Monticello Times

The place to keep up with all the trials and tribulations of the current and former residents of the city of Monticello from the classic daytime drama-The Edge of Night

index

Forward by William Joseph Reynolds-

Edge’s Super Fan as described by Mental Floss Magazine

Between 1956 and 1984, there was a unique daytime drama called ‘The Edge of Night.’ Based on the CBS radio version of ‘Perry Mason,’

the show did not follow the typical soap opera format. There were no ‘Who’s the Daddy’ story lines’. Nor were there doctors stealing kisses from their nurses, while performing delicate surgeries. ‘Edge’ was a mystery-oriented, crime drama, and as such, boasted a large percentage of male viewers. Some of the show’s more celebrated viewers were the poet P.G. Wodehouse, the composer Cole Porter, and the legendary actresses Tallulah Bankhead and Bette Davis. The latter sent a telegram, congratulating the cast and crew, after the airing of the climatic conclusion of the Keith Whitney/Jonah Lockwood storyline.
The show aired live on CBS from April 2, 1956 – November 28, 1975. It switched networks, to ABC, on December 1, 1975 with a masterfully written 90 minute episode. There it remained, until its final airing on December 28, 1984. Putting together a half-hour of mystery and melodrama, every day, for more than 28 years, was a complex task, to say the very least. But, the show’s close-knit cast and crew met the challenge.
I was born three weeks after the show’s April 2, 1956 debut, but I didn’t start watching until January 1964, when Monticello patriarch Winston Grimsley stood trial for murder. I was a faithful viewer for the next (almost) 21 years.

The hardcore viewers of the show rejoiced, in August of 1985, when reruns of the show’s final 3 1/2 years, began airing on the USA television network
In more recent years, these shows were made available on AOL and other internet viewing venues.
And, the show, that would not die, has generated a new generation of fans, joining the ranks of ‘honorary citizens of the Midwestern city of Monticello, USA,’ who, like me, were devoted to the show. Soap opera online communities, and pages on social networks, are filled with interactions between fans, who relive the kidnappings, murders and trials that were part of their everyday lives in Monticello, USA.

I have been privileged to share my memories of the show in a book, before an annual meeting of the American Popular Culture Association, in a magazine that detailed the ‘History of the American Television Soap Opera’ and I have even spoken at one of the show’s most fondly remembered on-location sites. Over the years, I have been honored to meet and become friends with some of our celebrated cast, and for scores of people, who, like me, rushed home from school, to get their daily half hour dose of murder, mystery and mayhem.

I have seen the devotion that ‘Timmy Faraday’ has for the show. It is genuine, and he has meticulously crafted a story that will live up to the high standards of a show, its cast and crew. Fans of the show, young and old alike, will enjoy this updated version of a daytime television classic. We may have left Monticello, on December 28, 1984, but I know, I am anxious to return to meet our old favorites and how they, and their children, meet the challenges of living in this not so typical Midwestern city.

William J. Reynolds

Edge Super-Fan,’ as described in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Mental Floss magazine, in their article, the History of the American Soap Opera.’

Featured contributor to ‘Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era,’ University of Mississippi Press, hardcover – Dec 2010. Paperback March 2012.

 

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9 thoughts on “Monticello Times

  1. I am amazed that there are so many guys, like myself, who loved watching this fabulously written, as well as beautifully acted, daytime drama. I never really thought of ‘Edge’ as a soap. It was like watching the coolest mystery show you could possibly ever have imagined! I, too, rushed home many days after school to watch and became a huge fan, and I love going back and watching old episodes over and over still! Thanks for your undying devotion to the show. I love it!

    Joey Latham

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  2. I would watch Edge of Night , faithfully, if you bring it on METV. I, too, rushed home to watch The Edge Of Night. My mother never missed an episode, so that meant I never missed an episode. I loved all the people that was associated with the show. Mike Carr was more like Perry Mason, than any other lawyer on TV, except Perry Mason.

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  3. I have been watching the episodes that Mr Edge80’s posts on his You Tube channel and enjoying them! Also, I would like some fans of our great soap to go to “The Brady Bunch Wiki” and go to “Talk…The Bradys” andin that “talk” section awaits a little surprise you may (or may not) like, especially if you are also a fan of the Bradys!

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  4. I used to run home from school to watch ‘The Edge of Night’. As a kid, I was fascinated by the show’s original opening with the dark ‘edge’ moving across the screen. When they reshot the opening in color in 1967 using time-lapse photography it was the end of an era!

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  5. Here’s my synopsis for ‘Return To Monticello’/The Edge of Midnight:

    The National Institute of Health has offered Monticello General Hospital a generous grant in exchange for donating lab space for stem cell research. The Board of Directors has asked Dr. Miles Cavanaugh to set aside the allocated lab space for a visiting team of researchers arriving from Switzerland.
    Nancy Karr is writing a series of articles about the strange lights being seen in the sky at night over Monticello. Her articles attract the attention of a paranormal investigator who travels to Monticello to investigate the anomaly.
    As Eric and DeeDee get serious about setting a date, Eric drops a bombshell on DeeDee: he wants her to quit the force.
    Paige Turner informs Chief Mallory she is taking early retirement; Paige suggests to DeeDee that she take over her position as Community Laison Officer- that way she can keep her job on the force and stay out of harm’s way.
    Dr. Karl Reichard and his two associates arrive from Switzerland to begin their research at the hospital. Miles takes an instant dislike to Dr. Reichard when he is told the lab is to be off limits to all employees – including himself.
    Miles asks Nancy Karr to search the newspaper archives for anything about Dr. Reichard. Nancy shows Miles an article that linked Dr. Reichard to a series of grave robberies in Europe.
    Paige takes DeeDee out to lunch to brief her on the new position. While waiting for DeeDee to get ready, Paige sees a photograph of a little girl in DeeDee’s apartment. When Paige asks DeeDee if that was her, DeeDee explains it’s her baby sister. When Paige asks about her baby sister DeeDee tells Paige she doesn’t want to talk about it and the subject is dropped. They go to lunch.
    Miles confronts Dr. Reichard abut the article. Dr. Reichard is offended. He complains to the Board that Miles is disrupting his research. Miles is called on the carpet and told he is not to do anything to upset Dr. Reichard since the hospital badly needs that grant money.
    Miles isn’t the only one to get ripped another anal opening; Chief Mallory is called on the carpet by the mayor and commissioner for not making enough drug arrests on the west side of town.
    At Paige’s retirement gathering Eric thanks her for allowing DeeDee to assume her position. Paige asks Eric if DeeDee ever mentioned having a baby sister. Eric tells Paige how DeeDee’s baby sister mysteriously disappeared 14 years ago when her family was living outside Chicago and how it practically destroyed her family.
    DeeDee makes her first presentation at a local high school. After her presentation she is approached by a female student named Angela. DeeDee feels strangely drawn to this young woman.
    Miles get Preacher to pose as a maintenance worker repairing an air-conditioning vent in the lab. Preacher mounts a camera and microphone so Miles can ‘monitor’ Dr. Reichard’s activities.
    DeeDee searches the public records for a birth notice about Angela and finds none. DeeDee befriends Angela. She distracts her attention and clips a piece of Angela’s hair which she takes to the crime lab for DNA testing.
    Miles discovers Dr. Reichard is combining human and animal DNA to create chimera. Miles hits the ceiling -it goes against what he believes. Miles feels that is ‘playing God’.
    DeeDee discovers Angela’s father owns a block of crack houses on the west side of town. He is paying off members of the Monticello Police Dept. to ignore the drug activity. When he discovers DeeDee is on the force he forbids Angela from seeing DeeDee. When he learns DeeDee’s last name is Bannister he panics and goes to his study and phones a man named ‘Bannister’.
    DeeDee’s uncle Bannister arrives in Monticello. He has always been involved in nefarious activities ranging from drug dealing to pimping. When DeeDee sees her uncle with Angela’s father she gets suspicious and tells Eric.
    The results of the DNA test come back: DeeDee’s DNA matches Angela’s! DeeDee believes she has found her long-lost sister. DeeDee confronts her uncle over kidnapping and selling her baby sister 14 years ago when they were living outside Chicago. Bannister is murdered; DeeDee is charged with the murder.
    A hospital security guard tells Miles he saw what looked like a dead body being delivered to the hospital late one night where Dr. Reichard’s lab is located. The security guard tells Miles he has seen lots of dead bodies leave the hospital but this was the first time he saw a dead body arrive at the hospital. Miles is more than ever convinced Dr. Reichard is up to something sinister in the lab.
    As DeeDee’s trial gets underway Angela’s father informs her he is sending her to a private school out of town. Angela runs away from home. She goes to Eric who lets her sleep on his sofa. When Eric receives a visitor Angela hops up and runs into the bathroom. After Eric’s visitor leaves his apartment Angela tells Eric she has seen that man with her father on numerous occasion. Eric now knows who is taking bribes from the west side slumlords.

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