20170324

DYNASTY

In the 1984-85 season, 'Dynasty' was ranked the No. 1 program on television attracting a mass audience, averaging 21.2 million TV households (or 25% of the 84.9 million American households with TV sets at the time). 'Dynasty' beat 'Dallas' by an average of 250,000 TV households per episode that season. The 1985 cliffhanger attracted 39% share of the audience in its time slot (roughly 22 million TV homes were counted watching). 

At that time George Peppard was playing the former army colonel John "Hannibal" Smith in the action drama 'The A-Team'. In a conversation with Gary Deeb of 'News America Syndicate', George Peppard made known, "It was 1979. I got hired to play Blake Carrington in this ABC pilot for a series that was then called 'Oil' and later got renamed 'Dynasty'. It cost $3 million to make this 3-hour program, which was the most expensive pilot in TV history. But I was getting hassled throughout the production. 

"The President of the network sent me some acting notes, suggesting changes in the way I was portraying the character. There was nothing offensive about it, but it put me in a predicament. I knew I was doing the best I could and I knew it was good. If that was not what they wanted, I knew I was going to be a very unhappy man and they would be unhappy with me. In the simple code of an actor, you don’t discuss your character with anyone except the director. 

"I sent him a telegram offering to resign. He sent me a telegram back, saying, 'No, no – everything's okay.' And then a week later, they fired me. And at a cost of about $2 million, they reshot all my scenes, with John Forsythe taking over the role. It was a $3 million pilot which then became a $5 million pilot. And as for Forsythe, I don't mind admitting that he does a much better job with that part than I ever could have done. 

"When I worked for Universal Studios, they didn’t call me George Peppard; they called me that - Peppard. They figured, quite correctly, that I was the type of person who would jeopardize his own income in order to try to preserve the quality of a program – and in their view, that made me not only dangerous, but also probably a little bit insane. That could be what caused my dismissal from 'Dynasty'. 

"I mean, I was doing the very best I could – giving the best performance I was capable of. But they didn’t seem to like anything about it. When that happens, you know there have to be other factors at play. At any rate, I’ve no complaints. My firing turned out to be the best thing in the world for the program, for the network, for Johnny Forsythe and for me." 

"The role of Blake Carrington was simply too arresting a challenge to pass up," John Forsythe told Marilyn Beck over lunch at the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel back in 1982. "Instead of playing another father of three children, or the uncle of a niece who gets dropped off on his doorstep, I’d be portraying a man who’s powerful, manipulative, ruthless, loving, tender, virile – all the things I aspire to be. 

"Seriously, I did need a challenge. I didn’t return to TV because I needed money or work. But I had decided that if I was going to continue as an actor, there had to be something for me more meaningful than 'Charlie's Angels'. Remember, before I started doing television confections, I was a serious New York actor. Unfortunately, in the TV medium, when you do something, you’re expected to continue to do the same thing. 

"I had fought being typecast in my 'Bachelor Father' and 'To Rome With Love' sweet-guy mold with movie portrayals in which I could show my nasty side, in 'In Cold blood' and ... 'And Justice for All'. And when 'Dynasty' came along, well, I was ready for the challenge of playing a complex character again. I said, 'What the hell, John, they'll be paying you well, ABC loves you, the producers love you, you'll get more love at the studio than you do anywhere else.' So I said yes – and I'm still glad I did.

"This not an easy racket. It's a tough racket. With constant deadlines and strain – and the added tension of working too often with selfish people off on terrible ego trips. We just don't put up with that (displays of temperament). We have a job to do and with the large size of our cast, there's simply no room for anyone to play star. Even with all the problems attendant to TV, the show is a pleasure. Being a 64-year-old sex symbol is a hell of a weight to carry. But I have no desire for change. At my age, I don’t want to have to start driving a truck."

Initially John Forsythe disclosed, "They wanted Blake to be the guy you loved to hate – with no redeeming qualities. But I resisted. I saw him as the prototype of the big, successful business man: powerful, money-hungry, but honest and tender with those he loves. I know a lot of guys like that, and that's how I wanted to play Blake Carrington. I simply didn't want to be another J.R. Ewing. Then, fortunately, Joan Collins joined the cast and helped take the pressure off me in that arena by playing the woman you love to hate." On reflection, John Forsythe remarked, "For the first 5 or 6 years, I thought, for a soap opera, it ('Dynasty') had some real values." 

Pamela Sue Martin played John Forsythe and Joan Collins' on-screen daughter. She surprised the show's producers when she decided to leave the series at the end of the 1983-84 season. Pamela explained to the press in 1986, "I'm one of those people who work to live, not live to work, and I was willing to take the financial risk and back off my career for a while."

At the tine she was working on the project 'Torchlight'. Pam continued, "I worked 3 years on that film. It's a decent picture. We couldn't keep it afloat in the theaters but it's doing bangup business in video rentals (at the time). I left 'Dynasty' because it ceased to be a creative environment. The idea of success was a Joan Collins fur coat. People were losing their individuality and becoming images.

"They weren't too happy about my not wanting to continue, and they tried to talk me out of it, but couldn't. I was pretty clear about my intentions, and they said they understood and would leave the door open for me to return in case I changed my mind. Deep in my heart, though, I knew that would never happen. Once I move on from something, as the old saying goes, 'You can't go home again.'

"I did miss out on a lot of money – I'm not stupid. But I made the choice. In the beginning, it was fun. But it all got to be the same. I knew I had to change that. After they tried unsuccessfully a couple of times to lure me back, they said: 'Look, we've been holding this part open for you all this time and if you don't come back we're going to hire another actress to play the part.'

"I know they've left the door open. It's there for me … for Fallon to return. I said fine, and that was it. Life on your own isn't always as comfortable as people think. What I found most desirable about being away from series work is the independence. I think with getting older, it's getting better. The more wisdom you get, the more you appreciate. I'd like to be an actress who kicks around for a long time without being a household name."

Of the movie, 'Torchlight', "It was fraught with frustration. It's such a push and struggle to get a film made, (but) I wanted to tell a story and write a film. I am part of the '60s, a generation that separated itself from the status quo, and that meant drug use. (‘Torchlight’) deals with the past decade and the runaway use of cocaine. There is an entirely different approach to drugs now (in 1985).

"'Torchlight' doesn't deal with society's dropouts. It's about professional men and women, doctors, lawyers and executives, being introduced to coke socially, people who never experimented with drugs in the '60s. Coke is a rampant social problem all over the country and that's what I wanted to get across in this picture. This is a tragic contemporary love story. If audiences are moved by the picture and become involved with the characters, then it might convince them to stay away from drugs. But we're not trying to hammer anything into their heads. This is a subtle story of what happens to people involved with drugs. Audiences will get the message."

Some 25% of each episode of the series 'The A-Team' featured action. George Peppard told 'United Press International' in 1983 'The A-Team' had broad family appeal because "the concept is male-female humor. This part is an actor's dream come true. My character is very big on disguises. In the pilot I play a Chinaman, a 70-year-old skid row drunk and a Mexican. It's the best role I've ever had in my career. Now I've got the best of both worlds. The disguises allow me to play a wide range of characters, and yet Smith is essentially a leading man, the guy who sets up all the con operations. Best of all, I get to play straight comedy for the first time in my life and I’m enjoying every minute of it."

20170323

DYNASTY

By December 1982, the TV series 'Dynasty' began to attract a weekly audience share of over 40% in its time slot. "Nobody anticipated the show would become such a monster - one of the biggest in the history of television, and popular around the world," Pamela Sue Martin recalled. John Forsythe added, "(Aaron Spelling) has his finger on the pulse of America. During the Depression of the '30s, people flocked to the theaters to see the kind of glittery MGM pictures because they removed them from the problems of the day.

"The women on 'Dynasty' dress better than the women on 'Dallas' (until Lorimar hired Travilla in 1984). We're vastly different in every conceivable way from 'Dallas'. They have money but they don't show it; we show it." In July 1982, Nolan Miller spoke to Cheryl Blackerby, "A few years ago, the whole attitude toward clothes was that they didn't matter. The studios thought no one would pay attention. Most of the studios would want the stars to look very glamorous but they wouldn't pay for the clothes.

"That's not possible, as you well know. If you could look rich and glamorous without spending money, everyone would be doing it. The studios are learning that clothes are very important. Our mail, which is incredible, proves that. We've found that the glamorous things just are not available when we need them. This year (the 1982-83 season) we will be making even more.

"ABC is much less strict than CBS. We had no one standing over us saying, 'You can't do that.' There are no concrete rules about taste. We know where the line is. 'Charlie's Angels' came in during that period when the no-bra look was in vogue. We were the first. Up to that point the networks were very careful. Even a jersey dress could be considered suggestive.

"(On 'Charlie's Angels') we cleaned out the shops on Rodeo Drive for those girls. They all had their favorite shops. Farrah (Fawcett) liked a certain shoe shop. Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson loved Alan Austin's beautifully tailored pants, jackets and silk shirts. I've always believed an actress needs to be comfortable in her clothes to feel more comfortable in the part.

"In the beginning of the show we made Jackie very classic. Farrah was going to be avant-garde and Kate was going to be very tailored. But the stars had definite ideas about what they should wear on the show. And they all liked the same kind of clothes. After a couple of seasons I gave up trying. But we won't get into 'Charlie's Angels' stories. It's all passé. I'll just say it was a hectic show.

"(On 'Dynasty') Linda (Evans) is a casual, classic kind of person like the character she plays, so we let her wear a lot of silk shirts and pants, the kind of clothes she likes off the set. Joan Collins is not like that. She loves very glamorous things, clothes that border on the theatrical. She plays a very showy person who's very impressed with all that's artificial in life. She is more flamboyant, an international jet-setter.

"The show ('The Love Boat') has a large guest cast and many times the show is cast at the last minute. I'll call the guest stars and tell them they have 9 changes and what those changes are. If they don't have anything right we will shop for them, but many, many times they wear their own clothes. Polly Bergen was a recent star in the show and she brought in beautiful clothes for us to select from. She probably has the best wardrobe I've ever seen. It's incredible. There's no studio that would spend the kind of money on clothes she does.

"The producers feel we will be going a bit beyond what the public wears. It's what the public expects. The characters should be larger than life. This year (the 1982-83 season) we will concentrate more on clothes. Joan will be coming into a lot of money and will be even richer and even more glamorous." At Lorimar Productions, Richard Egan disclosed, "We try to be as diplomatic as we can but the script and the director dictate the clothes (not the stars)."

"I can say we have a very healthy allowance," Richard hinted. However not many stars could keep the clothes because "if everybody got them, they would be taking clothes home in carloads. Some clothes we have to buy in triples and quadruples, one for the stunt man and several changes for the actor if he's going to fall in the water or be in an accident or something."

In separate interviews with 'Gannett News Service' and 'Tribune TV Log' in 1986, Pamela Sue expressed, "After the first year or two, it ('Dynasty') became a cliché of itself. Playing Fallon was like a trout going upstream. The show began to have no rhyme or reason. It was better the first year when we had set writers. But it became like a subway, with people getting on and off. It didn't make any sense. I realized this animal was getting bigger and bigger and swallowing me up.

"They (the cast) created these monsters for themselves. People were losing their individuality and becoming images. I felt that I had a fairly open door to go back for a while. They originally wanted me back before they went and got somebody else, but I told them I really wasn't up to it ... Once I move on from something, as the old saying goes, 'You can't go home again.'"

In 1981, "What comes out in 'Dynasty' is the ever-present subconscious attraction between daughter and father but in this case, we're talking about an individual, a girl who's grown up without a mother, been surrounded by millions of dollars and tons of servants, and with her father as the only authoritative figure in her life. But he's gone from home on business a lot of the time and she finds she has a great need for intimacy with him since he's the only person she's been able to be close to while growing up.

"She's still young and is going through an identity crisis of asserting herself. Although she is somewhat promiscuous, she's not completely drawn to any other man, with the exception of Cecil Colby, who is powerful and handsome like her father. She's also rich, and that in itself is an isolating factor in establishing intimate human relationships.

"I believe that people repeat situations continually choosing 'pieces' of personalities and responses in an unconscious desire to recreate certain emotional situations to remind them of what they once knew. But again, I think it's important to stress the fact that we're all different and unique. One can't generalize. Some people are more sensitive and impaired by events that happen along the way than others.

"That's why I wouldn't say that most daughters unconsciously seek out men that remind them of their fathers. I don’t think I do. Fallon has always fancied herself the mistress of the house, its leading female character and the only other person with any authority in it. Then her father marries his secretary, someone she feels is beneath her and everybody else in her world, and she becomes terribly resentful because both her place in the house and her place in her father's affection have been usurped by this socially inferior woman."

In 1985, Emma Samms as the new Fallon joined John James in the spin-off series, 'The Colbys'. "When you suddenly get $500 million, as my character did, you change," John James pointed out. "He's now a leader of the pack. Before, he was kind of a 'yes man' to Blake Carrington. Now he stands on his own two feet. It's a stretch for me and the character. Jeff was a little naïve before and manipulated by people. He doesn't allow that now."

At the time Pamela Sue Martin, the old Fallon was filming the TV mini-series, 'Strong Medicine' based on Arthur Hailey's bestseller. First shown in April 1986, 'Strong Medicine' explored the pharmaceutical industry. "I have been made more aware recently of problems in the industry. I have friends struggling with incurable diseases, but they can't get some drugs.

"That has to do with legalizing experimental drugs. Difficult choices have to be made. You don't want to give out Thalidomide; we know what happened then. That subject matter is touched on briefly in the film. Basically, though, this film is a personal story and about life within this structure. Celia Grey, my character, is an ambitious careerwoman but not a stereotype.

"She rises to power without being a bitch or a vamp. This character is strong and interesting and moves forward in a positive way. It was a positive role for a woman and it's not a matter of my making it so. It was easy to play because I agree with all the things about her. When I lived in one room in Chelsea, England, making 'Strong Medicine', I realized how simply I could live."

On 'Strong Medicine', Dick Van Dyke voiced, "I'm Pamela Sue's mentor. I start as the head of sales, but when Douglas Fairbank's character dies I become the company president. We have what we consider a real breakthrough drug which Sam Neill pushes through without regard to the safety factors when he becomes fed up with the foot-dragging. His drug has disastrous side effects … He's our villain in the story. I think being able to play a good villain is a remarkable talent."

In October 1987, Pamela Sue co-starred with Tim Matheson in 'Bay Coven', about a young couple from Boston who bought their dream home in New England and discovered in the village they were surrounded by a 300-year-old witches' coven. "This is a mood piece, something that really has to be experienced. It's very lovingly made, and made with a cinematic sensibility, and that's not something you get very often from television.

"Anyone who's into movies is going to get really involved in the visual style of it, and the fact that it creates a mood with subtlety, rather than by pouring out gore. It's a reactionary piece, because the audience will go through the picture and experience everything as my character does … her paranoia, her intuition and her reasoning. It's a very reactionary piece."

As Krystle, Linda Evans described the first year of 'Dynasty', "In the series, my husband, Blake Carrington, is very much in love with me and puts me above the children. That makes for an added resentment on the part of his daughter Fallon. Krystle has never been taxed with such problems before. She's gone to work, made enough money to live on, come home and had fun with friends. Now, suddenly, she encounters not only an aggressive stepdaughter but enters a whole new way of life."

20170322

LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN

Some 43 years after 'Leave Her To Heaven' was made (back in 1945 after the end of World War II), Timothy Bradshaw rewrote and Christian I. Nyby directed the remake of the same film in 1988. Loni Anderson played the role Gene Tierney originated and Patrick Duffy played the role Cornel Wilde originated. Based on Ben Ames Williams' 1944 bestseller which was noted for its "subtle psychological overtones", the 1988 version changed its name to 'Too Good To Be True' because "Fox owns the rights to the title … and didn't want to relinquish it." 

'Too Good To Be True' won its time slot when it went on air back in November 1988 (attracting 31% share of the audience; 19.9% ratings, about 17.9 million households were counted watching) against 'Monday Night Football' (27% share; 15.7% ratings) and 'Murphy Brown' (22% share; 14.7% ratings) and 'Designing Women' (23% share; 15.3% ratings). 

Shot on location around Bass Lake in Sierra, Navada, in the Maine woods, on a ranch in New Mexico and in Warm Springs, Georgia, 'Leave Her To Heaven' was the first psychological drama to be filmed in color instead of black and white back in 1945. The picture told "the uncompromising story of a girl who wanted a monopoly on the thoughts and interests of the man she loved."

Twentieth Century-Fox publicists said Gene Tierney was selected to play Ellen Berent because "there was no precedent for casting the role of Ellen Berent. There had never been another girl like her, at least on the screen. She was young, American, beautiful and lovable; and at the same time, she was a psychopathic demon. The most logical choice for her part seemed to be Miss Tierney, who first found fame as a glamor girl but had made a determined and successful fight to become a versatile actress."

Of the part, Gene Tierney told 'United Press' in 1945, "Oh, she's about as mean as they come. A totally despicable girl without a saving grace to her name. The studio really must have battled to make you take the part. I was simply dying to play it right from the moment I read the book. I was scared to death someone else would get it. I've been the pretty young wife in too many pictures now in which everyone else got the meaty parts."

Film critic Edwin Schallert expressed, "Gene Tierney, in fact, has a role to play that is veritably psychopathic in its violence, yet so solidly motivated that you view her as a thoroughly human, if also thoroughly poisonous heroine. She is the hopeless victim of a selfishness so consuming that when it manifests itself in love, she sacrifices everything for possession, and for vengeance when she cannot possess.

"Her various actual crimes, as revealed in the feature include two murders, one of prenatal character, and finally a suicide which tends to throw the guilt attaching to her death on an innocent person. In other words, even from the grave she reaches back into life to harm. Miss Tierney enacts this sordid virulent role in a manner that will prove strangely arresting for those who look on."

'Leave Her To Heaven' was hailed as "an amazing study of a character, and the 'powers of darkness' at work through the medium of a single woman, whose hate is even more sinister than her love. And both are sinister beyond belief." Gene Tierney elaborated, "I have a young (on-screen) brother-in-law who's sort of an invalid. I resent the attention my (on-screen) husband gives him so I eliminate him by just letting him drown when I could have saved him. Much simpler than swinging a sash weight. I dispose of an unborn child by falling down stairs. And then I commit suicide in such a way as to throw suspicion on my (on-screen) sister – Jeanne Crain – because I think my (on-screen) husband – Cornel Wilde – is interested in her. You see, I'm determined not to let go of him."

'Leave Her To Heaven' was noted for being "produced with great care, and very daringly, under the supervision of William A. Bacher and the direction of John M. Stahl." The picture was "far away from that boy-meets-girl fodder so often discerned on the screen (at the time). John M. Stahl maintains a highly pitched mood and fast pace that is overwhelming in its intensity and emotional impact."

Gene Tierney portrayal of Ellen, Edwin Schallert believed, "It is even the kind of interpretation that may win the Academy award. This rather depends on the mood of the voters, as it will represent a wide swing away from their prior selection. It is admirably accomplished in the insidious phases." Another critic remarked, "Even in her death she (Ellen) endeavors to hold on to her possession with a terrific passion, even plotting to have her half sister tried for her murder and subjecting her husband to the disgrace of a prison sentence. For the first time the movie exploits Gene Tierney's extraordinary talent to the fullest - passionately warm and murderously cold by turn."

In the 1988 version, Loni Anderson told Nancy Mills of 'Asbury Park Press', "If this character weren't so hideous, you'd feel sorry for her. She's pathetic in her possessiveness and her jealousy. She does the most terrible things. The only (favorable) thing you can say about her is that she loves her husband. But the love is a sickness, a mad, jealous, obsessive possession.

"You don’t get punished for it. You don't have to go to prison. You can get all those nasty feelings out and there are no consequences. We'd finish a scene and the crew would say, 'Get away from me,' and go like this (Loni made a cross with 2 index fingers). I've been wanting a role like this for years. It's such a nice departure and a real challenge. People ask me, 'Did you play her with dark hair?' It goes back to that old cliché; blondes are sweet, redheads have a hot temper and brunettes are evil. I did it as a blonde. I used to have dark hair, and I never considered myself evil."

20170321

DALLAS

In the "television society" of 1980s, Patrick Duffy (born on March 17 also known as St. Patrick's Day) played Bobby Ewing, "the symbol of goodness on a generally wicked TV show ('Dallas')." Patrick pointed out, "I am not privy to future scripts – none of us is. We generally get scripts about 2 episodes ahead of what we're filming. About every 7 days we get a new script. 

"Certain characters, the victim characters, are able to go in and say, 'Hey, listen, what are you planning for my character? Give me an idea of what direction you want to go.' But a character such as mine basically performs the same function all the time anyway, so I really don't have that concern or interest." Patrick played Bobby for 7 seasons before deciding "to go on to other things". The season without Bobby, Leonard Katzman regarded "the season that didn't exist" and as televised, "was all passed off as Pam's dream." 

Without Bobby "('Dallas') lost 3 million viewers last season (1985-86). The only thing they're happy about is it finished ahead of 'Dynasty.'" Hence it was decided to resurrect the character of Bobby Ewing. The 'Chicago Tribune' conceded, "In TV terms, the returning of Bobby Ewing is bigger news than the return of General Douglas MacArthur, the return of the Jedi – even the return of Godot."

In total, Patrick played Bobby for 12 seasons. It was noted, "The names of the 12 disciples of Jesus were the foundation stones of His church, several even wrote portions of the Bible." Patrick told the press in 1997, "I'm one of the lucky actors in television. I don't make a lot of big waves, there's no tsunamis happening. But there's a constant activity, and that's the way I prefer to live my life."

Speaking to 'Gannett News Service' in 1988 about his movie, 'Unholy Matrimony', Patrick made the point, "That would be a trap, to try and go 180 degrees from Bobby. There are a lot of similarities in the natures of people who decide to do good. I'm not a good actor when it comes to how I figure on doing things. I'm not real set in my ways. If it works, I will go ahead and do it.

"With this role (Sgt. John Dillman), I just wanted to make sure that everything the character did, he did without thinking. Action first, then you can see him going through the process of thinking if that was a good idea. There’s the instinctual element. I treated the story like fiction, so I didn't have to avail myself of extraneous outside information. In other words, I avoided a sense of reality. That's something I've done all of my life.

"The story is 15 years old (dating back to 1973). Dillman now is off the force and pursuing private practice. Our story goes through this case, when his whole attitude changed." Directed by Jerrold Freedman, Patrick said of the movie, "It seems as if police officers on the beat go through a crisis period in their profession. They tend to think they put more garbage back on the street than they lock up.

"We still have the best form of law enforcement, but it's also a system that allows ample opportunity for the guilty to go free. At some point, (I found) in my discussion with officers, they have to decide whether it's all worth it or not. We fictionalized a beginning that would show Dillman at that crucial moment. Something has to change, or he has to get out. So it was not with panic, but with absolute determination, that he became obsessed with the case."

'Dallas' celebrated its 10th anniversary in March 1988. Leonard Katzman reminded, "We play it straight, although we sometimes take it to extremes. We've never taken ourselves as seriously as some other shows. 'Knots Landing' is the most reality-based show. We have our own reality, but it's a fictitious reality." In one episode, Gary Ewing said, "Are you playing both sides against the middle."

Derived from Faro, one of the most popular games in the U.S. after poker in the 19th century, the phrase "playing both ends against the middle" was said referred to the way the dealer provided for a double bet by a player, meaning to use each of two sides for one own purpose. According to the 'Pittsburgh Post-Gazette' editorial in October 1969, "But, while playing both sides against the middle is the name of the parliamentary – constitutional game, such efforts have their dangers."

Associated Press gave an example, "The price war began to play both ends against the middle on June 13 1951. A large New York department store, Gimbels, advertised cigars reduced between 28% and 48%. The same store in the same ad advertised a bargain price on a book titled 'How to Stop Smoking.'" In another example, a reader wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper in March 1953, "It seems to me that Karl Marx Communism and Big, Big Capitalism have at least one thing in common. They know how to play both ends against the middle. And the middle seems to be the United States government. It aways foots the bills."

It was understood "the intuitive and practical politician knew how to play both ends against the middle most successfully. A politician must learn how to play both ends against the middle on touchy issues so that no matter which way the ball bounces he will be able to say 'I told you so'. This is an essential part of his political hedge-ucation."

Rob Kyff of the 'Hartford Courant' Connecticut elaborated back in March 2011, "The term 'play both ends against the middle' describes a crafty ploy: either playing up to 2 opposing people or policies so that you'll be on the victorious side no matter who wins, or manipulating 2 opponents into a conflict with each other in order to benefit oneself. For example, a teenager goads her older brothers into a fight with each other; their parents ground them both; she gets to use the family car."

About 80% of the 'Dallas' exteriors were filmed on location before the crew returned to Los Angeles to finish shooting on the soundstage. "I do enjoy going to Dallas. It's like you've established a second life there. It literally becomes a second home. We rent houses instead of staying in hotels, because, I guess, we're still sort of an oddity … an attraction of sorts," Patrick recounted.

At the end of the 1983-84 season, Patrick spoke to the press, "Several years ago (back in 1979-80) I went to them with a viable argument that I was a frustrated person, the character was being shortchanged, and I asked to be let out of the show. They came back with offers of a bigger role for Bobby, but for Bobby to be the central part of the show would not make 'Dallas' successful. The show wouldn't be successful if I were the central figure. I don't think they even plotted the show with the idea that J.R. would be the central figure – that was just an accident, a very fortunate accident for all the people involved, myself included. I'm not looking for an enticement to stay. I’m just looking for ways to stretch."

On 'Dallas' Victoria Principal played Pam Ewing. In an interview after 'Dallas' dramatic 1984-85 season, Victoria shared, "I started out getting great parts like that in Judge Roy Bean (1972) but, over the years, the parts became increasingly less than what I wanted to do in terms of my acting ability. I wasn't happy about the parts I was doing, I wasn't happy with a lot of things. So I decided to change my profession. I became an agent. And I was good, very good. I liked it a lot. I love making deals.

"A friend of mine dropped off the pilot script of 'Dallas' at my house. He said I should read it and thought there was a part in it I would like. I read it that night and was absolutely entranced with the part of Pam. As I was an agent, I called the producers and made my own appointment to read for the role. I knew that this was going to be a hit. And, using partly my head and partly my heart, I read it and recognized that moment to be one of those times in life where you say: 'If this happens, my life will change.' And it really did.

"'Dallas' broke all the rules. It was a continuing show with no beginning, middle or end. It was the very first show in the U.S. to do that. I knew it was going to work from the very beginning, and I loved the character of Pam. For a time I thought Pam was very weak. It was an aspect of her character I wasn't comfortable with." Victoria then lobbied writers and producers to make Pam strong "and they did."

"In this last season where Bobby died, Pam grew – she became strong and as a personality had far more depth. While I'm playing Pam it is very real to me. I become Pam. I am not pretending. It's reality. But then I leave Pam at work and go home – and then I'm myself. My father was in the air force and I grew up all over the world. We traveled non-stop. For me it was rough, I think because we traveled around so much, always changing schools and friends, that probably fostered my ambition to be an actress. I lived in my own world. I had a fantasy universe."

Linda Gray played Sue Ellen. Her story, "The real Linda Gray is a million miles removed from Sue Ellen Ewing. While I am working all day long people are fiddling with my hair and my make-up. At weekends, I just wash my face, pull my hair back in an elastic band, get on my horse and ride to the top of the nearest hill. I even have a hammock up there to lie in and contemplate nature. The kids know to leave me alone when they see me in it." 

20170319

STORY

'The Story Behind The Story' first went on air in 1990. The program was created to go up against '60 Minutes'. Richard Kiley of 'A Year In The Life' (1989) and Jane Wallace were the hosts. "We did a pilot (in 1990), were picked up for 3 shows, and then finally picked up for 3 more (broadcast in 1991) – but don't have any idea if the network intends to continue with the program," Richard told the press at the time. 

In 1993, Richard Kiley could be seen in the production of 'Matthew'. As understood, Matthew lived along the shore of Lake Galilee in a town of Capernaum. At that time, the Roman Empire controlled all of Palestine. Richard as Matthew informed viewers, "Although I am a Jew, I worked as a tax collector for King Herod of Galilee who paid tribute (tax) to the Roman government. My cooperation with Rome made me an outcast in my own community. 

"However when Jesus the Christ looked at me and said 'follow me' I left everything and became what it is - Disciples. I am writing this gospel to show through the writings of the Lord, the prophets and the songs that Jesus of Nazareth (son of David, the son of Abraham) is the long awaited Messiah." It was noted the word "follow" was most frequently used in many of 21st century social media. 

In 1982, Steven E. deSouza and Harve Bennett of 'Star Trek' produced the TV series, 'The Powers of Matthew Star'. In the pilot, the character of Matthew was called David Star. Peter Barton told 'Starlog' magazine, "I firmly believe that UFOs exist; everyone through the ages has had their version of them and there seems to be evidence more than ever that they are out here. Even something like Matthew's powers are not all that improbable when you stop to think that we only use something like 5% of our brain. Maybe someday we'll be able to open our minds up and pour in all knowledge; then all you would have to do is ask the right question and the answers would be there." 

'The Story Behind The Story' sought to examine unreported aspects of the big events by re-telling front-page stories from previous decades using modern perspective. "'The Story Behind The Story' maybe even deplorable but it's pretty darn good," Tom Shales of the 'Washington Post' acknowledged. "It offers what some journalists call 'sidebars' – features that illuminate some little aspect of a bigger story. Truth be told, 'The Story Behind The Story' is a slick, sharp and engrossing hour." 

Journalist Jane Wallace maintained, "This is not a sleazy, syndicated tabloid show. I turned down lots of those shows. John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer (of 'Unsolved Mysteries') are former documentary producers who know what it means to do real stories. The level of research is extreme." 'The Story Behind The Story' primarily focussed on "all the other stuff, off to the side, that doesn’t get reported in big stories. 

"As a reporter, I know it's always there. It's the kind of stuff reporters tell each other. It's an intriguing concept, and it grabbed me right away. The approach to the stories is intelligent. I wouldn't sign up with these folks if I didn't feel they had high standards. There's nothing at all 'tabloidy' about the show." Mike Hughes remarked, "All of our lives would be better if Richard Kiley narrated them. He would give them clarity and perspective. He would add lyrical moments of verbal beauty." Verbal beauty because the Emmy-winning actor "gave feeling to the words." On reflection, Richard Kiley conceded, "Orson Welles was the quintessential narrator." 

Mark Dawidziak offered, "There's a really neat idea lurking in 'The Story Behind The Story'. The basic concept is to isolate a fascinating smaller side story to a headline-making event. In fact, the title should be 'The Story Beside The Story'. Although 'The Story Behind The Story' again and again aims at the right targets, the disappointing special repeatedly misses the mark. 

"The unconvincing re-enactments are clumsily edited into actual news footage of the events. Pivotal information is left out. Historical context – crucial to many of these stories – is missing. And shallow, quick-hit treatments of intriguing topics often raise more questions than they answer. 'The Story Behind The Story' explores territory that could lead to a very entertaining series. The journey, however, is a bumpy ride. Substantial subjects are subjected to an approach to television that lacks substance."

20170318

MICROWAVE

"In the beginning there was fire, and it was good. And the fire was harnessed into hearths, followed by stoves, and it was better. Then came gas, electricity and finally, microwave ovens," Sam Gugino of the 'San Jose Mercury News' remarked. "Is a microwave for you?" Elaine Tait of 'Knight-Ridder Newspapers' asked. "Microwaving is a good idea for the person who has very little time to cook, but is somewhat pointless for older folks with time on their hands." 

In 1954, the Swanson family in Omaha, Nebraska launched the first "TV dinners" - already-made frozen dinner suitable for eating in front of the television. By 1987, Damon Adams of 'The Anniston Star' noted, "As society discovers more ways to save time and relies on convenience, the upscale version of the old TV dinner is sure to remain a constant in microwaves and ovens in American today and tomorrow." 

To clarify, "Unlike fresh foods, frozen foods are of consistent quality. A package of string beans purchased in New York has the exact taste and nutritional quality as the same brand purchased in Los Angeles. Frozen foods have no additives or preservatives. Except for prepared foods, such as vegetables in sauces, frozen foods are packaged in their natural state. No salt, sugar, vitamins, minerals or other additives are used. The freezing process itself is the only preservative needed." 

As people became more convenience-oriented, especially with over half of the American mothers working outside the home, frozen dinners (or microwave dinners) were as good as mom's meals from scratch. According to Dick Fralick of the National Frozen Food Association, TV dinner sales totaled $597 million in 1975. By 1983, sales were $926 million. In 1985, sales reportedly "skyrocketed to more than $1 billion." Dick Fralick pointed out, "If you look at the number of calories and nutrition (in frozen dinners), they are what you should be getting. If you want to know what you're getting, just look at the (nutrition profile) on the box."

"Too new to find in dictionaries, the word divides two camps of grammar. It also graphically illustrates the confusion, excitement and the big bucks associated with the wonder appliance of the 1980s," Patricia Tennison of the 'Chicago Tribune' reported in 1987. "In 10 short years, the microwave oven has evolved from an expensive toy to an affordable ally. It is now more common in American homes than a dishwasher, toaster oven or videocassette recorder. At least 60% – and some say 70% – of American households own a microwave oven. That's more than the 50% who have a dishwasher. 

"Once microwave oven owners learn to cook a few dishes, they tend to become crusaders, according to microwave cooking teacher, Karen Haas. About 91% of microwave oven owners do most with their machines is reheat food prepared from scratch and about 76% defrost food to be prepared in a regular oven, according to the May 1987 Gallup Monthly Report on Eating Out. Only 33% of microwave oven owners ever have used their ovens to cook a complete meal from scratch."   

Elaine Howard of MRCA Information Services explained, "Microwave ovens have revolutionized cooking habits – and that's not an overstatement." Jim Hope of the Anniston Super Valu added, "The low-calorie dinners are really hot because people are concerned about their weight. And with the pace of today (in 1987), people put a bigger value on their time … Our biggest growing area (in the store) is frozen foods." Susan Hanley of ConAgra Frozen Foods stated, "It's (frozen dinners) really a science."

Dinners such as chicken cacciatore in tomato sauce with green peppers, onions and mushrooms, and flounder vin blanc in white wine sauce with red skin potato wedges sprinkled with sweet red and green peppers and parslied baby carrots; or yesterday simple Salisbury steak and plain potatoes became today firecracker chicken marinated in spicy sauce with Oriental-style vegetables and peanuts and rice with egg and broccoli; beef sirloin tips came in rich mushroom and wine gray with potatoes and broccoli appeared in a creamy Cheddar cheese sauce; and scallops Florentine were tender scallops on a bed of spinach, topped with a rich, creamy sauce, served with tender-crisp baby carrots and white and wild rice. 

Eula Boardman told Valerie Coyle in 1989, "I began working with microwave cooking in 1974 and I've given many seminars across the country on the subject. I'm a new Texan (moved to Kerrville in 1988) but I sincerely believe that the Texas Hill Country is the prime tourist area of not just Texas, but the entire United States. It needs to be promoted, though, and that's what I'm trying to do with this book. ('Eula’s Microwave Cooking Basics'). 

"There are many restaurants in the book and not all of them are elegant, expensive places either. We have a lot of little barbecue restaurants in the Hill Country that serve wonderful food. I brought home samples of barbecue sauce from the different restaurants and conducted a comparison taste test in my kitchen. It was amazing how different the flavors were. I've told them where they can buy our delicious Hill Country prepared foods and produce, and also how they can store it to take it home safely."

20170316

TELEVISION

In 1986, CBS broke one programming tradition at the beginning of the season when the network took "the boldest scheduling risk" by creating the first prime time soap-versus-soap deadlock. For 7 Thursday nights between September and November in 1986, CBS put 'Knots Landing' face-to-face with 'The Colbys' on ABC. However by splitting the prime time soaps genre audience, fans were forced to choose between 'Knots Landing' and 'The Colbys', resulting in an immediate audience disaster for both dramas, with the sitcom 'Cheers' attracting its best ratings ever (30.0%), higher than 'Knots Landing' (14.8%) and 'The Colbys' (10.2%) combined. 

According to the 'U.S. News & World Report' at the time, the 5 prime-time programs with the highest percentage of female viewers were soap operas: (1) 'Knots Landing', (2) 'Hotel', (3) 'The Colbys', (4) 'Falcon Crest' and (5) 'Dynasty'. Studies among U.S. college students suggested soap operas were watched, not only for entertainment and escape, but also because they performed a specific social function: provided people (relative strangers) something to talk about and exchange in a non-threatening way. 

Robert Pollock told 'The Times' Louisiana, "Soaps have been good since Charles Dickens. People love a story, and they love to try and guess what will happen. They've put too much investment in the characters." As such Gerald Jaffe of NBC complained, "They generally repeat horribly, so that you either can't play them in repeats or you sit there and accept a total programming failure. You have to put in a new program in the summer to replace a 20-share show. If you want to maintain credibility in May (sweeps), you end up having to buy 33 or 34 original episodes, and that's very expensive. You always try to program for younger audiences earlier in the night." 

Robert Pollock remarked, "In the past, I've always been slightly upset by the strange programming of September and October. 'Dynasty' starts with all the other shows, then come the baseball playoffs on ABC every year and the show goes off the air for 2 weeks. That breaks up the sequence of a continued story and breaks up viewing habit. When that happens, you have to get in the groove again." 

Marvin Mord of ABC predicted, "I would think that at this point (in 1986) it's very unlikely that a new television series would come out that had the same kind of elements as a 'Dynasty'. The only reason that 'The Colbys' came on and was as successful as it is, is that it so closely related to 'Dynasty.'" Robert Pollock insisted, "The whole soap opera group is undergoing a cyclical dip that happens in television all the time." 

David Poltrack of CBS added, "I see no reason that they cannot continue on the schedule with the same type of loyal following. I think the soaps that are on now will be the ones that continue but I don't see new soaps being made." Eileen "Mike" Pollock believed, "Last year (the 1985-86 season) the show was planting seeds and now there is the reaping of the harvest. We have some good stories going. 'Dynasty' is the very emotional story of a family. 

"The show has been losing that emphasis with extraneous threads. We need to get to really textured human passions. We need to find things that have not been happening again, and get back in the kitchen with middle-of-the-night chicanery … moral wrestling and dilemmas." Stephanie Beacham saw the fall lineup 3 months earlier spoke to Bill Hayden, "Aren't they (CBS) unwise to have moved their show ('Knots Landing'). They're going to lose all their viewers. 

"All I know is our show ('The Colbys') has gotten stronger and stronger as it's gone along, and I can only hope the fans will come with it to Thursdays. It really is a shame to put two soaps opposite, but there are video recorders now." Robert Pollock pointed out, "CBS put a soap opera ('Knots Landing') against a soap opera ('The Colbys') in violation of basic tenets. We had the spot (9:00pm) already, and we're staying there. 'The Colbys' has a firm commitment for the season and solid support from ABC." 

The tenet was understood to be an unspoken "gentlemen's agreement" about prime-time soaps not running head-on. Brandon Tartikoff acknowledged, "Questionable CBS moves actually make us (NBC) look stronger from 9 to 11." By moving 'Knots Landing' up an hour to share the 9:00pm time slot with 'The Colbys', 'Knots Landing' reportedly lost some 25% of its audience from the 1985-86 season. Some disenfranchised fans switched over at 10:00pm to watch Barbara Walters and '20/20'. 

The move was said designed to build audiences and provide a good lead-in for the CBS new series, 'Kay O'Brien' ("call me Kayo"). In the aftermath of the head-to-head, Joan Van Ark spoke to the press, "I think our show ('Knots Landing') – being more reality-based than the others – has a much better chance to weather the storm. We aren't glitzy as 'Dynasty' or as melodramatic as 'Dallas'. Therefore, I feel that 'Knots Landing' will enjoy some real longevity because we are considerably more down-to-earth and closer to home for most viewers." 

In 1986, ScanAmerica used a pilot panel of 200 Denver households to track TV viewing and consumer purchases patterns. In its first 'BuyerGraphics' report, 100 advertisers were told the "Thursday night (10:00pm) lineup – 'Knots Landing', 'Hill Street Blues' and '20/20' – showed, for instance, that 14% more coffee drinkers watch 'Knots Landing' than would be expected in a typical TV audience. In a brand analysis, ScanAmerica's 'BuyerGraphics' found that 'Knots Landing' delivered a large audience of Folger's coffee drinkers – 21% above the norm."

In another case study, the report highlighted, "'The Colbys' has a TV household rating, or audience share, of 13.8%, which means that 13.8% of all TV households in Denver were tuned to the show during a given period. (18%-22% was considered to be very good.) The study further shows that 12.4% of all TV households that use heavy-duty detergents were tuned to 'The Colbys'.

"The show has an efficiency index of 90, which means 'The Colbys' is 10% less efficient at reaching heavy-duty detergent households than it is at reaching total TV households. Broken down still further, the figures show that 17.1% of all TV households that purchased Tide (a Procter & Gamble product) detergent in a particular time period also watched 'The Colbys'. The show had an efficiency index of 124, which means that 'The Colbys' is 24% more efficient at reaching Tide households than total TV households.

"Knowing this, an advertiser could decide to plug a Tide competitor on 'The Colbys' hoping to get viewers to switch brands. In the heavy duty detergents category, 9.1% of all TV households that use non-Procter & Gamble detergents watched 'The Colbys'. Here 'The Colbys' has an efficiency index of 66, which means the show is 34% less efficient at reaching non-Procter & Gamble households than at reaching total TV households."

Filmed in Toronto, Canada, respected New York theater actress Patricia Kalember, who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, played a woman surgeon at a New York City hospital in the medical drama, 'Kay O'Brien' in 1986. The series was described as a sharply written, fast-paced hour of drama. Commentator Mike Dufy noted, "The debut of 'Kay O'Brien may mark the first time in television history that a bottle of white wine (chardonnay) is used as a weapon (in a bludgeon scene)."

Patricia told the press, "I’ve done a lot of reading on women surgeons and as far back as the early '70s there were hardly any. It's a tough field and a very macho world. I also talked to some. They said you try to fit in by being a man, being tough. She's a doctor, not a scientist. She's a people person. She is with the patient, getting them ready and taking them all the way through. She's very straightforward and not a mystery to me. In fact, I really enjoy and respect her. She's a single woman and she's tough. She's trying to do so many things: Having a personal life, be a good surgeon and still be caring towards people."

With the lead-in from 'Knots Landing' (14.8% ratings), the premiere of 'Kay O'Brien' could not hold enough viewers for the network, attracting 13.1% ratings and finishing 3rd–place in its time slot. Of the 13 episodes CBS had commissioned, only 8 went on air before 'Knots Landing' returned back to its 10:00pm slot. From the outset, Robert Bianco of the 'Pittsburgh Press' reported, "CBS has a tall order for itself.

"It plans to recapture the top spot in the Nielsens next fall (1986-87 season) by winning Sunday, Monday and Friday again, taking Saturday from NBC, and coming in a strong second to NBC on Thursday and to ABC on Tuesday and Wednesday." Bud Grant of CBS elaborated, "If you're No. 1, you do your best to stay there. If you're No. 2, you have to take a few more risks, and if you're No. 3, you roll the dice."

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