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Texas (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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

Rauch's initial plans involved a historical soap centered around the period of the Civil War. The Corringtons submitted a concept 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. She and her goofy maid Vivien Gorrow (Gretchen Oehler) moved away from Bay City to live a new life in Houston, Texas and Iris became involved with first love Alex Wheeler. 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 at the time.

Critics complained that Iris (who was known on Another World as being a villainess and a bitch) had become too tame, and that other roles were poorly cast or suffered from paper-thin writing (Texas hired General Hospital star Kin Shriner at great expense, only to give him almost nothing to do until he finally left). After a year, however, 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 also acted on the show, playing Ashley) became headwriter. The show began to improve in quality but the ratings remained in the basement. In the latter part of the year, Texas was canceled. 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 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.

Of note, during its initial run, Texas Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby, Jr. took a tour of the program's Brooklyn studio, and praised the show's realistic visual feel.

The Saga of the South

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