Series: Another World

"You are my way (You are my way)
To another world
(To another world)
You are the one that let me fly so high
You are the rain when my spirits run dry
You give my life
(You give my life)
A love that's real
'Cause when I'm with you, you take me away
To another world"
*Doo do do do dee da do*

Long-running Soap Opera created by Irna Phillips and William J. Bell, which aired on NBC from 1964-1999. Notable in the soap genre for several reasons: It is one of the few American soaps to engender a spin-off (two direct spin-offs, Somerset and Texas), and one indirect spin-off (Friends and Lovers/For Richer, For Poorer). Historically, it's was the first soap to expand to a full hour and, during an ill-fated ratings experiment, the only one to air for 90 minutes daily.

Set in the fictional Bay City, the show originally revolved around the super-wealthy Matthews and Randolphs. The show really hit its stride when it introduced the backstabbing social-climber Rachel Davis (originated by Robin Strasser, but most famously played by Victoria Wyndham) and her quarry, scion Steven Frame, and the love triangle between them and Alice Mathews. In the 1970s, the show moved its focus to the newly arrived Cory family, and discovered an unlikely super couple in Rachel and Mac Cory, which ignites a rivalry between Rachel and Mac's daughter Iris. The 1980s introduced several more long-running characters, including bon vivant writer Felicia Gallant, slick attorney Cass Winthrop, emaciated supervillain (and later Byronic Hero) Carl Hutchins, and the Love family (Donna and her twin daughters Vicky and Marley), with Rachel elevated to the top of the pantheon.

Another World had a tendency to reinvent itself quite a lot, even moreso than other long-runners, as evidenced by the ever-changing titles (The lyrics above are from the faaabulous 1993 sequence.) Today it is most (in)famous for being replaced with Passions in NBC's daytime slot.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: In the 1986/87 episodes, it was strongly implied when Donna's father Reginald came Back from the Dead that his adopted son, Scott La Salle, was actually a third child of Donna and Michael, supposedly a non identical twin of Vicky and Marley. In fact, the soap magazines of that time stated that Scott was indeed their child in their spoiler sections. Why this was abandoned is unclear, but it is probably due to the fact that Philece Sampler replaced Anna Stuart (who bore a strong resemblence to the actor who played Scott) as Donna.
  • Artifact Title: The show was originally envisioned as a spin-off of As the World Turns, with frequent references to Oakdale and cross-overs by ATWT's Hughes family. CBS didn't have room on its schedule to air the show, and refused to allow the show to operate as a spin-off on another network.
  • The Atoner: Carl Hutchins tried to be this, with varying results.
  • Back for the Finale: Carl briefly turned heel again as a result of actor Charles Keating being shown the door (along with the other expensive vets) in 1998. He died again—and bounced right back up again to absolutely no one's surprise. He reunites with Rachel in the closing shot of the show, as the camera pays homage to Mac's portrait sitting nearby.
    • A mere stone's throw from the final season, Grant Harrison was shot in his office. Turns out, he retired to the tropics and is living like a maharaja, having faked his death and escaped justice with all of his money. That's our boy.
  • Badass Mustache: Carl.
  • Badass Grandpa: Carl Hutchins, the most unlikely of leading men. He was originally a villain (thus explaining his... colorful appearance to latecomers), a vaguely-defined criminal and unacknowledged lovechild of Peter Cushing and Richard Branson, who gradually became a more neutral and unpredictable presence. He had a tumultuous romance with Rachel, the widow of his former rival, and the pair became a de facto power couple.
  • Bettyand Veronica: The long-running love triangle involving Steven Frame was an example, with Alice playing the Betty role and Rachel playing the Veronica role.
  • The Character Died with Him:
    • Mac Cory died off-screen of a heart attack after Douglas Wattson died of same in 1989.
    • The character of Ada Hobson was killed off on the show after Constance Ford died in 1993.
  • Cross Over: After the show's cancellation in 1999, several characters (Jake, Cass, Lila, Vicky, Marly and Donna) became regular or recurring characters on As the World Turns.
    • And the character of Michael Bauer from The Guiding Light appeared on Another World in the 1960's. Yes, a character from a soap on another network, CBS, crossed over.
  • Fan Fic: Proctor & Gamble created an on-line continuation, called Another World Today, picking up the show and the characters 10 years after the shows cancellaton. The continuation is written based on fan submitted plots and stories.
  • Follow the Leader: The updated intro from 1996 (before the cast culling) looks suspiciously like the title sequence of ER.
  • Harmless Villain: Business magnate (and onetime mayoral candidate) Grant Harrison. The show eventually gave up trying to make him a credible villain, and he became something of an inside joke. However he may have gotten the last laugh after all, as seen in the series finale...
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Like many soaps, the early years of the show (through c. 1978, per The Other Wiki) no longer exist due to wiping.
    • Averted in that Another World is one of the most repeated soaps not named Dark Shadows: P&G made episodes from 1980-1981 available on AOL Video for several years, episodes from 1987-1991 were re-run on Soap Net from 2003-2007, and episodes from 1991-1992 were available on Hulu.
  • Long Runner: Ran for 35 years, from May 1964 through June 1999, for a total of 8,891 episodes.
  • Lovable Rogue: Cass Winthrop.
  • Love Redeems: Rachel's relationship with magazine mogul Mac was at the request of Victoria Wyndham, who was weary of playing the heartless foil to Alice's pure character. The real motivator was that Wyndham was now being attacked by outraged fans in department stores for mistook her for Rachel.
  • May-December Romance: Rachel and Mac/Carl. The age difference is less noticeable with the latter.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Felicia, the pulp romance writer, is based on Jacqueline Susann, author of Valley of the Dolls and something of a camp figure.
  • The Other Darrin: Rachel is played by three actors: Robin Strasser, Margie Impert, and (most famously) Victoria Wyndham.
  • Pretty in Mink: Felicia Gallant.
  • Real-Life Relative: Ralph Camargo, who played the justice of the peace at Mac and Rachel's wedding, is the real-life father of Victoria Wyndham (Rachel).
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The show's theme from 1987 through 1996 was a pop song performed by Gary Morris and Crystal Gale; it is the only soap opera them song to chart in Billboard's Top 40.
  • Screwed by the Network: Arguably. When NBC ordered the soap Passions in 1999, it needed to cancel one of its existing soaps to make room on the schedule. Though no longer the ratings powerhouse that it was in the 1970s, the show still earned higher ratings than Sunset Beach. However, a slight uptick in the ratings and the younger demographics of Sunset Beach caused NBC to cancel Another World in June 1999. The increase in ratings for Sunset Beach would prove not to be permanent, and the show as cancelled six months later.
  • Spin-Off: As noted above, AW is one of the few soaps to engender a spin-off:
    • Somerset was created as a sister show to AW in the 1970s (in fact, the show was originally titled Another World - Somerset); however, ratings issues led to Somerset going off on its own direction (including becoming a clone of The Edge of Night for several years).
    • Texas was created as a vehicle for Beverlee McKinsey's character of Iris Cory Wheeler; the show never garnered good ratings (it originally competed against General Hospital at the height of its success), and lasted only two years.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Dying is practically Carl's nine-to-five job. Poison, bombs, bullets, it doesn't matter. Half the time no one even bothers to ask how he survived. It's just what he does.