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Edge of Night (EON) (No spoilers please)


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1 hour ago, Efulton said:

Did Terry Davis and Tony Crag leave on their own or were they let go?

 

My recollection is that Tony Craig left on his own, fairly abruptly, and without much advance notice.   I believe the actor's official story was that he was suffering from "burn out".   You could sense there was some backstage scrambling and re-writing going on to explain his exit.   Suddenly one day Draper was appointed to some special "crime council" in London, and the next day, during the middle of an episode he said, "Oh, and by the way, I'm leaving today.  Bye!" It was just a bizarre and jarring exit for a character who'd been on daily for the past several years.   (I would assume that at contract negotiation time, everyone thought Tony Craig would be re-signing for another three years, and instead he evidently said, "No thanks" at the last moment.)

 

Terry Davis, of course, was on a different contract schedule from Tony Craig, and just because he left, that didn't mean she had to be disposed of also.  Henry Slesar kept April Scott in Monticello for several more weeks (probably until Terry Davis's next 13-week contract cycle was up).   Then April said, "Oh, by the way, I'm joining Draper in London.  Good-bye, everyone!  Here, Miles, you can have my penthouse!"  And she left too.   My feeling is that if she'd been written out when Tony Craig left, the show would've probably been obliged to PAY her for the remainder of her contract, so they just waited until her next 13-week "drop date", and then exercised their chance to let her go without a big pay-out. 

 

Someone else may recall more details.  I was just a kid, then, but it all seemed haphazard, unplanned and sudden to me --- which always stuck-out like a sore thumb on a show that was, in most respects, so carefully plotted and scripted.

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12 hours ago, Broderick said:

 

My recollection is that Tony Craig left on his own, fairly abruptly, and without much advance notice.   I believe the actor's official story was that he was suffering from "burn out".   You could sense there was some backstage scrambling and re-writing going on to explain his exit.   Suddenly one day Draper was appointed to some special "crime council" in London, and the next day, during the middle of an episode he said, "Oh, and by the way, I'm leaving today.  Bye!" It was just a bizarre and jarring exit for a character who'd been on daily for the past several years.   (I would assume that at contract negotiation time, everyone thought Tony Craig would be re-signing for another three years, and instead he evidently said, "No thanks" at the last moment.)

 

Terry Davis, of course, was on a different contract schedule from Tony Craig, and just because he left, that didn't mean she had to be disposed of also.  Henry Slesar kept April Scott in Monticello for several more weeks (probably until Terry Davis's next 13-week contract cycle was up).   Then April said, "Oh, by the way, I'm joining Draper in London.  Good-bye, everyone!  Here, Miles, you can have my penthouse!"  And she left too.   My feeling is that if she'd been written out when Tony Craig left, the show would've probably been obliged to PAY her for the remainder of her contract, so they just waited until her next 13-week "drop date", and then exercised their chance to let her go without a big pay-out. 

 

Someone else may recall more details.  I was just a kid, then, but it all seemed haphazard, unplanned and sudden to me --- which always stuck-out like a sore thumb on a show that was, in most respects, so carefully plotted and scripted.

Thanks Broderick

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On 12/14/2019 at 7:22 PM, Broderick said:

Check out the very brief scene from 15:10 to about 17:10, from January 1980, where Henry Slesar takes the huge risk of effectively "spoiling" the entire storyline that he's crafted to last through the entire summer of 1980.    Over an innocuous game of Monopoly while Logan Swift is recovering from the flu, Draper and April discuss April's recent dreams --- she's in the hospital with a new baby named "Julia" (whose name she's unable to explain the origins of), a plaintive train whistle blows, a man appears with silver bracelets, and Draper disappears to some strange and faraway place where April is unable to locate him.  In this brief two minute scene, we are given a preview of Draper's arrest for Margo's murder (though Margo is still alive and well when this scene aired), the train derailment at Grant's Falls, Draper's "abduction" by Dr. Gault and Emily Michaels, and April's subsequent relationship with Logan while Draper is presumed dead.   This is definitely "high stakes spoiling" on Henry Slear's part, but he wraps-up the entire scene in such a vague and mysterious manner that it only leaves you WONDERING instead of truly "spoiling" anything at all.        

 

 

This post prompted me to go onto youtube and rewatch December 1979. Wow. So good. So fleshed out.  Great dialog for the most part.  Everyone was interconnected. It's easy to forget with the hacks that have been writing soaps since the early 2000s how many creative writers were employed on the soaps. Henry was tops. He had some down moments too but they never lasted long.  I remember hating the main story once Draper was an amnesiac and we had all those long scenes with Emily. But in rewatching the lead up in December I'm blown away by how detailed and pointed every plot turn or line of dialog was. Not even the exchange of Xmas presents was gratuitous. Henry had a story bible and worked through it.  I loved the pace of the episodes around Deborah's kidnapping, the police station scenes.  Nancy's First Amendment storyline. P&G were idiots for firing Henry.  The show needed new sets, maybe some fresh directing and a new script writer or two; but they didn't need hack Lee Sheldon.  Thanks for posting. I'm up to 12/26/79 episode. The acting was so stellar.

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2 hours ago, RavenWhitney said:

P&G were idiots for firing Henry.  The show needed new sets, maybe some fresh directing and a new script writer or two; but they didn't need hack Lee Sheldon.

 

ABC felt the same way.  They didn't want P&G to fire Henry Slesar -- and in fact, as soon as he was available again, they brought him over (as Co-HW w/ Sam Hall) to OLTL.

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4 hours ago, RavenWhitney said:

P&G were idiots for firing Henry.  

 

Yes, indeed!  Complete idiots.   I'm sure P&G was bewildered why "Edge" wasn't performing well in the ratings, while the rest of ABC's line-up was soaring.  But the problem was clearly the time slot (very low clearance in many major markets), as well as the "niche" appeal of a 1940s-style detective story with off-beat characters and twist endings.   The problem was never the writer.   Slesar was an expert at crafting clever tales, dropping vague hints, throwing in red herrings, keeping us guessing, and surprising us at the end.   Lee Sheldon didn't just have what it takes; maybe he got slightly better once he settled in, but he was never anywhere near in the league of a Henry Slesar.   I remember reading a short story by Henry Slesar when I was a kid, and being very impressed.   Once I realized that he was writing "Edge", I was hooked until the day they canned him. 

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I thought the actors from the Mansion of the Damned storyline were all just short term contracts for that specific storyline.  I read that Kim Hunter and Bruce Gray signed contract extensions because Henry Slesar wanted to use them for the Deborah/Steve/Owen triangle and the Margo Huntington murder.    My memory is fuzzy but I think that is how it went.

 

Part of me wishes that CBS hadn't cancelled Edge and just moved it to 3:30 again.  With the affiliate clearance issue getting worse every year it was on ABC, I don't think it really ever had a chance.  I think considering it's low clearance in many markets Edge performed very well.   I asked Lois Kibbee about the ratings in a letter many years ago and she said that the markets that carried Edge, it's ratings were very good.

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9 minutes ago, EONGLOLTL said:

Part of me wishes that CBS hadn't cancelled Edge and just moved it to 3:30 again.  With the affiliate clearance issue getting worse every year it was on ABC, I don't think it really ever had a chance.  I think considering it's low clearance in many markets Edge performed very well.   I asked Lois Kibbee about the ratings in a letter many years ago and she said that the markets that carried Edge, it's ratings were very good.

 

Here's a thought: what if NBC, rather than ABC, had picked up EON?

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1 hour ago, beebs said:

Higher clearances for the same ratings, I'd venture.

 

I agree... not great ratings on NBC.   I don't think NBC would have picked it up though.  They had a full slate in the afternoon.   Another World was an hour form 3:00 to 4:00 and Somerset was still on at 4:00 to 4:30.   I think the 4:00 time slot was doomed for any show... soap or game show because of less expensive syndicated shows.  

 

I guess we will never know.   Edge never recovered from the 1972 time slot change debacle. 

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3 hours ago, EONGLOLTL said:

I thought the actors from the Mansion of the Damned storyline were all just short term contracts for that specific storyline.  I read that Kim Hunter and Bruce Gray signed contract extensions because Henry Slesar wanted to use them for the Deborah/Steve/Owen triangle and the Margo Huntington murder.    My memory is fuzzy but I think that is how it went.

 

That sounds about right.   Henry Slesar seemed to be on a VERY tight timeline with Kim Hunter, in particular.   I'm sure she didn't come cheaply, plus she got "star" billing  ("and Kim Hunter as Nola", in the closing credits).   The budget probably dictated how long she could stay on the show, and how hurriedly her storyline had to conclude.   The most GLARING example involved the speediness of the Draper Scott trial, which would conclude with certain confessions from Nola Madison.   In one episode Draper was indicted, in the next episode Logan broke the news to Draper that he'd been indicted, and in the next episode his trial began.   Not much time for the prosecution and the defense to prepare a case for a murder trial!   I was watching it a few days and scratching my head about the speediness of it all, but then realized that Kim Hunter's exit probably dictated that Draper had to be sentenced by March the whatever of 1980 so that Kim Hunter's paychecks could end.        

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I stumbled on Edge during the middle of the Jeff Brown story and I was hooked - it aired AFTER Nightline where I lived at the time (St Louis). By then Elliot, Logan and Draper had already exited. It wasn't until I saw the videos of the pre-late 1981 episodes that I realized what a huge hole having those 3 leading men exit. Interestingly, they all played so well with SG. Of course, SG continued to drive the show because she had chemistry and presence to spare. 

 

 

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@Broderick With spades with those actresses! SG became the 'star' of the show for good reason. It also helped that HS wrote Raven with traits, dialogue and drive normally associated with a man. But Sharon's inherent sultry sensuality was never compromised so she never came away as harsh or, using a very un-PC term, "butch.' Something that isn't easy to accomplish.

 

Raven was easily one of the strongest women in the history of soaps. Even when she was down, she never felt like a victim because HS always had her forge her own path to the top. 

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