1 9 7 5 – 1 9 8 9 (USA)
3,515 x 30 minute episodes
Ryan’s Hope was a daytime soap opera from ABC focusing on the Irish-American Ryan family: matriarch Maeve Ryan (Helen Gallagher), husband Johnny Ryan (Bernard Barrow) and their five children. Johnny owned a bar called Ryan’s Bar on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where most of the action of the series took place.
Taped in New York City, the series used Manhattan for its locale, and use it they did. Audiences were treated to walks in Central Park, visits to the New York flower market, and Manhattan street scenes, which are unlike any in the world.
The main plots involved the intricate interaction between the Ryans and the Coleridge family, headed by widower Dr Ed Coleridge, whose children were Jill, Roger (also a doctor), and Faith.
Created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, the series debuted on 7 July 1975 and, over its 13-year run, the show won 17 Daytime Emmys and 11 Writers Guild awards.
Despite its critical success, the show began to flop in the ratings in the second half of the 1980s. In 1984, ABC moved Ryan’s Hope from 12.30 pm to noon daily, switching it with another soap, Loving.
Unfortunately, some network affiliates liked to run their local news at noon, and when the number of affiliates carrying Ryan’s Hope dipped below 75%, ABC cancelled the show.
After Maeve Ryan sang one last rendition of Danny Boy, the long-running soap faded to black on Friday 13 January 1989 for the final time, leaving fans to wonder, who was Grace’s father?
The series ended with a wedding (always a crowd-pleasing event on daytime dramas) and an excuse for a cast reunion.
Bernard Barrow died of lung cancer in 1993. He was 65.
Jillian Coleridge Ryan
Dr Patrick Ryan
Dakota Smith Ryan
Dr Ed Coleridge
Dr Faith Coleridge
Faith Catlin (1)
Catherine Hicks (2)
Karen Morris Gowdy (3)
Siobhan Ryan Novak
Ryan Fenelli Hyde
Ken Grahanti (Grantham)
Dr Bucky Carter
Dr Seneca Beaulac
Dr Roger Coleridge
Delia Reid Ryan Coleridge Crane III