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A New Day in Eden


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#1 dc11786

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 09:56 PM

Does anyone remember this early cable experiment in soap opera? Showtime aired the two half-hour episodes twice a week from November 1982 until August 1983. Sixty-six installments were produced. From November until May, Showtime would spend one week a month rerunning the previous month's worth of episodes on a nightly basis like a daily soap opera. The television section of the newspapers would provide breif descriptions of the episodes. Some are more revealing than others. One states "Shelley raped," while another states "Sweet honey." I don't know how sweet honey was suppose to entice someone unless Honey was the name of a character.

Most soap books refer to the story revolving around the Lewis family. The patriarch Bryan Lewis ran a successful electronics company, a company which rejuvenated the sleepy hamlet of Eden. Bryan's sons were Greg (the good one) and Biff (the bad one). Bryan's sister-in-law Miranda Stevens was involved with Josh Collier, the man who arrived in Eden to measure Eden's urban renewal. A rapist stalked the young co-eds on the campus and murdered his victims.

Youtube has a Showtime promo from December 1982, which features an advertisement for "A New Day in Eden." I assume what is featured is the title card, but really it's nothing to get too excited about.

Today, I received a script from episode #33 of "A New Day in Eden." This would be half way through the show's run. I've only read through the first scene, but it's all very enlightening on a rather obscure show. The episode begins with one of the female leads, Francie Richardson, apparently being stalked by the Campus Strangler, the man attacking the co-eds. In reality, Francie is saved by her cousin, Hud, who I think works for campus security. Francie's stalker is Kevin Wallace, a professor who was working late on campus. Another poster on this board had mentioned the Richardson family. Besides her cousin, Francie had a father named Frank who was mentioned in the story. Frank had called Francie a 'whore' for sleeping with Biff Lewis.

I'll post future updates as I make my way through the script.

Anyone have anything to add?
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#2 LoyaltoAMC

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 10:36 PM

The show can only be described as "ATWT on viagra." Essentially it was "Soft Porn Comes to Oakdale." It had these wild sexual situations played out against a very traditional soap structure. It was a very sexy show. I was about 15 when this was on and just coming of age as a gay teen, and I had a wild crush on the blond stud who played Biff Lewis. I mean a WILD CRUSH. James Horan was so hot too. It was just a very fun, provocative romp that I was probably too young to be watching LOL. I remember they paired it with a show called Loving Friends and Perfect Couples with Cali Timmons, just before her Ryan's Hope days. That bored me to tears, but I was enthralled by Eden. It definitely should've lasted longer than it did.
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#3 SFK

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 11:11 PM

Loyal, do you remember the one called Romance? We were discussing it in the print ad thread, trying to find more info.
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#4 LoyaltoAMC

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 12:42 AM

Loyal, do you remember the one called Romance? We were discussing it in the print ad thread, trying to find more info.


No, I don't recall Romance at all. I went into that thread, and it doesn't ring a bell. And I thought I've seen them all. All I remember are Eden and LF&PC.
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#5 DRW50

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:49 AM

Thank you both for all of this information. I still hope we can see this someday, as it is something very rare and I wish they'd try it again - instead Cinemax just has these little limited run soft porn things (Lingerie, Life on Top, Forbidden Science, Co-Ed Confidential, now, Femme Fatales). Why not try a show that will run a bit longer?

Did New Day in Eden have any nudity?
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#6 Chris B

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 06:13 AM

It is weird how this has completely disappeared. You know I see them releasing such random things at times, including the short lived soap Yellow Rose, or even Playboy's Eden, but not this. Considering it does have a lot of well known people it could be a good cheap DVD release. Until then we have to rely on threads like this and the great info provided by us fans.

I'm most curious about the production values for this show. I wonder if it had more of a daytime or primetime feel and how cheap it looked.
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#7 JackPeyton

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:20 AM

It is weird how this has completely disappeared. You know I see them releasing such random things at times, including the short lived soap Yellow Rose, or even Playboy's Eden, but not this. Considering it does have a lot of well known people it could be a good cheap DVD release. Until then we have to rely on threads like this and the great info provided by us fans.

I'm most curious about the production values for this show. I wonder if it had more of a daytime or primetime feel and how cheap it looked.

Showtime has not even released Beggers and Choosers yet, sadly.
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#8 LoyaltoAMC

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:21 AM

Thank you both for all of this information. I still hope we can see this someday, as it is something very rare and I wish they'd try it again - instead Cinemax just has these little limited run soft porn things (Lingerie, Life on Top, Forbidden Science, Co-Ed Confidential, now, Femme Fatales). Why not try a show that will run a bit longer?

Did New Day in Eden have any nudity?



Yeah, there was some brief upper body female nudity with at least of the characters, Pam Lewis. She was the girlfriend of the Jack Wagner character. I think she was trying to become a rock singer or something. I remember a scene of her swimming nude in the pool at the Lewis mansion one moonlit night. I think that was the scene where she has a lesbian experience, being seduced by the older evil Miranda (a kind of less-caricaturish version of Y&R's Jill as played by Brenda Dickson LOL). It was all very cheesy and soft-pornish, but incredibly addictive. There was also a character named Emmett Clayborne, with a chiseled bod, square jaw and mustache who looked like he stepped out of gay porn at the time, who I think showed his backside. Lara Parker from Dark Shadows was also in it, playing a very concerned mom of a teenaged girl. A year later, my PBS station began running Dark Shadows, and I remember thinking how great an actress she was to play these two polar oppposite characters.
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#9 DRW50

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:07 AM

Thanks for the info. It sounds very interesting. It's a shame that so soon after this was when the next puritanical wave hit, because of AIDS and other issues - it just retreated cable back to safer areas. I'd really like to see this show. I'd especially like to see Lara Parker, and also to see what Marland's writing was like, since his writing after this veered more towards a family-oriented area, with less cheese or camp.

Edited by CarlD2, 10 May 2011 - 11:07 AM.

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#10 LoyaltoAMC

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:41 AM

Thanks for the info. It sounds very interesting. It's a shame that so soon after this was when the next puritanical wave hit, because of AIDS and other issues - it just retreated cable back to safer areas. I'd really like to see this show. I'd especially like to see Lara Parker, and also to see what Marland's writing was like, since his writing after this veered more towards a family-oriented area, with less cheese or camp.


On the surface it was very racy and very adult, but at the heart was a very traditional soap, with intergenerational and class conflict, and with Marland's trademark well-conceived and layered stories & characters. In a way, it was to ATWT what Curb Your Enthusiam was to Seinfeld LOL..essentially the same show but much more provocative and with "dirty words" and nudity. It was obvious that Showtime wanted to have a soap with the basic daytime template, but with the erotic factor amped up 1,000%. Looking back it wasn't really that campy. I never found Marland's stuff very campy anyway. At least not intentional camp. Even the craziest stuff he wrote with a straight face, and Eden was really no different.

Edited by LoyaltoAMC, 10 May 2011 - 11:45 AM.

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#11 DRW50

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:57 AM

I do think a fair amount of his GL work is campy, or quasi-campy, which is why I'd like to see this show, as it seems like a bridge to Loving and ATWT.
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#12 dc11786

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 02:19 PM

LoyaltytoAMC, do you remember who James Horan played?

Grant Wilson played Biff Lewis. Currently, there are two slides from the series available on eBay. I believe Wilson is featured in the one labeled Wendy Barry.

People's Magazine did an article on the soap in early February 1983. I've looked at it several times at their online archives. Several members of the cast are featured in bed together.

Romance was Showtime's first effort at a soap, but it was of a romantic anthology. A story would be told over the course of 5 installments. Like "Eden" later on, Romance would air episodes twice a week and then once the story concluded would air all five installments in the course of a week. This show ran until around November/December 1982. For all intents and purposes, "Loving Friends and Perfect Couple" replaced it. "Eden" and "Romance initially aired in a block from 10 to 11 on Tuesday and Thursday nights. When "Romance" was booted, "Eden" and "Loving Friends" aired together between 11 and 12.

The first story featured involved the Malone family who was involved in the movie making business. The son's fiancee had died and he had decided to enter the seminary. The father wasn't really happy with this idea and hired a hooker to seduce his son. Of course, the son and the hooker fall in love and the father isn't pleased. The second one was an import called '33 Brompton Place' or something along those lines. I believe Roberta Weiss (SB) was in that one. It was privately produced as its own serial, but aired under the 'Romance' banner at Showtime. The third story, or I think it was the third story, featured a widower who painted erotic portraits while a man raped and killed women in a beachside community. The sheriff investigating the matter was the man's former father-in-law and believed the man had killed the sheriff's daughter/artist's wife.

Paul Klein was the major force behind these from what I understand. He later would go work for PlayboyTV.

The breif TV descriptions I had mentioned Pam and Clint and Miranda and Biff, but I was under the assumption Pam and Biff had been involved. In one of the scenes in the script, Biff does mention it seems like a nice little family reunion, and then points out that Pam is absent. I assume Pam is Bryan's daughter? Miranda is referenced as Bryan's sister-in-law so I'm not so sure how it all pieces together. Maybe when I get a chance to finish reading the script it will all become more clear.

Anyway, I was mistaken about the script; it's the final two episodes (parts 65 an 66). The script is actually broken down into two parts. Kevin Wallace appears to be a major player. In the second scene, Betty Franklin enters her darkened kitchen upon hearing a noise. She suspects it's her daughter Laurel, who she has just had an argument with. It turns out no one is there, but Laurel looks at a copy of a short story Laurel wrote for Kevin Wallace's writing course. Betty flashes back to the previous episode where Wallace and Betty discuss the story. Wallace tells Betty her daughter has been writing highly sexualized stories and suggest they aren't purely fiction. Then, Wallace rapes Betty. This puts the first scene in a different light. I'm going to have to reread it to see if the suggestion is Kevin was pursuing Francie Richardson. I assumed it was a cop out.

In another scene, Josh Collier, Miranda Stevens, Bryan Lewis, and Madge Sinclair have gathered to celebrate Bryan and Madge's engagement. I believe Madge is Jane Elliott's character. Bryan and Madge seem genuinely happy while Miranda's poor attitude nearly spoils the celebration. Josh feels he's to blame as Miranda hasn't cared for Josh since he arrived in Eden.

Hud and Francie arrive at the Franklin home after Betty places a call to Dr. Hammond, who is in surgery. On a side note, I immediately thought of Dane Hammond from Loving. Hud asks Betty if Francie can stay and describe their encounter with Kevin Wallace. Betty is obviously disturbed by this. Hud plans to go see his Uncle Frank, who needs to be looked after. Another online poster told me Frank was confined to a wheelchair.

There were two scenes with the younger set at Cronies, which appears to be a bar / nightclub. I assume this is the set featured in the slides available on eBay featuring the two young ladies. Featured in the scene are a brother-sister duo Cynthia and Logan. Logan seems to be a late addition to the series as Cynthia introduces Logan to Clint when he arrives. Logan and Cynthia's father is mentioned and it's said he recently left town. I'm wondering if Emmett Clayborn is their father since he is mentioned as having fled Eden in part 50 (episode 25).

There seems to be some tension between Biff and those featured (Greg / Laurel / Clint), but the subtext isn't very clear. Something has been brewing, but I'm not sure what.

I'll make more comments as I make my way through it.
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#13 DRW50

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 02:34 PM

This is fascinating. I wonder if Paul Klein was involved in Playboy's "Eden."

Some of that stuff about the rapist professor definitely sounds tough to take.

I'd forgotten Jane Elliot was on this show. I wonder if her character was a big departure from Carrie and Tracy.
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#14 dc11786

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:02 PM

Carl, the professor stuff didn’t bother me when reading it. The show’s storylines delved into a lot of dark themes. Professor Wallace was at Cronies’ flirting with a co-ed extra, while the younger set looked on with a sense that Wallace was skeevy. He has a brief exchange with Tim Lockhart, the chief of police, who admits he is closing in on the Campus Strangler. Wallace is painted as rapist, but nothing is revealed in the script. In Wallace’s final scene, he has tracked down an alone Laurel Franklin to her mother’s kitchen where the camera would focus on the newspaper headline: “Strangler Claims His Fourth Victim.”

I was told an additional scene was filmed and aired when it was clear the show wasn’t returning. I’ve been told Frank Richardson, Francie Richardson’s wheelchair bound father, admitted to his daughter he was the Campus Strangler.

Jane Elliott’s Madge didn’t seem to get a whole lot of story. She was engaged to Bryan Lewis, the older male lead, but Bryan loved Betty Franklin. When Bryan and party returned from celebrating his engagement, Bryan was surprised at his home by Betty. Madge excused herself so Bryan could speak to Betty.

It was clear from Bryan and Betty’s conversation that they were the couple to be rooting for. In the course of the conversation, Bryan revealed he had told Madge there was someone else who he still had feelings for. Madge was listening in the doorway when Bryan confessed to having never stopped loving Betty despite his plans to marry Madge. Things didn’t look too bright for Madge’s future.

In her few scenes, Madge appeared to be a kind-hearted person, but on a show like “A New Day in Eden” this may have meant she was hiding an ulterior motive. If there had been a second season, Madge could have fled Eden to recover from her broken engagement or stayed around, gone in full bitch mode, and fought Betty for Bryan’s affection.


Anyway, I’ve finished reading the script. Linda and Gary Hammer wrote the episode and it was filmed on December 15, 1982.

There were three major story threads in the final episodes:

(1) Francie Richardson returned to her cousin Hud’s home. At the end of part one, Francie heard noises coming from within the house and went into her Aunt Ida’s room. Francie was shocked because her Aunt Ida had been dead for years and it was kept as it was when she was alive. In the cliffhanger of part one, Francie pulled back the sheets on the bed to reveal something shocking. In part two, it was revealed there was a mannequin in the bed looking like Aunt Ida. Hud came in and begged Francie to remain quiet about it. Hud said it made him feel good knowing his mother was still in her bed. Later, Francie overheard Hud talking about needing to keep Francie quiet to keep him from going back to the hospital. The indication was Hud was insane and was going to kill Francie. Francie fled the house.

(2) The investigation into the Campus Strangler continued. Biff Lewis was considered a suspect at the time. At Hud’s place, Francie had a fantasy where Biff forces himself on her. Later, Captain Lockhart told Biff they had tracked down his alibi, who had confirmed Biff’s story. Biff was free. Kevin Wallace terrorized Betty and stalked Laurel until the final moments. In his comments after his chat with Lockhart, Kevin seemed to suggest his only fear was Betty Franklin so I think he was simply a red herring despite the major cliffhanger. Hud’s delusions seem to suggest he was also a possible suspect.

(3) Greg Lewis and Laurel Franklin were planning to tell their parents about their relationship. At the Franklin home, Betty read her daughter’s short story which recounted a young woman’s first sexual experience in a barn during a storm. This incident is recounted (without names) in “Soap Opera History.” Betty realizes G.L. is Greg Lewis and is horrified. After placing a phone call, Betty rushes over to the Lewis household to prevent the couple from continuing their relationship. At Cronies’, both Greg and Laurel decided to go to their respective homes to tell their parents. At the Lewis home, Betty tearfully told Bryan Lewis he was Laurel’s father. It turns out the young lovers were brother and sister. Greg Lewis walked into the Lewis living room after the confession. It’s unclear if Greg heard Betty’s confession.

To clarify some earlier statements, Pam was not a member of the Lewis family. Early in the series’ run, Pam had been involved with Greg Lewis before Greg had fallen in love with Laurel. Pam became attracted to Greg’s best friend Clint Masterson, which caused a rift between pals Greg and Clint. This conflict escalated because Biff Lewis, Greg’s brother, told Greg that Pam and Clint had hooked up when Pam and Greg were still together. In the final episode, Clint clarified the situation and the friends reunited. Pam was not present; Clint made it clear their relationship was over for reasons Clint didn’t feel comfortable sharing with his pal. It is possible Clint is referring to Pam and Miranda’s kiss in the Lewis swimming pool.

Also, Logan and Cynthia were Emmett Claybourne’s children. Logan took advantage of his father’s disappearance and had the younger crowd over to the house. After the gang left, Lockhart called the house to inform the children their father had been spotted. If they saw him, they were to tell him the police were looking for him. Logan went to find some diaries, what importance they held is unclear, and was shot by an unseen assailant with his sister Cynthia at his side.

In terms of the ‘adult’ matter, there was use of explicit language. Francie had two separate sexual fantasies: the aforementioned rough sexual encounter with Biff and a more tender encounter with Biff where he promised to marry her. Laurel’s short story wasn’t racy in terms of specific language, but a young woman’s first sexual encounter might be considered taboo material for network television.

The most effective use of the adult material was the encounter between Josh Collier and Miranda Stevens in their final scene. After the disastrous dinner, Miranda and Josh returned with Madge and Bryan to the Lewis home. A fight erupted and Miranda maliciously revealed she knew about Josh’s first wife, Corrine Hamilton, who had died under mysterious circumstances. After Bryan called her out, Miranda decided to go for swim. Since this was cable, Miranda was going to do this in the nude. I guess she didn’t care if Bryan or Madge walked in on her. Instead of Bryan or Madge, Josh came upon her, called her a bitch, and kissed her passionately. I suspect the nudity added a layer of vulnerability to the usually cold Miranda, which worked well to contrast the powerful attack from the typically mild mannered Josh.

In general, it seems like an interesting story. Susan Flannery said TPTB wanted more episodes, but Jaffe didn’t want to deal with the headache. I’ve read articles before the show aired where Jaffe said he would make money on the project no matter what because they had kept production costs low. Something must have happened somewhere because Marland made a couple of comments in the press about backstage drama. A couple of years ago, Patrick Mulcachy stated he had written scripts for the show and that it was a horrible experience.
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#15 LoyaltoAMC

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:05 PM

Don't recall who Horan played. It's not in his imdb bio. It must've been between his AW and GH stints. He may have been a drifter type. I don't think he was related to any of the major characters. I do remember him shirtless a lot LOL. If I'm not mistaken, he shared scenes with the actress who played Pam Lewis. Pam I think was Brian Lewis's niece. She definitely wasn't Biff's sister. Re Jane Elliot, I don't think she was ever intended to be a major character. She was great friends with Marland, and I think he asked her to appear to add a little "daytime star power" to the struggling show. I don't think the role was ever intended to be very big. Near the end, they introduced a character named Isabel Kitteridge. Must've been around the same time Jane Elliot joined. In fact I remember a dinner party hosted by Miranda at Brian Lewis's in which we first meet Madge and Isabel. Looking back, I think Isabel may have been one of Miranda's lovers. Anyone else remember this character. Sorry, I was 15 at the time. Even though I watched every episode, I only remember bits and pieces and I don't recall the scope of the storyline.
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#16 DRW50

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:05 PM

Thank you both so much for all of this detail. I feel like I have seen the show now, thanks to both of you. I have to admit the stories sound a bit cliched, but it's all in the execution.

I'm sorry that it was such a horrible experience. What other soaps was Jaffe involved in? I read in an early 70's Daytime TV that he wanted to do a soap called Three for Justice.

The Hud story sounds very creepy. Francie seems to be in the middle of one trauma after another. That story reminds me of the one about the man who made his lover's corpse into a wax figure and kept it in his home for years and years.

Who played the professor?
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#17 Paul Raven

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 02:27 AM

This is the only article I could find - mostly face shots but at least one shot of the set.


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#18 DRW50

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 02:30 AM

Thanks for finding this. What a treat!

I wonder if all the emphasis on nudity in the press drove away some potential viewers, both those who didn't want to see nudity, and those who did, and were let down by the end product.
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#19 Mitch

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 09:44 AM

Thanks for finding this. What a treat!

I wonder if all the emphasis on nudity in the press drove away some potential viewers, both those who didn't want to see nudity, and those who did, and were let down by the end product.


Its just funny that Marland, who was so uptight about writing sex on ATWT (even while subliminely showing off some of his, uh own sexuality) would be tapped to write a sex soap.

I wonder if he had a lot of beefy guys in jeans running around?
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#20 dc11786

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 02:12 AM

Wow! Catherine Hickland was in this. I thought someone had told me that once, but I had dismissed it because I never saw it listed anywhere else. My apologies. I wonder who she played.

Regarding the nudity, I know some of the actors had problems with it. In an interview about Battlestar Galatica, Anne Lockhart talked about why she left the show. She was in the pilot and producers wanted her to have a continuing role in the serial, but Lockhart was uncomfortable about the nudity. So Anne's character was offed by the serial killer in the show's early episodes. I always thought this was bizarre because you'd think going into the soap the actors knew there was going to be racier material, but maybe they didn't. Maggie Sullivan said in the People's Magazine article on 'Eden' that it took some time to get adjusted to it.

Concerning the audience, I'm not sure whether or not they would be turned off by it. I think the bigger issue was 'Eden' was initially airing at 10 PM opposite network programming like 'Hart to Hart', 'St. Elsewhere,' and 'Hill Street Blues.' While 'Eden' could be considered interesting counterprogramming, I'm not sure if it was really going to be able to compete. Then again, I think it shows Showtime was invested in the series enough to place it against this type of programming.

Rereading the final script again, a couple of things stuck out. I'm wondering when the audience learned Laurel and Greg were siblings. Throughout the final episode, Biff keeps leering at Laurel even though they've all but said Laurel is Bryan's daughter. At first, this is used to get Betty to make her confession. Kevin Wallace, the professor who raped Betty, calls Betty to taunt her about the incident earlier that night and mentions how Laurel is with one of the Lewis boys. This continues though throughout the episode. I understand Greg and Laurel truly love one another, but Biff's fascination with his unknown half-sister seems worse for some reason.

Pals Greg and Clint resolving their issues was a nice conclusion, but I suspect had the show continued there would have been issues. Clint was hiding something about Pam, presumably her affair with Miranda, from Greg and the insinuation was Laurel knew Clint's secret as well. Once this came out, I'm sure more drama would have ensued.

There is mention in the script of the Claybournes having a sauna and a personal gym. Biff Lewis, the playboy son, mentions the possibility of getting high and using the sauna. I assume the sauna was used in earlier episodes for a steamy encounter (no pun intended).

It's a shame no episodes have popped up because I can only imagine this being a very dark series especially with the serial killer plot. Bryan Lewis references the town being in a state of terror since Susan Walsh died and each part ended with Francie in peril. On two occassions, Logan Claybourne refers to the family home as a tomb or maseoleum and the references to the lighting in the articles seems to add to this darkness. Unfortunately, I'm probably reading too much into this.
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