Classic Soaps Santa Barbara

Carrie Fairchild

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Yes, NBC's lack of enthusiasm in the 1980s and 1990s for its day-part was perplexing, since they were so extravagant toward early morning (Today Show) and late-fringe (The Tonight Show and Letterman) after having conquered prime time. You would think execs would have put the grease ($$$) where the squeaky wheel was...but instead they famously treated their daytime shows like wicked stepchildren. Victoria Wyndham of Another World remarked in an interview (shortly after the show's cancellation was announced) that NBC had "finally gotten their way," since she knew they had wanted rid of AW "since the early 1990s". If NBC had insisted that their affiliates air their soap lineup in "proper" order and not allow them to time-shift (and eventually not air) the soaps, then none of the other networks would have been forced to allow the same thing...which obviously hastened the demise of other soaps on other networks and now makes it impossible for the networks to advertise anything in their line-up with a defined timeslot.

I'm not completely au fait with the ins and outs of who owns / owned the rights to the NBC soaps but in my lifetime at least, they appear to be the most widely seen worldwide behind B&B and Y&R. Sunset Beach, Santa Barbara, Days of Our Lives and Another World all aired extensively in Europe, Asia and Australia while the ABC soaps didn't get much of a look in. So you would presume it would've been in NBC's interest to invest in their shows given the fact that they were making money from overseas sales (much in the same way that Home and Away & Neighbours are being propped up in Australia by their success in the UK).
 

Michael Torrance

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https://people.com/tv/jed-allan-dies-84/

Soap star and Beverly Hills, 90210 actor Jed Allan has died. He was 84.

The actor’s son Rick Brown broke the sad news on Saturday with a heartfelt Facebook post on a fan page dedicated to Allan.

“So sorry to post the very sad news of my father’s passing tonight,” Brown. “He died peacefully and was surrounded by his family and loved so much by us and so many others.”

Allan was known for his starring roles as Don Craig on Days of Our Lives, C.C. Capwell on Santa Barbara as well as for playing Steve Sanders’ dad, Rush Sanders, on Beverly Hills, 90210.

In a touching tribute to his onscreen father, 90210 star Ian Ziering shared a photo of the pair smiling together as their father-son characters.

“So sad to hear we’ve lost another 90210 classmate,” he wrote. “I had the pleasure of working with Jed Allan from 94 to 99. He played Rush Sanders, Steve’s father. Such a great guy to work with, he will be missed.”

Allan’s passing came five days after fellow 90210 actor Luke Perry died on Monday at the age of 52.

In another tribute, soap star A. Martinez, who shared a screen with Allan on Santa Barbara, remembered the actor for his “fearless” work as well as his “generous support” over the years.

“Jed was a pro’s pro in every sense, and an inspired artist in the moments when the red lights came on — he was fearless, and his work moved millions,” he wrote. “I first met him in the early seventies, when his son Mitch Brown and I were cast mates on the TV series, The Cowboys. With his effervescent wife Toby at his side, he quietly asked me to keep a watchful eye out for Mitch, as it was his first gig. Jed was already a star by then, and he was as warm and articulate and charming as anyone I’d ever met. A decade later, when he came to Santa Barbara, the show finally began to find its eventually glorious stride. I LOVED working with him, as did everyone else who got the chance.

“Years later, he visited me backstage during the difficult run of a play I was doing — offered typically generous support — and then spoke of the loss of Toby, the love of his life, who had passed away shortly before, with literally no warning. (It was hard to imagine a human being missing another more…) In my dream, the two of them are dancing together again tonight — a great comfort to all who’ve known and loved them over the years. Condolences now to their wonderful sons, and gratitude to Jed for his unerring joy in the telling of stories, and for offering always the embrace of his massive heart,” he added, speaking of the actor’s late wife Toby Brown.

Allan’s first big role came in 1963, when he joined the cast of beloved daytime soap General Hospital, according to Entertainment Weeklythis link opens in a new tab. Throughout his career, the actor also appeared on Lassie, playing Ranger Scott Turner, and The Secret Storm, before landing his role on Days of Our Lives in 1971.

After over a decade playing Don Craig on the NBC series, he joined the cast of Santa Barbara in 1986 and remained on the show until 1993. The following year, he began appearing on Beverly Hills, 90210.

Allan, who was married to wife Toby Brown until she died in 2001, is survived by three sons, according to the Liberty Voice.
 

Daniel Avery

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I'm not completely au fait with the ins and outs of who owns / owned the rights to the NBC soaps but in my lifetime at least, they appear to be the most widely seen worldwide behind B&B and Y&R. Sunset Beach, Santa Barbara, Days of Our Lives and Another World all aired extensively in Europe, Asia and Australia while the ABC soaps didn't get much of a look in. So you would presume it would've been in NBC's interest to invest in their shows given the fact that they were making money from overseas sales (much in the same way that Home and Away & Neighbours are being propped up in Australia by their success in the UK).
I recall reading that Days was exported to Australia as early as the 1970s. AW was really popular in Canada right up to the end. Santa Barbara, though, became such a hit in France that NBC actually had them do remotes there occasionally (just as CBS will occasionally send B&B overseas for remotes). I think SB was their first and only taste of international acclaim, and this likely helped the show stay on the air a bit longer than it might have. Still, NBC soaps had various different owners, so they (NBC) likely did not want to stick their neck out too much for shows they did not own directly. Witness the difference between their treatment of the above-mentioned shows and how they treated Passions, a show they owned outright. The ratings were disastrous, but NBC pummeled viewers with Passions promos, and kept finding new ways to get exposure for the show (running it on Sci-Fi Channel for a while, eventually on DirecTV, and placing it online when that was a new thing). ABC did try to sell some of its shows overseas, but I don't think they had much success; the only one I recall was Loving being sold to Italy and being a hit for a while. I recall when I went to Italy in 1988, they had Guiding Light reruns airing under the name Sentieri (lighthouse?) or something like that, and I was transfixed by the dubbing. It was especially surprising since the owner of that show, Procter and Gamble, rarely syndicated any of their shows (AW being one of them). P&G could make a handsome sum of money if they would release their shows on some kind of streaming service...but I guess they feel they don't need the money, so they just sit on tons (30+ years) of old tapes.

The best part of having these soaps syndicated overseas (or anywhere) means there are more opportunities for fans to discover old, "lost" episodes. A lot of old Days stuff was found in Australia, and a lot of the best SB stuff comes from French-dubbed or Dutch-dubbed clips.
 

Alexis

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God.... Imagine if Netflix started airing all those years of old soaps. I would be an unemployed 900 lb man.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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I recall reading that Days was exported to Australia as early as the 1970s. AW was really popular in Canada right up to the end. Santa Barbara, though, became such a hit in France that NBC actually had them do remotes there occasionally (just as CBS will occasionally send B&B overseas for remotes). I think SB was their first and only taste of international acclaim, and this likely helped the show stay on the air a bit longer than it might have.

Santa Barbara definitely benefitted from premiering when the nighttime soaps were at the height of their powers around the world. A daytime Dallas, at half the price, that you could air right from the beginning and keep supersoap fans entertained until the big guns came on in the evening.

For example, US daytime soaps were never features of the Irish or UK TV schedules prior to the 80's (Ryan's Hope being the exception when it had a brief run on Irish TV, presumably because of the show's Irish connections). Yet, SB got a full run on Ireland's main channel RTE1 and ran for around three years on ITV in the UK before transferring to the number one satellite channel Sky One (I'm unsure if UK viewers actually got to see the show in it's entirety). The only US daytime soap to have a full run on Irish or UK terrestrial TV since, has been Sunset Beach.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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God.... Imagine if Netflix started airing all those years of old soaps. I would be an unemployed 900 lb man.

Soaps are one of the few areas that Netflix hasn't explored yet. I know that Amazon Prime has some Dark Shadows available but I'd love to see Netflix either produce their own soap or as you said, start showing old episodes. I know that some of the shows would involve thousands of episodes but I could live with even seeing full runs of the shorter lived stuff like Capitol, The City and Port Charles. I can only presume that digitising so many episodes of soaps vs the return they'd get from them isn't seen as worthwhile for Netflix.
 

Alexis

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Soaps are one of the few areas that Netflix hasn't explored yet. I know that Amazon Prime has some Dark Shadows available but I'd love to see Netflix either produce their own soap or as you said, start showing old episodes. I know that some of the shows would involve thousands of episodes but I could live with even seeing full runs of the shorter lived stuff like Capitol, The City and Port Charles. I can only presume that digitising so many episodes of soaps vs the return they'd get from them isn't seen as worthwhile for Netflix.
I would really love to see early episodes of shows like The Young And The Restless and All My Children and shows from the '70s and '80s. Even a digital soap channel would be great. Or like airing The Bold And The Beautiful from the beginning. Something that just aired classic soaps on a constant loop.
 

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I think most networks are simply intimidated by the sheer number of episodes. When SoapNet started airing reruns of Another World they claimed they had every intention of continuing with it to the very end. I mean, if a channel dedicated to soaps can't take on the challenge of airing ten/twelve years of a weekday series, who would? And yet even they discontinued it well before the end. A streaming service obviously has a different format, but I don't think I'd be as comfortable watching it on a laptop as I am watching it on my TV in the format (weekdays) I remember so fondly. Yeah, I'm an old fart. :) SoapNet could have been a treasure trove in the right hands, but ABC/Disney never gave it proper leadership, and the leaders they had never had a decent vision for it.

Santa Barbara and others with shorter runs benefit from not being viewed as such a challenge to program. All soaps pre-1983 or so are spotty in their availability, so those "single episode" finds would lend themselves to streaming services or Video on Demand. I'm sure @Alexis and others can attest to the fact that not every single episode has to be seen in order to enjoy the "gist" of a soap. I've always thought hour-long soaps can be perfectly enjoyable if you only watch Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The other two days are just icing on the cake.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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I know that there's a lot of old 50's / 60's sitcoms that have entered the public domain which make them relatively cheap to air which is why you often see them pop up on a loop on obscure low rent digital channels.

https://infogalactic.com/info/List_of_TV_series_with_episodes_in_the_public_domain

Alas, this doesn't appear to have happened to any soaps but I do wish a channel would pick up some of the cheaper series and rerun them. A couple of years ago on Sky Digital in the UK, there were reruns of Strange Paradise on one of the very minor channels. I also know that one of the US channels was (or still may be) airing reruns of The Doctors.
 

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The Doctors was produced by Colgate-Palmolive, the consumer-products company, much like Procter and Gamble produced a lot of soaps. C-P was a much smaller company in comparison, so they were placing all their eggs in that one basket, so to speak; they kept master tapes of the episodes since this was their crowning achievement. P&G produced so many shows that they simply 'taped over' episodes, re-using the videotape and thus losing all those older episodes forever. People had known for years that the (near-) complete run of The Doctors was in cold storage, but frankly no one thought enough of the show to resurrect it. There would still be a lot of expensive restoration to be done. It wasn't until people saw the value of reruns in the DVD era that someone (originally Hallmark, then the Retro Channel) opted to buy the reruns. Hallmark opted out before they even started airing it, and since I don't have Retro Channel, I'm not sure if they're still airing it. I have watched chunks of these episodes on youtube and while they are engaging and all, they don't set the soap world on fire. You get to see how cheaply soaps were produced, for sure. Retro originally wanted to set itself apart by having reruns of shows not already viewed repeatedly over the years, so The Doctors was a great find for them, but I think it would have been better if Hallmark had held on, since they're more widely distributed.

Edited to correct: TD was bought not by Decades Channel but by the Retro Channel. Corrections in bold.
 
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In my Another World viewing, I've caught up to where I left off in my Santa Barbara viewing - August 1985, so I decided to pop back in to SB and see how it compares to what I'm watching on AW. It looks like the first 700 episodes are up now.

Everything is so melodramatic and heightened over on SB and it sucked me right back in. Cruz and Eden are engaged and living together on Cruz's houseboat. Eden is starting to fuss about his job as a cop and hinting at wanting him to change careers. Other than that, everything is happiness and sunshine in their relationship.

Ted's trial for raping Christie ended when Christie broke down on the stand and admitted it wasn't Ted who raped her. She did not, however admit that the person who really raped her was her step-brother, Steve. Christie runs away and Ted tracks her down to help her but she has decided her only option is to shoot her rapist--who Ted still doesn't know is Steve. Mary (Christie's sister) has a flashback to Steve coming on to her and remembers that was the reason she ran away to become a nun. She also realizes that when she left, she left Christie alone with Steve and pieces together that Steve is the one who raped her. Steve goes off the deep end and ties Mary up and leaves to find Christie and Ted and kill them both. I've always liked the character of Mary. Harley Kozak is playing her scenes like she's in a 1950s melodrama. It's definitely entertaining.

Over at the Capwell mansion, Mason gleefully tells CC that Channing was gay and in a relationship with his friend, Lindsey. CC of course has a problem with this bit of news. Sophia, in a shockingly accepting attitude for 1985 explains that Channing was just being true to who he was and wasn't hurting anyone or doing anything wrong. CC eventually comes around to grudgingly not hating his dead son for being gay.

Sophia is currently living at the Capwell mansion, reconciled with CC. Gina is on the outs because of her affair with Mason, but is still staying at the Capwell mansion because of Brandon. CC is diagnosed with a brain aneurysm that could burst at any time and kill him.

Gina learns from Augusta that Channing is actually Lionel's son and shares this info with Mason. Mason decides to let CC know the truth and after goading him for an episode almost reveals the truth but Gina stops him. She's learned about CC's aneurysm from Sophia and doesn't want to kill him. CC doubles down on his vitriol directed at Mason and Gina, so that changes Gina's mind and they tell him the truth about Channing's parentage. CC flies into a rage and nearly collapses. He had already made arrangements to change his will and write out Masson and Gina and now he calls his lawyer to add Sophia to the disinherited list. Judith McConnell is brilliant in these scenes, trying to protect CC from the truth and then pleading with him to forgive her. CC, on the verge of collapsing throws the three of them out and we get a fun shouting match between Sophia and Gina. Sophia: "I want you to shut up. Just shut your mouth. You're a tramp. CC was right." Gina: "And you're a conniving, two-timing phoney, walking around as if butter wouldn't melt in your mouth. All the time trying to pass somebody else's child off as CC's." I love watching Gina vs Sophia scenes. There's a different dynamic when the Gina in question is played by Linda Gibboney rather than Robin Mattson, but as I've said before I love Gibboney's flighty, neurotic take on Gina.

While all the shouting is going on CC storms over to the Lockridge mansion with a gun to confront Lionel. Gina, Sophia, Cruz and Eden all show up to stop him and he ends up collapsing. He refuses to go to the hospital and is taken back to the Capwell mansion. CC is convinced he will be dead soon and is determined to sign his divorce papers (divorcing Gina) and his new will. Gina tries to stop him from signing the papers, knocking the papers out of his hand. CC collapses to the floor, this time unconscious, will and divorce papers scattered around the floor, while Gina stands over him trying to decide what to do next.

All of that happened over the course of about three episodes. It was sort of breathtaking how fast the plot moved. Sure, it was pretty plot heavy but it was a lot of fun and knowing what's just ahead story-wise, I'm looking forward to being back in SB for a while.
 

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Though I was not paying close attention at the time, I do recall most of the soap press referring to the Dobsons being "locked out" of Santa Barbara, as if their departure was NOT voluntary. I'm sure the real story is out there on the internet somewhere. I seem to recall problems over ownership of the series....?
Hit me up when Rick Edwards hits the scene. I definitely remember his time on SB--I think he was instrumental in jump-starting my puberty. :10:

WOAH
(Passes out)
 
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Jason73

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Christie has killed her rapist step brother--shooting him in the back by accident. Ted and Christie have concocted a story to make shooting him in the back sound like self defense. Ted is freaking out about lying to the police.

CC is in a coma now. Gina is playing lady of the manor and has hidden the will, currently in the study but I have memories of it eventually being hidden in the walls of the Capwell mansion. Eden is taking over running Capwell Enterprises because CC is incapacitated, which is just starting to put a strain on her relationship with Cruz. I have always been a huge Cruz and Eden fan but I had forgotten how amazing their chemistry is together. The writers have given them lots of scenes of talking to each other, being playful and loving and supportive of one another. It helps you really invest in their relationship so that it will be all the more painful when things fall apart in a couple of months thanks to Gina and Kirk.

Lionel knows now that Channing was his son and wants to get to know his grandson Brandon better. Augusta isn't especially happy about it and is trying to convince Santana to take Brandon back and leave town. Louise Sorel is so good. It's a shame the show eventually couldn't figure out what to do with Augusta as the focus shifts to only the trials and tribulations of the Capwells.

The show is so watchable during this period. I find myself falling behind on my other soaps because I just want to watch SB.
 

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Phylicia Rashad had turned up in a three day role as a district attorney who is questioning Ted and Christie after the shooting of her rapist step-brother. This would have been a year into the Cosby Show run. I guess it was NBC's attempt to bring in some new viewers. Rashad is fantastic--formidable but likable. She more than holds her own against Nancy Lee Grahn. Makes me wish she was a full time character.

Eden has just taken CC out of the hospital to recover at the Capwell mansion. We are getting closer and closer to the storyline that got me hooked on SB the first time around.

Gina has hired Mary to be CC's nurse. The Mason/Mary romance is just getting started.
 

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Mason, Mary, Gina, Sophia and (I think) Ted are all living at the Capwell mansion. Plus Eden is there all the time visiting comatose CC. I love when soaps cram a bunch of people who mostly can't stand each other under the same roof. Mason and Gina are scheming and fighting with Eden. Mary is on mostly friendly terms with Gina so far and falling in love with Mason. The claws come out every time Sophia and Gina bump into each other. Cruz referred to it as the "looney bin". It's good stuff.

This CC in a coma storyline is great fun and not just because it leads to the Gina pulling the plug and framing Eden story. Gina and Mason are fighting Eden for control of Capwell Enterprises. Gina is bossing everyone around, confident that the will is safely hidden in the mansion walls. Sophia is struggling with her guilt over her part in CC's stroke. And Mary coming to work at the mansion kicks off her romance with Mason. They keep bumping into each other at night and sharing longing glances and heartfelt conversations.

Meanwhile, Kelly's story is a total snooze that I often fast forward through. What a waste of Robyn Wright. But, Kelly's snoozy boyfriend, Nick, has just mentioned his brother Dylan and I know Dylan's arrival leads to some juicy stuff for Kelly.
 

Willie Oleson

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I find myself falling behind on my other soaps because I just want to watch SB
Don't fight the anarchy, embrace it.
We are getting closer and closer to the storyline that got me hooked on SB the first time around.
We got SB in Holland too, but not the complete series. I vividly remember that it started with a woman dressed up like man, and it had something to do with a secret passageway (somebody was murdered?)
 

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Well, Phylicia Rashad(when she was still Phylicia Ayers-Allen) was on One Life to Live until shortly before The Cosby Show, so she knew her way around a soap opera set. And as you may know, the early years of The Cosby Show were filmed right across the hall from Another World at those studios in Brooklyn.
 

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Gosh the romance is so well written. Cruz and Eden are given so many fun, playful scenes. I love their arguments that usually end up with them in bed together. So much time is spent just developing their relationship instead of plot point after plot point.

And Mary and Mason . . . living under the same roof, realizing they have feelings for each other, they almost had a date but Mary got cold feet and canceled. Occasionally they will push past their awkwardness and Mary will push past Mason's defenses and get him to open up about why he is so damaged. Harley Kozak was so melodramatic when she first started on the show. It's amazing how quickly she's adjusted and become one of the best actresses on the show. Lane Davies is so sexy.

And the love themes. This isn't Cruz and Eden's main love theme but a secondary one. I hadn't heard it in years but it's been stuck in my head all day.


And yet the writers can't make Kelly and Nick compelling or Ted and Laken. I put that down to the actors playing Nick and Laken.

Cruz and Julia's friendship is starting to develop. I remember that as something that stays strong throughout their time on the show.

Every once in a while Dame Judith Anderson's Minx will show up for an episode and interact with Brick, who still doesn't know that he is the real Channing Capwell (Lockridge).

The sets are so distinctive--the Spanish style Capwell mansion, Cruz's houseboat, the Orient Express restaurant that looks like the inside of a train's dining car.

Enter Kirk Cranston . . . Cruz and Eden don't know what's about to hit them.

Don't fight the anarchy, embrace it.

I have been embracing it all day today! I've done 9 episodes so far and will do at least two more before I go to bed. I can't stop watching. It's just so good.

I vividly remember that it started with a woman dressed up like man, and it had something to do with a secret passageway (somebody was murdered?)

That was Sophia disguised as Dominic coming back to avenge her son's murder--only it turned out Sophia actually was the one who killed her son and didn't remember--only it turned out he wasn't actually her son because the child's paternal grandmother Minx switched babies at birth--only that plot point pretty much gets forgotten in the later years.

The secret passageway connects the feuding Lockridge and Capwell estates and factors in quite a bit in the first couple of years.

Well, Phylicia Rashad(when she was still Phylicia Ayers-Allen) was on One Life to Live until shortly before The Cosby Show, so she knew her way around a soap opera set.

Was she on contract there? How long was she on?

And as you may know, the early years of The Cosby Show were filmed right across the hall from Another World at those studios in Brooklyn.

I had no idea!
 

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Oh wow, how have I never heard this version of this song? I love Linda Ronstadt. It was just played at the end of an episode while Amy contemplated leaving Brick to return to New Stailand, the island nation where her son is the heir presumptive. The story is silly but the song is amazing and it was a nice moment as Amy gazed wistfully out the window of a darkened room and then climbed back into to bed with Brick.


Brick and Amy - really good actors stuck in a stupid story.
 

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Gritting my teeth here.....

Credit for the use of the character "themes" (songs) and the judicious use of modern (for the time) music to set the moods of the scenes can be given to [/chokes] Jill Farren Phelps. Being a music supervisor (or some such title) was her method of inserting herself into the soap business. And I guess she did an okay job. :re:

Was she on contract there? How long was she on?
I'm pretty sure she was, though IMDB says she was only there in 1983-1984. I mainly remember this because I was a fan of Debbie Allen and knew her sister was on OLTL...then her sister ended up becoming just as famous thanks to the Cosby Show.

Steering back to Santa Barbara.....Harley Jane Kozak had come to SB after leaving timeslot-competitor Guiding Light, having been part of one of the weirdest plots GL ever put together. It wasn't Kozak's fault, of course, but the storyline (involving a supposedly haunted house, an evil real estate agent and a decades-old secret about the murder of Kozak's character's mother decades earlier) tested the patience of even the staunchest GL fan. The fact that she managed to escape GL with her career intact was a feat in itself, but going to SB and creating an equally memorable character says a lot about her talent. And what can we say that hasn't already been said about how she leaves SB?
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