The Edge of Night

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Long-running Soap Opera, running on CBS from 1956-1975, and on ABC from 1975 to 1984. Produced by Proctor & Gamble Productions, it was the second half-hour long soap opera (premiering the same day as As the World Turns). Often referred to as Edge or EON for brevity.

Unique in that, unlike most other soaps that focused on domestic drama, Edge focused on crime and mystery elements; according to The Other Wiki, Edge was Proctor & Gamble's attempt to salvage a planned daytime adaptation of Perry Mason. Its focus on crime/mystery and its late timeslot (originally scheduled at 4:30pm - hence the title) allowed it to amass a large male audience.

Tropes used in The Edge of Night include:
  • Artifact Title: The title referred to the show's original, late afternoon timeslot, which moved forward through the years - to the point that it aired at 2:30pm at the end of its run on CBS. Averted once the show moved to ABC, where it aired in the 4:00pm timeslot.
  • Captain Ersatz: Mike Karr was one for Perry Mason.
  • Channel Hop: The first (of only three) soaps to change networks; Edge moved to ABC in 1975 after being axed by CBS.
  • Clear My Name: Happened often, as nearly every character who went to trial was innocent of the crime.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Edge did this twice:
    • In 1968, Edge devoted an entire episode to Adam Drake; the episode involved Drake (played by Donald May) delivering a closing argument during the murder tiral of Julie Jamison.
    • In 1976, one episode featured only Mike and Nancy Karr (Forrest Compton and Ann Flood).
  • Dramatic Half Hour: The second half hour soap on U.S. TV, premiering the same day as the first (As the World Turns).
  • Happily Married: Mike and Nancy Karr for over 20 years.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Like most Soap Operas, Edge has rarely been re-run regularly since its cancellation. Averated, however, in that the show was re-run on USA Network for several years in the 1980s, and re-runs were aired online by P&G for several years in the 2000s.
  • Live Episode: By necessity in the early years, Edge was produced live until 1975...about a decade after the other soaps had moved to videotape.
  • Long Runner
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Edge was the number 2 rated daytime serial in the late 1960s and early 1970s...until CBS moved the show to an earlier timeslot in 1972 (averted, perhaps, in that P&G demanded the timeslot switch). Ratings tanked in the new timeslot, so that when CBS needed a half-hour on its schedule to expand As the World Turns in 1975, Edge left the CBS schedule.
    • Averted, in that ABC, despite the show's low ratings, was willing to continue production of the show beyond 1984; P&G pulled the plug on the show because, with the show's low clearance rate, it was losing money for P&G.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Notably, inverted on Nicole Travis. She originated on the show in 1968, played by Maeve McGuire. When the character was recast in 1977 and 1981, the new actresses were 18 and 15 years younger than McGuire, respectively.
  • The Other Darrin: Just like any other Soap Opera, characters were recast regularly. Most notably, the main character Mike Karr was played by three actors during the show's run.