Ryan's Hope: Wikis


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Ryan's Hope
Ryans hope.jpg
Format Soap opera
Created by Claire Labine
Paul Avila Mayer
Starring Helen Gallagher
Bernard Barrow
Kate Mulgrew
Ron Hale
Nancy Addison Altman
John Gabriel
Louise Shaffer
Hannibal Penney, Jr., et al.
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 3515
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel ABC
Original run July 7, 1975 – January 13, 1989

Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera, revolving around the trials and tribulations of a large Irish American family in New York City. It aired from July 7, 1975 to January 13, 1989 on ABC. A total of 3515 30-minute episodes were broadcast.



In late 1974, ABC Daytime approached Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, the head writers of CBS' Love of Life, about creating a new soap opera similar to General Hospital. Labine and Mayer added a large Irish-American family — the Ryans — to what ABC was initially calling City Hospital. Another of the show's working titles was "A Rage to Love," however that was soon changed.

Ryan patriarch Johnny (Bernard Barrow) owned a bar, Ryan's, across from Riverside Hospital in New York City. His wife, Maeve (Helen Gallagher), assisted him in his duties, as did their children. The Ryans and the wealthy Coleridges were the original core families of the show.

Labine and Mayer also served as the executive producers of the show at this point, with George Lefferts as the producer. Lefferts would soon be replaced by Robert Costello, who remained with the show until 1978.

The original cast consisted of Nancy Addison Altman, Bernard Barrow, Faith Catlin, Justin Deas, Michael Fairman, John Gabriel, Helen Gallagher, Malcolm Groome, Rosalinda Guerra, Ron Hale, Michael Hawkins, Earl Hindman, Ilene Kristen, Frank Latimore, Kate Mulgrew, Hannibal Penney, Jr., and Diana van der Vlis.

Multiple recasts

By the end of the seventies, many characters had been recast. This practice continued into the eighties and somewhat hindered the show at times when the recast did not work out. After Michael Hawkins left the role of Frank Ryan in 1976, subsequent replacements included Andrew Robinson (1976-1978), Daniel Hugh-Kelly (1978-1981), Geoffrey Pierson (1983-1985), and John Sanderford (1985-1989). Mary Ryan Fenelli was played by Mary Carney (1978), Kathleen Tyan Tolan (1978-1979), and Nicolette Goulet (1979) after Kate Mulgrew departed in 1978.

Between 1977 and 1979, the show underwent several changes. At the beginning of 1977, its timeslot changed from 1:00PM to 12:30PM, serving as the anchor of the ABC daytime line-up. In late 1977, Kate Mulgrew announced she would be leaving in early 1978 after completing location footage shot in Ireland which depicted Mary's second honeymoon with Jack. Between January 1978 and December 1979, three different actresses played Mary. Although Labine and Mayer wanted to kill her character, ABC refused. However, after ABC realized no one other than Mulgrew herself would be accepted in the role, they agreed to let Mary be killed off. Mary died on the day of her sister Siobhan's wedding to Joe Novak (Richard Muenz). Mulgrew made brief appearances as Mary's spirit in 1983, 1986 and 1989. Malcolm Groome chose to leave the role of Pat Ryan in 1978 and was replaced with John Blazo (1978-1979), Robert Finoccoli (1979) and Patrick James Clarke (1982-1983); Groome returned to the role in 1983 and remained with the show until 1988. Sarah Felder left the role of Siobhan in 1980 and was replaced with Ann Gillespie (1981-1982), Marg Helgenberger (1982-1986), Carrell Myers (1986-1987), and Barbara Blackburn (1988-1989). The late seventies also saw the expansion of the Ryan grandchildren. Delia and Frank's son "Little" John Ryan, who was a newborn as the series began, was played from the start by Jadrien Steele (baby Jadrien appeared in the opening title sequence, lifted up by Gallagher and Barrow, for the first five years of RH). When Mary & Jack's daughter Ryan Maeve Fenelli was born, she was portrayed early on by Kerry McNamara (1977-1980) and then by Jenny Rebecca Dweir (1980-1984).

Other characters not related to the Ryans were also recast. After Ilene Kristen left in January 1979, the role of Delia Reid was played by Robyn Millan (1979), Randall Edwards (1979-1982), and Robin Mattson (1984); Kristen returned to the show in the role from 1982-1983 (when she was fired due to weight gain) and 1986-1989. After Faith Catlin was dropped from the show as Faith Coleridge in May 1976, she was replaced with Nancy Barrett (1976), Catherine Hicks (1976-1978), and Karen Morris-Gowdy (1978-1983). Richard Muenz originated the role of Joe Novak in 1979-1980, but was replaced by Roscoe Born (1981-1983, 1988), Michael Hennessy (1983-1984), and Walt Willey (1986-1987, with Joe initially under the guise of "Erik Brenner").

Personnel changes

During 1977-1978, ABC considered expanding the series to an hour; instead they chose to expand General Hospital and One Life to Live. Ryan's Hope was the second most popular series on the ABC daytime line-up, and Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer felt that expanding it would be difficult, so they never participated in it. They claimed that if it did happen, it would be a completely different ordeal.

Several things occurred during the late seventies and early eighties to hasten the demise of the series. In 1979, Labine and Mayer were forced to sell the show to ABC due to skyrocketing production costs. ABC soon pushed for more action-adventure storylines, like the ones on their hit serial General Hospital. One of these included a gorilla who kidnapped Delia Reid Coleridge. Another included a search for a lost Egyptian queen. These were not the type of plots the show had previously been known for.

At the beginning of 1982, ABC fired Labine and Mayer and replaced them with Mary Munisteri. During Munisteri's tenure as head writer, the focus began to move to the newly arrived wealthy Kirkland clan, which was headed by Hollis Kirkland III (Peter Haskell). It soon turned out that he was the father of Rae Woodard's daughter, Kimberly Harris (Kelli Maroney). As more and more Kirklands began to show up (including Christine Jones as Hollis' wife Catsy and Mary Page Keller and Ariane Munker as his daughter Amanda), less attention was paid to the Ryans and Coleridges. Various cast members at this time dubbed the show Kirkland's Hope.

Due to falling ratings, Labine and Mayer were asked back at the beginning of 1983. Ratings rose steadily with their return; however, it was not enough. By the end of 1983, they were replaced with General Hospital scribe Pat Falken Smith (with James E. Reilly joining as a staff writer). Smith, along with executive producer Joseph Hardy, once again shifted the focus from the Ryans. Numerous fan favorites, including Ilene Kristen, Louise Shaffer, and Karen Morris-Gowdy were either fired or left of their own accord during Smith's and Hardy's reign. The focus of the series was now centered on Greenberg's Deli, with Cali Timmins' Maggie Shelby and Scott Holmes' Dave Greenberg becoming two prominent characters.

In 1985, Smith was replaced with Millee Taggert and Tom King. The show began a shift back to its roots during this time. However, the show, which had been airing at 12:30 p.m./11:30 a.m. since 1977, had just been moved to the Noon/11c time slot, which took place on Monday, October 8, 1984. Ratings sank to previously unheard-of levels, which led to the 1989 cancellation. As this was happening, many of the cast members felt as though this was a very political move by ABC; since the daytime drama series Loving took over the former 12:30/11:30c Ryan's Hope slot, it was a move where creator Agnes Nixon used her clout with the network to get Loving a prime slot so that her new soap would have a chance.

The final years

During the eighties, there were numerous cast changes. Some of the more notable ones included the additions of Grant Show, Daniel Pilon, Gerit Quealy, Leslie Easterbrook, Tichina Arnold, Gloria DeHaven, Jimmy Wlcek, Maria Pitillo, Rosemary Prinz, Catherine Larson and Christopher Durham. Durham arrived in October 1985 as Dakota Smith, who was brought to the Ryan family's attention following Johnny's admission of a tryst he'd had with a woman who stepped in as his caretaker while he was ill, and away from Maeve, in the 1950s. The long-ago weekend of intimacy produced Dakota, who arrived in New York to find out that Johnny was his father. Dakota soon became a rebel on the local scene, engaging in dirty dealings and becoming at odds with Frank, especially after he entered into a romance with Jill, Frank's beloved.



In late 1984, Joseph Hardy and Felicia Minei Behr decided that the character of Ryan Fenelli would advance to being approximately 17 years old for new storyline prospects, from the 9 year old she was currently, as played by Jenny Rebecca Dweir. Newcomer Yasmine Bleeth was hired to become the teenage Ryan in early 1985, who started only a month or so after Dweir's last appearance in the role.

Initially, Bleeth's Ryan Fenelli shared many youth-oriented and high-school themed plots with Grant Show's Rick Hyde and bad boy D.J. LaSalle, as played by up-and-coming actor Christian Slater. Rick joined the local police force after high school graduation, and eventually fell in love with Ryan, providing the show with its next adventurous supercouple. Jack Fenelli was unsupportive of his daughter dating Rick, who tended to live dangerously; in protest, Rick and Ryan ultimately rushed down to South Carolina in April 1986, where they eloped. Ryan was approached and assisted at the town hall ceremony by a woman, Maura (Kate Mulgrew), who bore more than a passing resemblance to Ryan's late mother, Mary Ryan Fenelli (it was suggested that this was Mary returning yet again in ghostly form). The two were followed and then found by Jack and Frank after the wedding and brought back home, and while Rick & Ryan moved in together, things became more rocky between Ryan and her family.

Later in 1985, Jadrien Steele departed from the role of 10-year-old Johnno Ryan. Instead of replacing him with another child actor, Hardy and Behr decided to advance Johnno's age to 19 for storyline purposes as well. After being called back home to New York by his relatives, following the accidental, near-fatal shooting of his father Frank by Rick Hyde, the suddenly grown-up John Reid Ryan surfaced in August 1986, and was portrayed for the rest of the run by Jason Adams. Johnno returned from attending college in the Pacific Northwest, complete with a baby son, Owen "Owney" Ryan. At first, despite prodding from Johnno's "second mother" Jill Coleridge and everyone else, details of Owney's mother and the circumstances surrounding his birth were seldom shared by Johnno, until the mother to which he was not married, Lizzie Ransome (Catherine Larson) arrived a while later. News of this latest unexpected arrival to the Ryan clan soon brought Ilene Kristen back to the show as Delia, to meet her grandson and to cause more upheaval. Her return on September 8, 1986, which proved to be permanent, opened with the revelation that she had been having financial difficulty - the number one indication that for once, she had not run off to marry another wealthy bachelor to advance her fortune. Delia's last husband, Matthew Crane (played by Harve Presnell in 1984 during Robin Mattson's brief stint as Delia), had died unexpectedly in the intervening period and left her destitute. She tried to conceal this fact from everyone, but Maggie Shelby successfully exposed her at a Coleridge family dinner. Delia moved in with Johnny, Maeve, and grandson Owney.

Lizzie came to protect John and Owney from her ruthless father, Harlan Ransome (Drew Snyder), who wanted to take the baby and sell it for his own purposes, since he disapproved of such a young couple raising a child. After much hostility towards John and Lizzie, and an attempt to rape Delia, Harlan was bludgeoned to death.

Final Personnel Changes

By early 1987, with ratings sinking ever further, and many ABC affiliates dropping the show altogether, ABC asked Claire Labine to return as head writer, with her daughter, Eleanor Labine, as co-head writer. The Labines revitalized the show. A year after Labine's return, executive producer Joseph Hardy was replaced with Felicia Minei Behr.

Lizzie and John found there there was true love in their relationship, and the young parents were now able to focus on parenthood without living in total sin. In March 1987, they were engaged. That same month, after successfully taking down Overlord, a local organized crime syndicate that had been terrorizing the Riverside area for almost a year, Siobhan and Joe announced they were leaving New York to seek their fortunes; along with their 3-year-old son Sean (Danny Tamberelli), they bade farewell to everyone at the Ryan's annual St. Patrick's Day celebration (aired March 17, 1987). The Novaks would return one last time, in October 1988. Jack, who had been wounded at the scene of the Overlord takedown, met a homeless teenage girl, Zena Brown (Tichina Arnold), while recovering at Riverside. Zena and Jack had a lot in common due to their history on the streets, and upon his release, Jack fought the authorities in order to get Zena placed in a good foster home. Zena spent two months in a foster home with an upwardly mobile black family, but after numerous attempts to get herself kicked out, Jack convinced the Ryans to take her in, which succeeded after Zena became very friendly with Maeve.

On the night of Maggie giving birth to daughter Olivia (Kelly Nevins and Melissa Nevins), in May 1987, her brother Ben Shelby (Jim Wlcek) arrived in town, blowing his cover of Ben Shelley when running into mother Bess (Gloria DeHaven) at a dinner party thrown by her. Lizzie, who had started working for Delia at her art gallery, had bought a painting from Ben, who under both his identities was a struggling artist who despised high society - the very explanation as to why he had been estranged from his family for some time. Ben caused friction with his family and their friends, but ultimately tried to prove himself a local hero when he was the first to witness John Reid Ryan's temporary infidelity to Lizzie. During the investigation of a recent murder at local Wellman College, which John Reid and Ryan were now attending, John fell into bed with Dr. Concetta D'Angelo (Lois Robbins), who had been helping him cover the case for Wellman's newspaper. John Reid and Concetta ended their tryst well before John Reid and Lizzie's wedding date approached, but Delia found out, and had a hard time forgiving her son.

During their wedding day that August, Lizzie was set to marry John, but was whisked away from the church by Ben, who ultimately told her, in private, the truth about John's cheating on her. John and Lizzie tried to reconcile, but Lizzie had a hard time forgiving John, and then admitted that she was falling for Ben. In the aftermath, the couple went back to their respective new love interests. Rick and Ryan's marriage, which had seen its ups and downs for the year and a half they had been united, took a turn for the worse when Ryan walked into a trap at Wellman College, where she was attacked by thugs from a local chemical company. After she miscarried as a result of her injuries, Rick blamed Ryan for the death of their child, packed his bags, and left New York. Wellman reporter Chaz Saybrook (Brian McGovern), and Concetta's brother Mark D'Angelo (Peter Love) were among the many eligible bachelors who vied for Ryan's affection. In September, Dakota started a run for Riverside district leader, with Delia as his campaign manager. To help with finances, Delia contacted influential politician Malachy Malone (played by none other than Regis Philbin), who agreed to back Dakota. Dee and Malachy's professional, and at times personal liaison lasted throughout the entire campaign. Dakota won in November, but once in office, engaged in several bribes that could have threatened his leadership. One of these bribes, in which he helped retireve EKG scans of mobster Augie Price, who had just died after being targeted as an accomplice in the Meredith Drake Company scandal, actually enhanced his career. Jack and Pat took the scans to court, which prevented the case from going to trial.

Since the spring of 1987, Jack had found himself in a blossoming affair with Commissioner Emily Hall (Cynthia Dozier), who had been Zena's official social worker. As their relationship evolved, Emily was pursued by politician Richard Rowan, who was married. Emily fought to keep Richard away in order to not jeopardize her devotion to Jack, but ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time when she walked into Richard's apartment just as he was lying dead on the floor. She was then cited a suspect in his murder. Emily hired a very pregnant Jill to represent her. Jill also had her hands full that month, focusing on her new baby with Frank, and counsuling a determined Ryan to accept the fact that Rick was through with marriage so a divorce could proceed. In early December, she gave birth to a girl, whom bore the name of Mary Ryan, in an essence making the family dynamic complete again in the late Mary's honor.

However, the end was already in sight; ABC announced its cancellation of the series in October 1988. As Bernard Barrow told Good Morning America on January 10, 1989, the show's Nielsen numbers were still openly revealed to cast and crew until RH fell to dead last in the daytime ratings during the 1987-88 TV season. Thereafter, "a lid was tightened" according to Barrow, and the show's now-12th (13th the following year) place ranking was harder to obtain from the insiders. The final episode (#3515) on Friday, January 13, 1989, concluded with Helen Gallagher's Maeve singing "Danny Boy", as she had for many previous Ryan celebrations. For the final episodes, numerous cast members who had been on the show in previous years returned.

Broadcast history

See: List of US daytime soap opera ratings

When RH premiered on July 7, 1975, ABC scheduled it at 1:00 p.m./12 Noon Central, a timeslot previously occupied by All My Children (pushing that soap to the 12:30 p.m./11:30 a.m. slot); it replaced the game show Split Second. After the show's audience grew, it swapped places with All My Children on January 3, 1977.

At first, the show experienced low ratings and was ranked dead last among all the soaps during its first season; this was quite customary during that era and did not affect ABC's attitude toward the show, since no other daytime serials were debuting at the same time. By 1976-77, ABC's patience paid off with the show's ratings finally rising, and it was now in the middle of the daytime ratings pack, in 8th place, above even fellow ABC serial General Hospital. It would continue to enjoy steady ratings until 1982, although it never quite managed to surmount CBS' long-established Search for Tomorrow, despite the beginnings of that show's eventual decline and demise; RH would only do slightly better when SFT moved to NBC in March 1982.

Despite the tenacious cult following the soap enjoyed throughout its 13 1/2-year run, RH never became a big ratings hit, peaking at 7th place during the 1981-82 season. The main culprit for the problem was CBS' The Young and the Restless, which expanded to a full hour in February 1980. From 1982 onward, the show suffered a ratings decline, falling from 7th and 6.9 in 1981-82 to 9th and 5.6 in 1982-83 and 10th place and 5.0 in 1983-84.

A move to Noon/11 on October 8, 1984 only enabled Y&R to bear down harder, while NBC's Super Password held down the fort for game show fans. With the change in timeslot (Loving took over the slot previously occupied by RH), ratings would fall even further as many ABC affiliates pre-empted network programming at Noon in order to broadcast local news, and Ryan's Hope spent its last five years at, or near, the bottom of the ratings chart. Y&R's success in that time slot brought about RH's end on January 13, 1989, a very long run when its mediocre ratings are taken into account.

Season HH Rating Ranking 1975-1976 5.7 14th out of 14 soaps 1976-1977 7.3 8th out of 15 soaps 1977-1978 7.0 8th out of 14 soaps 1978-1979 7.2 9th out of 14 soaps 1979-1980 7.0 9th out of 13 soaps 1980-1981 6.7 7th out of 13 soaps 1981-1982 6.9 7th out of 15 soaps 1982-1983 5.6 9th out of 14 soaps 1983-1984 5.0 10th out of 13 soaps 1984-1985 3.4 11th out of 14 soaps 1985-1986 3.2 12th out of 14 soaps 1986-1987 2.7 13th out of 14 soaps 1987-1988 2.5 12th out of 12 soaps 1988-1989 2.3 13th out of 13 soaps

Title sequence

In its thirteen-and-a-half years on the air, Ryan's Hope went through quite a few theme, visual, and credit revisions. However, the aspects that never changed were the opening sequence's concept of showing scenes of New York City life, along with the Ryan family and other contract cast members frolicking around town; and the theme song itself, "Here's to Us," written by RH co-creator Claire Labine and Carey Gold.
July 7, 1975 - February 29, 1980
The First Years

During the first few years of Ryan's Hope, the opening featured a montage of stills and 16 millimeter film footage of the principal actors in character, all shot in character-appropriate New York locations. The last shot of the original opening was of Johnny and Maeve Ryan lifting their then-newborn grandson John Reid "Johnno" Ryan up to the heavens as the strains of "Here's to Us" played in a rather subdued flute, harp and strings arrangement.

There were actually three different opening variations used during the first years of Ryan’s Hope. During its first couple of months on the air, and again from the summer of 1976 until approximately the summer of 1977, the opening was a sixteen-millimeter film sequence of Johnny and Maeve with Little John. This same opening sequence was redone as a series of stills by the fall of 1977. The fall 1975 through summer 1976 opening featured still photos of all the principal characters.

Closing credits for the majority of Ryan's Hope episodes usually ran over either a beauty shot or a still of Ryan's Bar. From July 1975 through the early fall of 1978, Ryan's Hope’s closing-credit lettering was in white Grotesque No. 9 Italic. From the fall of 1978 onward, the lettering was set in Souvenir Bold Italic. Also beginning at that time, the credits would sometimes run over a shot of an empty set featured in a particular episode. Between 1975 and 1980, RH was the only soap opera aired on ABC that contained a copyright notice at the end of every broadcast, which for most daytime soaps was not standard practice at the time. (Former ABC serial Dark Shadows was the only other daytime soap to have used a copyright date, ever.) This was due to the show's non-network ownership during the first five years, until Labine-Mayer Productions sold their creation to ABC in 1980.

March 3, 1980 - March 1983
Post-Success Years

As soon as visionaries Labine and Mayer sold Ryan's Hope to ABC outright, the network decided to make some image alterations of their own, as a plan to keep building on the success the show received in its first five years. Amid noticeable effects in the scripts, casting, and other production values, the opening sequence was changed during this time also so that instead of shots of the principal cast members of Ryan's Hope, there were panoramic views of New York and shots of anonymous New York City people. This opening's shot sequence was as follows:

1. Aerial shot of the Chrysler Building
2. Statue of Liberty
3. A ferry in New York Harbor
4. The Brooklyn Bridge
5. A kindergarten teacher walking her young charges down the street
6. Two children on a swing set
7. A young couple sharing an apple
8. A zoom-in on sunlight reflected on a glass and steel skyscraper
9. A wealthy young woman stepping out of a limousine
10. Another young couple embracing
11. Boys playing soccer in Central Park.

The title appears on the screen after the freeze-frame of the boys tossing the soccer ball up in the air.

There was a new, more uptempo arrangement of Carey Gold's "Here's to Us" theme with this new opening, which was composed by either Sid Ramin, who had taken over the music of All My Children by early 1980, or one of the staff composer/arrangers at Elliot Lawrence Productions. The full-length cut of "Here's to Us" was now extended to feature a melody piece based on the original notes; in a higher pitch than the established parts of the theme, it then culminated with a few seconds of drum beats, minus music, before returning to the familiar chrous. Within a year after ABC took over complete control of Ryan's Hope, Carey Gold was replaced as principal music composer by General Hospital's Charles Paul, whose cues for the show from 1981 through the summer of 1983 often had a GH style and sound.

From the first episode of RH that was produced under ABC's ownership in 1980, copyright notice at the end was changed to represent that of the network's, using at first medium-sized Arial font on a single line. For a year or so, the copyright appeared directly under the "Videotaped at ABC Television Center in New York" byline as the credit scroll paused (previously, "A Labine-Mayer Production" had appeared in the Grotesque then Souvenir credit fonts above the copyright). Since the start of the series, there had never been closing display of the show's title at the end of the sequence. By the end of 1981, the title finally began appearing at the end of the sequence, and the Arial copyright notice below it became smaller.

March 1983 - March 16, 1984
The New Direction of 1983 aka Recovery From "Kirkland's Hope"

The opening changed in March 1983 to once again feature shots of the main cast members playing the Ryans and their friends. Of course, the opening main title footage was shot in locations around Manhattan. This was the first RH visuals package in which character shots were added or removed when contract cast members came and went. The final shot in this version had Johnny, Maeve, and several of the younger Ryan children sitting in Central Park surrounded by autumn leaves, as Johnny throws a soccer ball up in the air. The frame freezes just as the ball travels out of everyone's reach, with the title appearing on the top left-hand corner. The second remix of "Here's to Us" remained for the first five months of this opening's run; however on Monday, August 22, 1983, the theme was switched to an arrangement that had more of a discernible rhythm, and was the most uptempo to date. It was this rendition that remained over the opening and closing until the end of RH's run in January 1989.

Within weeks of the debut of these visuals, Joseph Hardy replaced Ellen Barrett as the new executive producer, and was the first Ryan's Hope EP to be credited as such, in place of the "produced by" title. On Monday, May 16, 1983, "All Rights Reserved" was added to the program's copyright notice for the first time. Also, sometime during the fall of 1983, but no later than Monday, December 26 of that year, the established beauty-shot/empty set ending visuals were retired, in favor of stills of scenes from that day's episode. The credit fonts would remain the same until Friday, March 16, 1984.

YouTube - Ryan-s Hope Intro - 1984 Dec 18 002 0001.jpg
RH-OP 002 0001.jpg
March 19, 1984 - January 13, 1989
The Final Years

The most substantial changes to the opening and closings of Ryan's Hope, that had occurred by the start of 1984, continued on March 19th of that year. A whole new series of filmed shots containing all contract principals premiered on that day, along with a mix of videotaped footage. There was now a distinct pattern among the character shots, as one character would look in a certain direction, while the next character(s) would be waving to or walking towards the previous person, or engaging in some leisure activity seen by the preceding character. Just as in the previous package, shots of the cast members were added or removed as they came and went, but continuing characters would have their shots updated a few times each. The title logo changed from the Schadow Bold type used since day one to that of Advertisers Gothic Bold, the same lettering used in the opening titles of ABC's 1970s series Starsky and Hutch. The title now also appeared across on a single line.

The freeze-frame shots in the final five years of the show featured Maeve Ryan only. From March 19, 1984 until April 3, 1987, the title was displayed over Maeve kneeling down in the street as pigeons fly away from her; from April 6, 1987 to January 13, 1989, Maeve was smelling spring blossoms off a tree branch, and then gazed to the side of camera view. With the extensive spring 1987 update, the opening montage was entirely videotaped footage, a single exception being the opening shot of Johnny riding a bike through the park, with Maeve in the rear of the seat, as the only film shot (from 1984) remaining. The title display went unembossed (from black shadowing) for a while beginning on April 6, 1987, mirroring the closing credit format, which had been unembossed for a year prior. In the spring of 1988, the title's black embossment was reinstated, as a result of Felicia Minei Behr becoming what would be Ryan's Hope's final executive producer. (Behr, unlike Hardy, continued to be credited as only "Producer" even after she became EP.)

The major graphic changes of this period even extended to the closing credits. As soon as the final theme package premiered, the Souvenir Bold Italic credit font used since 1978 changed to Advertisers Gothic Bold to match RH's new logo. These now ran over the episode stills that were introduced in the last months of the previous theme package. What was most noticeable about this latest credit format was that for the first time, the entire setup was electronically generated, whereas before then credits were still run on a scrolling machine frame. Also, character names in the cast list went from being displayed below actors' names to above them. At the same time, the copyright notice also changed to the new generic version, in a stylized italic font, that was also used on All My Children, One Life to Live, and all ABC News programs, including Good Morning America. These changes would remain until RH’s last telecast. Beginning in March 1986, black embossment normally seen in the closing credit text was removed completely. With the exception of the August 27, 1987 episode, the credits were in transparent white until the embossment was reinstated in the spring of 1988.

Emmy Awards

Ryan's Hope won sixteen Daytime Emmy Awards.

Actors and actresses nominated for their work on Ryan's Hope included film legend Joan Fontaine (in a 1980 guest role), Nancy Addison Altman, Tichina Arnold, Richard Backus, Bernard Barrow, Randall Edwards, John Gabriel, Ron Hale, Andrew Robinson, and Grant Show.

In America and overseas

In 2000, SOAPnet picked up reruns of Ryan's Hope, which was one of the few daytime dramas from before 1978 which saved all of its episodes. They aired the July 1975 through December 1981 episodes from 2000 to 2003. While reruns were originally abundant (airing daily in one-hour installments every six hours starting at noon, with two marathons of the week's episodes on weekends), by 2005 the show was only aired one hour per weekdays, and for a brief time, one hour a week. Currently, reruns are broadcast daily at 5 am EST.

Ryan's Hope has also run on RTÉ 2 in Ireland and has previously aired in Australia. On January 3, 1994, a soap opera, Onderweg naar morgen (which literally means On the way to tomorrow), debuted on Dutch television; the Dutch writers based their show on story bibles originally written by Labine and Mayer.


Years Head writer(s)
1975 – 1982 Claire Labine & Paul Avila Mayer
1982 Claire Labine
1982 – January 1983 Mary Ryan Munisteri
January 1983 – December 1983 Claire Labine & Paul Avila Mayer
December 1983 – 1985 Pat Falken Smith
1985 – February 1987 Tom King & Millee Taggart
February 1987 – March 1988 Claire Labine & Eleanor Labine
March 1988 – September 1988 Claire Labine & Matthew Labine
September 1988 – January 13, 1989 Claire Labine, Matthew Labine & Eleanor Labine
Years Executive Producers
1975 – 1982 Claire Labine & Paul Avila Mayer
1982 – April 1, 1983 Ellen Barrett
April 4, 1983 – April 1988 Joseph Hardy
April 1988 – January 13, 1989 Felicia Minei Behr
Years Producers
1975 George Lefferts
1975 – 1978 Robert Costello
1978 – 1982 Ellen Barrett
1982 – April 1, 1983 None
April 4, 1983 – April 1988 Felicia Minei Behr
April 1988 – January 13, 1989 Nancy Horwich
Years Associate Producers
July 7, 1975 – September 1978 Ellen Barrett
September 1978 – 1982, April 4, 1983 – April 1988 Nancy Horwich
1982 – April 1, 1983 Nancy Horwich & Felicia Minei Behr
April 1988 – January 13, 1989 Jean Dadario Burke

Before They Were Stars

Many primetime stars got their start on Ryan's Hope, including Tichina Arnold, Catherine Hicks, Yasmine Bleeth, Grant Show, Nell Carter, Corbin Bernsen, Marg Helgenberger, Christian Slater, Dominic Chianese and Kate Mulgrew.

Deceased cast members

Actor Character Year of Death Years On Ryan's Hope
Wesley Addy Bill Woodard 1996 1977-1978
Nancy Addison Altman Jillian Coleridge 2002 1975-1989
David Bailey Teddy Malcolm 2004 1988-1989
Bernard Barrow Johnny Ryan 1993 1975-1989
Nell Carter Ethel Green 2003 1978-1979
Nicolette Goulet Mary Ryan Fenelli #4 2008 1979
Earl Hindman Bob Reid 2003 1975-1989
Frank Latimore Ed Coleridge 1998 1975-1976
Irving Allen Lee Evan Cooper 1992 1986-1989
Kenneth McMillan Charlie Ferris 1989 1975-1976
Anne Revere Marguerite Beaulac #2 1990 1977
Sylvia Sidney Sister Mary Joel 1999 1975-1976
Gale Sondergaard Marguerite Beaulac #1 1985 1976
Diana van der Vlis Nell Beaulac
Sherry Rowan
2001 1975-1976

External links


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