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

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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!