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EricMontreal22

Where the Heart Is 1969-1973

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OK I posted about the two other, now completely gone it seems (not even a few scenes seem to have been saved) soaps that I always wish I could see--Lemay's Lovers and Friends and Marland's New Day in Eden--the other "missing" soap that I always read about and sounds fascinating to me is Where the Heart Is.

It ran longer than the other two--nearly 5 years, and was created by Margaret DePriest who is a writer I think has always had talent (even if she briefly did two late 80/early 90s eras on my two fave soaps, AMC and OLTL that aren't known as their best) and a style I like in soap operas. Did anyone see/remember this intriguing sounding show? ANything from it exist? Reading the outrageous plot descriptions and that Chris Schemering said the show was great farce makes me think it may have had a touch of what Sunset Beach (and dare I say it my hated Passions) were trying for, but done so maybe better.

(in fact how old is Margaret DePriest? I know she wrote for Sunset Beach and I felt she was the best writer for that campy show--is she still alive? She musta been relatively young when she created Heart Is, I wonder how she got the job as I don't think she had had any major runs on other soaps before)

Here's the 1987 Soap Opera Encyclopedia entry by Chris Schemering:

Where the HEart Is

Sep 8 1969 - March 23 1973

Created by Margaret DePriest and Lou Scofield (who died during the run), former writers of The Edge of Night, this was a wonderfully bizarre, and perhaps ahead of its time, daytime serial centering on sexual intrigues in the Hathaway and Prescott families. Everybody in the suburban town of Northcross, Connecticut, seemed to be silmutaneously in love with two or three other individuals; pregnant or working on it; living with each other out of wedlock (risque for soaps of the day especially on conservative CBS); or cheating on their lovers with their spouses! Even the stalwart Kate Hathaway, who was always to be counted in a crisis, took to hearing Joan of Arc voices, falling into schizophrenic fantasies, wearing Frederick's of Hollywood scanties, and dancing lewdly in front of children [sounds liek a marvelous soap creation to me!]!

Fans remember the sexual roundelay of the show with hilarious affection chiefly because of the top-notch acting by a strong cast headed by James Mitchell (Palmer on AMC later on, and an ex well known Broadway and Hollywood dancer), the lush direction of Richard Dunlap and Bill Glenn (who later took their formidable talents and much of Heart's look to The Young and the Restless), and the sharp writing firstr of Margaret DePriest and later of such soon to become formidable names as Pat Falken Smith, and Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer. Although the ratings were quite good -- a 6.8 when the cast was informed of the show's cancelation on Feb 12, 1973 -- CBS felt the masses were not cottoning to the revelry, and that the cult audience the show was attracting was scaring away conservative advertisers. Canceled the same day as Love is a Many SPlendored Thing, it was replaced by the similar but often even more avant garde The Young and the Restless.

The story was a triumph of well played farce: Julian Hathaway, a widowed English professor, married Mary, who was really in love with Julian's son Michael. Villainess Vicky Lucas exploited the situation by getting pregnant by the unhappy Michael and forcing him into marriage. After Vicky lost her baby, she vindictively pushed Mary, also pregnant, down a flight of stairs. Vicky was then commited to a mental institution, only to make a major surprise comeback some while later. After divorcing the bitch goddess Vicky, Michael married the even more bitchy Liz Rainey. Liz had an affair with Michael's father, Julian and became pregnant. next Liz made Mary think that Julian was carrying on with Loretta Jardin, a recovering alcoholic and student of Robert Browning's.

As the cancelation date grew closer, the storylines started to wind up with breathtaking dexterity--a stunning example of the craft of the writers. Liz admitted she got pregnant on purpose and Julian, unimpressed by her audacity, suggested she pack her bags. Michael divorced Liz and remarried his ex wife VIcky, who had been released from the institution. Meanwhile Steve had married Julian's sister Kate. While suffering from amnesia, Steve became involved with Ellie Jardin, who was later murdered. Steve and Kate adoped Ellie's mute son Peter who later died in a fire. Other characters involved in the major stroylines included Alison Jessup, Julian and Kate's sister; Dr Hugh Jessup, Allison's husband; and Christine Cameron who had an illegitimate child by Hugh. In 1972, Despo, the infamous Andy Warhol star had a 2 month running role.

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ANd just for another view, Waggett's 1997 Soap Encyclopedia has this entry for HEart--he seemed to overall be less taking by the show as Chris was:

Where the Heart Is was scheduled between Love of Live and Search For Tomorrow, but it had little in common with either soap. While the other two followed the exploits of heroines the audience could admire, Heart examined the many sins commited by the less-than-noble inhabitants of the town of Northcross.

The show opened in the middle of a complicated love triangle: English professor Julian Hathaway's young wife Mary was fighting an attraction to Julian's son Michael. A couple of years later Julian evened the score by impregnating Michael's wife Liz. Although Days of Our Lives was scoring high ratings with its varied intrafamilial love triangles, many viewers found somethign distateful about this wife-swapping between Julian and his son. Pushing the incest taboo even further, and alienatign more viewers, another character killed her own brother after he rejected her sexual advances.

Where The EHart Is ran one of the most vicious scenes many soap fans of the time had witnessed. After Vicky Lucas miscarried Michael Hatthaway's baby, she pushed pregnant Mary Hathaway down a flight of stairs. Realizing there was nothign VIcky could do to top that, and now ay to redeem her sin, the writers shipped her off to a mental hospital.

Where the Heart Is boasted one of the finest casts of its time, many of whom would make their mark elsewhere. In addition to James Mitchell, there were Joseph Mascolo, Bernie Barrow, Louise Shaffer, and Diana van der Vlis. The show's lineup of writers was no less impressive, and included Pat Faleken Smith and the team of Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer. Despite the talent in front of and behind the cmaeras, many soap fans simply could not connect with the underlying level of immorality that ran through the show. the one moral character with whom the fans might have identified, Julian's sister Kate (Diana van der Vlis) lost her mind and began acting out bizarre sexual scenes of her own.

Sandwiched as it was between two popular, conservative soaps, Where the HEart Is starte dout strong, pulling in the highest ratings of all the soaps that debuted in the 1969-1970 season. Unfortunately the ratings never improved. Tehy levelled out the following season and started to decline. The ratings did start to climb after Labine and Avila Mayer took over as headwriters and wrote it in a sophisticate dhigh camp manner, but CBS had already given up on the show (they did pay attention to the writers though and quickly hired them to Love of Life where they improved that show). The advertisers, put off by the show's sordid themes, were simply not interested in appealing to the small but loyal cult following.

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I found this article about the show in an old issue of SOD (August 28th, 1984) with C. Hickland, S. Bond & L. Hunley on the frontpage. I think it is rather good so I scanned it for you:

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Wow. This is very interesting. All I now about WTHI comes from my Soap Opera Encyclopedia and it is great to read more info.

The storylines sound like a cross between B&B and JER's first round on DAYS. I'd love to see some clips..

BTW Eric where can I find your post about A New Day In Eden? I always wanted to find out what this show was all about.

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FrenchFan your resources always amaze me--thanks SO much for posting this!

Elsa, it should be on the first page of Discuss the Soaps... :) You're right it does have a hint of JER about it I almost hate to admit. It does sound like the writers were almost doing a bit of a soap parody--or a super self aware soap--back before that was really done much.

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Eric,thanks for starting these posts about long ago,much lamented soaps.

Some more WTHI info:

As previously posted,the show was sandwiched between Love of Life and Search for Tomorrow-in fact it replaced LOL at 12.00,where it had been scheduled since 58,when it expanded to 30 min.

The competition on ABC was Bewitched reruns from 68-70,the short lived flop soap The Best of Everything in early 70,That Girl reruns 70-72 and the game show Password till 73

NBC aired Jeopardy for all of WTHI run.

Here is some stuff that i found on the net years ago and saved.

Created by Margaret DePriest and Lou Scofield, this wonderfully bizarre daytime serial was innovative (i.e. kinky) for 1969 with its theme of sexual entanglements within and around members of the same family, the wealthy Hathaways (who were originally introduced on Love of Life). Uncomfortably nestled between two long-running conservative soaps, Love of Life and Search for Tomorrow, Where the Heart Is upset many with its steamy storylines. Some affiliates in the South refused to air it, while CBS received thousands of angry letters from viewers who claimed they were offended by the unwholesome soap--but, of course, continued to watch. And if this wasn't enough for a brand new show to endure, the network put it up against NBC's Jeopardy, one of daytime's most popular game shows.

Our Story Begins: 1969

In the first episode, Kate Hathaway was mourning the recent death of her tyrant father, Judge Daniel Hathaway. However, her brother, Julian Hathaway, a widowed English professor, was rejoicing over the old man's death, which he had fantasized about since boyhood. The black sheep of the Hathaway family--shallow younger sister Allison--returned home to the suburban town of Northcross, Connecticut, for their father's funeral. She was accompanied by her weak-willed husband, Roy Archer, who had jilted Kate years ago to run off with Allison on the eve of his and Kate's wedding. And now, much to Kate's chagrin, her baby sister decided to stay in town after the funeral.

Meanwhile, Julian was worried about his new wife, Mary, who was much younger--and attracted to his college-age son, Michael! The young man blamed his father for his mother's suicide years ago and had now fallen in love with his stepmother--who returned his feelings. But before this sordid little romance could bloom, along came Vicky Lucas, the spoiled daughter of hoodlum Ed Lucas (who worked for the Hathaways).

The Vicky Lucas Years: 1969-71

Michael felt sorry for the pretty blonde Vicky, whose mother was also deceased, and the lonely, desperate girl was convinced that she could make him love her by becoming a lady (with helpful lessons from Allison). Discovering that Michael and Mary were in love, Vicky schemed to break them up, and one night she finally succeeded in seducing the young man. Their lovemaking, of course, resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Michael then did the honorable thing and married her for the sake of the child, despite his continued feelings for Mary.

After Roy was killed in a car accident, Allison married Dr. Hugh Jessup in 1970, but he soon had an affair with dark-haired Christine Cameron, who liked married men (she was having an affair with Ruth Monroe's husband, Tony, when the show began). When his young mistress became pregnant, Hugh left Allison and moved in with Christine, who gave birth to his illegimate daughter, Katina. Hugh's mother, Harriet Jessup, was shocked by her son's embarrassing behavior, but she told her husband, Ben, that she still planned to be a grandmother to the innocent baby. A betrayed Allison was comforted by her friend, Laura Blackburn, and she was enraged when Harriet took a liking to Christine (whom Allison had dubbed the "Hester Prynne" of Northcross).

Kate fell in love with wealthy businessman Steve Prescott, and they planned to marry. But then a crooked politician, who had been exposed by Steve years ago, had the man beaten up, and he developed amnesia, forgetting he loved Kate. Ellie Jardin took Steve in and fell in love with him, and they became romantically involved. He eventually regained his memory, but poor Ellie was murdered by thugs in 1971. Meanwhile, Steve's younger brother, Terry Prescott, dated Lois Snowden and wanted to move in with her, but she made up excuses to avoid living with him. Nan and Joe Prescott were Steve and Terry's parents.

When Christine began to receive harassing phone calls and nasty, anonymous letters (calling her a filthy whore and Jezebel), Allison was the prime suspect. She was very upset when even Hugh and Kate thought she attacking Christine for revenge. Poor Christine finally had to be hospitalized as the harassment caused her to pass out from high blood pressure. She was eventually kidnapped and nearly murdered by her true tormentor--her deranged babysitter, Will Watts, who had spent time in a mental institution after he had killed his wife for leaving him for another man. After this horrible experience, Christine was devastated to learn that a bored Hugh was sneaking around with his estranged wife, Allison (of all people)! Allison was quite amused by this unlikely scenario of a man cheating on his mistress with his wife. Christine then ended her relationship with Dr. Jessup.

After hearing Michael profess his love to Mary, a devastated Vicky drove off into a snowstorm and crashed her car. She lost the baby and was paralyzed in the accident. Now Michael couldn't leave her because of her condition. However, Ed Lucas soon discovered that his daughter could really walk and threatened to tell Michael that she was faking her paralysis to keep him by her side (he had never thought the young man was the right guy for her). Vicky then blackmailed him by threatening to reveal that he hadn't reported all his earnings from the club/restaurant he owned to the IRS. She knew about his connection to organized crime--a numbers racket with sleazy businessman, Arthur Saxton. The girl vowed to destroy her father if he ruined her marriage to Michael. Meanwhile, Mary, who was now pregnant by Julian, felt guilty about the accident and Vicky losing her baby. As her punishment, she decided to take care of the "paralyzed" girl. Then one day Mary discovered that Vicky had been lying about her condition and vowed to tell Michael about his wife's many months of deception. As Mary tried to leave to go to Michael, Vicky accused her of being pregnant by him--not Julian--and said she was going to let everyone know it. She then vindictively pushed Mary down a flight of stairs. Poor Mary suffered her own miscarriage, and Vicky, who had gone off the deep end, was committed to a mental institution (1971).

The Liz Rainey Years: 1971-73

After breaking up with Hugh, Christine Cameron met the debonair John Rainey. Upset when he revealed that he was married, she refused to let herself get involved with another married man and ended their relationship, even though he insisted that his marriage had ended a long time ago. A miserable Christine missed John terribly, and he refused to give up on their relationship. His estranged wife, Adrienne, was holding up their divorce because her social position was very important to her. After she began seeing John again, Christine hated herself and decided to see a therapist about her addiction to married men. She went into counseling with Adrienne Harris, not realizing that the woman was actually John's wife!

Meanwhile, Adrienne's bitchy daughter, Elizabeth Harris Rainey (who was raised by her mother until she married John), began dating Michael, who was now divorced from Vicky and a lab technician. She then had a secret affair with Michael's father, Julian, who was now estranged from Mary and suffering a mid-life crisis. He believed her story that she had broken up with his son. When Julian decided to end their affair, Liz got pregnant on purpose, but this plan backfired when he now refused to have anything else to do with her or the unborn child. The girl now cried crocodile tears to Michael, whom she had moved in with. The young man was extremely understanding when she revealed that her pregnancy was the result of an affair with an older married man who had dumped her (before she began seeing Michael). Unaware that this man was his own father, nice guy Michael agreed to marry her and claim the baby as his own.

Middle-aged sisters Loretta and Margaret Jardin (relatives of the late Ellie) lived with their younger brother, Robert Jardin, who managed the family fortune. Margaret frequently taunted her sweet and mentally slow sister about her lack of intelligence. When Robert began dating Kate Hathaway, money-hungry Margaret became quite concerned about the couple's budding relationship since she was afraid that she and Loretta would be kicked out on to the street if he married the woman. She then convinced Loretta to be rude to Kate in hopes that she would reconsider her romance with Robert. When Robert eventually learned that Margaret was trying to destroy his relationship with Kate, he did kick her out of the house. A hysterical Margaret--who also had some incestuous feelings for her brother--chased after him, pleading for another chance. She then "accidentally" ran over Robert with a car, killing him (1972). The crazy woman was quickly sent away to an institution. Kate then finally married Steve Prescott, and they adopted Peter, the mute son of the late Ellie Jardin.

Liz was quite suspicious when she saw Christine coming out of her mother's office, but Adrienne denied that she was counseling her estranged husband's mistress, which would be highly inappropriate. Liz didn't believe her mother and suspected that Adrienne was encouraging Christine to end her relationship with John (which she was). After Liz discovered Adrienne's file on Christine, she blackmailed her own mother, who desperately wanted to reconcile with John. Adrienne was thrilled as her devious plan seemed to work when Christine suffered a nervous breakdown due to her psychological problems. She now pretended to be the girl's friend by offering to help her get baby Katina back from Hugh, who wanted custody. She then gave Hugh's lawyer questions that caused Christine to suffer a relapse and get put back in the sanitarium, far away from John. When Adrienne learned of her daughter's pregnancy, she used the information to plead for a reconciliation with John--for Liz's sake! But he was reluctant since he still loved Christine. Adrienne then went to visit Christine in a mental hospital, where she cleverly manipulated the poor girl into suffering a complete emotional collapse. John then reconciled with his estranged wife, but their reunion didn't last long as he soon learned all about her scheming ways.

Michael brought Liz home to meet the family and introduced her to a shocked Julian. She later told her ex-lover that her baby was a Hathaway and that a Hathaway man was going to be a father to the child. After her marriage to Michael, the nasty Liz tortured Julian with threats that she would spill the beans to a clueless Mary (whom Julian had reconciled with) about the baby's true parentage. Poor Julian began having violent stomach pains and developed an ulcer, causing him to turn his English lit class over to Loretta Jardin, a recovering alcoholic high school teacher who had studied literature (Robert Browning) under Julian. Continuing to seek revenge on her former lover, Liz now started spreading rumors that Julian was having a torrid love affair with Loretta. When Michael started to turn to his ex-wife Vicky (who had recovered from her breakdown and become a much nicer person), Liz escalated the rumors at Northcross University by implying that Julian was engaged in a scandalous menage a trois with Loretta and Mary! After Adrienne finally spilled the beans to Michael that Julian was the father of Liz's child, the furious young man felt betrayed by both his wife and his father. Michael threatened to tell Mary (who had given birth to Julian's son Daniel) the truth if Julian didn't.

Behind the Scenes: 1972-73

An interesting casting choice that brought much attention to the show in 1972 was Despo--the Andy Warhol star--who played Athena Stefanopolis for two weeks. Also that year, original cast member Bibi Osterwald decided to leave the show to star in the short-lived sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie, so her character, Stella O'Brien--the Hathaways' longtime housekeeper--suddenly moved to upstate New York to care for an ill aunt.

Although the show's ratings were quite respectable when it was officially cancelled on February 12, 1973, CBS felt that the cult audience the soap was attracting was not what the advertisers wanted: younger viewers. News of the unexpected cancellation inspired 35,000 viewers to write passionate letters protesting CBS's action. Ending its run the same day as Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Where the Heart Is was replaced by the more contemporary The Young and the Restless, which succeeded in beating Jeopardy in the ratings to become one of daytime's most popular soaps.

The End: 1973

After her adopted son Peter died in a fire (1973), the usually stalwart Kate Prescott, who had always been the good daughter trying to please her father, suffered a nervous breakdown, causing a split personality named Betty to emerge. She began having blackouts and bizarre mood swings in which she'd become the nasty tramp, Betty, who wore revealing lingerie and tight miniskirts and danced lewdly in front of children. The poor woman mistakenly thought she was dying of the same brain aneurysm that killed her mother.

In the show's last episode, Steve took Kate away on an extended vacation to the Caribbean after she realized that her alter ego, Betty, was taking over because of the neglect she had felt from her parents. John confronted his stepdaughter, Liz, and accused her of being a liar--and every bit as bad as her mother. He then begged Christine for another chance, and they reconciled. Adrienne and Liz decided to move in together and stop their lying ways, and Adrienne promised her daughter that she would help her raise her baby alone. Mary forgave Julian for having an affair with Liz and knocking her up. Julian went to visit Michael at Back To Nature, Vicky's millhouse, and assured his son that he never intended to hurt him (since he didn't sleep with Liz until after she claimed she had broken up with Michael). Michael never wanted to see his father again, but he was persuaded to forgive him. The final scene ended with the two men embracing after they realized there was hope for the future of the Hathaway family.

Critique

Having never seen Where the Heart Is, I can only give my opinion on what I've read about the show--and it sounds totally addictive. A father and son in love with the same woman! A man cheating on his mistress with his wife! A woman running her brother over with a car! Split personalities! Deranged babysitters! Sounds like juicy drama to me. And what a cast--James Mitchell, Priscilla Pointer, Barbara Baxley, Rue McClanahan, Louise Shaffer, Joseph Mascolo and Marsha Mason! I definitely would've tuned in to watch. However, I do believe the show was ahead of its time. Trapped between two far more conservative soaps and up against Jeopardy, I doubt that many housewives were prepared for such a racy show in 1969. It's unfortunate that it didn't catch on with the masses, but if it had been a great success, then we might not have The Young and the Restless today. And that's the way of the world, folks--but Where the Heart Is should be fondly remembered as a daring drama for its day.

Scorecard

Births: (2) Katina Cameron, Daniel Hathaway

Marriages: (4) Michael & Vicky, Allison & Hugh, Kate & Steve, Michael & Liz

Murders: (2) Ellie Jardin (killers: thugs); Robert Jardin (killer: his sister, Margaret Jardin)

The Cast

Roy Archer: Stephen Joyce (1969-70)

Laura Blackburn: Marsha Mason (1971)

Christine Cameron: Terry O'Connor (1969), Delphi Harrington (1969-73)

Baby Katina Cameron: Kara Fleming

Adrienne Harris: Priscilla Pointer (1972-73)

Daniel Hathaway: Joseph Dolen (1972-73)

Julian Hathaway: James Mitchell (1969-73)

Liz Rainey Hathaway: Tracy Brooks Swope (1971-73)

Mary Hathaway: Diana Walker (1969-73)

Michael Hathaway: Gregory Abels (1969-73)

Vicky Lucas Hathaway: Robyn Millan (1969-71), Lisa Richards (1972)

Ellie Jardin: Zohra Lampert (1970-71)

Loretta Jardin: Alice Drummond (1971-73)

Margaret Jardin: Barbara Baxley (1971), Rue McClanahan (1971-72)

Peter Jardin: Michael Bersell (1970-73)

Robert Jardin: Keith Charles (1972)

Allison Archer Jessup: Louise Shaffer (1969-73)

Ben Jessup: Daniel Keyes (1969-72)

Dr. Hugh Jessup: Rex Robbins (1970), David Cryer (1970-73)

Ed Lucas: Mark Gordon (1969), Charles Cioffi (1969-70), Joseph Mascolo (1970-72)

Ruth Monroe: Nancy Franklin (1969-70)

Tony Monroe: David Bailey (1969-70)

Stella O'Brien: Bibi Osterwald (1969-72)

Dr. Joe Prescott: William Post, Jr. (1970-73)

Kate Hathaway Prescott: Diana van der Vlis (1969-73)

Nan Prescott: Katherine Meskill (1970-72)

Steve Prescott: Laurence Luckinbill (1969-70), Ron Harper (1970-73)

Terry Prescott: Douglas Ross (1970-71), Ted LePlat (1971-72)

John Rainey: Peter MacLean (1971-73)

Arthur Saxton: Bernard Kates (1969-71)

Lois Snowden: Jeanne Ruskin (1970-72)

Will Watts: Robert Symonds

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Great stuff Paul! Man this sounds liek a wild soap--stories liek that just weren't being done back then. It's intriguing too what the SOD scans said that it actually mixed the over the top campiness with geniune emotion and pathos well--especially under Labine and her partner. Kinda interesting that's hwo they got their start (even winning a writing award) when I always kinda think of them as doing smaller scale, quieter stories thanks to Ryan's Hope, etc.

Man I wish an episode or two of this existed...

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Wow I was just thinking about starting a thread last week to discuss the work of Margaret DePriest since she certainly made the rounds in daytime but is hardly ever mentioned here!

When I think of her I immediately think of the brutal death of Frankie Frame on AW (and that whole serial killer story in general which sucked....did anyone not know it was peripheral Fax Newman!?) and Sunset Beach, but I guess she wasn't all bad.

Eric do you know what stuff she wrote during her stint at AMC? Was she there for the awful Cobbler Island/Silver Kane/Dr. Damon Lazzare story? That was probably one of the first times I thought about tuning out of AMC.

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According to Wikipedia (always dangerous, I know), there are a grand total of seven episodes confirmed to still exist.

In an interview from about a decade ago, JM quipped that taping the show was quite frightening, since it was live and the producers got very ticked when the actors botched their lines.

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Wow I was just thinking about starting a thread last week to discuss the work of Margaret DePriest since she certainly made the rounds in daytime but is hardly ever mentioned here!

When I think of her I immediately think of the brutal death of Frankie Frame on AW (and that whole serial killer story in general which sucked....did anyone not know it was peripheral Fax Newman!?) and Sunset Beach, but I guess she wasn't all bad.

Eric do you know what stuff she wrote during her stint at AMC? Was she there for the awful Cobbler Island/Silver Kane/Dr. Damon Lazzare story? That was probably one of the first times I thought about tuning out of AMC.

LeClerc, maybe I can help. No, she didn't write the Silver Kane/Cobbler Island story. Lorraine Broderick was HW for that, back in 1987, I guess with Agnes heavily involved. That was a stinker. It started off promising and was very intriguing but then soon degenerated into a convoluted mess. I think AMC was #1 in the ratings the week that story culminated. Probably their last time in that spot. DePriest wouldn't come aboard as HW until the spring of 1989. Felicia Behr brought her on right after she came aboard as EP in March 1989. Broderick, I believe, was demoted to co-HW at this point. DePriest was good in that she decreased the number of storylines. Under previous EP Steve Schenkel and Broderick, there were at least 10 ongoing front burner stories, and it was killing the show. When she took over as EP, Behr said that one of the first things we wanted to do was cut back on the number of stories, and DePriest definitely accomplished that. Floating characters like Ross, Stuart, Julie, Cliff, Angie, Jeremy, and Sean Cudahy suffered as a result of that decision. Some of her stories left a lot to be desired, though. On the down side, she wrote Eric Kane the clown story, Travis's brain tumor, and the sickeningly sweet David/Melanie romance. On the plus side, she had some fun with the Chandler/Cortlandt/Martin orbit. She wrote the beginnings of the Tad/Dixie romance, Adam's committing Dix to the mental hospital. She wrote the subsequent interesting Junior kidnapping story, in which Ellen Wheeler's Karen turned out to be the culprit. She put an abrupt stop to the burgeoning Tad/Barbara romance, and put her back in Tom and Travis's orbit. She also wrote the incredibly entertaining Nico/Cecily stuff, which heavily involved the long neglected Phoebe and Langley. She and Behr also put James Kiberd on contract and winningly paired him with Kate Collins. She also aged Emily Ann Sago, giving long backburnered Candace Earley's Donna something to do that to sit around and listen to Natalie's sorrows.

It was an interesting time for the show and contrary to a lot of opinions, I kind of enjoyed this era. It felt more like AMC again in terms of having a community feel to it, something I rarely got from Broderick's 87-89 solo stint. Broderick had some very memorable stories, but the show was all over the map and totally not cohesive. She was much better in her mid/late 90s stint and IMO best when paired with Washam and McTavish, with Agnes as HW from 1990-1992. Agnes would take the reins from DePriest in January 1990, just in time for the show's 20th anniversary. That writing team was a dream and was responsible for one of my favorite eras on the show.

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Those seven episodes of WTHI that are in existence are from March-April 1971 and March 1973, but they are tucked away in UCLA's archives presumably never to be seen again. I've spent some time searching through their archives online and they actually have episodes of *every soap* from those periods. Every single one of them, but the episodes are "non-circulating archive copies" which means that they aren't available to be viewed. WTF? It might not seem like a lot to them, but even as few as seven episodes is a gigantic piece of soap opera history considering that everything else from that era was mercilessly destroyed by idiots. They could at least put the damn things on DVD or something!

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Wow I was just thinking about starting a thread last week to discuss the work of Margaret DePriest since she certainly made the rounds in daytime but is hardly ever mentioned here!

When I think of her I immediately think of the brutal death of Frankie Frame on AW (and that whole serial killer story in general which sucked....did anyone not know it was peripheral Fax Newman!?) and Sunset Beach, but I guess she wasn't all bad.

Eric do you know what stuff she wrote during her stint at AMC? Was she there for the awful Cobbler Island/Silver Kane/Dr. Damon Lazzare story? That was probably one of the first times I thought about tuning out of AMC.

Well DePriest ripped the serial killer storyline off of one she wrote for Days I think (the AW one...) I find her an interesting writer though not flawless of course--and for me she was the best of the major Sunset Beach writers (though I didn't follow that show very closely, just when I was home).

You know with AMC it's so hard to know who wrote when--some peopel will tell you Agnes Nixon wrote all of McTavish's first run at AMC for instance :rolleyes: Similarly in the mid 80s many episode si have list the headwriter as Lorraine Broderick on the end credits but officially I believe Agnes was the overall HW.

I read DePriest was brought in during the late 80s--maybe around 88-89? breifely--after the strike? I'm not sure why but I think it was a time Agnes focus was more elsewhere (maybe one of the times she briefly returned ot focus on Loving?) I know many felt AMC wasn't as good around then despite some highlights (really until 1990 or so with Erica's father the clown)

M DePriest had some weird relationship with ABC--she didn't HW any of their shows for long but someone there liked her as she was brought in a few times to help shows--when OLTL's ratings finally were slipping under Rauch when Michael Schnessel's writing was becoming completley campy, M DePriest was brought in (Wikipedia says only from Oct 90 to Feb 91) to turn things around. I believe the show was pretty bad then--wasn't there a rap group? and some new family she tried to introduce who were quickly gone--but the show was refocused under her and then soon Malone (and then in early 92 finally Griffith who really made Malone's work, work) came in who always seemed to be the end game.

I also heard that in the late 90s or so DePriest was a consultant for ABC daytime at least for a while--again which strikes me as slightly odd.

And Anon I want to see those 7 episodes!!

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*edited* now I've read the replies *blush*

LoyalToAMC, thanks so much for your great memory and recollections--that makes sense. I wonder if Behr knew DePriest from somewhere else or just her reputation after DAYS? What was the David-Melanie story? From the tapes I have I did love the Nico/Cecily stuff (who woulda thougth he'd now play my hated Sonny on GH). It was funny when I was watching live and Cecily came back, around 1995 and they did that cheesy internet dating story with her and Charlie Brent, who when Lawson played I hated anyway--I NEVER got the appeal of Cecily. Talk about a character return that's not needed and botched.

So then it was Washam (back?) Agnes, McTavish and Broderick for the 20th anniversary? I knwo that in the Soap Encyclopedia for the 1992 Emmys (so the 91 season) Broderick is listed as part of Guiding Light's nominated writing team.

All My Shadows--that's crazy that UCLA has those--so they have EVERY soap from Marc 1971 in their library? Is it an example of you can go and if you have a valid reason view them at the library--or are they not available at all?

I know as a theatre fan rights for videotaped things are very iffy--the Lincoln Centre archives in New York have filmed virtually every Broadway production from the late 70s on but because they did them cheaply without paying the creative team, cast, etc, because they were done for archival purposes. They can never be released on DVD or video (unless some expensive and crazy new deal was formed with the remainding members of the show) and can't be circulated but if you have a valid reason (ie you're writing an important article or thesis on a show) you can go and view it at the site.

I know somethign that aire don TV is different but the Museum of TV and Radio has a TON of old TV things that can't be circulated as well (probably, I never thought of this, many soaps). It's a rights thing. If UCLA has the stuff they prob don't haev thew rigths to circulate it and gettign DVD rights would be very hard unless P&G or CBS or whoever agreed to it--it wouldn't be as hard as with the theatre example I mentioned where it's next to impossible, but...

Still man I'd love to see a small string of episodes of AMC, OLTL, unseen soaps like Heart, etc from 1971...

*edit* I see this is moved to Cnaceled Soaps where it should be--sorry about that. I just hope people will think to LOOk here, most threads seem to die...*

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