News - Soap Buzz

81 July 16th, 2014 NBC’s Classic Soap THE DOCTORS To Run On Retro TV Later This Year!

Many of the fans of On-Air On-Soaps were chatting amongst themselves yesterday when we were recalling canceled iconic soap One Life to Live and how nice it would be if there was a television network that would offer re-reruns of the classic soaps!

And today, Retro TV announced that none other than the classic NBC soap opera The Doctors is getting a second life!  The series which starred James Pritchett and Elizabeth Hubbard among others will begin airing old episodes of the series this fall!

The news was announced via a press release that went out today which stated: “Luken Communications is pleased to announce the addition of the classic soap opera The Doctors to Retro TV. Set in Hope Memorial Hospital in the fictional New England city of Madison, The Doctors‘ storylines revolve around the hospital’s Chief of Staff Dr. Matthew Powers (James Pritchett) and his dedicated staff. Several well-known actors and actresses passed through the halls of Hope Memorial during its run, including Academy Award nominee Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Academy Award winner Kathy Bates (Misery), Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist), Emmy Award winner Ted Danson (Cheers), Emmy Award winner Terry O’Quinn (Lost), Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) and Academy Award nominee Kathleen Turner (Peggy Sue Got Married).

The Doctors ran for 19 years, spanned 5,280 episodes and won several Daytime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series (1971, 1972 and 1974), Lead Actor (James Pritchett, 1978) and Lead Actress (Elizabeth Hubbard, 1974).

Matthew Golden, Luken’s Vice President of Production, said “The Doctors is one of the greatest examples of the soap opera format in its prime, loved by critics and audiences alike. We’re thrilled to return this classic series to the air, and bring its exciting, engaging storylines back to our audience’s daily lives.”  The Doctors will debut on Retro TV later this year.”   To check out where Retro TV airs in your area check here!

So, will you be checking out The Doctors ?  Do you hope more classic soaps find a home on cable television or the internet in the future?  If so, which ones would you most like to see again?  Let us know

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  1. JeffyJC says:

    I will because the fact is the only way we will be getting any more repeats of the soaps that still exist, is to support the ones we have now. If this get’s good ratings then the other classic Networks will take a second look. If it fails we will not see The Edge of Night or Ryan’s Hope repeated, why would a network spend money if enough people won’t watch. Soaps in the 80′s may be too expensive for a Broadcast Network to show but episodes from the 70′s and before could be, but only if people will support it. If someone say’s I’m not interested but add So and so and I will watch, then turn the lights out the game is over

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    I hear you @JeffyJC…Trust that those lights went off when this decision was made. As much as people want to herald the medium is as much as they want to tear it down at the same time. While this is an encouraging thing for whoever runs that company and obviously loved this soap…retro soaps can be a good way to get new viewers to look at today and old viewers to appreciate what little is left…but ahhh alack and alas the naysayers…

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Except for Dark Shadows and Strange Paradise and primetimes Peyton Place there are no complete soap operas with all their episodes before 1975…networks practiced wiping…they erased tapes and reused them…soaps and gameshows from that period were thought never to be repeated…there are only a handful of episodes of most soaps before 1975 that are available…i did read The Doctors has most of its episodes and i hope its true! Someone once said Days and GH saved most of theirs but i also heared they didnt…i wouldve loved to had seen many of the soaps from the 60s to the 70s but most tapes from that era are unfortunately gone forever!!!

    Reply

    Bhim replied

    I know that the P&G soaps began saving theirs from 1978 with the exceptions of a few that are in collections, kinescopes, and in actor’s collections minus the commercials. I think RetroTV might be on the right track in bringing THE DOCTORS back. Plus, they always did their billboarding after the opening titles kissed to black, so editing wouldn’t be a problem.

  2. Robert says:

    Where will the episodes begin from the first episode or later in the run? My luck they just took Retro TV off of my cable and replaced it with CoziTV which I love but would love to watch The Doctors again. I will need to find someone to record them for me.

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    @Robert if retro tv is run locally as i suspect then buy a small tv you can put somewhere with a converter box to get your fix…and if you can find a good working vcr on ebay…more’s the joy…but you can pick up the channel if it’s broadcast locally which i’m sure it probably is…

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    If its true that the Doctors saved most of its episodes and werent erased like the networks had done to most of its other soaps and game shows prior to 1975, i hope they are able and will show it from what i consider its glory days: the late 60s to early 70s!!! The 1980s werent kind to this show and the storys not so good!!!

    Reply

  3. jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    I read somewhere that The Doctors has most of its episodes…that would be great if true…i always wondered what song Marie Thomas(Lauri James) used to play and sing on the show…The Doctors from the 60s to the 70s was far better than GH…Fans used to write to this show for medical advice…hope its true that they do have the episodes from its glory years so the younger generation can see how much better and more grounded soaps use to be…its 80s storylines werent that good…i once send them a story suggestion(even though i had stopped watching around 1980) that they loved but it was too late…they wrote back the show was cancelled…

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Yes…i get retro and ill be watching!!!

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Wouldve loved Edge Of Night and Another World…had their early episodes hadnt been erased…wish someone had all the original scripts and recreate those lost episodes…Dark Shadows, and Strange Paradise and primetimes Peyton Place have their episodes and id love to see them on retro!!!

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Britians Coronation Street and our Santa Barbara are two others on my wish list…

    Bhim replied

    Jim – most of the P&G soaps saved every episode past 1978 so it is likely they might have them.

  4. James McDonald says:

    Unfortunatly, I do not get Retro in my area, not on my Time Warner Cable box. I would love to see The Doctors again.

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    Extra tv and converter box…it’s OTA

    Reply

  5. BTripp says:

    This network is not available in my area!!! I live in Minneapolis MN which is a larger city and we don’t have it. Comcast sucks! I would totally watch this and DVR the episodes even.

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    That does suck..but it’s not just your cable company it’s not available anywhere in that state…check retro tv the website and affiliates…that will tell you if you can see it.

    Reply

  6. carolfla says:

    I hope it is on at a time I can watch. I remember watching this soap

    Reply

  7. lisa says:

    Tops on my list would be OLTL,Ryan’s Hope and Santa Barbara.

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    The latter two soaps have all their episodes but unfortunately OLTL does not…OLTL would be able to show episodes from the 1980s to its cancellation however if all were saved and in good shape!!!

    Reply

    JeffyJC replied

    When All My Children (in 1977) and One Life (1978) went to 1 hour Agnes Nixon insisted they save them. Agnes had the prior episodes before ABC bought it, but they were destroyed in a fire I heard. GH has the episodes from when Selmur produced it 1963-1970 but when ABC bought they did the re-using.

    Jen replied

    Tops on my list, Santa Barbara, another world, port Charles, Texas, AMC, OLTL………

    Reply

  8. Bruce says:

    If I got Retro TV in my area, I would certainly watch it or DVR it. I would love to be able to see more classic daytime serials from the golden age of the 70s and 80s, but I wonder how many of them are available. They should have all been saved on tape like Dark Shadows was.
    This is great news for classic soap fans. I got hooked on Ryan’s Hope when SoapNet aired it. Good TV is good TV, no matter the era.

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    The only soaps with all there episodes available prior to 1975 are Dark Shadows, Strange Paradise and primetimes Peyton Place…i did read The Doctors had most of theirs and there was rumor Days and GH does too…dont know how true that is but i hope they did save theirs…unfortunately all other soaps prior to 1975 do not have all their episodes…read AMCs was destroyed in a fire…only a handful of episodes of the soaps survive from the 1950s to early 70s including a few shortlived…my dream is that there are more episodes still out there waiting to be found…even if they are on grainy kinescopes!!!

    Reply

  9. Tommy hardy says:

    I loved Alec on this soap, I remember it’s the first time I saw him, how cool! I hope they show more!!

    Reply

  10. Linda says:

    Retro is not available in NYC! :(

    Reply

  11. Mary SF says:

    That is wonderful news— hopefully it will be successful and other classic soaps may find new life— right now I would love to watch repeats of old soaps — it would be a refreshing change to watch a show penned and produced by soap pioneers, to be reminded on how it is really done. And to find a cable network willing to include a soap in their line up is also nice to see. Good luck Retro TV and I’m sure many old fans of the Doctors will love you for doing this.

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Unfortunately, there arent many episodes of soaps available prior to 1975…only a handful of episodes from the 1950s to early 1970s are avaiable…i wouldve loved to see Another World again from the 1960s to the 1970s when Steve, Alice and Rachel were involved in daytimes best ever love triangle…two gothic soaps Dark Shadows and Strange Paradise managed to save most of their episodes as had primetimes Peyton Place…i did read online The Doctors does have most of its episodes which is great especially since most soaps prior to 1975 erased and reused its tapes thinking theyd never be shown again and to save money…

    Reply

  12. Charday says:

    Never heard of it, but I’d take a look. Good to know there are cable tv stations that still see soap reruns as viable.

    Reply

    4ever DAYS replied

    You never heard of the soap or the network?

    Reply

    Charday replied

    The soap. I get Retro TV.

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    There was a time when The Doctors was hotter than GH…especially in the early 1970s…it went downhill by the 1980s but still would be great to see again!!!

    Reply

  13. Amy Cooper says:

    Absolutely! I would love to see classics and old episodes of my fav -GH!”Classic 80′s episodes of ‘Days’ on tv would be amazing!!!

    Reply

  14. Steeeeeven says:

    Very exciting news! I’ve watched some of their episodes on YouTube and they are fantastic! I’m hoping I get this channel on my t.v.

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    If they show the episodes from the 1960s to early 70s(i read they are available) they are a lot better than what youve seen on utubw

    Reply

  15. Amy Cooper says:

    Not on in my area! :( Hope more stations pick it up! Oh do I miss Soapnet!!!

    Reply

  16. Eden says:

    I would love to be able to watch this, but the channel is not in our state at all! Peyton Place, Return to Peyton Place, All My Children and One Life To Live, The Best of Everything….Seeing all of these and more from the beginning would be amazing!
    Perhaps, as well as the Retro channel, they could also be shown online, at
    no fee so everyone has at least access to them in some way.
    Cheers

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Except for primetimes Peyton Place(dont know about Return) but all those others you mention are not available from the begining…most of their early episodes were erased and the tapes reused to save money…back then tptb never thought soaps other than daytimes Strange Paradise and Dark Shadows would be rerun and or wanted to be seen again…thats ashame being soaps were far better back then than they are today…

    Reply

  17. Mark Y says:

    Oscar Schmoscar. Elizabeth Hubbard!!!!!

    Reply

  18. David says:

    Still recall watching Kathleen Turner and Kim Zimmer’s Nola’s sthe tir the pot, Meg Mundy as Monster-in law Mona and very young Alec Baldwin as Billy. Not a show I watched daily but still a high quality vintage soap.

    Reply

  19. RICKIE says:

    I read someplace else that rebroadcast episodes will begin with 1967, which is odd as I thought most tapes were “wiped” and reused from that era. I did enjoy “The Doctors” in its heydey (it got really bad circa mid-1970s). Elizabeth Hubbard, Gerald Gordon, Sally Gracie, Peter Burnell, and Carolee Campbell were my favorites from this period. Alas, once Jacquie Courtney was fired from “Another World,” our viewing habits changed and NBC was dropped in our household like a hot potato. Before that, it was the NBC daytime lineup all the way: Days of Our Lives, The Doctors, Another World, and Somerset (and Bright Promise/Return to Peyton Place/How to Survive a Marriage, when they aired).

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    The Doctors survived because it had a different sponser…most others were sponsered by P&G which erased and reused their tapes to save money…im glad at least most of The Doctors survived…we were big on the NBC soaps too and hated when Jacquie Courtney, George Reinholt and Virgina Dwyor(»spelling…she played Mary Mathews, Alices mom) were fired but we continued to watch…hated when they killed off John Randolph…didnt care too much for the show in the 1980s or when a gorilla fell in love with Cass…daytimes dumbest plot ever…AW deserved its cancellation!!!

    Reply

  20. Eric Buchanan says:

    WOW! Blast from the past. I wish I had Retro TV, but like TVGN, etc. Charter cable does not provide us with the ability to have this channel. Not surprising they have not added a new channel in years. When SOAPNet went off the air we just ended up with one less channel. ..sorry Disney/ABC ;)

    Reply

    Avatar610 replied

    Will someone out there PLEASE post the episodes to YouTube?

    Reply

  21. Susie says:

    All my children!

    Reply

  22. Nick D. says:

    This is great news for soap fans. I’d suggest they should pick up Edge of Night as well – I’ve seen a few episodes on YouTube and it is excellent.

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Id like to see Edge again too…wouldve loved to see episodes from its early days but unfortunately few episodes prior to 1975 survive!!!

    Reply

  23. brian says:

    One Life To Live and All My Children.

    Is it true that there is a period of time when ABC reused video tape and as a result many episode have been lost ?

    Can any one shed some light on this ?

    Reply

    4ever DAYS replied

    I found that it’s true for DAYS as was the case for most before the late 70′s. I wonder who the dumb asses were that thought that was a good idea?! It was a system they called wiping. They wiped them out of existence.

    Reply

    4ever DAYS replied

    I just did a search…soap opera wiping…wikipedia says All of DAYS episodes were saved!

    I don’t know about your ABC soap though.

    Reply

    JeffyJC replied

    All the 2 Sony Soaps Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless exist. Soapnet even showed the first 2 episodes of Days, which are on Youtube.

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    I would loveto see Days early years again…the Bill Bell/Pat Falken Smith years was my favorite Days era!!!

  24. Mark in FLA says:

    Love it! Looking forward to classic daytime drama. Hopefully they will add more soaps to their line up.

    Reply

  25. Kit says:

    I probably would, but Retro doesn’t seem to be available in my area. Watch that show for many years. At one time, it was written in weekly arcs. There was a main story that had a beginning (Monday), middle, and end (Friday) in episodes stretching over one or two weeks. Stories of the staff were integrated and ongoing. Matt and Maggie were the golden couple. Nick and Althea were so combustible. Still vividly recall one scene where Elizabeth Hubbard was at her very best. Althea–the role she played–had been diagnosed with a tumor on the optic nerve. Nick, of course, was the only surgeon who could possibly save her. Before being wheeled into surgery (which could very well have proved fatal), Althea calls all of her loved ones into the hospital room–daughter Penny, Matt, Maggie, and Nick–and bravely says “goodbye” to each, and makes them say goodbye also, as they might not have the chance later. Just the kind of strong, grounded, and real performance Ms. Hubbard became better known for on As the World Turns.

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    I remember when Maggies daughter Greta was bit by a rapid rabbit and became a bad seed child…also when Greta pushed someone down a flight of stairs and that person died!!!

    Reply

    Kit replied

    I definitely remember the bad seed storyline, barely the staircase push. In the former, the hospital lab was conducting some experiments on a virus, and Mike (Greta’s half-brother) was lax one day and let an uninfected rabbit make contact with an infected one. He then gave the former rabbit to Greta for a pet; it bit her and infected her (hence the “bad seed” behavior). Mike was so wracked with guilt, that he began experimenting on himself to find her a cure. Needless to say, after much drama, the day was saved and Greta grew up to marry (not happily) Billy Aldrich–played by Alec Baldwin.

    jimh(leave it to beaver replied

    I believe it was Maggies cousin who was staying with them and got in a struggle with Greta…(cant recall all the details what really happen but im pretty certain it did…i watched 12 soaps around that time…also my late mother and me always wondered what song Nurse Lauri James used to play and sing…she was described as a fine singer who had difficulty performing in public and decided to become a nurse…she and Dr. Hank Iverson(Palmer Deane) were the 1st African American couple on this show…im excited to see all that again!!!

    Reply

  26. Lew S. says:

    I will tune in!

    Reply

  27. A Baptiste says:

    This is excellent news, bring on more! God bless these legendary shows that will never be again…maybe in new ways, but the “retro” is a groove in the classic mode unto itself!

    Reply

  28. MBmomof3 says:

    SWEET! Bring on the classic soaps!

    Reply

  29. Patrick says:

    I am…. SO…. bummed

    I would love to watch an old serial… from the beginning

    this just smarts

    I do not get this station / nor do I get TVLAND

    oye…. to feel the days of ole…. again

    simmer

    yearn

    delight

    captivate’ing stuff

    As The World Turns

    I would have watched this

    especially when I saw the name: Elizabeth Hubbard…. Lucinda Walsh of Oakdale

    Reply

  30. David says:

    The local affiliate in Boston switched from Retro to Cozi TV about a year ago may be a bit longer. So currently Retro not available in the Boston market. Hope that changes.

    Reply

  31. Lou Piikes says:

    I don’t get retro TV either. Hopefully someone will post the episodes on You Tube.

    Reply

  32. KateA says:

    The channel is in my city but Comcast doesn’t carry it. I will call the station to find out how I can watch it. I would love to watch. I would love to see repeats AMC! I will find a way to watch The Doctors.

    Reply

  33. Diane Coviello says:

    I will watch,never saw it on its original run ,,i wonder what time it will air,they should run it in the afternoon, i still miss oltl and amc,,,,,,,,i would love to se these and edge of night also/

    Reply

  34. Mo says:

    I’ll give it a try.

    Reply

  35. Mo says:

    I thought I got this channel, but just checked their site and it doesn’t look like it airs near me. I thought it was a free channel. Maybe it changed.

    Reply

  36. PatF says:

    The Doctors, Days, and Another World were great soap in the early to mid 70′s. That was NBC’s best years in the ratings as well. The ratings reflected what was being told on screen because there were as many as 16 soaps to pick from.

    I’m not sure this airs in Dallas, but I’ll watch if it does.

    I’d watch ANY of the classic soap material from the 70′s especially the CBS lineup with Edge of Night, Search For Tomorrow, Secret Storm, ATWT, Guiding Light, Where the Heart Is , Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, Love of Life and of course YR.

    Reply

    dmr replied

    I love old episodes of Dallas.

    Reply

  37. Rodd says:

    I look forward to seeing this show once again. I wonder how much I’ll remember.

    Reply

  38. dmr says:

    What a cool idea and what fun it would be to watch the old “stories.” I wonder if I get Retro where I am. I sure hope so! Going to check it out!

    Reply

  39. Robert says:

    I can’t wait to see this classic soap again and will watch every day. I am a collector of Vintage Soap Opera episodes and found hundreds of them from the 50′s 60′s 70′s 80′s.

    Reply

  40. Max says:

    Would love to see Another World again…

    Reply

  41. Engrady Pind says:

    This is fantastic and exciting news. Wonder if there is any chance of getting The Edge of Night or Love of Life back?

    Reply

  42. Michael (not Fairman) says:

    I did not start watching The Doctors until 1975, but I have heard much raving about Nick and Althea from the early 1970s and am looking forward to seeing that story.

    As others have noted, TD’s later years (it was cancelled in 1982, and I would say that there were very few bright spots in the last five years) were not kind to it. It was the first show I remember being consciously aware was being negatively affected by TPTB games: it was the first instance I remember of the revolving door of head writers and executive producers, which we’re all so used to now; back in the mid-70s when I started watching soaps, things were much more stable. Not TD; I could probably name 10 different headwriters or headwriting teams in the show’s last five years if I sat down to think about it. There weren’t quite as many executive producers, but they still changed frequently. And the show really suffered.

    But I’ve always heard very good things about the 60s and the first half of the 70s, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this if it’s on in my area. (If not, I’ll be majorly bummed.)

    Reply

  43. Reagan says:

    Echo what most everyone has said… I’m glad they are doing this and hope it leads to more soaps being re-aired! I don’t have a Retro-TV channel in my area so even a converter box won’t do me any good. But, I will tweet and help get the word out for those who do.

    I miss seeing reruns of Ryan’s Hope on the now defunct SOAPNet. I’ve always thought that show– if done correctly, could be turned into a good prime time soap (since the networks have no interest in bringing back more soaps to daytime. Any old soap– ATWT, GL, Santa Barbra– would be great to see. Hope other channels like this follow suit.

    Reply

  44. MattsPlace says:

    I watched near the soap’s end. It was the first time I’d seen Kim Zimmer, and she was obviously destined for bigger things. It was also the first time I saw Alec Baldwin. The soap ended badly. Very badly. Still, I would love to see the early episodes and also when Doug Marland wrote the soap in the 70s, reviving the show and gaining critical acclaim before being lured away to GH. I loved Liz Hubbard on ATWT and saw her briefly on TD. I would watch the soap and even DVR it, but Retro is not available in my area.

    Reply

  45. Me says:

    Despite the show being on for nearly 20 years, there will probably only be a limited number of episodes that RetroTV can air. Networks did not start saving their taped episodes until the late 70′s. ‘The Doctors’ ended in 1982.

    Reply

    Lou Piikes replied

    I read somewhere that The Doctors retained all of their episodes. The reason retro tv is starting with year 1967 is because that is where the show began being broadcast in color.

    Reply

  46. Jess says:

    MORE! MORE! We want MORE! I hope they add other classic soap operas to the line up like ANOTHER WORLD! It would also be cool to see some retro episodes of Days of Our Lives from the mid 80′s and Santa Barbara! Lets write to them soap fans and ask them to add MORE!

    Reply

  47. Dee G. says:

    This is the greatest news!! Though I never watched this particular soap, I promise I will not miss an episode. I love the genre. I’ve adopted Days of our Lives now that All My Children is off the air. It would be fun to see the early episodes. I watched General Hospital from 1963 (I was 8 years old) until the early 1990s. Those early years would be fun to see as well. It is always interesting to see famous actors and actresses who started out in those days on soaps. My wish list would also include Peyton Place. Only the first season is out on DVDs.

    Reply

  48. craig silver says:

    Guiding Light , One life to live ,Ryans Hope

    Reply

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