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Short Lived Soaps (They Didn't get a Chance)

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A Topic Dedicated to tribute the soaps that died way too young feel free to express your opinions.


The Survivors (1969)

Bright Promise (1969-72)

The Best of Everything (1970)

Return to Peyton Place (1972-74)

How To Survive a Marriage (1974)

Executive Suite (1976)

Behind The Screen (1981)

King's Crossing (1982)

Bare Essence (1982)

The Yellow Rose (1983)

Paper Dolls (1984)

Berrenger's (1985)

Models Inc. (1994)

The Monroes (1995)


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I just mentioned this in another topic but I think the 1991 Dark Shadows reboot got doomed by coverage of the Gulf War. As someone who hadn't seen the original show and could only experience this series on its own with no frame of reference, I really enjoyed it. I like the genre anyway. Plus they had a decent cast, with veterans like Roy Thinnes and Jean Simmons and they were using some familiar NBC soap actors of that era, like Michael T. Weiss and Joanna Going. I enjoyed Ben Cross' portrayal as well.

I wish, at the very least, that it could have ended with some resolution instead of a cliffhanger. I would've liked to see what transpired between Vicky and Barnabas once she knew what he was and he knew that she knew.

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Concerning Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, I loved the show.   I also feel that it had its chance.   There were just several things that hurt the show.

The major thing was its wonderful cast.    The show had in its midst (at least for a while) the wonderful quadangle of Leslie Charleston (Iris #1), David Birney (Mark #2), Donna Mills (Laura #1) and Ed Power (Spencer #2).    The show was absolutely blazing with these four.    Of course, there were others in the cast who helped to enhance them (Don Scardino and Rusty Thacker as Andy Hurley; Flora Campbell as Margaret Garrison; Susan Browning as Nancy Garrison; William Post, Jr. as Chandler Garrison; Judson Laire as Will Donnelly; Gloria Hoye as Helen Elliott Donnelly #2; Robert Burr as Tom Garrison #1; etc.).

But, as sometimes happens to new programs, the contracts with the show reach the expirations, and there were departures.   Of the great four that I mentioned, Ed Power left first (as I recall).     Then the departures of Ms. Charleston, Ms. Mills, and Mr. Birney (plus Mr. Burr).  

I must say that Bibi Beesch as Iris #2 was superb and one of the greatest recast ever.    But the other new performers (Michael Hawkins, Veleka Gray, and Brett Halsey) were not as brilliant.     I liked all of them, but I do not think that the general audience did.    Mr. Hawkins and Ms. Grey were eventually replaced again by Vince Cannan (whose performances I never saw) the late Tom Fuccello and Barbara Stanger.   

Albert Stratton, who replaced Robert Burr as Tom was also lackluster in my opinion.   The character of Tom had a big storyline in which his first wife (Beverlee McKinsey in her first daytime role) returned to town and threatened to want her son (the late Shawn Campbell as Ricky Donnelly).    This resulted in a murder for which Tom was accused.

The character of Andy was originally supposed to be a gay man, but the show's owner (CBS) did not allow that.    Mr. Scardino, a veteran of The Guiding Light and As the World Turns, departed and was replaced by Rusty Thacker.

The Garrison family (Spence, Nancy, their daughter, Chandler, Flora, Jean, and Andy) were a very good soap opera family.   The show eventually wrote all of them off with the exception of Spencer.  The writers then introduced the almost-equally good soap opera family (the Hale family) and (after writing off the entire Hale family) introduced the Chernak family.     The Hale family and the Chernak family did not acheive the popularity that the Garrison family had once had.

Jane Manning, as Jean Hurley Garrison, was, in my opinion, the best soap opera villianess to ever appear on soap opera.    She was usually compared to Lisa (from the show that came on just before this show on the CBS schedule, As the World Turns), but Jean could be so much meaner than Lisa ever tried to be.

The writers of the show (after the departure of Irna Phillips) were Jane and Ira Avery.   They had successfully written The Secret Storm before moving to Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.   The couple, though, divorced.    My understanding is that Jane Avery refused to work with her ex-husband any longer.    They were replaced by Don Ettinger (The Secret Storm, A Flame in the Wind/A Time for Us), then by James Lipton (who has had a long career in writing shows, but never very successfully) and Ann Marcus (who I think had been headwriter of Search for  Tomorrow).

Then, in the midst of some of these cast changes, the show was moved one hour later when Procter and Gamble dictated that all of the shows that it owned must be presented in one block.   The new time slot for the show was the one former occupied by The Edge of Night.    The theme of Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (which had already featured Spencer as a politician running for the U. S. Congress and mixed up in a person scandal) became that of politics and mystery.   (However, there was also a rape of Iris by her former boyfriend and now-brother-in-law Mark which resulted in a pregancy)

The show was then being aired opposite One Life to Live on ABC and Return to Peyton Place on NBC.


The network, CBS, considered cancelling all four of the shows that it owned (Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, Where the Heart Is, The Secret Storm and Love of Life).   However, probably due to the amount of time that The Secret Storm and Love of Life had been airing on the network, only Where the Heart Is and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing left the air in 1973.


I am not sure why, but there were three different actors (Paul Michael Glaser, Michael Zaslow, and Vincent Baggetta) cast as Dr. Pete Chernak.  He and his sister Betsy (Andrea Marcovicci) became step-sibblings of Iris, Tom and Laura when their mother Lily (Diana Douglas) married the widower Will Donnelly (Mr. Laire).

Dr. Betsy Chernak and her boyfriend Joe Taylor were popular, but evidently not enough to carry the show.    Dr. Pete Chernak and his wife, Angel, lacked chemestry in my opinion.

During a part of the show's run, there were eighteen other soap operas on the air.   Naturally, creative storylines were hard to show.   There were a number of murders and murder trials along the way.


I would say that the two biggest contributors to the show's cancellation were the cast changes of Iris, Spence, Mark and Laura and the move of the show into the former timeslot of The Edge of Night.

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