A World Apart (TV series)

A World Apart is an American daytime drama that ran from March 30, 1970, to June 25, 1971, on the ABC television network.

A World Apart
GenreSoap opera
Created byKatherine Phillips
StarringAugusta Dabney
William Prince
Susan Sarandon
Susan Sullivan
David Birney
Dorothy Lyman
Clifton Davis
Tom Ligon
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes325
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time2224 minutes
Original networkABC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseMarch 30, 1970 (1970-03-30) 
June 25, 1971 (1971-06-25)


The initial stories were written by Katherine Phillips (adopted daughter of Irna Phillips, who created Guiding Light, As the World Turns and Another World). The story concerned a soap opera writer who adopted two children, a fictionalized version of Irna Phillips' life.[1]

Soap opera writer Betty Kahlman (Elizabeth Lawrence, Augusta Dabney) raised her adopted children without a husband. Her sounding board and friend was fellow soap opera writer Meg Johns, played by actress Anna Minot. Betty married Russell Barry (William Prince) and the early focus was on generational conflicts between a newly married middle-aged couple and their confused children. People tried to understand each other, but were ultimately "a world apart", echoing the title. Eventually, the show-within-a-show element was scaled back, and writer Katherine Phillips was replaced by Richard Holland and Suzanne Holland. At that point, Betty and Russell settled into a tranquil marriage.

Other storylines centered on the Sims family, who were mired in less turmoil than the Kahlmans, but still had their problems, as Dr. Ed Sims (James Noble) and his extremely conservative wife Adrian (Kathleen Maguire) struggled with their rebellious daughter Becky (Erin Connor).

Many future film and television stars appeared during the brief run, including Susan Sarandon (Patrice Kahlman), Nicolas Surovy (Fred Turner), Susan Sullivan (Nancy Condon), Dorothy Lyman (Julie Stark), David Birney (Oliver Harrell), and James Noble (Dr. Ed Sims), who eventually went on to play the lovably goofy, but very capable Governor Eugene Gatling on the television comedy Benson alongside Robert Guillaume. Also becoming rather successful is Clifton Davis (Matt Hampton), who went on to star in the series That's My Mama, and much later, the series Amen, where he played Reverend Reuben Gregory. Clifton Davis and actress Jane White played son and mother on both A World Apart and Amen.

Broadcast history

The series ran Monday through Friday at 12:30 pm EST, opposite CBS' then-popular Search for Tomorrow and NBC's The Who, What, or Where Game. ABC canceled the show after a little over a year, wrapping up with a moving episode where Patrice Kahlman finally made peace with giving her newborn son up for adoption (among the few, if not only, episodes of this show known to survive).


  1. Schemering, Christopher (1987). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. Ballantine Books. p. 239. ISBN 0345353447.
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