Ryan's Hope's Return to Television
Soap Center, January 2000
Hosted By Brooke Alexander and David Forsyth
(This aired on Soap Center, a weekly news show on SoapNet, the cable channel on which Ryan's Hope now airs in reruns. They show Helen Gallagher singing with headphones.)
BROOKE ALEXANDER (BA): Helen Gallagher - or, as fans know her, Maeve Ryan - is still singing. This time, she's practicing for a musical in NY. But, when we last saw her, she brought the whole soap opera world to tears.
(They show a clip from the last episode, with all/most of the characters at Jack and Leigh's wedding reception.)
JACK: (to Maeve) One favor before we go: Danny Boy?
(Maeve gets up.)
BA: It was January 13, 1989. After 3515 episodes, Ryan's Hope was bidding its fans farewell.
(They show Maeve sitting on the bar, with everyone gathered round.)
JOHNNY: I give you: Maeve Colleary Ryan.
(She starts to sing, then they show Helen speaking.)
HELEN: So, I started singing, and nothing would come out. Believe me, that was like leaving my family. So I turned to them and I said, "Come on, everybody, sing with me!" And they all sang.
(They show the cast singing, and then after they finish...)
MAEVE: Have a good life.
(They go back to Helen speaking.)
HELEN: And then at the end I said something like, "And I hope you all have a good life," something like that, which was not in the script. And it was just, it was magical.
(They show clips from the late 1980s opening.)
BA: The show went on to play in Ireland, Australia, and other foreign markets. But here in America, it lived on only in the memories of fans. Until now.
(They show Claire Labine entering a tape warehouse with boxes.)
CLAIRE: Those are the scripts of the missing episodes, from the first 200 shows, and here we go.
BA: Ryan's Hope is being resurrected from the television graveyard, here in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
(They show Paul Avila Mayer and Claire in the warehouse.)
CLAIRE: We're gonna start here.
BA: Claire Labine and Paul Mayer created the soap in 1975, and were head writers for the first 1300 episodes.
CLAIRE: And we are now in charge of videotape management. But we can do that!
BA: Today, they're putting Ryan's Hope back in order, from beginning to end. It's truly a labor of love.
(They show Claire and Paul speaking.)
PAUL: It was an original show. The thing that made us happiest was when we created a scene that we could say to each other, "They've never seen that before!"
(They show the first 1975 opening.)
BA: Ryan's Hope was full of firsts: The first soap set in a real place, New York City. The first with an Irish-Catholic family at its core. But, to its stars, it was the quality of the writing and the acting that made it special.
(They show John Gabriel speaking.)
JOHN: Nobody was hired on Ryan's Hope because they were pretty. Some of them were, (laughs) but I think that was more accidental than anything else. They were hired for their talent.
(Nancy Addison Altman is shown speaking.)
NANCY: Through our trials and tribulations, we always found a way to end up back in the family, and I think that's a nice, cozy feeling.
(They show Johnny with his arm around Maeve in the premiere.)
(Rosie O'Donnell is shown speaking.)
ROSIE: It was an Irish family from NY, it was like my family, and I was convinced that was going to be my big break. I was going to get to be on Ryan's Hope as, maybe, like, one of the daughters that Maeve gave away for adoption, you know, Mary Ryan's little sister.
(They show Maeve and Johnny, in the first episode, comforting Delia after she comes into Ryan's, shaking, having just pushed Frank down the stairs.)
MAEVE: Oh, you're shivering like a leaf!
BA: The stories caught on with fans in a big way, sometimes too big.
DELIA: I...I almost got run down by a taxi.
(Ilene Kristen is shown speaking.)
ILENE: I had letters from guys in prison. Yeah. The strangest one was he wanted to drink my dirty bath water, cause that's how good I was, and that he would be my human nail clipper. (grins) I think that's pretty romantic.
(They show more clips from the late 1980s opening.)
BA: Now, a new generation is set to discover the classic. Unfortunately, they won't be seeing everything.
(Claire and Paul are shown going through tapes in the warehouse.)
CLAIRE: (reading a piece of paper) Episode 23.
BA: Some episodes were damaged or lost over the years, but fans have nothing to worry about. Claire and Paul will be posting the missing scripts on SoapNet's website, and if Ryan's Hope proves as big on SoapNet as it was in it's heyday, don't be surprised to see those characters back in Ryan's Bar.
(They show Mary, Maeve, and Johnny in the bar in the premiere episode. Then they show John Gabriel speaking.)
JOHN: Let's do it again! (laugh)
(Claire and Paul are shown speaking.)
CLAIRE: It's not hard to imagine all those people coming along at this stage of the game.
PAUL: No, it's true.
CLAIRE: I know exactly where they'd be, you know.
CLAIRE: (to Paul) And you do too!
PAUL: They'd be grandparents, and all the grandchildren would be the stories!
CLAIRE: Yeah, that's right.
(Helen Gallagher is shown.)
BA: And Helen Gallagher knows just how to start it.
HELEN: (singing) Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling... (they fade to when she reaches the end of the song) ...tis you must go while I must bide.
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