Practically I wonder how much of that had to do with the Bell family relocating to Los Angeles from Chicago? I get that 30 minutes makes a tighter story, but I also would hazard to guess that it is easier to manage a 30 minute production remotely. Does anyone recall when they all moved and Lee finished her morning show in the windy city?
I can understand Chris having no money as Snapper had that draconian "i'm the man, I work, no inheritance for you" BS. Though by the time they met April he should have been making bank working at the hospital. I believe he was reinstated by that point and would have finished his intern/residency period. Sometimes I think Bell kept that couple frozen in time.
In terms of the hour, I think Bell in general hated soaps going to an hour and felt the 30min soap was perfect. I am in two minds about it. I do love the hour soaps, but the half hour is pretty spot on for a soap.
I was referencing when he dated Nikki, after her divorce and he ingratiated himself through teaching Nick sports.
Also, I think the Albert part of the story came later because when Nikki originally found Cora, Victor was angry because he said that she had abandoned him. That's when he told he the story about taking the name Newman as in becoming a new man (kind of literal, but still interesting, I would be fascinated to know if it was coincidence or part of the plan for the character, given that he wasn't meant to be a long term player).
Possible, except you have the hilarious OLTL oral history stories where Gottlieb, etc. say they went to Agnes and got her blessing on both the gang rape and DID stories and Agnes flat-out is quoted next saying "What? I never met Linda Gottlieb."