On the Anniversary of Its Debut, a Look Back at the Blue-Chip Daytime Drama That… Well, Nobody Really Found Themselves Loving
It should’ve been a hit. It wasn’t.
On June 26, 1983, ABC premiered in primetime a daytime soap opera that had virtually everything going for it. Loving had been created by All My Children’s “mother” Agnes Nixon and Douglas Marland, revered for the way that he’d kept As the World Turns spinning for years. Its cast included silver-screen golden oldies like Lloyd Bridges and Geraldine Page. And the network was so eager to see it succeed that it displaced the superlative Ryan’s Hope from its time slot to give the newbie a fair shot.
Credit: Dramatic Creations/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
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None of it helped. Loving’s original ensemble included everyone from future “names” like Bryan Cranston and Patricia Kalember. Its characters included man-hungry Rita Mae Bristow and star-crossed lovers Jack Forbes and Stacey Donovan (cut from the same classic rich boy/poor girl mold as All My Children’s Greg Nelson and Jenny Gardner). And yet, viewers shrugged.
After the show turned Seinfeld’s J. Peterman into basically Satan and still didn’t see a ratings bump, much less a hell of a ratings bump, half the cast was killed off, and it was revamped in 1995 as the Soho-set The City. Turned out, the setting of Corinth had not been the problem, it had been the eh/so-so writing.
So finally, in 1997, Loving — by then The City — was remanded to the daytime-TV graveyard. But that doesn’t mean that it didn’t leave us with at least a few worthwhile memories, right? (If nothing else, it launched the daytime careers of General Hospital leading lady Laura Wright, aka Carly, and The Young and the Restless’ Victoria, Amelia Heinle.) Check them out here or via the photo gallery below. Then hit the comments with the moment where you think the show got it all wrong.