A World Apart (TV series)
|A World Apart|
|Created by||Katherine Phillips|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||325|
|Camera setup||Multiple-camera setup|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Original release||March 30, 1970 – June 25, 1971|
The initial stories were written by Katherine Phillips, adopted daughter of soap legend Irna Phillips (Irna allegedly quit her head-writing job at CBS's As the World Turns to help her daughter at the rival network). Soap opera writer Betty Kahlman (Elizabeth Lawrence, Augusta Dabney) raised her adopted children without a husband, elements similar to Irna's own life. (Her sounding board and friend was fellow soap opera writer Meg Johns, played by actress Anna Minot). Betty then married Russell Barry (William Prince) and the early focus was on generational conflicts between a newly married middle-aged couple and their confused children. People tried to understand each other, but were ultimately "a world apart", echoing the title. Eventually, the show-within-a-show element was scaled back (and Katherine Phillips was replaced by Richard Holland and Suzanne Holland) and Betty and Russell settled into a tranquil marriage.
Other storylines centered on the Sims family, who were mired in less turmoil than the Kahlmans, but still had their problems, as Dr. Ed Sims (James Noble) and his extremely conservative wife Adrian (Kathleen Maguire) struggled with their rebellious daughter Becky (Erin Connor).
Many future film and television stars appeared during the brief run, including Susan Sarandon (Patrice Kahlman), Nicolas Surovy (Fred Turner), Susan Sullivan (Nancy Condon), Dorothy Lyman (Julie Stark), David Birney (Oliver Harrell), and James Noble (Dr. Ed Sims), who eventually went on to play the lovably goofy, but very capable Governor Eugene Gatling on the television comedy Benson alongside Robert Guillaume. Also becoming rather successful is Clifton Davis (Matt Hampton), who went on to star in the series That's My Mama, and much later, the series Amen, where he played Reverend Reuben Gregory. Clifton Davis and actress Jane White played son and mother on both A World Apart and Amen.
The series ran Monday through Friday at 12:30 pm EST, opposite CBS' then-popular Search for Tomorrow and NBC's The Who, What, or Where Game. ABC canceled the show after a little over a year, wrapping up with a moving episode where Patrice Kahlman finally made peace with giving her newborn son up for adoption (among the few, if not only, episodes of this show known to survive).