1 9 5 1 – 1 9 8 6 (USA)
1004 x 30 minute episodes
This long-running daytime soap opera first aired on CBS on 3 September 1951. The series screened in black and white from 1951 until 1967, and then in colour until 1986.
The series centred on housewife-turned-civic leader Joanne Tourneur (Mary Stuart), or as she was known to millions of soap fans, “Jo”.
Episodes were only 15 minutes in length until 1968, when they were expanded to 30 minutes.
The series was a top-rated show for its first 25 years, but its ratings eventually declined and CBS cancelled it in 1982. NBC picked it up and it ran for another four years, but the ratings continued to fall.
After 35 years on the small screen, the final episode of Search For Tomorrow aired on Boxing Day 1986, making it the longest-running daytime drama on television. Mary Stuart was the only cast member to last from the very first episode to the very last.
Although “Jo” had been pushed into the background in latter years, the show received its highest ratings when she was kidnapped and held by psycho Billy Vargas. Afterwards, Jo again faded into the background until the show’s cancellation.
Among the stars who got their start on Search For Tomorrow before going on to film or television stardom were Susan Sarandon, Morgan Fairchild, Robbie Benson, Don Knotts, Jill Clayburgh, Kevin Kline, Kevin Bacon, Wayne Rogers and Hal Linden.
Joanne Gardner Barron Tate Vincente Tourneur