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Generations (U.S. TV series)

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Generations
Generations TV series logo.jpg
GenreSoap opera
Created bySally Sussman Morina
StarringLynn Hamilton
Joan Pringle
Vivica A. Fox
Kristoff St. John
Richard Roundtree
Kelly Rutherford
Robert Torti
Taurean Blacque
Patricia Crowley
James Reynolds
Dorothy Lyman
Bruce Gray
Anthony Addabbo
Jonelle Allen
Rick Fitts
Elinor Donahue
Marla Adams
Joseph Whipp
George Shannon
Robert Gentry
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes475
Production
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)Old Forest Hill Productions
NBC Productions
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseMarch 27, 1989 (1989-03-27) – January 25, 1991 (1991-01-25)

Generations is an American soap opera that aired on NBC from March 27, 1989, to January 25, 1991. The show was groundbreaking in that it was the first soap opera to feature from its inception an African-American family.

Premise[edit]

This half-hour serial was promoted as television's first fully integrated daytime soap. It focused on the relationship between two Chicago families: the Whitmores and the Marshalls. Their association began several decades ago when Vivian Potter was housekeeper and nanny for Rebecca Whitmore and her three children: Laura (Gail Ramsey), Stephanie (nicknamed Sam) (Kelly Rutherford), and J.D. Vivian's young daughter, Ruth (Joan Pringle) lived with her in the Whitmore mansion.

When Ruth grew up, she married Henry Marshall (Taurean Blacque, James Reynolds), who owned and operated five moderately successful ice cream parlors. With Ruth's urging, Henry enlisted the help of business mogul Martin Jackson (Rick Fitts), who marketed Marshall's ice cream nationwide. The move proved so successful that Ruth was able to buy the Whitmore mansion. Ruth and Henry had three children, Chantal (Sharon Brown, Debbi Morgan), a lawyer, Jacquelyn Marshall Rhymes, a homemaker and mother, and Adam (Kristoff St. John), a junior executive with the Hale Hotel chain. Living with the Marshalls was Ruth's mother, Vivian (Lynn Hamilton).

Like Ruth Marshall, Rebecca Whitmore (Pat Crowley; Dorothy Lyman) also had a challenging past to overcome. Unknown to Rebecca, her ex-husband Peter stole her inheritance. Determined to move forward with her life, a middle-aged Rebecca enrolled in law school and succeeded in becoming one of the nation's leading attorneys. When the serial premiered, her daughter Laura was married to advertising executive Trevor McCallum. Realizing that Trevor was cheating on her, Laura ended the marriage. They had an adult daughter, Monique.

Although Rebecca was saddened by the break-up of her oldest daughter's marriage, she was happy to see her granddaughter, Monique, marry photographer Jason Craig. Soon after their marriage, Jason inherited a multimillion dollar fortune, making him a murder target. Rebecca's youngest daughter, Sam, accepted a position as model and spokesperson for the upscale Hale Hotel chain. Sam's boss, the dastardly Jordan Hale, expressed an interest in Sam that went beyond business. Police detective Kyle Masters was also wildly attracted to Sam.

Doreen Jackson (Jonelle Allen), a recovering drug addict, was married to Martin Jackson. Following a brief fling with Adam Marshall, Doreen found herself pregnant. Before their daughter, Danielle, was born, the relationship died. Doreen next took up with her doctor, Daniel Reubens (Richard Roundtree). He resurfaced in Chicago in 1990 with his daughter, Maya Davis - alias Diana Reubens (Vivica A. Fox)- after falsely being accused of killing his wife.

Original cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Sally Sussman Morina served as creator and executive producer. Directors included Casey Childs, Michael Eilbaum, and Maria Wagner. The series was written by Sally Sussman Morina and Michelle Val Jean.

Ratings[edit]

  • 1988–89 season: 2.7 million viewers (Ranking: #12 out of 13 soap operas)
  • 1989–90 season: 2.6 million viewers (Ranking: #12 out of 12 soap operas)
  • 1990–91 season: 2.4 million viewers (Ranking: #12 out of 12 soap operas)

Awards[edit]

External links[edit]