Jump to content

High Hopes


DRW50

Recommended Posts

  • Members

From Chris Schemering's book, Soap Opera Encyclopedia

Taped in Toronto, this was the first soap to be broadcast simultaneously in the United States and Canada. It was aired over the CBC network in Canada and over independent stations in the U.S., premiering on most of them on April 3, 1978. High Hopes delved into family counseling as psychiatrist Neal Chapman solved the problems of others while his own troubles mounted. Critics complained that early episodes contained too many storylines and the viewer was bombarded with too many characters and situations. Later in the show's short run, in a buzz of publicity, Dorothy Malone of Peyton Place fame was added to the cast. The half-hour serial was written by Winifred Wolfe, directed by Bruce Minnix, and produced by Robert M. Driscoll.

Cast

Dr. Neal Chapman - Bruce Gray

Jessie Chapman - Marriage McIssac

Meg Chapman - Doris Petrie

Trudy Bowen - Barbara Kyle

Paula Myles - Nuala Fitzgerald

Walter Telford - Colin Fox

Louise Bates - Jayne Eastwood

Amy Sperry - Gina Dick

Dr. Dan Gerald - Jan Muszinski

Victor Tauss - Nehemiah Persoff

Carol Tauss - Dorothy Malone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 38
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Members

I know very little about this show but decided to start a thread after I read this magazine article? Anyone have anything to say? Too bad it didn't last. Such a pointless crotch shot of the male lead must be worth something...

This is from the January 1979 TV Dawn to Dusk (Ideal Publishing Inc)

12-03-2010072025AM.jpg

12-03-2010070645AM.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
financially because eventually we want to own our own cameras and studios. That basic ideal ed us to consider 'strip' forms - games, which bore me; talk shows, with the same guests going from one to the other, we certainly have enough of, and serials.

"The serial seemed the most challenging and potentially the most interesting so we started to think in terms of the mechanics of it, even prior to coming up with the actual story idea. It certainly wasn't a brilliant, fully-formed idea that someone came up with one day - it evolved over a period of time and discussions with many people."

In the beginning, there was just Dick and his assistant Dale Stewart, kicking ideas around. "This is not on NBC," he explains. "We're a small company and were casting about basically to find how an independent producer can get a niche in this business without competing for network prime access time."

As he talked and thought about the project, the circle of people who heard what he was searching for grew in 'ripple effect,' even though he had kept certain aspects carefully hidden from the public and industry - for instance, four radio shows designed as tests of audience acceptance. When the shows surfaced, they were not old ones, but completely new shows.

"We did them in the old 15-minute form with wonderful actors like Larry Haines (Stu Bergman - Search for Tomorrow) and Nat Polen (Dr. James Craig - One Life to Live). All of this led us to think seriously in terms of the serial form. Investigating it, we found it had been tried several times before by independent producers, but economics always beat it down. So we spent about six or eight months trying to put together an economic package that would be salable in the United States and Canada."

But because of Canada's restrictive limitations on buying foreign productions (to protect it's own burgeoning television industry), selling it in Canada necessitated producing it in Canada by, and with, a large majority of Canadians. That meant Dick and his staff would have to handle all the business details, involving selling, advertising and distribution.

And you thought putting a soap opera together was easy!

The fact that he had to produce in Canada did not present a problem in his plans. "Toronto is not some strange place out in the woods, but a marvelously civilized city with excellent resources in terms of facilities and with good actors, writers and directors."

(Knowing the city of Toronto, to call it 'marvelously civilized' is almost an understatement. Toronto is a new, constantly growing metropolis, with such careful urban planning that the downtown area, full of high-rise buildings - all different and striking in design - has unexpected green and fountain-filled plazas at every turn. It is also, unequivocally, the cleanest city in the entire northern hemisphere.)

But in spite of the production facilities and the talent pool, Canada presented difficulties for production of a soap opera because they had never done one up there. And since the production, writing, directing and even the acting aspects are special and unique art forms, the talent Canada was trying to protect would have to be trained.

So the search started for an American producer and director skilled and experienced in the genre. Producer Joe Manetta, with a successful track record, was signed and eventually produced the pilot. But after that, when unexpected personal problems surfaced, he had to bow out.

Bob Driscoll, who had produced six soaps, including all the 'biggies' Secret Storm, Love of Life, Search for Tomorrow, Edge of Night, Guiding Light, and As the World Turns) replaced him shortly before show No. 1 went on the air. "We were very lucky to get Bob," Dick acknowledges, "and lucky he can stay with us until we feel the show is 'set' and ready to turn over to the Canadians."

When that time arrives, the production will be in the capable hands of producer Karen Hazzard, who is also a casting expert. She originally joined the company to cast the pilot and assemble a cast that includes some of Canada's finest actors. She was even instrumental in recommending a Canadian producer, but when he couldn't accept the assignment, Karen's hat was successfully thrown into the ring.

Just before the pilot was shot, Dick made another important addition to his staff in New York. Sid Sirulnick, a network producer with wide experience in all facets of network programming and producing, including work on soaps, was named Director of Operations. This enables him to function in all areas - business as well as creative - and he serves as a liaison and buffer between New York and Toronto.

But this left Dick Cox to face the same problem of 'no-soap' experience with the directors. American Bruce Minnix, also a veteran 'soaper,' was hired for six weeks to teach the Canadians the logistics. "It was terribly important," says Dick, "that they learn how to schedule the day, minimize delays and get through on time. And we had to have someone who had done it all - someone like Bruce."

After eight months, with a producer and a director set, Dick Cox turned his attention to finding an experienced writer who would developed a projected story line.

"After working on the business angles of the project, we sat around and said, 'OK - now what's the show?' It was," he admits, "an atypical way to work into it. And though this may sound ridiculous, it really didn't matter until that point, what the story would be or what the business of the lead character would be. But after a lot of planning, we had arrived at a family counselor as the lead character and the concept of a 'mini-series' within the context of the show. Of course, everything we planned did not survive because in some cases, when Winifred (Wolfe) became our head-writer, she had some better, more interesting ideas. When we first started to work with her, we told her what we had. Winifred took the basic skeleton we had shaped, rearranged a bone or two, put flesh on it and and gave it life and started to developed a story line.

Winifred Wolfe joined the project early in 1977 and wrote the pilot. She is also no stranger to soap operas, having worked on them from the time they were 15-minute radio shows.

A small, doll-like, friendly, elegant lady, she works at home in an elegant apartment that exactly suits her. She left Boston to come to New York while still in her teens, after graduating from high school and two art schools in the same week.

"I went to high school during the day, one art school in the afternoon and one at night. I was in a great hurry to get started, but," she laughs, "I wasn't sure what I was going to get started in."

Because she never thought she was as good an artists as she could be, or that she could be as good as she wanted to be, she didn't even try for a job as an artist. Since she had always written as a hobby, and had some good samples to show, she felt she could more easily get a job as a writer. Her 'hunch' was correct and almost immediately she was writing radio scripts. From there she eventually wrote TV serials like As the World Turns and Somerset. She was, obviously , another wise choice by Producer Cox.

"When Dick came to me, he already had the idea of a family counsellor and the idea to do a 'mini-series,' using a succession of guest stars. I developed some of the characters he had suggested, added some of my own, deleted others and worked out the general story project. But a story projection never goes the way it is supposed to go. If the characters have any reality to them, they just take over and go their own ways. I remember at one meeting, Dick said to me, 'I don't like the way Paula is going - she was supposed to be the heavy.' I said, 'Maybe she was supposed to be, but she decided not to be.' So Paula is now a sympathetic character with the audience rooting for her."

There were other responsibilities for Winifred. "Part of my contract was that I was to hire the writers and that was the part that worried me," she admits. "There were no daytime serial writers in Canada. Dick was going blithely along, working hard, happily lining up stations and selling advertising; he had a wonderful experienced producer and director. Everything was going great, except that we had no writers!

"When word finally got out about our search, we got tons of scripts that I plowed through and sorted out those with potential. These were by professional writers of stage, screen and television plays and novels. So I talked my heart out to them on the phone, literally giving them a course in daytime soap writing - and they did incredibly well! I was so happy when I started receiving the scripts. They interpreted what I gave them, added their own talents and personalities and very soon reached the point where I couldn't tell one writer's script from another's - they blended so well!"

Two of the writers are Mort Forer and his wife, Marion Waldman, who brings an extra dimension to her writing because she was once an actress and understand actors' needs. Mort, early in his career, before he became a professional writer, was a practicing family counselor. Talk about the long arm of coincidence! Pat Watson and Brian Barney round out the crew of dialogue writers Winifred is so happy with.

"I still work closely with Dick," Winifred continues. "He goes over breakdowns, but I get very few comments - just some things he questions once in a while."

"I didn't want to get involved in the details," explains Dick. "I sit down periodically and determine with Winifred the overall story line. Just as she doesn't tell the writers how to develop any particular thing in detail, I don't tell her. But I do have veto power - somebody has to have that."

The big thrill to Winifred is that she started in 'square one' with this show.

"There were a lot of things I was involved with that I had never been when I went with an established show - like listening to different music and helping to select the theme. It was all very exciting!"

Winifred finds the Toronto-based operation entails using the mails and phone a lot, "so we try to stay about ten weeks ahead of screen time with our story, which is very unusual. Most of the serials in this country work four weeks ahead - if they're lucky. Would you believe I've heard of some that work three days ahead?" She then adds, with a note of awe in her voice, "I think that's scary."

Dick finds no real inconvenience in having the production based in Toronto. "I go up about once every three weeks and it's very easy. It takes only an hour to fly up. It's not too much different from a show being shot in a Brooklyn studio, when the producer is sitting in a midtown Manhattan office. I think the only thing I miss - and i wouldn't call it a problem - is a matter of 'tone.' It's a personal thing, really, some small things I see when I look at the show that I might have done differently. This doesn't mean what was done was wrong, just that I might have done it differently if I were right on the spot."

Dick admits the whole experience from conception to screen (18 months) has been 'exhausting,' but satisfying. Production is now running smoothly. The eight Canadian directors, who originally worked on a rotating basis with Bruce Minnix, were narrowed down to three who share the directorial chores and are, according to Cox, "doing very well."

Everyone - writers, cast, technical crew, production staff - are becoming experienced 'soapers.' In addition to their personal wish to succeed, they have something very special going - national pride - and their 'espirit de corps' is immediately apparent to a visitor to the production center.

"The show is constantly improving," Dick Cox says with pride. "We have a 300% better show than we had the first five or six weeks. The ratings are constantly climbing and in Toronto, we've already made a significant dent in the ratings of the opposition, very popular in Toronto, which is Another World."

"The first ratings," he admits, "were lousy. It's not like a sitcom, where after six weeks, the network can tell if it's going to be a hit or a flop. I think a year is a fair test for a serial and we're all in it for at least that length of time." Hopefully, the show will survive its birth pains and mature into a matronly, healthy popularity.

Fan mail is streaming in, and the audience consensus seems to agree with his own appraisal of the improvement in the serial and its growing popularity.

- Dorothy Vine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

High Hopes indeed.

Barbara Kyle was a regional version of Rula Lenska. She was doing commercials for one of the low end department store chains; K-mart, or Woolco, or maybe it was Miracle Mart. I don't remember which, but she'd always say, "Hi! I'm Barbara Kyle, for ________." And we'd all say, "Who?"

Then I saw her on High Hopes and wondered if they were trying to take advantage of her popularity on a show that no one watched.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I recall reading about this. For Dorthy Malone I'd love to see it. I can't believe more Peyton Place stars weren't scooped up in daytime. I only recall James Douglas being successful, who had a long run on ATWT. And also Ed Nelson on Capitol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • Members

This does seem like an interesting little show. Colin Fox was also the star of Strange Paradise (which I've been getting into lately and is a great campy cult show), and I know "Gordon Thompson" is Gordon Thomson.

What an unfortunate name for that producer, right?

I recall reading about this. For Dorthy Malone I'd love to see it. I can't believe more Peyton Place stars weren't scooped up in daytime. I only recall James Douglas being successful, who had a long run on ATWT. And also Ed Nelson on Capitol.

Ruth Warrick!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Carl,

I saw the premier at the Paley Center in New York eight or nine years ago. As I remember it, the major conflict in the premier was Meg Chapman’s decision not to leave her home to move into a retirement community. Doris Petrie’s Meg was rather spunky and wasn’t going to leave her home without a fight. Neal entertained a phone call from Trudy Bowen before her talk show and another from Paula Myles. Paula was in her penthouse apartment wearing a cast. Later, Neal went to lunch with Walter Telford and Jessie discussed boys with her pal Amy. The show used at least one establishing shot as we saw the exterior of the Chapman home on a sunny day.

I don’t remember the episode being all that memorable. I remember thinking the plot involving the grandmother was a bit odd considering it was the premier episode. I had completely forgotten Paula even appeared in the premier until I was reminded, which is odd since I now remember the actress was in a cast.

Here is a review of the first three episodes:

Low Expectations For "High Hopes"

By Lee Winfrey

The world of the soap opera is not like the real world in which we live. "Daytime Drama," as it is formally called, is a shrunken universe where the range is narrow, options limited, and the rules rigid.

Soap operas are aimed at women aged 18-49, who compose the majority of their audience. Their creators are less interested in women aged 50 and over, which is probably why older women have been watching soaps less during the past year or so.

Last week a new syndicated soap opera entitle "High Hopes" went on the air. I looked at the episodes which will air Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

It was like being cornered at a party by someone who has bored you before. "High Hopes" looks like it was cloned from every other soap on the air. Some of the recollections that returned as I watched

Nobody on a soap oepra ever says anything witty, or even tells a joke. Without relief, the dialogue is routine, bland and flat. "I was just a boy when I made my big mistake," said "High Hopes" hero, Dr. Neal Chapman, in a typical line we’ve all heard before.

Soaps often include a Cassandra type whose job it is to telegraph that trouble, pain, sorrow, or remorse are on their way. On "High Hopes," this function is performed by Dr. Chapman's old mother, Meg.

After seeing Dr. Chapman's sister-in-law, the twice-divorced Paula Myles, I could but nod in rueful agreement as Meg intoned, "I read Paul's teacup one time and I saw two bad marriages and a lot of bad medicine men in between."

The acting on "High Hopes" looks, for the most part, as though all these aspiring thespians are practicing up to try to land a good job somewhere else. Dr. Chapman's lawyer friend, Walter Telford, is probably the farthest away from competence.

Walter's idea of how to really sock a line across is to either extend one of his forefingers or uplift his brows. "I'm not acting," he told his wife in one scene, and I could but agree.

Later Walter told his wife, "You're saying I'm a lousy lawyer." I'm saying he's a lousy actor.

Like grand opera, soap opera often includes a character who is mad as an asylum when the moon is full. Unlike “Lucia di Lammermoor," however, none of them can sing.

On "High Hopes," the one who isn't playing with a full deck is Norma Stewart, the wife of the president of Gordon's Department Store. A car accident in which her daughter was killed has left Norma unable to even leave her home for lunch. "I can't go out and enjoy myself," she wailed, "when I put our Terri in her grave."

I'd probably be half crazy myself if I were on this show, though, so maybe we shouldn't be too hard on Norma.

Again like grand opera, soap opera makes frequent use of lost babies, mistaken identities and shrouded pasts. Dr. Chapman's daughter, Jessie, for example, is not really his daughter at all. Jessie is the offsping of the woman she calls Aunt Paula. Now that Jessie is 18, Dr. Chapman wants to come clean about her parentage. Aunt Paula, of course wants to keep the secret dark.

For "High Hopes," I have low expectations. Nevertheless, in a world in which change rushes at time and sometimes overwhelms us, it was a mite reassuring to look again into the little soap opera miniworld, whether the rules never change and traditions abide.

I always find it odd when male television reviewers tackle soap opera. For the most part, they dismiss them completely, while acknowledging they are not the intended audience. Then again, I guess there have been few female television reviewers hired by the papers.

The source of the IMDB synopsis is a website covering the history of CBC programming. I’m not sure if the site is still around, but I remember reading it there about a decade ago. The original source of the information seems to be an article from The Montreal Gazette.

High Hopes for High Hopes

Wessely Hicks

On April 3, CBC-TV and a syndication of U.S. stations will launch a made-in-Canada soap opera entitled High Hopes. The cultural shock should be roughly equivalent to a genteel sneeze.

The U.S. content in the production area consists of Robert M. Driscoll, senior producer, Karen Hazard, producer, and Winifred Wolfe, head writer. The Canadian content of High Hopes is provided by a quartet of writers, the entire cast, and several Canadian directors who are warming to take over from U.S. director Bruce M. Minnix.

Robert M Driscoll has produced Edge of Night, As the World Turns, The Guiding Light, Search for Tomorrow, Love of Life, and The Secret Storm. Bruce Minnix has directed Search for Tomorrow, Somerset, and The Guiding Light. Winifred Wolfe has written for all three, in addition to As the World Turns. To the soap opera aficionado, those titles are heart-rending classics, steeped in melodrama and seasoned crises.

The plot of High Hopes follows the traditional soap opera pattern. As it unfolds it becomes convoluted so that casual viewer needs a program to identify the characters.

The principal character is Dr. Neal Chapman, a family counselor, who lives in a quaint old house in Port Hamilton, the home of Delaney College. Jessica, 18, is the daughter of Dr. Chapman and his divorced wife, Helen.

Jessica, though, is not really Helen's daughter. She is the child of Paula, Helen's sister. Paula is in her late thirties, has a trendy apartment, and is a fashion coordinator for a department store empire.

Trudy Bowen is a local television personality who becomes Neal's love interest. But Neal continues to see Louise Bate, a real estate agent who rents space in his quaint old house. The other tenants include Dr. Jean Bataille, and Neal's lawyer friend, Walter Telford. Neal's mother, who is simply known as Mom, completes the cast as High Hopes takes to air.

As the story coils and uncoils, Neal goes away for a weekend with Trudy, and Jessica goes to stay with Paula. During a quarrel, Paula belts Jessica and reveals that she is the girl's mother. Neal confirms the revelation and Jessica becomes hysterical and laves his quaint old house.

Jessica, since she is no longer Neal's daughter, begins to compete with Trudy for his affections. Trudy takes off. Neal's ethics come under scrutiny on a charge of negligence. Trudy returns. Neal is cleared of the charge and asks his lawyer friend to unravel his real relationship to Jessica. Neal almost becomes his own uncle in the final analysis. In succeeding episodes, it is planned to introduce Jessica's real father, Trudy's parents, a lottery winner, a fire, two marriages, and a death.

Right now, the members of the cast are relatively unknown, but with material such as that, they will be household names before the season ends. Did Neal set the fire how can he be married twice will Trudy's parents like Neal how much was the lottery?

For what it’s worth, the show wasn’t actually set in Port Hamilton. The show’s locale was Cambridge. I don’t know why it was called Port Hamilton. Maybe this was something they tossed around before Winifred Wolfe came on board.

Dorothy Malone was brought on for one of the arcs the show would write around minor characters. She and Nehemiah Persoff played a recently married couple, Victor and Carol Tauss, who had married within a year of the death of Carol’s first husband. Carol’s daughter, Marie, was upset about this development and refused to accept Victor’s role in her mother’s life. Carol and Victor sought the help of Neal Chapman to help Marie with her problems. In therapy, Marie admitted her father had a heart attack after he learned Marie had been caught shoplifting. Marie blamed herself for her father’s death, and this was the root of her problems. With the problem unearthed, Victor and Marie reconciled and the Tauss family left town.

One article stated Malone would be around for five weeks, but Lynda Hirsch covered High Hopes in her column and the Tauss storyline played out from the week of July 17-21 until the week of August 28-September 1. Around this time, the Canadian press announced the show had been cancelled.

Here’s an article about the Tauss storyline

Soaps Are For Living In

Wessely Hicks

Victor is lying in bed, wearing pale blue pajamas. He has obviously been lying there for a long time, for his gestures are impatient and his face is twitching.

Suddenly, the bedroom door bursts open and Carol enters. She is wearing a pink negligee and carrying a try bearing a glass of milk.

"Victor - Victor - Victor," she says. "I have brought you a glass of milk so you can go to sleep."

In the ensuing conversation, it is revealed that Victor has been waiting 45 minutes for his milk, while Carol was downstairs talking to her daughter, Marie. The milk would go sour in that time.

Carol apologizes for being so tardy with the milk. She says her daughter, Marie, has a problem- the kid hates Victor.

"She says you put on a hate face whenever you and she are alone," Carol says. Victor denies he even possesses a hate face and an observer has to believe him. Anyone who has to drink sour milk would make what could be mistaken for a hate face.

That is a scene from High Hopes, the Canadian-made soap opera which is being filmed at Agincourt, about 35 miles northeast of Toronto, and is carried on the CBC and a syndication of television stations in the U.S. Nehemiah Persoff, 58, is Victor and the role of his wife, Carol, is played by Dorothy Malone, 53, a one-time leading lady in the movies and the star of the television series Peyton Place which went off the air in 1969.

Persoff and Malone will be shooting episodes of High Hopes for five weeks. They are true soap opera fans and, indeed, appear to regard life as a continuing soap opera without the background music.

When the scene is finished, Persoff, a distinguished Israeli actor, sits in the makeup room and discusses the plot. "I am Carol's new husband," he says. "She's married me soon after her husband's death, but her daughter, Marie, doesn't accept me. Whatever I do, she misinterprets it. I violate the memory of her father.

"I go to a psychiatrist and he wants to see Carol's daughter, not me. I don't know how it works out. I'll have to wait for the next few episodes."

He shakes his head sadly. "It's a problem I know very well," he says. "Many times my friends have discussed the same problem with me. It's very difficult to live with."

Dorothy Malone sits in one of the big chairs in the makeup room and reviews the plot as she understands it. I'm Carol, a widow, and this is my second marriage," she says. "I remarried quickly- within a year of my husband's death. My daughter, Marie, feels the loss of her father very deeply and I'm torn between the two of them.

"It's a very real role. It's very close to life."

She sighs. "No one understands a mother's love- certainly not an outsider," she says. "It's terrible for a mother when the man she loves and the daughter she loves really hate each other."

"To resolve the problem, we go to a family counselor, who discovers that my daughter has a guilt complex about her father's death. I hope the counselor can help, but I'll have to see what happens in the next few episodes."

She turns to the mirror and begins touching her long blonde hair, pushing it back from her face. "That's one reason I have never married," she says. "My daughters are 18 and 16- just in their tender years. I feel I should be with them and near them, to share with them

"I wouldn't want them to be subject to the terrible stress of my marriage to a man they might not like and find that their emotions are in turmoil. It would be very, very sad."

Nehemiah Persoff pats her on the shoulder gently. She looks up, her blue eyes clouding.

They appear to be close to tears- and there are still at least eight episodes still to be filmed.

Lynda Hirsch covered the show in her column. Unfortunately, the summaries tended to be very brief and a bit confusing.

June 19-23, 1978: Meg stays at Neal's while recovering from an accident. Mary thinks her life is over when Maria moves in. Paula gets a surprise visit from her lover's son. Spending the night with an old flame, Trudy thinks only of Neal.

June 26-30, 1978: Helen is creating problems for Neal. Walter helps Mike with a legal charge. Jessie resents Dan's personal suggestions.

July 3-7 1978: No synopsis available

July 10-14, 1978: Norma survives an overdose after experiencing a terrible nightmare. Louise moves into the Chapman house. Meeting Helen, Norma plans to get along better with Jessie. Meg decides to move out of the Chapman house. While Helen hopes to rekindle Neil's love, he is still interested in Trudy

July 17-21, 1978: Mike and Paula's evening together is interrupted by Helen. Norma accuses Mike of having a mistress. Marie arrives with her new husband. Mike's flirting gets more than a blush from Amy.

July 24-28, 1978: Marie's dislike of Vic continues to grow; Trudy suggests she see Neal for counseling. Paula upset because Mike indifferent their first night together. Paula plays matchmaker for Trudy and Neal. Michael tells Walter he's having an affair with Paula.

July 31-August 4, 1978: After a misunderstanding with Amy, Mike has a car accident, and Norma blames Michael for Mike's carelessness. Caroline has to go to Neal for advice when Vic attempts to impress Marie fail. Helen shocks Meg with the truth that Jess is Paula's daughter and was adopted by Helen.

August 7-11, 1978: Meg has heart attack on learning that Jessie is not really Neal's daughter. Neal's session with Marie leads to her to reveal she felt responsible for her father's fatal heart attack because she had been picked up for shoplifting. Neal forced into a corner when Louise confesses she loves him.

August 14-18, 1978:: No synopsis available.

August 21-25 1978: Meg confronts Neal over his keeping Jessie's adoption a secret all these years. Norma seems interested in Dan. Mike persuades Amy to consider sharing his apartment. A final session with Neal has Marie accepting Vic as her stepfather, when she comes to realize she was not responsible for her father's death. Michael tells Paula he has had a previous affair.

August 28-September 1, 1978: Angered by Michael's honesty about his past love life, Paula starts up friendship with Billy Strang, a former flame of Trudy's. With their problems solved, the Tauss family leaves for home. When Amy overhears Norma suggesting the Mike would be happier with Jessie, she thinks Jessie is plotting against her.

September 4-8, 1978: Meg leaves the hospital. Norma continues to display interest in Dan Girard. Mike quietly moves into his own apartment, and Amy agrees to join him.

September 11-15, 1978: No synopsis available

September 18-22, 1978 Paula and Michael make up. Michael is seriously hurt when his plane crashes. Paula comforts Norma through the long hospital vigil.

September 25-29, 1978: When Michael needs a blood transfusion, Paula not surprised that Jess is the only suitable donor. Norma upset when Michael regains consciousness for a moment and calls out for Paula.

Along with “For Richer, For Poorer,” it appears “High Hopes” ended the final week of September. Unlike FRFP, HH left their stories up in the air with the suggestion that Michael Stewart may be the biological father of Jessie Chapman. This development seems particularly smart as it complicates several of the established stories. It eliminates Amy’s concern that Jessie is going to steal Mike Stewart away from her as Mike is now Jessie’s half-brother, but allows Amy to still become jealous of the Mike / Jessie relationship in a very different way. Grieving the loss of her daughter, Norma now has a surrogate daughter figure she could cling onto, which would amplify a Norma / Paula rivalry and keep young Jessie Chapman front and center despite a love interest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I can't thank you enough for all this detail! As I seem to say to you again and again it is so much more than I ever imagined!

Did the story with Jessica being fixated on Neal end by the time the show was over?

I hope some of this might make it onto Youtube eventually.

Have you ever seen the other Canadian show/soap that was about a therapist? I can't remember his name.

I hope my photos helped jog your memories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • Members

An April 1979 Dawn to Dusk/Daytime Stars talked to Robert Skip Burton and Bruce Gray about the cancellation of their soaps. I will type out Bruce's part here.

Is a happy ending in the cards for ex-High Hopes star Bruce Gray (Neal Chapman)? How did he react to the abrupt cancellation of his Canadian-based show after only a six month run?

"When I got the part, it seemed like the perfect answer to an actor's prayers - a starring role in a brand new soap. When it was cancelled, initially I was shocked. We had taped or last show before what was supposed to be only a summer hiatus and I, along with the rest of the cast, fully expected to be back in Toronto (where the show was taped) in five weeks to start taping again.

"We all had really good feelings about the show, which we felt was getting better on all levels - scripts, acting, directing, lighting - even the sets were improving. We were excited, also, because Bruce Mannix (an American director, highly experienced in soaps, who had directed the first six weeks of the serial) was returning to act as overall artistic director. We all felt really 'hot' about the show's prospects; our ratings had gone up 30% in Canada and we'd been getting ratings from the states which showed we were climbing every week. And that was really wonderful because we were a syndicated, and not a network, show. We had all been working very hard and were looking forward to the holiday with the feeling we were going to start on it again after the hiatus and continue.

"I came to New York for a week during the holiday and planned to go back to Toronto to look for a new apartment, when Dick Cox (the producer) called me and told me things didn't look too good that the show would continue, but there was an outside hope that the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) might pick p on it or even that Metromedia would change its mind."

But neither of these eventualities came about and the show went off the air. "Obviously," Bruce realizes, "at some time during our hiatus, Metromedia decided it would be cheaper for them to rerun My Three Sons in our time slots. After all, they're interested in making money."

Bruce admits the shock he felt when Dick Cox told him the show would definitely not continue was "surprise as opposed to shock from loss. There was the first shock of 'My God, we're not going to do it and what's going to happen to each of our little lives?' Then I started to look at the larger picture and thought, 'Well, we had a six-month run' - and that's really a fair run in whatever you do. I'm an actor and I know that no role lasts forever. Besides, I feel I got to do some excellent work on the show and I'm very proud of it. And all the time I was working up there, I was being seen in the states, so I had good exposure for my work. It would have been nice if the show had gone on, but at the same time, I don't know how truly keen I was to get tied down in a long-term contract."

But once it was over, Bruce was anxious to get back to New York and get on with his career. "I'm studying in class again and that's where I want to spend some part of every year, so that I can take that class work and put it back into my professional work. I'm an actor, that's my career and I want always to work at it. I'm not worrying about the future, because what's going on in my life now are the good times and I'm enjoying everything I'm doing."

In the meantime the things he's enjoying are the acting classes, catching up with old New York friends again and just living in New York, which he loves and feels is his second home. He even enjoys shaving again, after all the months he played the bearded Neal Chapman.

So, life will go on for both Skip and Bruce, as it does for any individual who i s fired. Interestingly enough, neither felt the creative qualities of their shows were at fault, just overriding circumstances. IN any event, if top-rated soap opera stars can look on being fired as a new beginning, so can you.

- Sherry Amatenstein/Dorothy Vine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It's interesting to hear Bruce Minnix was coming back since the premier article Carl posted was so much about developing Canadian talent. The final weeks of 'High Hopes' sounded like it was finally making strides in understanding what it wanted to be about. I think the story about the Stewarts and the relationship between Jessica / Paula could have fuelled the story.

I think the show needed a strong tentpole older couple; two people to provide a relationship most of the other characters would strive for. Eventually, Trudy and Neal could have developed this sort of relationship. Their careers ( psychiatrist and talk show host) sort of lend themselves to this, while, I will admit, being a talk show host is a rather unusual role for a soap character. And, eventually, when they settled, I would like to see they'd have over children and how Jessie would react to Neal and his 'new' family. In the meantime, I would like to have seen Helen (Paula's sister and Neal's first wife) make a grand play for Neal as Jessie reacts to all the instability in her life. I think having Paula react to Helen's manipulations would help to humanize Paula, who comes across more of an anti-heroine rather than the chief instigator.

In the end, I don't think the show stood a chance due to the production model. Soaps need time and there simply wasn't the production space available for this to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy