|The Brighter Day|
|Created by||Irna Phillips|
|Written by||Sam Hall|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Irna Phillips|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Original network|| NBC Radio (1948–1956)|
|Original release||1948 (Radio)/January 4, 1954 – (TV)|
September 28, 1962
The Brighter Day is an American daytime soap opera which aired on CBS from January 4, 1954, to September 28, 1962. –1956. Set in New Hope, Wisconsin, the series revolved around Reverend Richard Dennis and his four children, Althea, Patsy, Babby and Grayling.Originally created for NBC radio by Irna Phillips in 1948, the radio and television versions ran simultaneously from 1954
The Brighter Day was the first soap opera to air on network television with an explicitly religious theme. Another soap opera created by Phillips, The Guiding Light , initially had a religious theme as a radio show but dropped it by the time the series moved to television.
The Brighter Day had its roots in the radio soap opera Joyce Jordan, M.D. . Jim Cox, in his book The Great Radio Soap Operas, wrote: "The Brighter Day premiered on the NBC network on October 11, 1948. But it was actually rolled out on another drama some time before that."Dr. Jordan lived near the Dennis family's hometown of Three Rivers, and listeners of the Jordan program became acquainted with the Dennises in 1948. In a seamless transition, Cox wrote, "By the time Dr. Jordan said 'good-by' on her final broadcast on Friday, October 8, 1948, the fans were already acquainted with the family that would replace her. The following Monday listeners could easily connect with the new series growing out of the show they had been hearing for so long." Smoothing the transition even more, The Brighter Day's announcer, sponsor, network and time slot were the same as those of Joyce Jordan, M.D.
The original radio version took place in the town of Three Rivers, but in late 1953 the Dennis family was forced to move to New Hope as a result of a flood washing out Three Rivers. Later in the run, the Dennis family moved to Columbus, established as a college town. There were five children in the radio version, but the oldest daughter, Liz (played from 1949–1954 by actress Margaret Draper), married and left the family as the show began on television. Also living with Reverend Dennis was his widowed sister, Emily Potter.
The Brighter Day had mid-range Nielsen ratings for most of its run. During the 1950s, it was in the middle of the pack typically landing between 5th and 7th place over all and in the middle of all the CBS soaps. The show's best season was 1955–1956, when it did not have any competition from ABC and weak offerings from NBC.
With the premiere of American Bandstand in 1957 and Bandstand's surge in popularity a year later, the CBS strip of The Verdict is Yours at 3:30, The Brighter Day at 4:00, The Secret Storm at 4:15 and The Edge of Night at 4:30 all took a hit of about one rating point. Though The Secret Storm and The Edge of Night rebounded, The Brighter Day and its lead-in The Verdict Is Yours did not. By the 1960–61 season, both shows were holding their own, but had still taken a ratings hit.
In Summer 1961, Procter & Gamble gave up production of the show to CBS and moved production of the series from New York City to Los Angeles in an effort to save money. Key characters and stories were dropped when their actors did not wish to relocate. In the Summer of 1962, with The Secret Storm and The Edge of Night proving formidable against American Bandstand, CBS decided to expand The Secret Storm, creating a powerful hour-long soap block to counterprogram against American Bandstand. This decision had both The Brighter Day and The Verdict is Yours moving from their mid/late afternoon slots to mid/late morning. The timeslot change was the final nail in the coffin, as both series lost almost half their audience, with The Brighter Day falling from a 6.9 to 3.7. Mid-late morning had never been successful for serials, and this instance was no different.
In August 1962, the show made history by creating the first daytime television contract role for an African American. The actor, Rex Ingram, appeared as an ordained minister named Victor Graham beginning on September 17, but had no time to make much of an impact, as the show was cancelled two weeks later on September 28.
The network announced that the show would be cancelled with less than two weeks before the final episode aired. In the final episode, actor Paul Langton addressed the viewers in character as Uncle Walter, wrapping up the storylines and explaining how the characters would resolve their problems. Langton ended the show with a final farewell: "The microphone can't pick up their voices and soon the picture will fade. If on occasion you think of us, we hope your memory will be a pleasant one."
Among the show's writers were Doris Frankle, and Sam Hall. Agnes Nixon had been hired to write the show (and had created the character on which Ada and Rachel Davis, two characters on NBC's Another World were based), but the show was cancelled before her work was ever taped. Ms. Nixon then went to write The Guiding Light and, later, Another World before creating her two classic soap operas on the ABC network.
Among the actors who appeared on the series, the most famous alumni are Hal Holbrook (Grayling Dennis), Lois Nettleton (Patsy Dennis Hamilton), and Patty Duke (Ellen Williams Dennis).
The year 1970 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of notable television-related events in that year.
The year 1961 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1961.
The year 1960 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1960.
The year 1956 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1956.
The year 1952 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1952.
Guiding Light is an American radio and television soap opera. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running drama in television in American history, broadcast on CBS for 57 years from June 30, 1952, until September 18, 2009, overlapping a 19-year broadcast on radio from 1937 to 1956. With 72 years of radio and television runs, Guiding Light is the longest running soap opera, ahead of General Hospital, and is the fifth-longest running program in all of broadcast history; only the American country music radio program Grand Ole Opry, the BBC religious program The Daily Service (1928), the CBS religious program Music and the Spoken Word (1929), and the Norwegian children's radio program Lørdagsbarnetimen (1924–2010) have been on the air longer.
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS for 54 years from April 2, 1956, to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light. Running for 54 years, As the World Turns holds the third-longest continuous run of any daytime network soap opera on American television, surpassed only by General Hospital and Guiding Light. As the World Turns was produced for the first 43 years in Manhattan and in Brooklyn from 2000 until 2010.
Morgan Fairchild is an American actress. She began acting in the late 1970s and early 1980s with continuing roles in several television series.
Irna Phillips was an American scriptwriter, screenwriter, casting agent and actress. Known by several publications as the "Queen of the Soaps", she created, produced, and wrote several of the first American daytime radio and television soap operas. As a result of creating some of the best known series in the genre, including Guiding Light, As the World Turns, and Another World, Phillips is credited with creating and innovating a daytime serial format with programming geared specifically toward women. She was also a mentor to several other pioneers of the daytime soap opera, including Agnes Nixon and William J. Bell.
Search for Tomorrow is an American television soap opera. It began its run on CBS on September 3, 1951, and concluded on NBC, 35 years later, on December 26, 1986.
Love of Life is an American soap opera televised on CBS from September 24, 1951, to February 1, 1980. It was created by Roy Winsor, whose previous creation Search for Tomorrow had premiered three weeks before Love of Life, and who would go on to create The Secret Storm two and a half years later.
The Secret Storm is an American soap opera which the CBS television network transmitted from February 1, 1954, to February 8, 1974. It was created by Roy Winsor, who also created the long-running soap operas Search for Tomorrow and Love of Life. Gloria Monty, of General Hospital fame, was a longtime director of the series.
Somerset is an American television soap opera which ran on NBC from March 30, 1970, until December 31, 1976. The show was a spin-off of another NBC serial, Another World. The show was created by Robert Cenedella and was produced by Lyle B Hill.
Frank M. Hursley and Doris Hursley were an American husband-and-wife team of screenwriters, best known for their serials, especially the medical drama General Hospital
Our Five Daughters is a daytime soap opera that ran on NBC from January 2 to September 28, 1962. The show was written by Leonard Stadd and directed by Paul Lammers, and aired for a half-hour, five days a week, at 3:30 PM EST, right after Young Doctor Malone.
Daytime television is the general term for television shows produced for airing during the daytime hours on weekdays. The hours and days for daytime television in the United States usually run from 6:00am to 8:00pm ET, Monday through Friday; although it may vary depending on time zone, region, networks and local stations. This article is only about American daytime television; for information about international daytime television, see Daytime television.
Roy Winsor was an American soap opera writer, creator and novelist.
NBC Daytime was the daytime programming block of NBC. It historically featured many soap operas, game shows, and talk shows. Its main competitors were CBS Daytime and ABC Daytime.
Days of Our Lives is an American daytime soap opera broadcast on NBC. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday since November 8, 1965. A co-production of Corday Productions and Sony Pictures Television, the series was created by husband-and-wife team Ted Corday and Betty Corday. During Days of Our Lives' early years, Irna Phillips served as a story editor for the program and many of the show's earliest storylines were written by William J. Bell.
Joyce Jordan, M.D. is a radio soap opera in the United States. It was broadcast on ABC, CBS and NBC at various times during the era of old-time radio.