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Valley of the Dolls, '94 Primetime Soap Version

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Anyone remember much about this or know of any online or youtube clips? I admit the original novel/movie and the TV miniseries remake fascinated me in their over the top sheer awfulness and campiness (surely Dynasty, Melrose and all owe them a lot) as a teen and yet I never heard of a 90s primetime version.

I got this info from imdb "This syndicated soap (which tried to push the current boundaries for nudity on television, especially when it comes to males) was test-marketed for 13 weeks in selected cities, including Boston and Atlanta. The combining of the original plotline with 90's sensibilities, along with warping a few relationships (Helen Lawson, who in the movie and novel was a huge Broadway star for whom Jennifer North appeared as a showgirl is now Jennifer's mother and a movie star!) New World basically cancelled the project before it was aired, but those original 13 weeks were adult soap opera at it's most interesting. Of special note is that I believe this soap was the first portrayal of a functioning and healthy gay relationship between two men. Ahead of it's time, I hope this show doesn't disappear into oblivion. "

The cast has some familiar names (from soaps and other projects) like John O'Hurly, Kamar De Los Reyes, Sally Kirkland, etc...

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Wow I stand corrected--it was a late night soap--not primetime. Every reference goes on about all the male nudity--could American TV get away with all that much even late night? Still pretty interesting--thanks for all that!

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late night, non network? yes.

it still prob pushed the lines too far for its time.

america is very hungup on male nudity.

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This was pre-nipplegate so yes they could.

Male and female partial nudity was even being accepted during this same time on daytime and in late primetime.

On daytime we got the see the butts of Doug Davidson, Don Diamont, the foreign actor that played Peter Bergman's son on Y&R, John Bolger and a few others.

Y&R was the first one to experiment with it and it was accepted without any fuss. Then AW did the scene with John Bolger and Robin Christopher in the tub. We got to see the side of Christophers breasts and one half of Bolger's butt.

In primetime shows like ER and NYPD Blue on the networks were showing male and female naked butts.

Later ATWT would show us Mike Kasnoff's naked butt through the shower glass.

But after nipplegate it all went away. Daytime backed off and the sex scenes suddenly got very very very tame.

late night, non network? yes.

it still prob pushed the lines too far for its time.

america is very hungup on male nudity.

Valley of the Dolls was network - it was CBS.

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Valley of the Dolls was network - it was CBS.

Most things on the net about it say it was Synd.

It may have aired on many CBS stations, but wasnt a CBS show. CBS may had even promoed it, much like ABC does with say Oprah, but it wasnt made for and a strictly cbs show.

And for those of you waning to see it search for those soap opera tape trading sites. I did see it one about a year ago but idk what one.

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I don't know whether anybody here has read the book by Jacqueline Susann (set in 1949/1950)? But given TV's love of recent history in its dramas, it's a pity Showtime or AMC do not try for a Valley of the Dolls adaption. The sex scenes in the book are fullsome enough to sell well on cable. And the reason I cite the post-war time period is because at least two of the characters in the book -- Neely and Jennifer -- are 100% based on Judy Garland, a notorious doll-popper.

I would have been interested to see what this show would have done without explicit reference to prescription drug addiction. The whole point was that these three women wanted to get ahead, make something of their lives, and when they were frustrated by the glass ceiling and society's double standards, they popped pills to dull the pain (rather like housewives popped valium).

LOL, too bad about nipplegate. The world needs more naked ass on its screens, a little less CSI hybrids showcasing bullets in slow-mo smashing into somebody's brain cavity.

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I agree with you Cat. I can't believe how far we came in regards to things and then to go almost further back at least in the soap world than we did.

Even before we started getting butt shots the sex scenes were still some of the hottest in daytime. Now except for the recent Antonio/Talia and EJ/Sami ones the sex scenes have been so dull in daytime. And even very scarce. I think someone counted last year that that for like 6 months there was only 1 sex scene on Days. And one of the big couples on that show finally had sex and it was all shows offscreen.

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Oh one more thing on the subject of Valley of the Dolls. Cat made me remember something. I still have my notes around here somewhere and may even dig it back up.

But even before the Internet came about I love to write fan fiction. One of the first ones I ever did was a version of Valley of the Dolls.

My cast was:

Genie Francis as Anne

Lisa Brown as Neely

Josh Taylor as Lyon

Catherine Hickland as Jennifer (she had just come on Texas at the time)

Eileen Fulton as the bitchy Helen Lawson

I can't find the others but all these were either pretty new soap stars or old soap stars at the time.

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Sharon Case played Anne Welles in this version. I remembered this and then checked imdb. I vaguely remember her in a nightgown. However I don't remember anything else about it. I read the book and the sequel (which sucked because Susann didn't write it) and I really love the first book

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There was A CBS mini series that retold the movie/book plotlines in 81.

It was a ratings success.

Catherine Hicks was Anne,Lisa Hartman was Neely and Veronica Hamel was Jennifer.

Jean Simmons played Helen Lawson.

The later version was syndicated.Interestingly,Carol Lawrence (ex Angela Ekhart GH) played on both versions(as different characters))

It was produced by New World Television and I think Brian Frons was involved.

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OT but Carol Lawrence was also Maria in the original stage version of West Side Story. :)

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I never thought that they should make a movie out of this. I really would love to see it on Broadway. The role of Neely would be amazing. I did see the movie version with Patty Duke in it.

I love this book, It is one of two that I read faithfully every year

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This was pre-nipplegate so yes they could.

Male and female partial nudity was even being accepted during this same time on daytime and in late primetime.

On daytime we got the see the butts of Doug Davidson, Don Diamont, the foreign actor that played Peter Bergman's son on Y&R, John Bolger and a few others.

Y&R was the first one to experiment with it and it was accepted without any fuss. Then AW did the scene with John Bolger and Robin Christopher in the tub. We got to see the side of Christophers breasts and one half of Bolger's butt.

In primetime shows like ER and NYPD Blue on the networks were showing male and female naked butts.

Later ATWT would show us Mike Kasnoff's naked butt through the shower glass.

But after nipplegate it all went away. Daytime backed off and the sex scenes suddenly got very very very tame.

Right I posted about that in another thread about nudity on Soaps a few months back (Once and Again, which is actgually more of a family show though one of my faves, even had several scenes). I just thought Dolls in the first half of the 90s came before networks briefly experimented with that--but I guess I forgot that NYPD Blues started the nudity fairly early on :P I don't remember ER having nudity.

I read the book as a teen (along with Love Machine and Once IUs Not Enough--alwasy wanted to track down the movies of those, apparantly awful, but John Phillip Law who I've had a crush on since Barbarlla stared in Love Machine and Once is Not Enough even got an oscar nom in acting) and I love it but I do think it's trash. If that makes any sense (i know some will be insulted I called it that). The movie's a camp classic, I'd love to see the miniseries and the soap (at the end of disc two of the special edition they give a website to email if you'd liek to see either on DVD but the site is gone) but neither it nor the novel IMHO are elvated pulp the way really good soap opera are and some otgher classic melodramas--they're justy trashy pulp. And great for that.

Re sex scenes in soaps in the late 80s and early 90s they were at their hottest I think--maybe even the 80s without the nudity. Nudity aside by the late 90s--pre Nipplegate--I already think for some reason soaps had toned down their sex scenes. I still remember being a kid and watching on Geraldo and Donauhue when the conversation was about if soaps were pornographic (!! imagine that now) and should they be on when kids could watch (again with cable etc this isn't even an issue). I remember being shocked by one show that had the actor who played Dimitri on AMC confess that he got a "woody" (his term) during sex scenes! lol

Edited by EricMontreal22

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OT but Carol Lawrence was also Maria in the original stage version of West Side Story. :)

And brilliant! I never put two and two together :o

Judy Garland was actually cast very briefly in the movie according to the DVD--the theme song was written with her voice in mind, when she left it was given to (my 60s fave) Dionne Warwick at the suggestion of Barbara Parkins who was a big fan

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