As the World Turns


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

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About

From Wikipedia

As the World Turns was the creation of Irna Phillips who, beginning in the 1930s, had been one of the foremost creators and writers of radio soap operas. As a writer, Phillips favored character development and psychological realism over melodrama, and her previous creations (which included Guiding Light) were especially notable for placing professionals - doctors, lawyers, and clergy people - at the center of their storylines. Phillips wrote: "As the world turns, we know the bleakness of winter, the promise of spring, the fullness of summer and the harvest of autumn--the cycle of life is complete."

And so it was with As the World Turns, with its slow-moving psychological character studies of families headed by legal and medical professionals. The personal and professional lives of doctors and lawyers would remain central to As The World Turns throughout its run, and would eventually become standard fare on all soap operas. Whereas the 15-minute radio soaps often focused on one central, heroic character (for example, Dr. Jim Brent in Phillips' Road of Life), the expanded 30-minute format of As The World Turns enabled Phillips to introduce a handful of professionals within the framework of a family saga.

One of Phillips' innovations was to introduce a sort of Greek chorus to the stories. The primary purpose of characters such as Nancy Hughes (Helen Wagner) was to comment on the crises faced and decisions made by the town's more dynamic residents. This technique contributed to the popularity of the show and continues to be widely used in other soap operas.

Phillips' style favored gradual evolution over radical change. Slow, conversational, and emotionally intense, the show moved at the pace of life itself - and sometimes even more slowly than that. Each new addition to the cast was done in a gradual manner, and was usually a key contact to one of the members of the Hughes family. As such, the show got a reputation as being quite conservative (though the show did showcase the first gay male character on American soap operas, in 1988). During the show's early decades, the content-related policies of its sponsor Procter & Gamble Productions may have contributed to the perception of conservatism. The soap-manufacturing giant typically balked at storylines in which adultery and other immoral behavior would go unpunished, and as late as the 1980s characters from the primary families were still generally not allowed to go through with abortions.

As the World Turns premiered on April 2, 1956. It was the first television daytime drama with a 30-minute running time; all daytime dramas until then had had 15-minute running times. By 1958, the program was the number one daytime drama in the United States. As the World Turns continues to run to this day on CBS, and has won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series four times (in 1987, 1991, 2001, and 2003.)

Creator Irna Phillips

Senior cast member(s)

Helen Wagner

Don Hastings

Eileen Fulton

Kathryn Hays

Marie Masters

Colleen Zenk Pinter

Elizabeth Hubbard

Kathleen Widdoes

Jon Hensley

Scott Holmes

Ellen Dolan

Kelley Menighan Hensley

Maura West

Michael Park

No. of episodes 13,651 (as of November 20, 2009)

Production

Executive producer(s) Christopher Goutman

Head writer(s) Jean Passanante

Distributor Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. (1986-2008)

TeleNext Media, Inc. for Procter & Gamble Productions (2008-present)

Running time

30 minutes (1956-1975)

60 minutes (1975-present)

 

 

Who talked about this show

Kay Alden

View Interview
Kay Alden on television she watched as a child
03:18
Kay Alden on interviewing William Bell
05:30

Alan Ball

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Alan Ball on homosexuality on As the World Turns
00:26

William Bell

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William Bell on Walter Cronkite interrupting As the World Turns to announce President Kennedy had been killed
02:12
William Bell on the popularity of As the World Turns  
01:57
William Bell on the popularity of "Lisa Grimaldi" and the characters on As the World Turns
01:57
William Bell on the challenges of making As the World Turns an hour-long show from the initial half-hour
02:12
William Bell on the distribution of duties with Irna Phillips on As the World Turns
00:58
William Bell on working with Ted Corday on As the World Turns
00:44
William Bell on a typical workday with Irna Phillips on As the World Turns
01:30
William Bell on discussions with Irna Phillips over Mark Rydell's character ("Jeff") on As the World Turns
03:24

Douglas S. Cramer

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Douglas S. Cramer on working at Procter & Gamble
06:06

Jonathan Frid

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Jonathan Frid on his early television work on CBC, and on appearing on As the World Turns
04:12

Eileen Fulton

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Eileen Fulton on joining As the World Turns as "Lisa Miller Hughes," and on changing the character from nice to a villain
04:00
Eileen Fulton on the rehearsal process for As the World Turns, and on working with Ted Corday
03:10
Eileen Fulton on working with Helen Wagner as "Nancy Hughes" on As the World Turns, and with Don Hastings as "Don Hughes"
04:02
Eileen Fulton on mishaps on the live set of As the World Turns
01:26
Eileen Fulton on As the World Turns head writer Irna Phillips
02:45
Eileen Fulton on leaving As the World Turns in 1963
02:25
Eileen Fulton on starring in the 1966 As the World Turns spin-off Our Private World
05:14
Eileen Fulton on appearing in two Broadway shows while still doing As the World Turns in 1961
02:57
Eileen Fulton on returning to As the World Turns and on the "grandma clause"
06:19
Eileen Fulton on playing the character of "Lisa" on As the World Turns, and on her fan mail
03:45
Eileen Fulton on the cast though the years of As the World Turns
05:15
Eileen Fulton on how various aspects of the production of As the World Turns have changed over the years
02:30
Eileen Fulton on memorizing lines for As the World Turns, and on "Lisa's" wardrobe, hair, and makeup
02:30
Eileen Fulton on the writers of As the World Turns, and on giving input into her character
03:25
Eileen Fulton on the extent of Proctor & Gamble's involvement with As the World Turns, and on her distaste of focus groups
02:01
Eileen Fulton on controversial topics covered by As the World Turns, and various storylines on the show
08:33
Eileen Fulton on her favorite and least favorite As the World Turns storylines, and "Lisa's" love life
02:07
Eileen Fulton on her lack of storylines later in the run of As the World Turns
01:43
Eileen Fulton on winning a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for her work on As the World Turns
01:44
Eileen Fulton on the legacy of As the World Turns, and of her character "Lisa", and on her continued acting career and nightclub act
05:22

Don Hastings

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Don Hastings on various storylines on As the World Turns
04:00
Don Hastings on doing a scene on As the World Turns which was preempted by the Kennedy assassination
04:24
Don Hastings on his favorite memories of The Edge of Night, and on making the transition to As the World Turns
02:13
Don Hastings on getting the role of "Bob Hughes" on As the World Turns, and on the history of the character on the show
04:56
Don Hastings on his role of "Bob Hughes" on As the World Turns, and on how the character has changed over time
02:55
Don Hastings on how As the World Turns has changed over the years
06:09
Don Hastings on originally being a replacement on As the World Turns, and on Ted Corday
04:55
Don Hastings on his stint as a writer on As the World Turns, and on show creator Irna Phillips
03:30
Don Hastings on keeping As the World Turns fresh
01:39
Don Hastings on the process of getting his script and memorizing lines for As the World Turns
03:08
Don Hastings on As the World Turns switching from live to tape, on live bloopers, and on the use of cue cards
07:10
Don Hastings on the medical accuracy of As the World Turns
01:54
Don Hastings on Helen Wagner as "Nancy Hughes" on As the World Turns
00:41
Don Hastings on Don MacLaughlin as "Chris Hughes" on As the World Turns
00:24
Don Hastings on Santos Ortega as "Pa Hughes" on As the World Turns
02:15
Don Hastings on William Johnstone as "Judge James T. Lowell" on As the World Turns
00:37
Don Hastings on Ruth Warrick as "Edith Hughes Frye" on As the World Turns
00:33
Don Hastings on Eileen Fulton as "Lisa" on As the World Turns
00:20
Don Hastings on the cast of As the World Turns
01:19
Don Hastings on his favorite As the World Turns storylines
03:11
Don Hastings on how soaps like As the World Turns are regarded, and how the perception has changed
04:24
Don Hastings on the fan base of As the World Turns, and on the then-future of the show
02:31

Randolph Mantooth

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Randolph Mantooth on appearing on All My Children and As the World Turns
02:47

Agnes Nixon

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Agnes Nixon on collaborating with Irna Phillips on the creation of thirty-minute As the World Turns
02:41
Agnes Nixon on the focus of As the World Turns and creating the world of Oakdale
01:56
Agnes Nixon on the differences between a thirty-minute show (As the World Turns) and a fifteen-minute show
00:49
Agnes Nixon on the success of As the World Turns
00:41

Frances Reid

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Frances Reid on appearing on As the World Turns
03:51

Fred Silverman

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Fred Silverman on working with Irna Phillips, the writer of one of CBS's serials As the Worlds Turns , on creating the new serial for CBS Love is a Many Spendored Thing
03:10

Helen Wagner

View Interview
Helen Wagner on Ruth Warrick as "Edie Hughes" on As the World Turns
01:23
Helen Wagner on Patricia Bruder and Wendy Drew as "Ellen Lowell" on As the World Turns
01:02
Helen Wagner on Mark Rydell as "Jeff Baker" on As the World Turns
01:29
Helen Wagner on Henderson Forsythe as "David Stewart" and Marie Masters as "Susan Burke" on As the World Turns
00:45
Helen Wagner on the more recent cast members of As the World Turns
04:03
Helen Wagner on As the World Turns producer Ted Corday
01:21
Helen Wagner on the day-to-day production of As the World Turns in the '50s as opposed to the then-present
03:31
Helen Wagner on the sets, costumes, and hair of As the World Turns
04:03
Helen Wagner on the writers of As the World Turns and on dealing with sponsors and executives
01:45
Helen Wagner on the topics covered by As the World Turns
02:20
Helen Wagner on As the World Turns and the Kennedy assassination 
01:21
Helen Wagner on the more recent storylines of As the World Turns
02:30
Helen Wagner on how her As the World Turns character of "Nancy Hughes" changed over the years and on the fan mail she gets
02:28
Helen Wagner on how As the World Turns changed during her tenure and why the show has been so successful 
02:00
Helen Wagner on how she came to be cast on As the World Turns
02:02
Helen Wagner on the development of her character "Nancy Hughes" on As the World Turns
05:05
Helen Wagner on working with Don MacLaughlin as "Chris Hughes" on As the World Turns and on the difference between her and "Nancy Hughes"
02:54
Helen Wagner on the beginning of As the World Turns and the standards and practices of the day
02:37
Helen Wagner on working with As the World Turns creator Irna Phillips
02:13
Helen Wagner on the pilot for As the World Turns
00:58
Helen Wagner on Ronnie Welch as "Bob Hughes" on As the World Turns
01:21
Helen Wagner on Bob Hastings as "Chris Hughes" on As the World Turns
02:28
Helen Wagner on Eileen Fulton as "Lisa Grimaldi" on As the World Turns
01:29
Helen Wagner on Rosemary Prinz as "Penny Hughes" on As the World Turns
00:38
Helen Wagner on Richard Holland as "Donald Hughes" on As the World Turns
00:30
Helen Wagner on Santos Ortega as "Grandpa Hughes" on As the World Turns
02:15
Helen Wagner on the death of Don MacLaughlin and how it impacted As the World Turns
01:08
Helen Wagner on working with Don MacLaughlin as "Chris Hughes" on As the World Turns and on the difference between her and "Nancy Hughes"
02:54

Ruth Warrick

View Interview
Ruth Warrick on being cast on As the World Turns
11:01
Ruth Warrick on the half-hour format of As the World Turns and the shooting process of the show
05:44
Ruth Warrick on memorizing her lines for live TV on As the World Turns
03:13

Ellen Wheeler

View Interview
Ellen Wheeler on appearing on As the World Turns
00:37
Ellen Wheeler on directing As the World Turns and Another World
04:07

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