Home Television Drama How to Survive a Marriage

How to Survive a Marriage

1 9 7 4 – 1 9 7 5 (USA)

Feminism fueled this series about a woman enduring the end of her marriage with the aid of a liberated female therapist.

Originally, the show aired at 3:30 pm, sandwiched between Another World and Somerset. It was slightly risque (for the time, at least) and attracted quite a sizable college-aged and teenaged following as a result.

The series premiered on 7 January 1974 (replacing the ill-fated Return To Peyton Place) with a special 90-minute episode which featured two couples in bed together after lovemaking.

Although not shown, it was implied that they were naked under the covers and that was a first for US daytime television.

The original major storyline involved Chris Kirby (Jennifer Harmon), a 30-year-old woman who faced the need to go out into a world that was foreign to her (because her marriage to Larry had been protecting her from it), get a job, raise a child by herself, find a new place to live, learn to date again, and learn what it meant to be suddenly single.

Other couples experiencing their own issues included Peter (Steve Elmore) and Joan (Tricia O’Neil) Willis, Fran (Fran Brill) and David (Allan Miller) Bachman, and Monica (Joan Copeland) and Terry (Peter Brandon) Courtland.

Former prizefighter Armand Assante and Lauren White made their daytime TV debut as Johnny and Maria McGhee, and Lynn Lowry was wonderful as home-wrecker Sandra Henderson.

Unfortunately, How To Survive a Marriage was burdened with a concept of non-story. The formula never varied: introduce a character, introduce her problem, have everyone else in the story talk about that problem – usually something socially relevant like women’s liberation, male impotence, fear of child-bearing, entering the swinging singles life etc.

The problems just mounted up. No story. Occasionally someone’s problem was solved, thank God.

Chris Kirby
Jennifer Harmon
Larry Kirby
Michael Landrum (1)
Ken Kercheval (2)
Sandra Henderson
Lynn Lowry
Dr Tony De Angelo
George Welbes
Monica Courtland
Joan Copeland
Terry Courtland
Peter Brandon
Fran Bachman
Fran Brill
David Bachman
Allan Miller
Peter Willis
Steve Elmore (1)
Berkeley Harris (2)
Joan Willis
Tricia O’Neil
Dr Charles Maynard
Paul Vincent
Neal Abbott
George Shannon
Julie Franklin
Rosemary Prinz
Lori Ann Kirby
Suzanne Davidson (1)
Cathy Greene (2)
Rachel Bachman
Elissa Leeds
Moe Bachman
Albert Ottenheimer
Greg Bachman
Richie Schectman
Joshua T Browne
F Murray Abraham
Johnny McGhee
Armand Assante
Maria McGhee
Lauren White
Dr Robert Monday
Gene Bua
Susan Pritchett
Veleka Gray
Max Cooper
James Shannon
Mother McGhee
Sylvia O’Brien
Susan Pritchett
Veleka Gray