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Texas was a daytime soap opera which aired on NBC Daytime from August 4, 1980 until December 31, 1982. Created by John William Corrington, Joyce Hooper Corrington, and Paul Rauch, the show was a spinoff of Another World. It was unique in that it was the first daytime soap opera to air hour-long episodes from its inception.

Premise

The Corringtons initial concept was for a show set in the Antebellum South entitled "Reunion", but NBC wanted something more in line with the hugely successful primetime soap Dallas. Rauch then chose to have the show revolve around the popular Another World character Iris Cory Carrington, played by Beverlee McKinsey. Iris initially set out to visit her grown son Dennis (Jim Poyner), who had relocated from Bay City to Houstonmarker. Within a matter of weeks, Iris became involved with her first love, Alex Wheeler (Bert Kramer). A slew of characters debuted on Another World in hopes that when they moved over to Texas they would take fans with them. The show had a difficult task from the beginning, as the series' main timeslot competitors were General Hospital, then at its most popular, and Guiding Light, which was going through a resurgence and enjoying great ratings at the time as well.

Production

Critics complained that Iris (who was known on Another World as being a villainess) had become too tame, and that other roles were poorly cast or suffered from paper-thin writing. In early 1981, the Corringtons were replaced as head writers. Other casting moves were made with little gain, such as hiring away General Hospital star Kin Shriner at great expense, only to give him almost nothing to do until he finally left.

In November 1981, McKinsey left the show and the secondary characters seen in the first year were given more story. Texas lost one million viewers upon McKinsey's departure. While Another World, which also lost a million viewers upon her 1980 departure, could afford the drop in ratings, Texas could not, and its days were numbered. To try to appeal to the younger audience, the show rechristened itself Texas: The New Generation.

In 1982, Gail Kobe became executive producer and Pam Long (who appeared on the show as Ashley Linden Marshall) became Head Writer. The show began to improve in quality, but the ratings in the United States remained in the basement. The show was more popular North of the US border. In Canada, Texas topped the daytime ratings charts for many weeks.

The last episodes featured a Christmas miracle (snow fell in Houston as Long's character Ashley and her unborn baby, who had been presumed dead after a flash flood, returned home to loving husband Justin) and a New Year's series finale where the local TV station was bought out and all the major characters were fired. The Doctors also aired its last episode on this day. The final scene was a bittersweet final toast, "to Texas!" Executive producer Kobe and writer Long would go on to make their mark on Guiding Light for much of the 1980s.

Production staff on Texas included Tim Cagney, Carolyn Culliton, Charles Edwards, Richard Gullieth, Pamela Hammer, John Knutz, Michele Poteet, Dorothy Purser, Samuel D. Radcliffe, Paul Rader, Eric Rubinton, Gary Tomlin, Joyce Corrington, William Corrington, Paul Rauch, Gail Kobe, Bud Kloss, Judy Lewis, Robert Calhoun, Mary S. Bonner, John P. Whitesell, Kevin Kelly, John Pasquin, Bruce M. Minnix and Andrew D. Weyman.

Broadcast history

Texas was launched at a time when NBC's daytime lineup (consisting of Another World, Days of our Lives and The Doctors) had fallen into ratings trouble, after a highly successful period in the early and mid-1970s.

The show aired from 3-4 p.m. (EST) and caused a small domino effect on the NBC daytime schedule; Another World, which had previously been airing from 2:30-4 p.m., was scaled back to 60 minutes and aired from 2-3 p.m. The Doctors, which had been airing from 2-2:30 p.m., moved to 12:30-1 p.m.

Thanks in no small part to ABC's General Hospital, which at the time was at its peak, Texas remained in the bottom echelon of the ratings chart, tying with The Doctors for last place in its inaugural 1980-81 season, with numbers falling gradually after that. The struggles of Texas also had an impact on the ratings of Another World to the point that the mother show was no longer NBC's highest-rated soap.

By April 1982 the ratings were at a critical low point and NBC, as part of a reshuffling of its morning lineup and a last ditch effort to save the show, moved Texas to the 11 a.m. slot which had been previously occupied by the hit game show Wheel of Fortune (as part of this shuffle, Wheel was moved to 10:30 a.m. and Blockbusters and Battlestars were cancelled). However, this move did not in any way help Texas in the ratings. In fact, the ratings problems for Texas were perhaps exacerbated by NBC's move. Instead of facing off against the hot General Hospital at 3 PM, NBC's move forced Texas into a head-to-head duel with CBS' hit The Price is Right. While Wheel had been able to cut somewhat into Price's ratings at 11, Texas was not able to make even the slightest dent and NBC cancelled it, along with the still-struggling The Doctors (which by this time had been bumped up to Noon in order to make room for Search for Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.), on December 31. Strangely enough, Somerset, the first spinoff of Another World, aired its finale on the same date six years earlier.

Surviving episodes

Soon after Texas cancellation, cable's TBS began re-airing the show in a weekday morning timeslot, but shown in 30-minute versus 1-hour installments. These airings of Texas were paired with a new half-hour soap, The Catlins, which was one of the few made-for-cable soaps.

In 2006, Procter & Gamble began making several of its soaps available, a few episodes at a time, through America Online's AOL Video service, downloadable free of charge.Reruns of Texas episodes began with the show's first episode from August 4, 1980.

As of January 1, 2009, Procter & Gamble announced that Texas and three other of its cancelled soap operas would no longer be streamed on AOL Video. The notice referred to exploring other options to make the shows available for viewing. The last Texas episode made available through AOL Video was #339, which originally aired on Friday, December 4, 1981.

There are five missing episodes so far:

Episode #47 dated October 7, 1980 posted at AOL is the same as episode #24 and it seems to be either missing or was somehow mislabeled.

Episode #203 dated May 21, 1981

Episode #245 dated July 21, 1981

Episode #247 dated July 23, 1981

Episode #288 dated September 18, 1981

Episodes 78-163 were once available at AOL,but removed sometime in the spring of 2008.

Although episodes 1-77 are still available through the WMV stream URLs, AOL has completely removed the embedded player pages at the website.

Famous alumni

Cast









Crew



References



External links



Notes

  • During its initial run, Texas Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby, Jr. took a tour of the program's Brooklynmarker studio, and praised the show's realistic visual feel.
  • Oklahoma Governor George Nigh and his wife Donna appeared in walk-on roles in Texas (playing themselves as Governor and First Lady of Oklahoma) in episode # 19, which aired in August 1980. Cast member Lisby Larson (Paige Marshall) serenaded the couple with a rendition of "Oklahoma!"
  • The shows opening credits included shots of the Houston skyline and the San Jacinto Monumentmarker.
  • Episode #217 features scenes with country singer Ray Stevens
  • The cancellations of Texas and The Doctors ushered in a change in NBC's morning lineup, as the lineup that premiered the following Monday was full of game shows. The block led off with the Jim Perry-helmed revival of Sale of the Century at 10:30 a.m. The hour Texas held went to Wheel of Fortune, which Texas had displaced with its move to mornings, and the game show Hit Man, which introduced audiences to Peter Tomarken. The slot that The Doctors occupied was taken by Just Men!, hosted by Betty White. Of the shows that premiered that day, Sale lasted until 1989, but Hit Man and Just Men! were cancelled after only 13 weeks.
  • When Texas was moved from the 3 p.m. slot, reruns of CHiPs aired there first for a few months. Then two game shows followed it in that slot. The first was Fantasy, an hourlong audience participation show hosted by Leslie Uggams and Peter Marshall. The second was the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, hosted by Gene Rayburn and Jon Bauman. A soap opera would not air in that slot again until July 1984, when Santa Barbara premiered.



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