Jump to content
edgeofnik

As The World Turns Discussion Thread

Recommended Posts

I adore the funky groovy 1976 As the World Turns logo. Over the last decade, with retro so in style, Goutman would have been smart to use a modified version of this for the show's title card. Young people would have seen it as fresh, funky and older fans would have had acid trip flash backs. ATWT had such a rich history but Goutman never brought back any blasts from the past or even their children. Fans are forgiving when it comes to recasts and there was so much potential in the show's history. I never realized how radically Marland revamped the show and, in the process, eliminated characters and entire families. I would have rather watched an extended Stuart family or even the McColls as opposed to the sappy Snyder clan.

That was never the ATWT logo -- just a cheap graphic the magazine created. During the 1970s, the logo was spinning globe with "As" on one line "the World Turns" on second line with orchestra music, which was color version of title from the original title sequence. Check youtube for ATWT logo history. In 1981, intro was switched to first modern version -- with globe spinning from outer space, forming the O in "World" and the three beams of light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the story on Judith McConnell's Valerie? I've heard and understand she was popular and that Valerie was supposedly a so-called "wild, young fun" character but reading some old synopsis she sounds a tad tame compared to her contemporaries on Y&R, Days, GL etc. and only lasted a few years. Well other than crashing her plane into Kim's house, that must have been quite something to watch for the 70s!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the synopses I've read it seems like she and Kim used to be close and Kim betrayed her in the past (or was it her brother Kim betrayed), or she thought Kim had. Then when she came to town, she and Kim became friends, but Susan tried to drive a wedge between them. She was also in love with Dan for a while. I do wonder how fans felt about her.

I guess ATWT had too many women on the show in that timeframe who were around the same age, but it still bewilders me that Judith McConnell bounced to so many soaps without a defining or long role until Santa Barbara. I wonder if the Dobsons would have written for her if she'd stayed on ATWT. She left not long before they took over didn't she?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe McConnell made quite an impression on GH as Augusta,written by the Dobsons.i don't know whether she chose to leave or it was decided the character had run its course.

Yes ATWT had Kim,Lisa,Sandy,Susan,Val,Joyce etc I guess having so many 'aging' characters,many who had been around for years contributed to its stodgy rep. The only younger character throughout the 70's were carol and Natalie,until Dee and Annie were Sorased in 76.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Judith said that she was told she would not be written out of her GH role, although she might have known she was Phil's killer, but then she was written out. I guess the Dobsons might have left and the next writer got rid of her?

It's a shame ATWT didn't work out for her because I really think she would have been something special and I think Marland and the Dobsons would have given her some good stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I know McConnell was a star on Santa Barbara but I had wondered about her Valerie, who even had her own theme music written by Charles Paul.

It's interesting that Hunt and Ellis are credited to extending ATWT's reign at number one after being nearly toppled by Days and AW in the early 70s but they were the ones to also lose ATWT's number one status in 1977/78. It's also weird reading about pre-1981 Tom Hughes, a Tom without Margo. I've heard the castings of Deas and especially Greg Marx really de-aged Tom. I suppose that was a relief to Fulton.

By the way, did ATWT do anything special for their first hour episode in 1975?

Edited by soapfan770

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't know she had her own theme music. I wonder what it sounded like?

Yeah Schemering said that they began repeating stories, like one about alcoholism (I guess that was Kevin?).

I have some of the Digests from Valerie's time. I will type up some of the synopses later if they mention Valerie. Unfortunately I don't have all of them so they don't tell a complete story like FrenchFan's do.

While I guess ATWT probably didn't need some of their older women (like Sandy) by the time they started pruning, it still annoys me when I hear that getting rid of middle-aged and older women is what a soap has to do. I think this type of thing has killed soaps. To me this age group is where you find your truly fascinating female characters. When I started watching ATWT it was Susan and Kim and Lucinda who helped draw me in. It's interesting that for all the driving away of older women on ATWT in the late 70s and early 80s, Marland used them to help make ATWT strong again.

Edited by CarlD2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been quite some time since I listened to Paul's Valerie theme on the old WOST site but if I remember right it was a sorta upbeat piano piece.

After reading up on ATWT history I was always amazed that Sandy Wilson was on the show for so long with multiple actresses in the part. Aside from her forgotten marriage to Bob she really had no connections to the rest of the show and I wonder why they kept bringing the character back. They never mentioned her after 1979 did they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think her last few years of story were with Kevin? You're right that the character seemed extraneous. I notice that the interviews with Barbara Rucker seem to be entirely about her and not about the character.

I guess she must have also fit into a very stylized look ATWT had at that time.

I'd love to see more of that timeline. The changes in the early 80s must have been such a big departure for longtime viewers -- fortunately they seemed to have enough new characters who clicked with viewers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read before a funny anecdote out there from the either the late 80s/early 90s in which I believe Dagne Crane, the original Sally was approached by a woman who said "Glad to see you out of jail" in reference to the time when Sally was Ellen Stewart's cellmate, over 20 years since that story had air.

To me the most shocking thing would have been November 2nd, 1981 when The World Turns On and On debuted. I know the other P&G soaps had updated their openings to fit with the times (SFT, Edge, and especially GL) but ATWT's was the most drastic. I wonder how many grannies fell out of their chairs that day. On the other hand even though for better or worse ATWT had a banner year in 1983, it didn't seem the show's demographics changed much did they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The climax of the Endicott Awards was great and pure soapy fun to watch poor nasty Katie meet her downfall. Of course, Sheffer had other plans for Katie but still nevertheless the last half of 2000 for ATWT was great in my opinion.

ATWT PAYS OFF

written by Tom Smith

October 9th, 2000

There’s been a lot of buzz about ATWT lately. Writing is sharper, characterization is tighter, performances are top-notch, and history, large and small, is being remembered and respected. Both the numbers and the demos are starting to inch up. But, what’s really driving ATWT to the top of the must see soaps list? I can sum it up in one word: PAYOFF.

Far too often, soaps will start potentially intriguing storylines, only to let them meander on endlessly and pointlessly, until the writers have wrung every last drop of potential they could muster. At some point, the writers eventually come up with new and intriguing ideas. But, instead of having the decency to properly wrap up the storylines they have going on now, the writers will simply end them, and move the characters on to the next plot, with no real sense of payoff.

Payoff is crucial to the genre, and to storytelling as a whole. Payoff is when the hero triumphs, the villains are foiled, the couple gets together or breaks apart. Payoff is when the story reaches it’s intended goal or climax. Since, barring cancellation,a soap opera never really ends, payoff is the closest thing we get to a denouement.

But we don’t get it. Ask DAYS fans if the writers fully explained the Princess Gina/Hope connection, or if they just ran out of steam? Or what really happened with John’s missing years? Or Marlena’s? Does GH even know the meaning of payoff anymore? Two brilliant stories that GH was playing out a couple of years ago were Alan’s pill addiction, and Tony’s descent into madness. Eventually, the writers played these for all they were worth. But, instead of actually seeing Alan go through the pain of becoming clean and sober, Alan decides that he needs to stop being an addict, and takes some drug to make him stop being an addict. A week later, we don’t hear about it anymore. Tony decides to stop being a nutcase--boom, he’s lucid again! Katherine gets pushed off the balcony, and falls to her death. Big murder mystery with shocking results promised! A year later, it’s Katherine who? And, of course, ATWT fans know. Just who killed Diego anyway? Whatever really happened to Kirk and Sam? Why was Alec trying to kill those men in the photograph?

The story flow is even worse when a writer is fired in the middle of weaving their storylines, and a new writing team comes in. The previous writer’s work is obliterated. Storylines do 180 degree turns. Characters rapidly change over and disappear, all in the name of getting their stories off and ours on. This makes the current renaissance at ATWT even more amazing. Hogan Scheffer, a brand-new writer to the genre, is turning ATWT inside-out. Not by bringing in bizarre Reilly-esque plots, or by ignoring everything that went before. Indeed, you could almost forgive Scheffer for wanting to ignore everything that happened in the year before he was hired. A ridiculous ‘’evil twin’’ storyline; two characters trapped on a deserted island in a plotline that makes one long for the realism of Gilligan’s Island; a major villain, whom most of the town hated, simply being caught and going to jail, with no trial; and a minor villain, whom few people cared about, being killed off, resulting in a major murder mystery, complete with bizarre investigation, and lengthy trial.

So, what did Scheffer do? He took these stories head on, and decided to make them work. In a brilliant example of taking the twisted mess that was ATWT, and making it coherent, Scheffer staged an event out of Katie’s comeuppance. Oh, how do I boil down the storyof Katie Peretti? Katie, a scheming reporterette for WOAK TV, decided to climb up the ladder, and snag Lily’s husband, Holden, for herself. In order to climb up the ladder, Katie had to knock out chief rival Molly for good. To accomplish this goal, Katie sent evidence of Molly’s tryst with Chris Hughes to a tabloid paper. This would not have been so bad, except the much younger Chris was now dating Molly’s teenage daughter, Abigail, and Chris and Molly were determined to keep the truth from her. The tabloid revelation led to a bitter fight between Molly and Abigail, which led to Molly falling down the stairs and going into a deep coma.

Further cementing herself, Katie teamed up with news producer Henry, to make the audience love Katie. Together, they concocted a plot in which Katie was being ‘’stalked’’, a plot they kept up even after Chris was accused of the stalking. As it turns out, someone did start stalking Katie--Garth, a WOAK worker, who was obsessed with Molly, and knew what Katie had done. Garth forced Katie to admit what she had done on videotape. Garth was then caught and killed, and the videotape began an annoying phase of Hot Potato.

Meanwhile, Katie stepped up her plans to get Holden. Figuring out that ‘’Lily’’ was really Rose, Katie began blackmailing her into breaking up Holden and Lily’s marriage. And she nearly succeeded. Certainly, Katie was on top of the world. Lily was back in town, but her marriage was clearly on the rocks. Plus, Katie was going to receive a special Endicott journalism award for the piece she submitted, in which she covered the aftermath of her own stalking! It was Katie’s night...to fall.

Molly was out of her coma, and feigning amnesia, in order to re-establish her relationship with Abigail, and get info to bring down Katie and Henry. She got it in spades when she eventually snagged the video of Katie’s confession. But Katie figured out that Molly not only had the video, but was faking amnesia. Katie went to Molly, and told her that she would tell Abigail (who didn’t know Katie went to the tabloids, and considered Katie a friend) that Molly was faking. Katie didn’t know that Molly had already told Abigail the truth, and that Abigail was standing nearby when Katie revealed her true colors.

Meanwhile, Molly’s boyfriend, Jake, paid bail for Rose to get out of jail, and over to the hotel where the awards were being held. On the night of the awards, Abigail distracted the videotape operator, while Chris switched the tape. The video played, and Katie’s life was destroyed. Just to cement things, Jake made sure Rose gave a little speech afterwards on how Katie helped her take over Lily’s life.

Katie was in hysterics, as she realized her oh-so-clever self had been duped. Condemnation was swift, as everyone lined up to give Katie a piece of their mind. Margo, Katie’s duped older sister, a cop who had fallen for the stalker ruse; Holden, who couldn’t believe Katie had snowed him on so many levels; reporters who instantly swarmed on Katie like the vultures that she was; but, the last laugh was saved for Molly, who found Katie collapsed, nearly on the floor in tears. Molly, by no means a saint, made sure Katie knew she got everything that was coming to her. She also let Katie know that she had been where Katie is right now, and that if Katie wants to salvage her life, she better start now. With that said, Molly went off into the arms of Jake.

On another show, or under a lesser writer, Katie’s machinations would’ve been swept under the rug. The video would’ve been destroyed or explained away; Rose would’ve been easily discredited. Or worse, everything Katie did would’ve been forgotten completely, as a new writer decided to use Katie for bigger and more evil things. There certainly WOULDN’T have had been a payoff of the magnitude Scheffer provided.

Seeing Katie’s comeuppance reminded me of a couple of stories involving AMC’s Adam Chandler. The first, in the mid-80’s, revolved around Adam attempting to gaslight then wife Dixie. Not only were all Adam’s misdeeds exposed in public, at a Masquerade Ball (in Adam’s home yet), but Adam’s chief enemies, Tad Martin and Palmer Cortlandt, teamed up to make it all happen. Palmer masterminded a scheme to buy out all of Adam's holdings, leaving Adam penniless, and eventually led to him having a stroke.

The other story was more recent. Liza Colby, decided she wanted to have a baby, and she wanted Dr. Jake Martin to be the sperm donor. Adam, now Liza’s ex-hubby, decided that he should be the father. So, he bought the clinic, and switched Jake’s sperm with his. Instead of another climax the magnitude of Adam’s Ball, the writers now had one anti-climax after another. Allie knew the truth from the beginning, but she quickly left town. David knew, and continued to dangle the info, WITHOUT ever saying anything. When he did blurt it out, it was to Gillian, a character barely in the story, as she was only a friend of Jake’s at that point. Gillian raced to tell the truth--but then she was in a car crash. By the time the news finally trickled to Liza, sixteen months after the deed, no one gave a damn. The story quickly turned to “Will Jake learn the truth?” He did find out, some months later, at which point he quickly left town.

And Adam? After being locked in a secret room for a few weeks, while his twin brother, Stuart was coerced into taking his identity, and spending his money (don’t ask), life pretty much went on as usual. Why? Because TPTB were ready to explore other avenues, and what Adam had done to Liza was no longer important--it was now something to be quickly dealt with and forgotten. And that’s what the whole storyline turned into--something best forgotten.

The comeuppance of Katie, however, is to be remembered for a long time. Perhaps the first of many memorable payoffs from Hogan Scheffer.

Edited by soapfan770

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How ironic it was Hogan's one and ONLY payoff. And Katie was swiftly turned into his bumbling, BUBBLES-Y, quirky "heroine".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few months ago some of us, like Paul Raven and Mitch (I hope he's still posting here) talked about David Stewart's funeral and who did or didn't show up.

This Digest from early August 1991 can finally answer the question for sure. It also reveals a Betsy I had never known about. I wonder why they didn't bring her back in 1994. Does anyone remember her? I also wonder why they didn't think about asking Suzanne Davison back.

When AS THE WORLD TURNS planned to put the character of David Stewart (Henderson Forsythe) to rest, they decided to throw a funeral. But rounding up the mourners from the Stewart family proved tricky for ATWT casting director Vince Liebhart. David Stewart's granddaughter, Betsy, had to be recast because Lindsay Frost, the last actress to play the role, was unavailable. "It would have been ideal to get Lindsay, but she was shooting a pilot," he says. "When Lindsay wasn't available, I asked Laurie [Caso, the show's executive producer] if I should call Meg Ryan." Ryan's reluctance to recognize her soap past is well known; the part was given to Tracy Sallows.

The show also didn't ensure Melanie Smith's (Emily) return to the show until the last minute. "It was a little hairy getting Melanie," says Liebhart. "She wasn't sure if she was going to be available. By the time we got confirmation that she was going to do it, the scripts were written and I would have had to get somebody else anyway." The other guests at the Stewart funeral gladly returned. Vicky Dawson, who flew in from California to play Dee Dixon, was the last actress to play the part. Mary Lynn Blanks came back as Annie Stewart. Colleen Broomall returned as Betsy's daughter Dani.

Liebhart has been casting director for AS THE WORLD TURNS for eight years. Since the show frequently brings back departed contract players for cameos, he keeps in regular touch with actors who've worked on AS THE WORLD TURNS. "Actors are always glad of the work," he says. "I think it's great for the story if the actors are available. I don't know how good it is for the fans if we have to recast."

- Robert Rorke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's fascinating all the little details that sometimes are forgotten off the Internet. What's even more interesting is to see Marland and Caso go out of their way to actually bring Betsy to the screen unlike so many soap funerals and weddings. I know this year's casting of John Martin as Bill Horton on Days for Alice's funeral was a rare example of this. I'm surprised they didn't try to get Jacqueline Schultz back as Dee for the funeral.

One odd thing I've seen going through old clips is Andrew Kavovit's guest appearance at Christmas 1992 as Paul. He shared some awkward scenes with KMH's Emily it was almost unbelievable that his Paul and her Emily were ever lovers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah when Caso was replaced that was pretty much the last of bringing back people, sadly ,with a few exceptions here and there. You're right that they did make the effort to bring back people even when they didn't have to. It was important for the Stewarts to be there, even if they had been phased out of the show.

Maybe the supposed tension between CZP and Schultz still kept them from asking her back. Either that or they just went with the last actress who had played her.

I had forgotten Kavitovit and KMH were onscreen together. I can't see that at all. I grew to accept KMH over time but never really saw her as the Emily I knew.

It is interesting though that the Betsy who came back for David's funeral seemed to be entirely forgotten.

Edited by CarlD2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×