Twenty-Two Years After the Cancellation of a Beloved Soap, We Look Back in Anger… Through Tear-Stained Eyes
NBC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (5)
On April 12, 1999, NBC blasted Another World out of the daytime galaxy.
Another World vet Linda Dano, who played Felicia Gallant for nearly 20 years, might have put the general reaction to the NBC soap’s cancellation best when she spoke with the New York Times. “It’s painful,” she said. “I also think it’s tragic for the soap industry when a show goes off after 35 years.”
She could say that again — and again and again — and it would only become truer each time. In the years leading up to the end, the network’s affiliates had moved ratings-challenged Another World around their schedules more than kids do broccoli on their dinner plates. So to realign their ducks, NBC struck a deal to get new soap Passions aired everywhere right after Days of Our Lives.
On the plus side, we were getting not only a new soap, but a whackadoo one from former Days of Our Lives headwriter James Reilly, who’d given us Carly Manning’s premature burial and Marlena Evans’ demonic possession.
But that didn’t do a whole lot to lessen the sting of Bay City being wiped off the map. “We’ve known for quite some time that NBC’s decision could go either way,” We Love Soaps reports Procter & Gamble exec Mickey Dwyer-Dobbin saying at the time. “Although we certainly wish the outcome were different, it is a sad comment on the television industry as a whole that a soap, especially one with so much history, has to be cancelled to make room for a new one.
“The loss of the show,” she added, “is a loss for the industry.”
That it was, and that it is. And if you want to get a sense of just how great a loss it remains — and why we’re still so ticked off! — just click on the below photo gallery, a review of just some of the highlights of Another World and its legendary run.