The episode of 22 November 1963 was broken into by CBS to announce the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The actors, however, continued performing (as it was done live until 1975), and a complete, uninterrupted copy of this episode still survives.
The daytime serial Another World (1964) was conceived as a spinoff of this show. It was submitted to CBS, which decided not to air the new program. After "Another World" was picked up by NBC, CBS refused to allow any major characters from this show to appear on the new one. However, one minor character, Mitchell Dru (Geoffrey Lumb), who had also appeared on the CBS soap opera The Brighter Day (1954), did appear on 'Another World".
Since the cancellation of Another World (1964) in 1999, several characters from that show (Jake, Cass, Vicky, Donna and Marley) have made appearances on this one.
The first CBS soap opera to expand to one hour (1 December 1975) and the third soap opera to expand to one hour in television history. The first was Another World (1964) and the second was Days of Our Lives (1965).
On the day that the 13,661st episode aired, CBS announced it was axing the soap (the last of the 'true' US daytime soaps as it was made by a media subsidiary of Procter & Gamble). The final episode aired on Friday 17th September 2010.
One of the first two half-hour soap operas in television. (The other being The Edge of Night (1956), which premiered the same day.)
Carol Burnett did a regular parody of this soap on her prime-time comedy sketch/variety show. The segment was called "As The Stomach Turns".
The original soap opera was a different concept in daytime TV dramas when it debuted in 1956. Early television soaps were essentially kine-scope versions of radio programs. They were wordy, overly melodramatic fifteen-minute episodes that separated characters into neat piles of good and bad. The creator, Irna Phillips sensed this new medium could be more, and she fought for her project despite lukewarm response from Procter & Gamble. What was born was a brand new soap opera that ran from thirty minutes, not fifteen, per episode. It shifted the old focus on character in lieu of action with long conversations, more close-ups, flawed "good" characters and ambiguous dialogue. It was an approach perfectly suited for television.
The pivotal character in the early run of the show was the free-spirited and liberated Edith Hughes, portrayed by former motion picture actress, Ruth Warrick. Her adulterous affair with Jim Lowell caused much emotional upheaval for the Hughes and Lowell family.
The top-rated daytime soap opera from 1959 to 1971. Procter & Gamble took out a full page ad in "The New York Times" in 1965 to boast of the show's long-running status at #1.
In 1956, the drama was described as the "day-to-day story of the affections that bind and conflicts that threaten two closely related families in an American community."
The show featured daytime soap's first major youth romance and created the series first major stars in Rosemary Prinz and Mark Rydell. When Rydell chose to leave the series in 1962 to pursue film directing, his character was killed off. A storm of protest erupted from viewers. The network was flooded with telephone calls, telegrams, and letters; one lady sent ninety-seven letters alone. "TV Guide" called the uproar the "automobile accident that shoot the nation."
In 1960, Eileen Fulton created the role of Lisa Miller, creating a sensation as the southern vixen. The role of Lisa went on to become television's longest-running villianess.
In 1965, the serial was the first soap opera to spin off another serial, Our Private World (1965), with Eileen Fulton as the star. The series aired a short time in prime-time.