OLTL Celebrates 35 Years with Retrospective Episode

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Llanview strolls down memory lane with special.

David Fumero (Cristian) and Jessica Morris (Jennifer)Set Your VCR's for Wednesday, July 16, 2003

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As Natalie Buchanan (Melissa Archer) and Cristian Vega (David Fumero) prepare for their upcoming wedding, the couple each dream about their hopes and fears for the future, as ABC Daytime's Emmy Award-winning "One Life to Live" flashes back over 35 years of memorable love affairs, rivalries, struggles and triumphs. The special episode honoring OLTL's 35th anniversary airs WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, and reviews some of the unforgettable moments that have made OLTL what it is today, from Viki (Erika Slezak) and Dorian's (Robin Strasser) passionate rivalry to favorite romances, unexpected arrivals and forbidden love affairs, plus a look at the handsome men and the families that make OLTL unique -- the Buchanans, Lords, Cramers, Gannons and Vegas.

"I am proud of the talented cast, crew and production staff that have made OLTL one of television's longest running institutions," says executive producer Frank Valentini. "I have had the good fortune to be a part of OLTL's team for half of those 35 years and look forward to the stories yet to be told."

Agnes Nixon created OLTL, which premiered on July 15, 1968, as a half-hour show. The show has been lauded for its groundbreaking exploration of social issues, award-winning performances and innovative storylines, and continues to rank No.-1 during its time period (2:00-3:00 p.m., ET) with Women 18-49.

Along with the history-making live week in 2002, OLTL is responsible for many "firsts" in Daytime television, including themes of interracial romance and split personalities, as well as problems of literacy, medical misdiagnosis, racial prejudice, lupus and gang violence. The show received mass critical acclaim for its 1992 homophobia storyline, which captured national headlines when it introduced the character of a gay teen and culminated with the emotional display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. In 1994 the show received equally high praise and garnered four Daytime Emmy Awards -- including one for Best Writing -- for its riveting fraternity gang rape storyline. OLTL won four Emmys again in 2000, including awards for costume design and music direction, and in 2001 it was the recipient of two Emmy awards. Viki's breast cancer storyline was honored with the 2000 CDC Sentinel for Health Award.

"OLTL is a wonderful show. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts - it's a true ensemble," says Agnes Nixon. "I'm very, very proud of it."

Emmy Award-winning "One Life to Live" was launched July 15, 1968. Frank Valentini executive-produces. Josh Griffith and Michael Malone are co-headwriters. The popular drama consistently ranks among the top five in the key demographic of Women 18-49. "One Life to Live" airs MONDAY-FRIDAY (2:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

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