Title Card of Somerset (1971, after the title was shortened from Another World-Somerset)

SOMERSET (Originally called Another World-Somerset) was a soap that ran from 1970-1976 on the NBC television network.  It was created by Robert Cenedella and focused on the lives and loves of the community of Somerset, Illinois, which was supposedly located fifty miles north of Bay City (Another World's setting). It was considered to be the first spin-off of Another World. 

Three characters from AW, Sam Lucas (Jordan Charney), the brother of Ada Hobson; his wife, Lahoma (Ann Wedgeworth) and widowed Missy Palmer Matthews (Carol Roux) moved from Bay City to the nearby community of Somerset. Other families who were a part of the Somerset landscape were the Grants, attorney, Ben (he and Sam Lucas were law partners); his wife, Ellen, and their two children, Jill and David. The other family in town was the Delaney family, who ran the town's mainstay employer, Delaney Brands.  The Delaneys comprised of Jasper, the patriarch; his sons, Robert and Peter, and his daughter, Laura.  Laura, an alcoholic, married Rex Cooper and he raised her son, Tony (who was really the son of evil Harry Wilson) as his own.  Peter was married to troublemaking India (who was Ellen Grant's sister).  However, the Delaneys were not too interesting (excepting India) and the family was phased out.

When Henry Slesar (who was writing The Edge of Night at the same time) took over as headwriter, he infused some of the crime stories that had made him famous on Edge, and it worked for a time.  However, the series really had no clear-cut theme, no core family and too many stories that did not allow the audience to gain enough footing.  The show was eventually cancelled in 1976. 


Despite it's short lived status, several actors made names on this show and became very well-known later on.  Some of the most notable include: Renne Jarrett (who starred in the short-lived sitcom, Nancy as the daughter of a fictitious President of the United States); Gary Sandy (Andy Travis on WKRP in Cincinnati); Joel Crothers and Lois Kibbee (both of whom would later join the long-running The Edge of Night as Dr. Miles Cavanaugh and Geraldine Whitney respectively); JoBeth Williams (who would become a major movie star most notably in The Big Chill); Veleka Gray (who would be involved at the time with Joel Crothers and would later become Dr. Sharon Reaves and Ruby Collins on the Young and the Restless); Bibi Besch (Adrienne Duncan-Mortimer on The Hamptons); Nicolas Coster (Lionel Lockridge on Santa Barbara); Audrey Landers ( Afton Cooper on Dallas); theatrical actress, Lois Smith; Michael Nouri (Eli David on NCIS); Richard Shoberg (later Tom Cudahy on All My Children); Holland Taylor (who was also on Edge of Night as Miles's nasty wife, Denise Cavanaugh and would later star as Ruth Dunbar on the ABC sitcom; Bosom Buddies; and then as self-centered mother, Evelyn Harper on the CBS comedy Two and a Half Men); Gretchen Wyler; Jameson Parker (AJ Simon on Simon and Simon); Ted Danson (Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers; Dr. Becker on the CBS sitcom Becker) and, most notably, Sigourney Weaver (Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise; and as Dian Fossey in the acclaimed movie Gorillas in the Mist, the Dian Fossey Story).