Irna Phillips (Old Magazine Articles)

In January 1949 NBC broadcast the first TV daytime soap opera entitled “These Are My Children.” Written by long-time radio and screen writer Irna Phillips, the show was broadcast live from Chicago for just fifteen minutes at five PM each week day. The story centered around the story of Mrs. Henehan, an Irish widow who oversaw a boarding house with her children. Although the show only aired for 24 days before being canceled, “These Are My Children” paved the way for a new popular TV genre.

Though the show was a failure, it was the first time that a daytime soap opera appeared on a major television network. Over the next several years, televised soap operas such as Roy Winsor’s “Search for Tomorrow” and “Love of Life,” and Phillips’ television adaptation of “The Guiding Light” became popular