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|Hawkins Falls, Population 6200|
Bernadette Flynn (center) with Macdonald Carey and Frank Pacelli, the show's director, 1953.
|Also known as||Hawkins Falls: A Television Novel|
|Created by||Doug Johnson|
|Narrated by||Hugh Downs
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location(s)||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Running time||45–48 minutes
(June 1950–August 1950)
(April 1951–July 1955)
|Original run||June 17, 1950) – July 1, 1955)|
Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 is the first successful American television soap opera. Sponsored by Unilever's blue detergent, Surf, the program began as a one hour comedy-drama on June 17, 1950, and ran in prime time on the NBC network until October 12, 1950.
On April 2, 1951, the series was moved to a fifteen-minute daytime slot, where it was retitled Hawkins Falls: A Television Novel, and developed into a soap opera format. Hawkins Falls ran until July 1, 1955, making it NBC's longest running soap opera until The Doctors exceeded it in 1967.
The Drewer family lived in the town of Hawkins Falls. Lona Drewer was played by Bernardine Flynn, while her husband was played by Frank Dane. After the first year, according to Hugh Downs, Dane came to feel that as the lead actor he was indispensable to the show. He demanded more money and fewer hours. In a move that set the model for countless future encounters between imprudent stars and their management, Dane walked off the set and refused to return until his demands were met. The producer and writer saw their chance to accommodate Dane's desire for less work and crafted a script that sent Mr. Drewer on a plane flight that was lost over the sea. Actor Jim Bannon was happy to join the cast as Lorna's new romantic interest.
- Jim Bannon as Mitch Fredericks (1954–1955)
- Doug Chandler as Sheriff Boylan (1954)
- Maurice Copeland as Dr. Floyd Corey (1953–1955)
- Brigid Daly Bazlen as Nellie Corey
- Bruce Dane as Roy Bettert Corey
- Frank Dane as Knap Drewer (1951–1953)
- Bernardine Flynn as Lona Drewer Corey
- Michael Golda as Dr. Floyd Corey (1950–1953)
- Lee Henry as Dr. Glen Bowden (1954)
- Philip Lord as Judge Sharp
- Tom Poston as Toby Winfield (1953)
- Russ Reed as Spec Bassett (1953)
- Elmira Roessler as Elmira Cleebe (1953)
- Win Stracke as Laif Flagle (1951–1952)
- Hope Summers as Belinda Catherwood (1951–1952)
- Ros Twohey as Millie Flagle (1953–1954)
- Art Van Harvey as Calvin Sperry (1954–1955)
Out of the hundreds of episodes produced, only about 15 survive.
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 515. ISBN 0-345-45542-8 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Hugh Downs, On Camera: My 10,000 Hours on Television, 1986, Thorndike Press large print: ISBN 0-89621-788-4 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK] p. 71
- Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 at the Internet Movie Database
- Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 at TV.com
- Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 at Soap Opera History
- Hawkins Falls memoir at the "The Chicago School of Television" history
- October 21, 1953, episode at the Internet Archive
- Three consecutive episodes (March 31-April 4, 1955) at the Internet Archive