Thursday, November 20, 2008

SUNRISE, SOMERSET

Currently, the AOL/PGP Classic Soap Channel is airing Texas, an Another World spin-off that aired on NBC from August 4, 1980 to December 31, 1982.

Exactly six years prior to Texas' cancellation, another spin-off from Another World, Somerset, went off the air on December 31, 1976, after a six year run.

The first daytime soap opera spin-off ever, the show was initially titled Another World-Somerset. The lead characters were AW transplants Sam Lucas (Jordan Charney) and his wife, Lahoma (Ann Wedgeworth) and Missy Matthews (Carol Roux) and her son, Ricky, who'd moved an hour's drive from Bay City to start new lives.

In Somerset, viewers met the Delaney family. Jasper, who owned Delaney Brands and basically ran the one industry town as a result, and his children, daughter Laura and sons Peter and Robert.

As most controlling fathers on daytime, Jasper was eventually murdered and Robert stood trial for the crime. Unlike even the most controlling fathers on daytime however, Jasper proved so despicable that he actually had two killers. First daughter Laura shot him, then Harry Wilson, the real father of Laura's son who'd been chased out of town by Jasper years before, finished the job by smothering Jasper with a pillow. Harry was shot by the police and Laura later killed herself with the same gun she'd used on her father.

Robert Delaney (played by soap vet Nicolas Coster) ended up moving to Bay City and hooking up first with Lenore (Susan Sullivan) and later Iris (Beverlee McKinsey), not to mention tangling with Steve Frame, who irrationally reminded Robert of his dominating father, Jasper.

Other familiar soap names to appear on Somerset were Ernest Thompson (Tony; future writer of On Golden Pond), Gary Sandy (Randy; future star of WKRP in Cincinnati), Richard Shoberg (Mitch; future Tom on AMC), Joel Crothers (Julian; future Miles on The Edge of Night), Lois Kibee (Emily; future Geraldine on The Edge of Night), Bibi Besch (Eve; future mother of James Kirk's only son in Wrath of Khan), Michael Nouri (Tom; future watcher of Jennifer Beals removing her bra through her sleeve in Flashdance), Ted Danson (Tom #2; future owner of Cheers), Tina Sloan (Kate; future Olivia on AW -- where she would marry Robert; future Lillian on Guiding Light), Audrey Landers (Heather; future Afton on Dallas), JoBeth Williams (Carrie; future Poltergeist mom) and Jameson Parker (Dale; future Simon of Simon & Simon).

2 comments:

chuck197007 said...

Is AOL Video taking Thanksgiving week off,because there have been no "new" episodes of AW,EON,SFT and Texas posted all week?

Michael said...

It would be wonderful if AOL put up some saved v shows of Somerset, so the viewers could see this little gem. Any idea if this might happen or wishful thinking.

Thanks for all you do!