunshot wound.
Steve Frame (now played by David Canary) was "resurrected" in 1981, first masquerading as the mysterious, wealthy Edward Black. It was revealed he was suffering amnesia and had had plastic surgery. Alice (now played by Linda Borgeson) broke off her engagement to Mac and they reunited. Rachel ended her relationship with Mitch and returned to Bay City from San Francisco.
Mitch kidnapped Matthew, but luckily he was caught and was sent to prison. Rachel and Steve reconnected and after his relationship with Alice went sour and she left town, they reunited.
Sadly, on their wedding day, a car accident claimed Steve's life—this time for good. Rachel was blinded in the accident and Mac helped her recover. They fell in love again and were married in a double wedding in the summer of 1983, along with Sandy and Blaine.
In 1984, Alice (once again played by Jacqueline Courtney) returned and tended to Rachel during her bout with amnesia after being kidnapped by Carl Hutchins (Charles Keating).
A new Another World
Between 1981 and 1982, almost the entire Matthews family left the canvas: Pat moved to New York City, Marianne (now played by Beth Collins) left to resurrect her marriage to Rick Halloway (Tony Cummings), Russ departed for Seattle, Alice left to attend medical school and patriarch Jim died (his portrayer, Hugh Marlowe, had died in May 1982). Only Liz, her granddaughter, Julia Shearer (Kyra Sedgwick), and Sally (now played by Jennifer Runyon) remained in Bay City.
After the departure of the Matthews family, the wealthy Love family was introduced. They were made up of siblings Peter (John Hutton), Donna (Anna Stuart), Nicole (Kim Morgan Greene), and Marley (Ellen Wheeler), who was actually Donna's daughter.
Their tyrannical father, Reginald (John Considine), came back from the dead to cause trouble for his children. He had spent the last twenty years living under the alias LaSalle and had a whole other family, a wife, Marissa (Denise Alexander), who was none other than Mary McKinnon suffering from amnesia, and an adopted son, Scott (Hank Cheyne).
Donna had started off as a snobbish troublemaker, a la Iris, but mellowed somewhat when she married the love of her life, stable boy-turned-businessman Michael Hudson (Kale Browne). Michael and Donna had identical twins, Vicky (also played by Ellen Wheeler) and Marley, when they were teenagers.
Vicky was put up for adoption by Reginald and grew up poor in Lassiter, Pennsylvania. Vicky came to town with her nanny, Bridget Connell (Barbara Berjer), and her best friend, Jake McKinnon (Tom Eplin) and they planned to swindle the Love family, but then Jake fell in love with Marley. Vicky eventually bonded with her family and Jake married Marley.
Glamorous novelist, Felicia Gallant (Linda Dano) was introduced and became a mainstay in Bay City until the end of the show's run.
Many popular love stories emerged in the 1980s.
Felicia fell in love with ex-con, Mitch Blake, and the two had a storybook wedding. A down-to-earth love story came about between troubled Vietnam vet, John Hudson (David Forsyth), and a newly returned Sharlene (now played by Anna Kathryn Holbrook).
Jamie (now played by Laurence Lau) and Lisa Grady (Joanna Going) were going to tie the knot, but Vicky (now played by Anne Heche) broke them up when she became pregnant by Jamie. The pairing of journalist Kathleen McKinnon (Julie Osburn) and playboy lawyer Cass Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) also proved extremely popular.
Sally (now played by Mary Page Keller) fell for Blaine and Larry's long-lost brother, Catlin (Thomas Ian Griffith), and ran out on her wedding to David Thatcher (Lewis Arlt) to be with him. When David was murdered, Catlin took the fall thinking Sally had murdered him, but she hadn't.
After going on the run, Catlin was cleared and the pair married. Their marriage was declared invalid when Catlin's presumed-dead wife, Brittany Peterson (Sharon Gabet), arrived in town. Sally (now played by Taylor Miller) and Catlin legally married a year later, even though Catlin knew Brittany was pregnant with his child and was claiming Peter (now played by Marcus Smythe) was the father. Sally was tragically killed in a car accident caused by Reginald mere days after her wedding to Catlin.
One aborted love story was the impending marriage between police officers M.J. McKinnon (Sally Spencer) and Adam Cory (Ed Fry).
M.J. desperately tried to hide her past as a high class prostitute in Chicago, but then her former pimp and lover, Chad Rollo (Richard Burgi), arrived in town. A video surfaced of M.J. having sex with a Mafia boss and Adam dumped her. She decided to move to Minnesota to start over.
In 1987, the series broke new ground when they introduced Chad's sister, Dawn (Barbara Tyson). Dawn fell in love with Scott, but then she learned that she was HIV-positive. She had contracted the virus from a blood transfusion from her prostitute mother. Scott stuck by his girlfriend until Dawn tragically died in his arms. This was the first HIV/AIDS-related storyline to air on a daytime soap opera in the United States.
The Old and New Generation
The late 1980s saw the two core families of AW fill out the canvas: new generations of the Cory and Matthews families, as well as the return of older characters.
By 1986, all of the remaining members of the Matthews family had been written out, but the family began to reemerge in the late 1980s when Irene Dailey (Liz Matthews) returned on a recurring basis, David Bailey (Russ Matthews) started making guest appearances and Allison Hossack came on as Russ's daughter, Olivia.
As usual, Liz was the town busybody while Russ was stunned to learn he was the father of Sharlene's daughter, Josie Watts (Alexandra Wilson) and Olivia pursued a dancing career.
Mac and Rachel's two youngest children came back as teenagers, Amanda was now played by Sandra Ferguson and Matthew by Matt Crane. Amanda married budding artist, Sam Fowler (Robert Kelker-Kelly) and they had a daughter, Alli (Kerri Ann Darling). Matthew started a relationship with Josie, much to both of their families' disapproval due to the ugly history between the Corys and the Frames.
Iris Wheeler (now played by Carmen Duncan) returned to Bay City in 1988. She revealed she was in fact Mac's biological daughter (her birth mother had confessed this on her deathbed).
With this knowledge, Iris was more determined than ever to win her beloved "Daddy" over once and for all. Iris claimed she was a changed woman, but it soon became apparent she was up to no good. She set up a dummy corporation called Bennett Publishing which she ran under the code name "The Chief."
Her plan was to use her company to take down Cory Publishing so she could rush in and save it, winning Mac over in the process. Rachel uncovered the truth and confronted her stepdaughter. Iris confessed all to Mac, who was devastated and left for Maine to ponder the implications.
Turning Point: Mac's Death
The Cory family continued to be fan favorites, but the family's importance on the show was shaken when Mac Cory's portrayer, Douglass Watson unexpectedly died of a heart attack while on vacation in Arizona in May 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 that featured the return of several veteran characters, including original characters Alice Frame (Jacqueline Courtney) and Pat Randolph (Beverly Penberthy). It also featured a mystical sequence with Rachel coaxed back from near-death by the ghost of her ex-husband Steve (George Reinholt reprised the role), thwarting Janice's attempt to lure Rachel "into the light".
Watson's death was written into the show with Mac dying of a heart attack off-screen while in Maine. Rachel, her family, and a few returning characters tearfully buried Mac on the June 16, 1989 episode.
Without Watson, the show was left without a unifying center and it was up to Victoria Wyndham to fill that void. Much of the show's focus shifted to Anne Heche who played the dual roles of Vicky and Marley.
Vicky was the town schemer, very reminiscent of Rachel at her worst, while Marley remained the "good" twin. Vicky married Jamie and gave birth to a son named Steven, while Marley reconciled with Jake after they nearly divorced.
It soon came out that Jake had a one-night stand with Vicky and might be Steven's father. Jamie turned out to be the father, but both marriages were destroyed. After an intense custody battle, Jamie won full custody of Steven.
In Mac's will, Iris, Amanda, and Rachel had all been left equal shares of Cory Publishing. Rachel attempted to head the company and counter Iris's continued interference.
When the vote for CEO came down, Rachel and Iris were tied. Vicky offered to use her shares to vote for Rachel if she was given custody of Steven, but Rachel turned down her down. In an unforgettable moment, Vicky walked into the Cory Publishing boardroom and, to get back at Rachel for rejecting her blackmail, broke the tie by voting for Iris.
A New Era
The absence of Mac continued to affect the show as it moved into the new decade. However, some of the show's most popular storylines came about in the 1990s.
After divorcing Mitch, Felicia was reunited with her old flame, Lucas Castigliano (John Aprea). Lucas hunted Felicia down in an attempt to find their daughter, who turned out to be none other than Felicia's enemy, Lorna Devon (Alicia Coppola). Lorna had gone behind the scenes at Felicia's talk show and switched the live footage with a pornographic videotape that Lucas and Felicia's adoptive daughter, Jenna Norris (Alla Korot), had unwittingly made.
Felicia and Lucas ended up repairing their relationship with Lorna, but their time as a family was short-lived when Lucas was murdered. Meanwhile, 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.
Mac's death ushered in the appearance of his illegitimate daughter, Paulina Cantrell (Cali Timmins), who fought to prove her legitimacy as a Cory. Cass fell in love with eccentric detective, Frankie Frame (Alice Barrett), but they faced numerous obstacles to be together.
One such hindrance was Cass's presumed-dead wife Kathleen returning to Bay City after being in the Witness Protection Program. Sharlene dealt with multiple personality disorder and was terrorized by her psychiatrist, Dr. Taylor Benson (Christine Andreas), who was obsessed with John. Sharlene was later presumed dead in a boat explosion engineered by Taylor.
The 1990 storyline "Who Shot Jake McKinnon?" was one of the biggest storylines the show ever told.
After his split from Marley, Jake threw caution to the wind and began scheming his way through Bay City. He blackmailed Iris after she bribed him to prove Paulina was not Mac's daughter, blackmailed Paulina with fake proof that Mac was not her father, and slept with his former mother-in-law, Donna.
Marley and Jake reconciled once again, but then she found out that he was in the midst of an affair with Paulina. When Marley dumped Jake, he became enraged and raped her. He was later shot by a mystery assailant.
Jake survived and, considering his recent actions, the list of suspects included almost all of Bay City. Marley was ultimately charged with his attempted murder, though she was innocent. Luckily, Marley was not convicted, but the perpetrator remained a mystery. Jake awoke from his coma and remembered the night in question: it was none other than Paulina who had shot him.
Instead of turning her in, Jake decided to use Paulina for his own nefarious purposes, including trying to break up Marley's relationship with Jamie (now played by Russell Todd). Jake eventually blackmailed Paulina into marriage to get his hands on the Cory fortune.
Vicky's romance with kindhearted police officer, Ryan Harrison (Paul Michael Valley), became one of the show's most popular love stories of the '90s. However, Vicky (now played by Jensen Buchanan) ruined her relationship with Ryan when she cheated on him with his brother, Grant (Mark Pinter).
Vicky would come to regret the day she ever got involved with Grant as he continued to terrorize her for years. Amanda saw her marriage to Sam crash and burn when she had an affair with Janice's son, Evan Frame (Charles Grant). Marley and Jamie's relationship fell apart due to her inability to become pregnant.
Between 1992 and 1993, there was another Matthews family exodus: Olivia left town because she was pregnant by Iris's son, Dennis (now played by Chris Bruno), Liz departed, and Russ made his last appearance.
Series Renewal Despite low ratings, "Another World" was renewed in 1993 and the lower rated "Santa Barbara" was given the axe instead, but the show's ratings still were not performing well, becoming the second-lowest rated soap opera on U.S. television at the time (ahead of only ABC's series "Loving") after "Santa Barbara"'s cancellation. The odds were not in the show's favor that it would be renewed again in 1999.
Rachel's beloved mother, Ada Hobson, died in Summer 1993 (veteran actress Constance Ford had died earlier that year). Rachel needed support more than ever, and she found it in the unlikeliest source, Mac's former enemy, reformed villain Carl Hutchins. The two fell in love and became engaged.
Iris did not like this news one bit and at Rachel and Carl's wedding, she planned to startle Carl by firing blanks at him. Evan (now played by Eric Scott Woods) placed real bullets into Iris's gun, causing Iris to gravely wound Carl. She was convicted of the crime and sent to prison.
Matthew Cory developed a May–December romance with his business partner, Donna Hudson. Vicky married Grant, but left him to reunite with Ryan. Vicky later gave birth to Grant's son, Kirkland (Austin and Evan Tennenbaum) and the two fought tooth and nail over the child.
Cass and Frankie were finally wed and they honeymooned on the Orient Express. Sharlene turned up alive and reunited with John. Jake and Paulina (now played by Judi Evans) beat the odds and fell in love with each other, but continued to have a tumultuous relationship.
The show also covered many social issue storylines, including sexual assault, mental illness and alcoholism.
When Lorna was raped after a night of heavy drinking, viewers watched as she dealt with the aftermath of her brutal attack. She originally pointed the finger at Morgan Winthrop (Grayson McCouch), but her rapist turned out to be Kyle Barkley (Roger Floyd).
Cass and Frankie were devastated when their daughter, Charlie (Lindsay Fabes), became ill. Luckily, she recovered, but Cass had begun acting strangely. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which had been triggered by Charlie's illness. Again, viewers were informed and they learned both the symptoms of the illness and how to treat it by watching Cass see a counselor and start to take medication.
Felicia had begun drinking heavily after Lucas's death, but she refused to call herself an alcoholic. After her friends staged an intervention, she found help through Alcoholics Anonymous. Decline
Early in 1995, news at the top signaled a change in executive producer. Jill Farren Phelps (who had won Emmys for her work on "Santa Barbara") was given the job. Phelps made several changes to take the show in a more youthful direction.
Both cast members over 55, Barbara Berjer (Bridget Connell) and David Hedison (Spencer Harrison), were fired. Even though Matthew and Donna were a popular couple, Phelps insisted the characters be paired with others their own age so they were broken up when Donna cheated with her ex-husband, Michael.
Many other romances began and ended. After years of putting up with Jake's cons, swindles and lies, Paulina had enough and left him to tie the knot with police officer, Joe Carlino (Joseph Barbara).
John and Sharlene's marriage was ruined by John's affair with Felicia. Grant wrecked his marriage to Amanda (now played by Christine Tucci) by cheating on her with Lorna (now played by Robin Christopher). Police trainee Josie (now played by Amy Carlson) fell for her instructor, Gary Sinclair (Timothy Gibbs).
One of the show's most maligned storylines of all-time involved show matriarch Rachel Cory Hutchins being kidnapped and then impersonated by an evil doppelgänger countess, Justine Duvalier (also played by Victoria Wyndham).
It was panned by the soap press as being worthy of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 level of ridicule. During the storyline, the show was dealt another major blow when fan favorite Paul Michael Valley was fired and his character, Ryan, was killed off.
Fans were relieved when Justine's reign of terror was put to an end when Carl finished her off with a letter opener. Wyndham was quoted as liking the storyline at first, but after it played out, she stated that she wished she had never appeared in it.
Budget cuts caused Phelps to institute a serial killer storyline. Phelps decided to kill off one major character and it was originally decided that popular character, Donna Hudson, was to be offed, but massive fan protest caused Phelps to scrap that plan. Phelps then decided to kill off either Frankie Frame or Paulina Carlino. When a focus group responded lukewarm to Frankie but warmer to Paulina, Phelps gave the greenlight to axe Frankie.
When word got out about Frankie's exit, another massive rampage of fan protests arose. 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 Frankie's husband, Cass, return to his former rogue ways, vehemently refused. Frankie was murdered in what many people felt were overly brutal and gruesome scenes.
Rachel gave birth to twins, even though she was in her early 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, but not as his former role, Sam Fowler. Instead, he came on as the mysterious Bobby Reno, a love interest for Vicky.
Bobby's backstory became convoluted when his identity was rewritten as a fugitive named Shane Roberts and his former wife, Lila (Lisa Peluso), came to town to reclaim him. Vicky began dating her lifelong friend Jake and they later married.
After the Justine story and the deaths of Ryan and Frankie, AW took a serious blow creatively. Frankie was one of the show's most beloved characters, Ryan and Vicky had been the show's most popular couple, and it had never done something as outlandish as a doppelgänger before.
The show continued to decline creatively which eventually led to its demise.
Goodbye, Bay City
On April 12, 1999, as part of a shakeup of the network's daytime and early morning schedules (in which NBC also cancelled "NBC News at Sunrise" with newcomer "Early Today," replacing it as the network's early-morning newscast and picked up the daytime talk show Later Today, a short-lived spinoff of "Today"), NBC announced that it would not renew "Another World", effectively ending the series' run after 35 years once the show's previous renewal agreement ended that June.
Many reasons abounded for Another World's cancellation, one of the more notable events occurred in the summer of 1998: the network's San Francisco affiliate KRON-TV (which was one of NBC's highest-rated stations at the time) stopped airing the show altogether, leaving "Days of Our Lives" and "Sunset Beach" as the only NBC soaps that the station cleared on its schedule.
The move resulted in Another World being unavailable in around two million television households within the large San Francisco–Oakland–San Jose market, resulting in additional erosion of the program's already below-mediocre ratings (it was later picked up by smaller independent station KICU-TV).
Another reason behind the cancellation decision was that a new soap opera produced and owned by NBC (through its NBC Studios unit) "Passions" had entered into production and was slated to begin airing on the network later that year.
As the network did not have an unoccupied time slot in its daytime schedule in which to place "Passions", NBC necessarily had to make room for it at the expense of an existing program.
Rumors abounded that "Days of our Lives" would be cancelled (despite being NBC's highest-rated daytime series) as renewal talks between NBC and Columbia Pictures Television were going poorly at the time (at the same time, there were rumors that ABC would cancel "Port Charles" to make room for "Days").
There were also rumors that the low-rated, younger-skewing soap "Sunset Beach" (the lowest-rated of NBC's three daytime serials at the time) would be cancelled.
At the eleventh hour, "Days of our Lives" was renewed while the fate of "Another World" was sealed. "Sunset Beach" was picked up through the end of 1999 due to its slightly better ratings in the younger demographics, but it was ultimately cancelled in December of that year.
The final episode of "Another World" aired on June 25, 1999 which revolved around the wedding of Cass and Lila.
In the show's final scene, Rachel and Carl happily embraced in the Cory living room, she remarked, "All's well that ends well" and after looking at the pictures of all her loved ones, Rachel went upstairs with Carl. The final image was a still frame of Mac & the show faded to black.
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 1970s).
"Another World" did not take long to establish itself as NBC's highest-rated 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 3:00 p.m. Eastern/2 Central, "Another World" slowly chipped away at ABC's "General Hospital" and CBS' daytime version of "To Tell the Truth."
The series' 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 opera that reputedly served as the model for "Another World" against it), but to no avail.
On March 30, 1970, "Another World" 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 Procter and Gamble discontinued this after a year and "Somerset" eventually veered away from "Another World"'s romantic and domestic storylines, developing into more of a crime drama. Title references to one-another were dropped, as were crossover stories.
With the arrival of Harding Lemay, the show would consolidate its place as not only the most popular and critically acclaimed soap opera on NBC, but one of the highest-rated soap opera of the decade.
Between 1973 and 1978, the show consistently attained second place in the ratings chart and tied with "As the World Turns" (its Procter and Gamble sister) for first place twice—in the 1973-1974 and 1977-1978 television seasons.
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."
The show 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") finally doubled their daily lengths.
"Another World" took over the entire 3-4 pm/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, the show began to experience an erosion in ratings caused mainly by the surge in popularity of "General Hospital", falling 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 opera to expand to 90 minutes, a move that proved unsuccessful—it remained in eighth place in the 1979-1980 television season.
Expansion to 90 minutes\Impact on RatingsEdit
Although it is widely thought that the expansion of "Another World" 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.
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 lineup never fully recovered. It would not be until 1983 that both "Days of Our Lives" and "Another World" would recover some of their lost ground.
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 settled 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).
The series fell from eighth to as low as 11th in the ratings chart and by the 1981-1982 television season, it sunk so low in the Nielsens to 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 1983-1984 television season, it jumped to ninth place and 5.6 (compared with 10th place and 4.8 in 1983).
The ratings increase was attributed to the emergence of couple Sally Frame (Mary Page Keller, later Taylor Miller) and Catlin Ewing (Thomas Ian Griffith), the addition of Linda Dano as chic romance novelist Felicia Gallant who was brought on to bring an element of glamour to the show and the return of actress Jacqueline Courtney as Dr. Alice Frame (who had been fired from the show nine years earlier despite being immensely popular with viewers).
The show remained in ninth place through the decade (occasionally moving up to eighth), pulling in generally stable numbers against "One Life to Live" (which was a big ratings hit at the time) and its Procter and Gamble sister soap "As the World Turns."
The show received some of its strongest critical acclaim during the 1980s as well.
Many soap critics praised the show for keeping its focus on relationships and family crisis, however, like many soaps at the time, the show did dive into occasional action/crime storylines such as the Sin Stalker murders in 1987 as a response to the popularity of the action/adventure oriented soap General Hospital during the decade.
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 from the mid-'80s until the end of its run.
While it never showed signs of moving up through this period, for the most part, the show was never in danger of falling to last place.
In early 1995, the show was the first daytime soap to eliminate the full-screen closing credits crawl in favor of the one-third screen credits/promo combination.
This was implemented by NBC to allow network news and local news outlets to break in with hourly updates on the O.J. Simpson trial alongside the closing credits.
In instances where news updates did not break in, scenes from that day's episode would appear on the left two-thirds of the screen, with the regular closing theme music accompanying it.
The "squeeze credits" trend remained in place on most NBC programs (and quickly spread to other networks) after the Simpson trial concluded; through the end of its run, "Another World" continued the one-third credits format while its daytime stablemate "Days of Our Lives", barred the network from running its credits in this fashion until 2001.