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First Daytime Soap, These Are My Children Premiered 61 Years Ago Today

Prolific, radio soap queen Irna Phillips bravely entered the world of an uncharted, new medium called television 61 years ago today. On Jan. 31, 1949, These Are My Children, the first-ever, daily television soap opera, made its debut. The 15-minute NBC sudser revolved around the Henehan family, an Irish Catholic clan headed up by a strong, widowed matriarch. The soap, which was similar in nature to Phillips' popular radio dramas, Painted Dreams and Today's Children, only lasted four weeks.  A critic for Television World said this about Phillips' poorly received premiered effort to take her brand of serialized radio dramas to TV:


There is no place on television for this type of program, a blank screen is preferable.

I hope no one ever took that critic with them to Atlantic City. The future will be webivised!

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