Between Heaven and Hell, 3…

On July 26, 1976, a few days after the show’s 8 th year anniversary, One Life to Live was expanded from 30 minutes to 45. It seemed kind of silly, but we got an extra fifteen minutes of storytime. The only thing I can’t readily recall is if it shared the other 45 minutes with All My Children, or with General Hospital. I think it was General Hospital for some reason. I could be wrong.

You might be wondering about the significance of my blog title. Between Heaven and Hell was the original title of One Life to Live, when Agnes Nixon pitched the soap opera to ABC but fearing some controversy over it, the name was changed. She had full ownership of the show until December, 1974 when ABC bought all the stock in her Creative Horizons, Inc. And therein lies the rub. 

On January 16, 1978, One Live to Live was expanded to a full hour.

Life continued as it usually did in Llanview with the usual bumps and bruises along the way.  Like all neighborhoods, people leave and new ones move in bringing with them their own uniqueness and challenges and there have been so many colorful characters to grace the  One Life to Live canvas that it would be difficult to name them all. One of the more enjoyable characters to enter into the picture was Tina. Her initial innocent facade quickly faded when she realized  she stood to gain a fortune from her long lost family, The Lords, and she would stop at nothing to ensure her rightful place among them.  The little vixen pulled out all the stops and wreaked all kinds of havoc, with her greed and pettiness.  Really it was just her misguided way of wanting to be loved and to be somebody. And we loved her even though at times, she didn’t deserve it.

Perhaps the biggest scandal to hit town up to that time was when Karen Wolek quickly found herself in a heat of trouble and it all came to a dramatic head with Judith Light’s magnificent performance on the witness stand during Viki’s murder trial. I’ve told this story a hundred times and I’ll keep on telling it. I was in my senior year of high school and was truant for a total of 33 days. A lot of it revolved around this storyline and the day of all days for me to put in a guest appearance in class was the day of her bravura performance. Now, how do you figure?

I did see a clip of it years later when Reba McEntire hosted a series of best of shows during the O.J. Simpson trial era, and even with that little bit of the scene, it still had me riveted to my seat. Of course there’s this YouTube video as well,  but over New Year’s weekend SoapNet played 14 classic One Life To Live episodes and this was one of them. Once I get it committed to DVD, I’ll have it forever. In the meantime, if you want to watch the entire clip here, mind you it’s 9 and a half minutes long, it’s here for you. Or, you can start at the 4 minute mark until about the 8 minute mark if you want to get to the crux of the scene and you don’t have the time to spare.

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One Response to “Between Heaven and Hell, 3…”

  1. Melissa Says:

    Wow. That Judith Light is an animal! Reba McEntire, on the other hand … ha! She’s so fun! I’d love to sit down and watch some TV with her 🙂

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