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The ABC Afternoon Playbreak


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*any mods please feel free to retitle the title of this thread ABC not AC sad.gif *

Our very own Saynotoyoursoap posted a 1974 ABC Afternoon Playbreak movie on youtube, which made me think. Does anyone remember these? Were they a success? they seemed to run every other month or so for a year and a bit--it just seems like the kind of concept networks would no longer ever do (I suppose it was similar to the Afternoon Specials we, most of us, remember as kids they've since given up on?)

Here's part one of Last Bride of Salem. Saynotoyoursoap says in the description: From October 31, 1973 to February 13, 1975, ABC-TV telecast an intermittent series of 90 minute daytime specials under the title ABC Afternoon Playbreak. Playbreak generally broadcast in the 3-4:30 ET time-slot, preempting game shows and the soap operas General Hospital and One Life to Live. Most of the presentations were straightforward dramas, recorded on videotape like the network serials. The gothic-themed special uploaded here was by far the most popular broadcast of ABC Afternoon Plyabreak. It was rebroadcast in a nighttime time-slot and was also considered a pilot for a continuing serial similar to Dark Shadows.

Eagle-eyed viewers will note the presence of a young John Candy in a very small role. Susan Rubes, playing Grace Fletcher, previously acted under her maiden name Douglas and is familiar to Guiding Light audiences as the tragic Kathy Roberts from the 1950's

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=P6DKpHstdQc

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Thanks Scotty! I thought they could only pre empt network time--not syndicated shows like Oprah, but you're right. Did only ABC do these? I still remember the one with the girl who took drugs and tried to jump off her school-- I thnk it was Helen Hunt :D

To answer my own question Wiki says:

The American Broadcasting Company coined the term after school special in 1972[1] with a series of made for television movies, usually dealing with controversial or socially relevant issues, that were generally broadcast in the late afternoon and meant to be viewed by school age children, particularly teenagers. CBS distributed its own productions as the CBS Afternoon Playhouse (later known as CBS Schoolbreak Special). CBS had a program called Famous Classic Tales, which aired Australian cartoons that were adapted from literature books (similar to Family Classic Tales). NBC also had afterschool programs under the umbrella title Special Treat.

Now I'm sure part of this was to qualify for some network "socail programming/educational" thing, but it's interesting that the networks could care less about anything like this anymore lol

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Thanks Scotty! I thought they could only pre empt network time--not syndicated shows like Oprah, but you're right. Did only ABC do these? I still remember the one with the girl who took drugs and tried to jump off her school-- I thnk it was Helen Hunt biggrin.gif

To answer my own question Wiki says:

The American Broadcasting Company coined the term after school special in 1972[1] with a series of made for television movies, usually dealing with controversial or socially relevant issues, that were generally broadcast in the late afternoon and meant to be viewed by school age children, particularly teenagers. CBS distributed its own productions as the CBS Afternoon Playhouse (later known as CBS Schoolbreak Special). CBS had a program called Famous Classic Tales, which aired Australian cartoons that were adapted from literature books (similar to Family Classic Tales). NBC also had afterschool programs under the umbrella title Special Treat.

Now I'm sure part of this was to qualify for some network "socail programming/educational" thing, but it's interesting that the networks could care less about anything like this anymore lol

You're welcome. And now this type of programming seemed banished to Saturday mornings only. lol

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Did only ABC do these? I still remember the one with the girl who took drugs and tried to jump off her school-- I thnk it was Helen Hunt :D

Not sure if this was an Afterschool Special but I remember a movie with Helen Hunt where she was on the track team but she was involved in a really bad accident and became debilitated and she tried to run again but it was like watching Corky from Life Goes On running track. :lol:

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Is that Peter White from St. Elsewhere in the background??

I think they showed a scene from this in her monologue for SNL. Did she go out a window?

I've watched part of the Salem episode saynotoursoap posted. It's weird seeing Lois Nettleton back in the daytime format. Too bad she didn't do any soaps later in her career, aside from the stint on GH, where she was poorly used.

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Yes... since I'm one of the few around here old enough to remember such things, you are correct, Jonathon, in that the afternoon playbreak and afterschool specials were different entities. The Afterschool special came first, in 72... and the afternoon playbreak was basically an "adult" spinoff of the afterschool special. The afterschool special was aimed at tweens (or as we called them then, teenyboppers) and the playbreak was for the grownups. The first afterschool special I remember seeing was "Pssst! Hammerman's after you!" in 1974. The afterschool special lasted well into the 80's, but the playbreak didn't. Here's the afterschool special intro that I remember from the 70's:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vNZ3IeHyHg&feature=related

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Jonathan, I was just going to say, Rosemary Prinz did one with Robin Strasser called "This Child Is Mine". A Robin fan on YouTube uses clips from it in one of his Robin montages, apparently it reran a lot on cable in the early '80s.

Robin also did an Afterschool Special with Stuart Damon called "Me and My Hormones" iirc, I saw that one. She was going through the change while the daughter was going through puberty.

I also remember a Playbreak-like movie starring Jean Stapleton as a little league coach who had to have her leg amputated, anyone remember that?

On Sunday mornings, these little teleplays used to come on in my area. I remember one called "An Intimate Stranger" or something like that about a lady (a Rosalind Cash type)who's reunited with her daughter after giving her up at birth and the girl seems mentally emotionally wounded and ends up killing herself at the end as the mother denies her. These were not as fancy, they were taped and looked more like early Ryan's Hope. I wish I knew what that series was, I really eat up stuff like that. Kinda like the original judge shows that used to come on in daytime, they were reenactments. Remember those? One was called The Judge and the other I remember was Divorce Court, but all actors, with scenes of the clients whispering to their lawyers and whatnot.

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