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Search for Tomorrow

Search for Tomorrow

Producer Roy Winsor developed Search for Tomorrow in 1951 and proved that the soap opera could succeed on television. The CBS serial reflected the concerns of postwar America by focussing on a widowed heroine, Joanne Tate (played for all thirty-five years by Mary Stuart), who struggled with issues of marriage and children. Jo was the problem solver for the town of Henderson, counseling friends and neighbors, especially the comic Bergmans (Larry Haines and Melba Rae). Later story lines centered on Jo's children and the exotic adventures of a new family, the Sentells. Search moved to NBC in 1982 and, a year later, presented the first live show on daytime in seventeen years (the tape was reportedly stolen). In the mid 1980s the entire community of Henderson was flooded and surviving citizens were forced to live in the same building. The final episode of Search for Tomorrow was broadcast on December 26, 1986, and in the last scene Jo was asked for what she was searching. She responded, "Tomorrow, and I can't wait."

—Ron Simon

Further Reading:

The Museum of Television & Radio. Worlds without End: The Art and History of the Soap Opera. New York, Abrams, 1997.

Scherming, Christopher. The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. New York, Ballantine Books, 1985.

Stahl, B. "Mary Stuart's Soap Opera Problems." TV Guide. November 19, 1960, 17-19.

Stuart, Mary. Both of Me. New York, Doubleday, 1980.

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