Suds and Duds: Texas

Suds and Duds will be an occasional feature profiling defunct soap operas

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Texas, a spin-off of NBC’s Another World, aired for a little over two years beginning in August of 1980. The main original focus of Texas was Iris, Beverley McKinsey’s character from Another World, who moved from Bay City to Houston. However, McKinsey parted the show half-way through its run in 1981. Initially, the Iris spin-off concept was to be named Reunion, but network executives wanted a name that would tie it to popular prime-time weekly soap opera, Dallas.

McKinsey as Iris on the cover of Starweek magazine

McKinsey as Iris on the cover of Starweek magazine

Mac, a long time Another World favorite played by Douglass Watson, appeared as a guest star early in Texas’s run.

In addition to many crossover guest stars from Another World. Texas also featured cameo appearances from current Country and Western music acts (including Johnny Paycheck) and politicians, Governor Nigh of Oklahoma and William Hobby, Jr. Lt Gov of Texas.

Ultimately, it was cancelled due to poor ratings, partly because it aired opposite General Hospital whose popularity was at an all-time high. In the end, the spin-off wasn’t as successful as the previous Another World spin-off, Somerset, from the 1970’s, and it wasn’t as controversial and groundbreaking as its parent show.

 

Controversial Soap Storylines- DOOL’s Return of Tommy Horton

 It was always a battle. In 1968 we wrote a story line that had one of our characters, Tommy Horton, return from Vietnam with amnesia and post-traumatic stress disorder. War was completely raging at the time, and the network wouldn’t let us mention it in any way whatsoever. They said, “No, let’s just say that he came back from Korea.” We said, “Wait, Korea was 1950 … this is 1968!” But they insisted that we couldn’t talk about Vietnam. So he came back from Korea. -Ken Corday

In a 2011 interview with Mental Floss magazine titled “Sex & Death in the Afternoon,” Ken Corday, Days of Our Lives producer (and son of DOOL creators, Betty and Ted Corday), mentioned that soap writers and producers always had to deal with  interference from the networks. Even though soap operas were looked down on as an unsophisticated, low-brow medium, soaps dealt with controversial topics and current events.

photo: Tom (Tommy) Horton, jr – portrayed by John Lupton