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Texas debuts 1980

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On August 4th 1980, NBC premiered Texas.

It was a spinoff of Another World and featured 4 Bay City characters Iris Bancroft,Dennis Carrington and Kevin&Reena Cooke.

It was the first show to debut as a 60 min soap.

It was programmed against the #1 soap General Hospital and Guiding Light.

Head writers were the Corringtons,who had recently held the position at Search For Tomorrow and had successfully revamped that show.

The character of Iris became the heroine and lost her scheming nature which was the essence of her popularity on AW.

The cast was heavy with newcomers.Catherine Hickland and Lisby Larson went on to other daytime roles and Shanna Reed had primetime success but others like Dana Kimmell,Ellen Maxted and Caryn Richman pretty much disappeared from view.

The ratings were low so NBC changed writers and eventually put Texas on in the morning.

The last head writer began as an actress on the show.Pam Long went on to write Guiding Light.

Texas was cancelled at the end of 82.

Does anyone have memories or comments of this show?

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Texas, from what I've been told, began poorly and only improved in quality when it was too late.

In short, the show happened to have been conceived at a bad time for NBC. After the successful years of the 1970s, NBC Daytime was steadily declining as the decade ended. Though contrary to popular belief, the expansion to 90 minutes (though ultimately unsuccessful) was not what sank Another World- as it was still NBC's highest-rating soap at the time and ratings were still reasonable.

It was actually in the during 1980, around the time Another World to 60 minutes and Texas was launched, that we saw a catastrophic collapse in NBCD's ratings from which they never fully recovered. The rise of ABC Daytime played its part, but even CBS wasn't as severely affected- it was actually the fact that NBC was in such dire straits at the time, with the Supertrain failure and Olympics boycott.

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As a born and bred true Texan here, I throw my martini up for a toast..." To Texas!" :) (That was one of the last lines of the show's final episode).

I was far too young to see the show in its original run (plus my family were firm ABC addicts), but thanks to the great soap fans on the internet and my own research I've learned a lot about the show and have personally concluded that NBC's decision to cancel the show in 1982 was arguably perhaps the worst mistake the network made in daytime (the closest competitor was the expansion of AW to 90 minutes).

Yes the show started off horribly, but what successful American daytime soap ever began perfectly save for RYAN'S HOPE, presumably ATWT, and maybe Y&R?

Originally the show was supposed to be perhaps what would have been the most unique soap ever...a full costume drama set in New Orleans shortly after the end of the Civil War called REUNION. However, thanks to the explosion in primetime known as DALLAS, and NBC at the time being under the piss-poor leadership of network president Fred Silverman (whose tenure nearly drove the company into bankruptcy literally...he is the one who demanded that creators Joyce and John William Corrington scrap most of the original idea and instead attempt to clone DALLAS for daytime), what showed up on TV screens in August 1980 wasn't anything close to DALLAS...it was more like SNOOK (Snook, TX is a small town known for being the home of the Texas A&M University Swine Research Farm...population less than 500). Placing TEXAS directly opposite GENERAL HOSPITAL, which at the time was battling it out with DALLAS as THE most popular show in ALL of TV) was yet another blunder....but ultimately if NBC had showed some brains I truly believe TEXAS could have more than stood its own at 3/2CST...in fact, if patience had been shown, yours truly here is going to go out on a limb and speculate that TEXAS could have been one of the top three soaps in the ratings by 1984 airing AT 3/2CST! Here's why...

In the first half of 1984 on CBS GUIDING LIGHT (which also went up head to head with the Goliath GH) shot into the #1 spot in the ratings for several weeks following the final (at that time) departure from GH of Luke & Laura. GL had carefully spent 1983 rebuilding and positioning itself as daytime's quality soap with mass appeal and buzz factor. Thus it was able to capitalize on the several million viewers who were fleeing the suddenly stale and silly GH in the first half of 1984, mainly of those viewers being teenagers and college students home at that hour. It was a rather triumphant period, a true instance of quality writing, production, and acting coming together and being rewarded with top ratings. HOWEVER, if NBC hadn't been so foolish, it very well could have been TEXAS shooting to the top and dethroning the mighty GH: the very writers and producers at the helm at GL at the time were the same team that had turned TEXAS in its final year into perhaps daytime's best example of a supernova (one of the brightest and most powerful stars in the universe that burns very brightly for a short period before dying completely in a short period of time).

When NBC moved TEXAS to a late morning timeslot in April of 1982, it was the final nail in the coffin...even though many point out that the show's ratings began to improve in the new time, the progress came at the ultimate price, the crime always committed by NBC's sorry-ass affiliates since the dawn of broadcast TV: a loss of several key affiliate clearances in major markets. So despite gaining new viewers at 11/10AM CST, those new viewers ultimately were cancelled out by the numerous markets and thus loss of potential ad revenue the NBC could not guarantee to sponsors.

Thanks to the soap opera heaven that was/is WOST.org, I have been able to judge TEXAS and its merits myself and also engage in spirited discussions with the show's true diehard fans to get a clearer picture of what made the show so special...keep in mind that when the announcement was made by NBC is late 1982 of the show's cancellation, the network received the largest amount of viewer protests for a cancelled show EVER...day or night!

So to this I raise my glass to the residents of Houston...dear friends whose time was snuffed out way too early....much like their ancestors at the Battle of the Alamo.... ;)

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