The Secret Storm

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CBS (ended 1974)

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This long-running soap opera was originally titled THE STORM WITHIN. The title wasn't appealing to one of the show's sponsors, Bisodol (an antacid), who was worried it would inspire images of an upset stomach. To appease Bisodel, the serial was retitled THE SECRET STORM, and premiered on February 1, 1954.

Set in the small town of Woodbridge, New York, the show centered on the newly rich, neurotic Ames family. Patriarch Peter Ames was left to raise his three kids when his wife, Ellen, was killed in an automobile accident. Audiences would soon learn that sudden deaths, exotic diseases, mental illness, and extramarital affairs would figure heavily in storylines.

The Ames family figured prominently during the serial's first 15 years. Peter was a widower with two teenage children, Jerry and Susan, and a 9-year-old daughter, Amy. Ellen's unexpected death had an especially painful effect on Peter and young Jerry. For a while, the family feared Peter was losing his mind. Later, he turned to booze for comfort.

THE SECRET STORM premiered as a 15-minute serial, then expanded to 30-minutes in 1962. The soap remained one of daytime's most popular serials until 1969, when it was purchased by CBS. The network executives were inexperienced at producing soap operas and began tinkering with the serial's format. Cast members were suddenly dropped without warning and new characters were constantly introduced, only to be written out a few months later. When the soap was switched to a less-than-desirable late-afternoon timeslot, it seemed like the beginning of the end. By 1974, the soap had gone through several writers, and was daytime TV's lowest-rated soap. After a 20 year run, CBS canceled the serial in 1974, and replaced it with a game show. The soap's final episode aired on February 8, 1974.

ORIGINAL CAST MARJORIE GATESON...............Grace Tyrell RUSSELL HICKS...................J.T. Tyrell PETER HOBBS......................Peter Ames ROBERT MORSE.....................Jerry Ames JEAN MOWRY.......................Susan Ames JADA ROWLAND.......................Amy Ames HAILA STODDARD................Paulne Harris

BROADCAST HISTORY 2/1/54 - 6/15/62: 4:15p weekdays (15 minutes) 6/18/62 - 9/6/68: 4:00p weekdays (30 minutes) 9/9/68 - 9/1/72: 3:00p weekdays (30 minutes) 9/4/72 - 3/23/73: 3:30p weekdays (30 minutes) 3/26/73 - 2/8/74: 4:00p weekdays (30 minutes)

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Bernard Barrow

Bernard Barrow

Dan Kincaid (1970-1974)

David Ackroyd

David Ackroyd

Kevin Kincaid #2 (1971-1974)

Gillian Spencer

Gillian Spencer

Leona Davies (1960-61)

John Baragrey

John Baragrey

Arthur Rysdale #2 (1962-1964)

Lori March

Lori March

Valerie Hill Ames Northcoate

Wayne Tippet

Wayne Tippet

Jerry Ames

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