was one of network television's first successful soap operas, though the program
first aired---in June of 1950---as an hour-long weekly prime time drama in a summer
replacement slot. In August of 1950, the show was cut back to a half-hour and
ran in that form until the beginning of the Fall season in October.
Hawkins Falls returned to the air in April of 1951 as a fifteen-minute
weekday soap. Heading up the cast---seen below---was Bernadine Flynn, who from
1932 to 1946 had played "Sade" on theVic and Sade radio soap.
The Hawkins Falls plot dealt with the mildly problematical lives of the
residents of a small Midwestern town. The physical model for Hawkins Falls
was the town of Woodstock, Illinois, forty miles northwest of Chicago in McHenry
County. (The show's main title and closing credits consisted of a crawl rolled
over film shot in Woodstock.)
The commercials---for the soap product "Surf"---were delivered live
by Hugh Downs. Each episode closed with a memorable announcer tag: "This
program has come to you from Hawkins Falls---by way of Chicago."
Hawkins Falls lost its sponsor at the end of 1954. The show continued on
a sustaining basis until the end of June, 1955, when it was definitively cancelled.