|Created by||Agnes Nixon
|Opening theme||"Theme from Loving" by Michael Karp (1983-1989); "The Loving Theme (#1)", sung by Johnny Mathis (1989-1991); "The Loving Theme (#2)", by David Randall Lowe and David M. Shapiro (1991-1992); "The Loving Theme (#3)", aka "L-O-V-I-N-G", by Jeffrey Osborne
|Composer(s)||Michael Karp (multiple episodes)
Mike Renzi (multiple episodes, and series finale)
"Score Productions" (multiple episodes)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||3,169|
|Executive producer(s)||See Crew|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original run||June 26, 1983 – November 10, 1995|
|Followed by||The City|
Loving is an American television soap opera that ran on ABC from June 26, 1983, to November 10, 1995, a total of 3,169 episodes. The serial was co-created by Agnes Nixon and former actor Douglas Marland.
The show was broadcast in France under the title Amoureusement Votre (Lovingly Yours) and in Italy as Quando si ama (When someone loves).
With the established and successful ABC daytime soaps veering into a new trend of youth orientation and action/adventure storylines, a format heavy influenced by Gloria Monty on General Hospital, creators Agnes Nixon and Douglas Marland set out to develop a new series that would be introduced as a traditional, classic soap opera for the 1980s. Romance would be the show's key centerpiece; its original working title was Love Without End. By early 1983, the new creation was fully developed, as Loving, with a cast set for both a primetime premiere and a weekday run.
Loving premiered on June 26, 1983 as a two-hour primetime movie. It starred much of the original cast and featured film actors Lloyd Bridges and Geraldine Page. Set in the fictional town of Corinth, Pennsylvania, the early years of the show revolved around the blue-collar Donovans and the blue-blood Aldens. Major social issues such as incest, alcoholism, and post-traumatic stress syndrome of Vietnam vets were covered. But Marland and Nixon left the series after a few years and in spite of ABC's bumping down Ryan's Hope to give Loving a choice timeslot, and cast additions of such popular All My Children stars as Debbi Morgan and Jean LeClerc, the ratings remained poor throughout the show's run. Loving suffered from a constant revolving door of writers and producers, leading to questionable story moments such as a heroine's addiction to cough syrup and one character's selling his soul to the Devil. Circumstances became so desperate in the early 1990s that, to keep the show afloat, ABC assigned its own programming suits, network executive Haidee Granger and later, Vice President of Daytime Programming JoAnn Emmerich, to serve as Executive Producers. Nonetheless, on June 26, 1993, Loving celebrated its 10th Anniversary on ABC.
Long-running characters included Ava Rescott (played by Patty Lotz, 1983–1984; Roya Megnot, 1984–1988, 1990 as a temporary replacement; Lisa Peluso, 1988–1995), a schemer whose adventures ranged from stuffing a pillow in her dress to simulate pregnancy to being kidnapped at Universal Studios to being menaced by her lover's identical twin, Gilbert. Another longtime favorite was Stacey Donovan Forbes (portrayed by Lauren-Marie Taylor, the only continuously running original cast member), who was killed off via a poisoned powder puff in summer 1995, and Gwyneth Alden, the long-suffering matriarch who never stopped loving her roguish ex, Clay, or her mentally disturbed children, Trisha and Curtis.
In early 1995, ABC Daytime planned to cancel the show and asked new head writers James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten to find a way to salvage a few components of the series. The writers embarked upon the show's last big storyline, and what many considered one of the show's best storylines, the Corinth serial killer. Stacey, Clay, Curtis, Cabot, Isabelle, and Jeremy lost their lives, culminating in the revelation that an insane Gwyn had murdered most of her friends and family in a bid to "make their pain go away". Gwyn then injected herself with poison before the police could take her into custody. Loving characters Ally, Alex, Angie, Buck, Frankie, Jacob, Steffi, Jocelyn, and Tess moved to New York City's SoHo District and began a new series, The City, which would run until March 1997.
Ratings history 
Although Loving rated poorly throughout its history, its first few years were relatively encouraging. In its debut year it finished in 11th place and 3.9, above the then ailing soaps The Edge of Night and Search for Tomorrow. The following year it moved to a fairly comfortable 10th place and 4.1, holding that for the 1985-1986 television season with 4.2. A change in timeslot, with Loving occupying the slot previously held by Ryan's Hope, was a major factor in ratings improvement (albeit having the opposite effect on Ryan's Hope).
Unfortunately, the slow but steady ratings growth was not sustained. Loving fell back to 11th place, hitting last place for the first time in early 1989 (between the January series finale of Ryan's Hope and the March premiere of NBC's Generations), and then back to 11th. In January 1991, the series began ranking last again, and stayed there until its cancellation four years later.
When it originally premiered, the show aired at 11:30 AM ET/10:30 AM CT/MT/PT. On October 8, 1984, the show was moved to the later 12:30 PM/11:30 AM timeslot, bumping Ryan's Hope up to Noon/11:00. (This caused Ryan's Hope's ratings to plummet because many East Coast ABC stations pre-empted network programming at Noon for local news. Some affiliates, such as WSB-TV in Atlanta, chose to keep Ryan's Hope at 12:30.) Despite airing in the 12:30 timeslot, Loving never achieved the ratings Ryan's Hope had during its glory years. In the Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones, Loving was often pre-empted at 11:30 for local newscasts, airing on a one day delay earlier in the morning or not at all.
In 1992, after ABC stopped airing programming in the Noon/11:00 period, Loving was made available to affiliates at Noon/11 or 12:30/11:30. Some ABC stations outside of the Eastern Time Zone moved Loving to 11:00 AM to air local newscasts at 11:30. Despite the time slot changes on some affiliates, the national ratings for the show never improved.
Although the national ratings were never strong enough to climb above tenth place, Loving did beat the genre's top-rated program, CBS' The Young and the Restless in markets such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia, which were home to four of ABC's owned-and-operated stations; however, Loving only competed with the first half hour of The Young and the Restless.
The series had a short two year run in the early years of UK satellite and cable channel Sky One, starting in February 1989. Loving aired in an afternoon slot, Monday to Friday at 14:45, later moved to 14:30, before being cancelled and replaced by Santa Barbara in February 1991.
Cast and crew 
Executive Producers 
|June 27, 1983 to June 17, 1988||Joseph Stuart|
|June 20, 1988 to November 30, 1989||Joseph Hardy|
|December 3, 1989 to April 1990||Mary-Ellis Bunim|
|April 1990 to July 12, 1991||Jacqueline Babbin|
|July 15, 1991 to May 25, 1992||Fran Sears|
|May 26, 1992 to October 1993||Haidee Granger|
|November 11, 1993 to December 1994||JoAnn Emmerich|
|December 1994 to November 10, 1995||Jean Dadario Burke|
|1990 to 1992||Barbara Duggan|
|1992 to December 1994||Jean Dadario Burke|
|December 1994 to November 10, 1995||Jane Elliot & Laura Rakowitz|
Associate Producers 
|June 27, 1983 to September 1988||Barbara Duggan|
|September 1988 to January 1990||Achille Raspantini|
|January 1990 to January 1992||Richard Schilling|
|January 1992 to 1994||Heidi Adam|
|1994||Heidi Adam & Dana Walker Keane|
|December 1994 to May 1995||Heidi Adam|
|May 1995 to November 10, 1995||None|
Coordinating Producers 
|September 1988 to 1990||Barbara Duggan|
|1990 to May 1995||None|
|May 1995 to November 10, 1995||Heidi Adam|
Head Writers 
|1991||Mary Ryan Munisteri|
Robert Guza, Jr.
Laurie McCarthy
James Harmon Brown
Daytime Emmy Award wins 
Drama performer categories 
|Supporting Actor||Bernard Barrow||Louie Slavinsky||1991|
Other categories 
- 1988 "Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series"