Related topics

Longest-Running Daytime Drama Canceled by NBC

November 4, 1986 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ ″Search for Tomorrow,″ television’s longest-running soap opera has been canceled, NBC announced Tuesday.

The daytime drama premiered on CBS on Sept. 3, 1951. It moved to NBC in 1982. The final episode will air Dec. 26, Brian Frons, NBC vice president for daytime programming, said in a statement.

Despite a revamping last spring, the show has done poorly in the daytime television ratings. For the week ending Oct. 19, it was in last place, 26th.

At the beginning of the season, Executive Producer David Lawrence said ″Search for Tomorrow″ would get away from ″melodramatic″ story lines represented on nighttime soaps and do more romantic stories.

Last month, the series filmed in Ireland. Those scenes began airing last week.

Lawrence said the cancellation was no surprise.

″We certainly all anticipated cancellation at some point in the near future,″ he said. ″When I got the assignment seven months ago, I was told the show was living on borrowed time. But surprise or not, it’s never terribly pleasant.″

NBC said ″Search for Tomorrow″ would be replaced by a game show called ″WordPlay″ in the 12:30 to 1 p.m. EST time slot, beginning Dec. 29.

NBC also announced it would add another game show, ″Blockbusters,″ to the daytime lineup, bringing the network’s game show total to six. ″Blockbusters″ will begin airing Jan. 5 in the 10:30 to 11 a.m. EST time slot, preceded by ″Sale of the Century,″ airing a half-hour earlier.

″Search for Tomorrow″ provided acting jobs to many stars early in their careers, including Morgain Fairchild, Susan Sarandon, Jill Clayburgh, Robby Benson, Trish van Devere, Sandy Duncan, Barbara Babcock, Kevin Bacon, George Maharis, Michael Nouri, Lee Grant and Wayne Rogers.

The series celebrated its 35th anniversary the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 3 with taped segments by former cast members that aired at the end of each episode. Those actors included Joel Higgins, Ken Kercheval, Don Knotts, Hal Linden and Robert Mandan.

The serial devoted its telecast on Sept. 3 to a retrospective of the serial’s landmark events, as seen through the eyes of long-running characters Joe Tourneur and Stu Bergman, played by Mary Stuart and Larry Haines.

Miss Stuart has been with the serial since its premiere in 1951. Haines joined the cast two years later.