As The World Turns, like many CBS shows, placed a premium on middle class and then upper middle class family values, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a set of siblings who all shared the same biological parents. In other words, couples changed with a lot of regularity, but this was the show that actually pioneered the "super couple" concept back in the early Sixties, as well as amnesia as a dramatic plot device.
|Lily and Holden, As The World Turns' signature couple|
Marland was famous for planning out complicated stories aside from his signature romances, but everyone makes mistakes. The Who Killed Carolyn Crawford mystery started out as a suspenseful mystery that touched several of the core characters. However, Marland decided midstream that Darryl Crawford, the original culprit, was too likeable and valuable to "waste" as the murderer. Unfortunately, the backtracking was obvious and the story became ever more convoluted. Once the story was resolved, viewers were still at a loss as to explain who killed Carolyn Crawford and why. Still, this was notable because it was so rare.
Marland's untimely death left the show floundering for several years, and while it was gotten back on track years later by Executive Producer Chris Goutman, it never reached the same level of popularity, due in part to the trend to tell stories more quickly.
The lesson: a writer with a long-term vision is essential to the success of a show.