And so began, on July 7, 1975,' the complicated saga of the closely-knit Ryan family of New York City. On the set of ABC's Ryan's Hope, things are not quite settled these days. In the fairly small taping studio where the show originates, there are frayed nerves. The actors and managerial staff feel that everything must be perfect! There are many newcomers to daytime television on this show, and these are actors are especially wound up... one can see it in their faces, in their backstage behavior. They run their lines over and over, hoping for perfection at taping time.
The show has some new and provocative elements. Written and conceived by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, Ryan's Hope centers about a moderately large Irish-American family struggling to better themselves in the midst of a sprawling city. The protagonist of the story--who is the "hope" of the Ryans--is Frank Ryan, a policemen who is a role model for his brother and sister. At this writing, Frank had been pushed down a flight of stairs and will face, in future story, some great hardship as a result of the assault. (The writers aren't telling, but one good guess is that he'll be in a wheelchair, which won't stop him for long from achieving.) the story and characters seem to provide a good balance between old and young, rich and poor, WASP and ethnic, professionla and working class
The show is taped inthe old Dark Shadows building on the West Side, and the actual studio where the sets are are assembled is only about one-third as large as most other studioes. However, the sets themselves are quite elaborate and very detailed. Much of the action of the story, for example, takes place in Johnny and Maeve Ryan's tavern/restaurant, and the bar that is set up is a real one. You can actually get (non-alcoholic) beverages from the various taps. The tavern's kitchen is completly authentic, with old-style refrigerators, and can actually be used to prepart large amounts of food.
The leads are played by soap veteran Bernie Barrow (Johnny Ryan) who was last seen on The Secret Storm as Dan Kinkaid; Hellen Gallaghers (Maeve Ryan), the well-kknown Broadway actress/dancer who's now doing her first daytime serial; Michawl hawkins (Frank Ryan) last seen as Mark Elliott on Love is a Many Splendored Thing; Kate Mulgrew (Mary Ryan) and Malcolm Groome (Pat Ryan), newcomers to daytime. Diiana Van Der Vlis (Nel Beaulac) played Kate Hathaway on Where the Heart Is.
In an effort to give Ryan's Hope a good head start, ABC bumped All My Children out of the valuable 1:00 p.m. (EST) time slot, and started Ryan's Hope there, moving Children to 12:30 p.m. All My Children is now programmed opposite Search for Tommorrow on CBS.
Let's hope the best for Ryan's Hope!
© 1976 Dell Publishing Co, Inc. [Daytime TV Stars, No. 14 - January]
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