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Secrets of Midland Heights


LoyaltoAMC

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Does anyone else remember this short-lived prime time Lorimar soap? I actually recall this rather fondly and saw every one of the 10 or so episodes aired in the early 80s. It had a terrific cast and very catchy theme song. David Jacobs and some other Knots people produced it, and it was essentially a gothic Knots. Lots of interpersonal relationship and intergenerational stories in a suburban setting, but with a darker twist and more of an emphasis on the kids. Some really fine actors rounded out the cast, including Bibi Besch, Martha Scott,and Jordan Christopher--and it had some very strong young cast members including Lorenzo Lamas (whom Lorimar would ship off to Falcon Crest the following season), and Marilyn Jones, Linda Hamilton, Doran Clark, and Daniel Zippi (all three of whom would be shipped off to Lorimar's repackaged, more gothic version of Secrets called "Kings Crossing" on ABC the next season). The show was a ratings dud from the get-go, airing Saturdays at 10, when the target audience--teens and young adults--were not home. I was such a soap geek growing up, I remember waiting for this show to air with great anticipation and being bummed when it didn't take off. Anyone else recall this show?

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Yep, Zaslow and Stephanie Braxton played husband and wife Jonathan and Carol Hadary on King's Crossing. They weren't in Secrets. I loved King's Crossing as much as Secrets. I was only 13 at the time, but I was such a soap geek I remember NEEDING to find out the backstage specifics-politics of why the show was being retooled and renamed. By the way, Braxton, who we all know also wrote GH and ATWT for ages, is the step-mother of Josh Hamilton, the first teen Charlie on AMC (the one who first appears during the Kate Martin funeral sequences). He's a pretty successful actor now, I guess. His dad is Dan Hamilton long-time soap director and actor. He played Kitty's first husband on AMC. The soap world is just so incestuous, I love it.

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Secrets debuted in the Dallas timeslot (fri @ 10,so it got an enormous sampling) I recall it got a 41 share and won its timeslot easily. Dallas at that time was scoring shares in the high 50's. The following night it moved into its regular slot of Sat @10 and it fell to something like a 21/22 share and kept falling after that.At that time Love Boat and Fantasy Island dominated Sat night and CBS had been an also ran for years.

SOMH was developed as an 8.00 pm show and when Dallas exploded,CBS wanted another 10.00 pm soap so the whole concept was a little off.

SOD had an article when the show debuted and if I find it I will post some more info.

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I've long been interested in this... I found a few interesting New York Times articles on it, that I can try to post but thats it... (Of course they didn't like it much...) Wish something from it was online

It was a pretty interesting show. Very laid back and a bit on the slow-paced side, but I remember finding it intriguing. It reminded me more of Peyton Place and of daytime soaps in general than of the other prime time soaps of the era, mostly because of its very cozy, middle America feel. Just maybe a little more on the gothic side. I remember there being a hint of an incestuous relationship btwn Guy Millington and his niece Ann Dulles, or maybe I perceived there to be one. Interesting that it had been developed as a tamer show for the 8pm slot. I didn't know that. I do recall it doing gangbusters in Dallas's slight then free-falling in its regular Sat 10pm slot. Then again, they could've run Marblehead Manor in Dallas's slot in the early to mid-80s and they'd be guaranteed at least a 40 share. I still remember the theme song and opening titles. The song was very, very catchy, and fit the slow, somewhat lazy pace of the show. It was probably from Jerrod Immel who created the Dallas and Knots themes. King's Crossing wasn't bad. There were some gothic elements, but it had a brighter, much less dark tone to it than Secrets. It seemed to carry the same basic premise as Falcon Crest (normal nuclear family return to spouse's hometown to find a cold, calculating aunt with a family secret). I thought Mary Frann and Bradford Dillman were very believeable as the Chase and Maggie of the show LOL. It was also geared toward teens, though ABC, which carried the show (Secrets was on CBS), aired it I think in the Sat 8pm slot, which didn't make sense. Just some fond memories of both shows.

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I've been looking for episodes, clips or opening credits of these shows on-line for years and the only thing I've found are two ABC promos for King's Crossing. and absolutely nothing for Midland Heights. I'm glad other people remember them or I'd think I just imagined these shows ever being on!

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 Secrets of Midland Heights. (Series; Drama; CBS; 1980–1981). A prime-time serial that explores the dreams, frustrations, hidden secrets and shames of the people who live and work in Midland Heights, a small Midwestern college town. Margaret Millington is a descendant of the town’s founder; Dorothy Wheeler is her friend; Guy Millington is Margaret’s son; Holly Wheeler is Dorothy’s daughter; Ann Dulles is Margaret’s niece; Professor Nathan Welsh is Dorothy’s romantic interest; Teddy and Danny Welsh are Nathan’s sons; Burt Carroll is the football star; Lisa Rogers is Burt’s girlfriend; Micki Carroll is Burt’s sister; John Grey is Burt’s friend; Calvin Richardson is a teacher at Midland Heights College; Sue is Ann’s friend; Lucy Dexter is the diner owner; Mrs. Grey is John’s mother.

Cast: Martha Scott (Margaret Millington), Bibi Besch (Dorothy Wheeler), Jordan Christopher (Guy Millington), Linda Grover (Holly Wheeler), Doran Clark (Ann Dulles), Robert Hogan (Nathan Welsh), Daniel Zippi (Teddy Welsh), Stephen Manley (Danny Welsh), Lorenzo Lamas (Burt Carroll), Linda Hamilton (Lisa Rogers), Melora Hardin (Micki Carroll), Jim Youngs (John Grey), Mark Pinter (Calvin Richardson),Irene Arranga (Sue), Jenny O’Hara (Lucy Dexter), Arlene Golonka (Mrs. Grey).

 

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THE SECRETS OF MIDLAND HEIGHTS
DECEMBER 6, 1980-JANUARY 24, 1981
MIDLAND HEIGHTS
 
 
Etta ___ Borman     Bea Silvern
Max Borman     Gordon Clark
Burt Carroll       Lorenzo Lamas 
Hilda ____  Carroll   K Callan
Micki Carroll    Melora Hardin
Clay Cole     Michael Prince
Serena  ___ Costin      Erica Yohn
Eric Dexter     Fred Weiss
Lucy __ Dexter    Jenny O'Hara
Anne Dulles  Doran Clark
Helen Millington Dulles     Kathleen Widdoes
John Grey     Jim Youngs 
Mike Grey     Christopher Stone
Nancy ___ Grey     Arlene Golonka
Julie Hammond    Denise Nicholas
Mrs. Harris    Toni Sawyer
Fran ___ Hilliard     Marie Masters
Mark Hudson    Bill Thornbury  (80-81)
                            Robin Strand
Henry Johnson      Peter Hobbs
Tracey Johnson    Laura Johnson
Dr. Loy      Stephen McNally
Guy Millington     Jordan Christopher
Margaret ___ Millington    Martha Scott
Calvin Richardson    Mark Pinter
Lisa Rogers    Linda Hamilton
Dr. Sims    Donegan Smith
Karen Weaver     Lee Chamberlin
Danny Welsh     Stephen Manley   
Professor Nathan Welsh     Robert Hogan
Teddy Welsh     Daniel Zippi
Dorothy ___ Wheeler    Bibi Besch
Holly Wheeler (Pilot)    Linda Grovenor
                    Marilyn Jones
Martin Wheeler     William Jordan  
Mrs. Wolf     Ann Nelson
 
 
Al             Jonathan Prince
Chris        Lisa Alpert
Jesus        Henry Darrow
Sue           Irene Arreaga
Madame Zeena       Zohra Lampert
 
Carnie            Martin Beck
High School Student   Stan Wells
Sheriff      Fred Pinkard
 
 
@GymnastGuy  If the scripts contain any other cast information, let me know and I can add it in.  Welcome to SON.
 
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