In 1994, CBS aired a two-hour special, 50 Years Of Soaps, a clip show that featured the best soap opera moments over the last five decades of daytime drama.
Among the segments were a look at legendary soap creators Irna Phillips, William J. Bell, and Agnes Nixon.
Phillips was the grandmother of all serials, creating radio dramas including The Guiding Light, and also television’s first half-hour drama, As the World Turns. She also co-created Days of Our Lives.
Bell was one of Phillips’ students and together they wrote ATWT and they also co-created Another World. Later, Bell left Phillips’ employee and became DAYS’ head writer. Next, he created The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.
Nixon, another of Phillips’ pupils, wrote GL, and later went on to take the helm at AW. Next, she created One Life to Live and All My Children. Nixon also co-created the half-hour soap Loving with Douglas Marland.
Clips of past interviews featuring Phillips, Bell, and Nixon were shown in the special. The soap creators gave insights into the human condition and why they write serials.