Faraway Hill

Faraway Hill was the first soap opera broadcast on an American television network, airing on the DuMont Television Network[1] on Wednesday nights at 9:00 PM[2] between October 2 and December 18, 1946. A Variety article stated the Caples advertising agency bought time on DuMont for "experimentation purposes," and had "walked where other video programmers feared to tread," moving soap operas from radio to the "infant medium television."[3]

The series' plot was based on a novel that David P. Lewis had begun, but never finished.[4]

Karen St. John, a wealthy widowed New York City socialite, decides to spend time with her relatives, the Willow family, who live near the small town of Faraway Hill,[5] in Kansas. St. John is attracted to Charlie White[6] who is engaged to her niece, Louise Willow.[5] The series ends with the death of Karen St. John.[6]

Jim Von Schilling, in his book, The Magic Window: American Television, 1939-1953, wrote, "Soap operas were popular on radio during the 1930s and 1940s; Faraway Hill simply brought the genre to television, where real arms were embraced, real tears shed, and where a card reading 'Continued Next Week' was held before the camera at each episode's climax."[7]

Cast members are listed in The Early Shows: A Reference Guide to Network and Syndicated Prime Time Television Series from 1944 to 1949.[6]

The series ran from October 2 to December 18, 1946. David P. Lewis, the writer and director, had a budget of around $300 an episode.[8] The first episode originated from the basement of the Greenwich Village Wanamaker's department store.[4]

The half-hour show was broadcast live, although filmed excerpts were interspersed, such as a train sequence in the first episode.[3] Slides of scenes from previous shows were included in later episodes to bring viewers up to date with regard to plot elements which had previously transpired. A narrator gave Karen's thoughts as bridges between scenes.[8][4]

In 1992, Lewis's obituary in the Los Angeles Times explained the program's short lifespan: "Lewis declared at the time that it was only an experiment. It never made a cent and had no commercials. ... He wanted, he said years later, not a successful series but to 'test the mind of the viewer.'"[4]

A review in the October 23, 1946 issue of Variety stated that the acting was "done with competence considering the show’s lack of action and more than occasional dull lines." Cues were too slow, and title cards were held too long, causing poor pacing of events. The reviewer's opinion was that "production will have to be jerked up by the bootstraps or Caples’ video director David Lewis’ baby is not long for this world."[3]

In Sharon Travers' novel Stranger in Our Midst (part of The Oak Grove Chronicles series), character Melba reflects on watching Faraway Hill:

On February 28, 2006, Faraway Hill was featured in a clue on the television game show Jeopardy!. The $200 clue in the category "'S'-ential Knowledge" was "Broadcast on the Dumont Network in 1946, Faraway Hill is considered the first TV show in this daytime genre", with the answer being "a soap opera".[10]

No footage from the series has survived (the show was done live; methods to record television, such as kinescopes, did not exist until 1947 and videotapes did not become prevalent until 1958). The original scripts are owned by the estate of the Lewis family.

Quelle: Wikipedia(englisch)
weitere Titel:
Faraway Hill pl sh ast ga
Herstellungsland:Vereinigte Staaten
Darsteller:Mel Brandt
Eve McVeagh
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Datenstand: 08.02.2023 14:13:31Uhr