Interesting Facts About the Soap Opera ‘Another World’ on 60th Anniversary

Another World (1980s), 1964-99
NBC/Everett Collection

Another World was a soap opera that aired on NBC from 1964 until 1999. This year, the show celebrates the 60th anniversary of its inception, following the people of the fictional town of Bay City. It focused on the drama between people of different classes and viewpoints and was the first soap opera to do a crossover (the character Mike Bauer came to Another World from Guiding Light). The show did quite well but was eventually replaced by the soap opera Passions. Let’s review some interesting facts about the show to celebrate its anniversary.

It was the first soap opera to talk about abortion

Another World Nicholas Pryor, Susan Trustman, 1964-1999

Everett Collection

Now TV shows and movies touch on a range of taboo topics but it was very rare back in the ’60s and ’70s. The controversial episode aired in November 1964 and followed Pat’s secret abortion. The abortion ends up leading to infertility and she shoots and kills the man who got her pregnant. In later episodes, she is brought to trial and acquitted.

The show featured a range of stars before they became famous

Brad Pitt played a high school basketball student named Chris in two episodes in 1987 and it is credited as his first speaking role on television. Some other celebrities who appeared on the show before they got famous are Luke Perry, Ed O’Neill, Marcia Cross, Kelsey Grammer, Kyra Sedgwick, Henry Winkler, Anne Heche, Billy Dee Williams and many more.

It became the first soap opera to expand to one hour

Another World Joseph Gallison, associate producer Bud Kloss, Beverly Penberthy, Geoffrey Lumb, Val Dufour, Marcella Martin, Michael M. Ryan, Carol Roux, (1967), 1964-99

Everett Collection

At first, all daytime television soap operas were around 30 minutes. In 1975, Another World was expanded to an hour per episode and became the first daytime soap opera to do so.

Real-life chemistry became fantasy

Another World Douglass Watson, Victoria Wyndham, Beverlee McKinsey, (1979), 1964-99

Everett Collection

The characters Mac and Rachel had a whirlwind romance but it wasn’t always going to be that way. The head writer Harding Lemay noticed the natural chemistry between Douglass Watson and Victoria Wyndham and decided to give their characters a love story. They made it happen very slowly because they were worried that an older man-younger woman relationship would have turned off audiences.

There is a special event for the 60th anniversary

Another World Linda Dano, 1990s, 1964-1999

Jonathan Exley/NBC/Everett Collection

If you’re in the New York City area, there is an AW Cast Reunion/Fan Luncheon going on tomorrow May 4, 2024, at the Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson in Tarrytown, NY. Several of the stars will be reuniting at the event with a meet and greet for fans, along with a Q&A session. There will also be a silent auction with proceeds going to several charities. Linda Dano (Felicia) said about the event, “I’m excited about the event. I think everyone who loved Another World is coming. It’s such a wonderful event. It’s just a wonderful thing for all of us. We get together and talk about the old days and laugh and cry and whatever we do, but I’m sure it’s going to be lots of fun. I’m looking forward to it a lot.” Click here to get your ticket.

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June 2017

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