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 the one of the few American soap operas to engender a spin-off (two direct spin-offs (Somerset
), and one indirect spin-off (Friends and Lovers
/For Richer, For Poorer
) aired over the years); it was the first Soap Opera
to expand to a full hour; and it is the only Soap Opera
to air for 90 minutes daily.
The show originally focused on Mathews and the Randolph families. The show hit its stride when it introduced the characters of Steven Frame and Rachel Davis (originated by Robin Strasser, but most notably played by Victoria Wyndham), and began to focus on the love triangle between Steve Frame, Alice Mathews and Rachel Davis. In the 1970s, the show moved its focus to the newly arrived Cory family, and focused on the love story of Rachel and Mac Cory, and the rivalry between Rachel and Mac's daughter Iris. The 1980s introduced several more long-running characters, including Felicia Gallant, Cass Winthrop, and the Love family (Donna and her twin daughters Vicky and Marley).
This show provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: In the 1986/87episodes, it was strongly implied when Donna's father Reginald came Back from the Dead, 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.
- 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:
- The character of Mac Cory was killed off on the show after Douglas Wattson died 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.
- 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 availabe 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.
- 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.