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We watched Pasadena weekly and were very disappointed when it went on "hiatus" which we knew it would never return from. I'm sure it wasn't helped by the fact that it aired Friday nights on FOX. When SoapNet picked it up, I believe they showed the few remaining unaired episodes from the original run.

The Monroes was another show we eagerly anticipated, a witty, intelligent The Colbys for the '90s, or so we assumed. We even discussed it in my media class as one of my teachers did production work for its on-location shooting in D.C./VA. This is another one that suffered from scheduling, I don't know what ABC was working on. I seem to remember the first, or maybe a couple of episodes airing, then it took a considerable hiatus, I don't remember how long but long enough for me to wonder what was going on, then it came back and aired again from the beginning. Weird, but I believe SoapNet picked that one up too. I don't have SoapNet anymore, but I used to love their Dysfunctional Family Night.

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Sorry if this one was already mentioned. Possibly the very briefest show - Aaron Spelling's Winnetka Road. I believe it was on on Saturday night.

My grandmother had a life-long crush on Eddie Bracken. :wub:

This says the show was on CBS, but I think it was NBC.

Entertainment Weekly

WINNETKA ROAD

Reviewed by Ken Tucker | Mar 11, 1994

Details

Genre: Soap; With: Ed Begley Jr., Josh Brolin, Eddie Bracken, Catherine Hicks and Jayne Lynn Frazer...

You know you're in the presence of a good new evening soap opera when one character remarks with abject dismay, ''I think everything's about to go as wrong as it can.'' So it goes with Winnetka Road (CBS, March 12, 10-11 p.m.), a promising light drama from the Aaron Spelling factory about the inhabitants of a midwestern town. In the pilot, written by John Byrum (Middle Ages), the subplots are rolled out with brisk efficiency. There's the middle-aged heel (Ed Begley, Jr.) who has left his wife (Catherine Hicks) and two kids for a nubile aerobics instructor (Jayne Lynn Frazer), only to find out that this new girlfriend is married. There's the Hollywood actress (Paige Turco) who returns to her hometown and rekindles an old romance with a local cop (Josh Brolin, the thickest slab of beef in prime time). Somewhere along the line, Meg Tilly puts on Kabuki make-up and startles the unemployed stockbroker (Kurt Deutch) who's just rented the apartment above her garage. I won't even go into the blind priest played by Eddie Bracken-yes, Eddie Bracken. So far, the stand-outs have been Hicks' wry-yet-spunky wronged wife and Tilly's sensuous eccentric. The only thing missing from Winnetka Road is an obvious villain-and, as you'd think Spelling would have learned from Melrose Place, you need an obvious villain in a show like this. B

Edited by sands
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That show sounds pretty decent on paper.

It does actually. Wow, did he really just call Josh Brolin "the thickest slab of beef in primetime"? :unsure: I admit, I only know Eddie Bracken from his guest stint as Buddy on The Golden Girls ("Don't hit me! I'm in the arts.")

Okay, who remembers the whole Manchester Prep debacle, the television spinoff of Cruel Intentions? This one was yanked before the first episode even aired because of a controversial scene where a girl orgasmed while riding a horse. Gossip Girl before Gossip Girl?

***

So I just went to check if Manchester Prep had made it to YouTube after about a decade, and I learned that the couple of episodes that had been shot were edited and made into the prequel Cruel Intentions 2. I actually saw that piece of crap, I think on-demand while staying at a hotel or something. Did NOT realize that was Amy Adams in the SMG role.

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I found many articles on primetime soaps in the New York Times archive, but can't find a way to save the articles (which are PDFs) to show here (on the NYT website they all cost money). However, here's a short review of the mysterious, Secrets of Midland Heights, that I've typed up (typos are all mine). As an earlier piece announcing it said, the show was an attempt by Lorimar and the Dallas/Knots people to do a series focusing especially on teenagers (or, as the newspaper said, various forms of teenaged sex). (it's by their tv critic at the time John J O'Connor who wrote a lot abotu daytime and primetime soaps but isn't exactly a fan of the genre, so keep that in mind).

Dec 5, 1980

'Midland Heights' a Midwest 'Dallas'

by John J. O'Connor

The Lorimar Productions folks who bring you "Dallas" are now venturing farther into soap opera territory with "Secrets of Midland Heights," which makes its debut on CBS-TV tomorrow night at 10. This new exploitation of sex, money, and shifting levels of power encompasses enough steamy plots to make the old "Peyton Place" look like an early morning sermonette.

Midland Heights is a town somewhere in the Middle West (although the series is filmed in Santa Paula, California). The power base is controlled by a wealthy and tough old geezer named Margaret Millington (played by the old movie star Martha Scott), whose immediate family includes a bachelor son, Guy (Jordan Christopher), and a granddaughter, Ann Dulls (Doran Clark).

Mrs. Millington has her way in everything, from overseeing Ann's dates to deciding who will be the next president of the local college. Ann is worried that she may end up in a mental institute like her mother. This is understandable, as she has to cope with the viciously scheming Guy, who is determined that he will be the sole heir to the Millington fortunes.

Around this sometimes hard but usually soft core spin a number of satelite plots featuring young and middle-aged lovers. There is, for instance, John (Jim Youngs whose poverty is enhanced by an alcoholic mother). John, the true object of Ann's affections, would never be accepted by the girl's grandmother.

Therefor, John's friend Teddy (Daniel Zippi) pretends to be Ann's boyfriend, picking her up for dates and then delivering her to John. At the same time, Teddy is being wooed by Helen (Linda Grovenor). She is a virgin, and is "tired of being innocent." On a college hayride, Teddy nervously gulps, "You're serious about this, aren't you?" Holly, smiling, retorts, "Why put off till tomorrow what you can do tonight?"

Complicating matters even more, Holly's married mother (Bibi Besch) is having an affair with Teddy's widowed father (Robert Hogan). Needless to say, the two couples--the kids and the parents--wind up for their assignation not only at the same hotel, but in adjoining rooms. Overhearing the older couple, Holly loses her composure but not her virginity.

Some of the other characters include Burt (Lorenzo Lamas), a jealous football player who is having an affair with Lisa (Linda Hamilton), who keeps assuring him "The college crowd doesn't interest me anymore." Standing in the wings is Teddy's kid brother, Danny (Stephen Manly), obviously ready to provide the equivalent of young teenaged sex as currently being advertised in the jeans commercial.

Presumably, Guy Millington will be the J.R. Ewing of "Midland Heights." Played with a somewhat decadent feline quality by Mr. Christopher, Guy could even be a homosexual. Mama, talking about grandchildren, snarls, meaningfully, "I've given up on you, sonny."

This excercise in shameless pandering lists three executive producers: Lee Rich, Michael Fillerman and David Jacobs. Will the public buy such calculated manipulations? Only the rating services will know for sure.

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(Of course ratings were poor and a year later a reconstituted version of the show, now on rival ABC, King's Crossing premiered with four of the same actors--premiering to very good numbers that quickly dropped. Couldn't find anything on it except this fan review:

"This was a short-lived prime time soap from 1982. It was actually a revamped version of another short-lived series "Secrets Of Midland Heights." When that series was canceled in 1981, the producers took 4 of that show's stars-Linda Hamilton, Doran Clark, Daniel Zippi and Marilyn Jones-and made King's Crossing. Although as a teen I liked "Midland Heights" better, I enjoyed this show too. Linda Hamilton and Marilyn Jones played sisters and their parents were Mary Frann and Bradford Dillman. Doran Clark was their disabled cousin who was kept in the attic by their nasty aunt and Daniel Zippi was a stable boy on the farm where they lived. As in the other series, Marilyn Jones and Daniel Zippi were the cute, star-crossed couple. I always thought they had great chemistry together. I was always sorry that they never became big stars like Linda Hamilton did, as they were all very talented. I keep hoping both of these shows will turn up on cable someday. Sadly, Mary Frann and Beatrice Straight have passed on. Of course Linda Hamilton became a huge star later on and Doran Clark and Marilyn Jones had some minor TV success in the 80's. Never saw Daniel Zippi again, but would love to see how the surviving cast members are doing now. ")

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And another review of an 80s primetime soap from David Jacobs and much of the Knots/Dallas team (and another flop).

January 4, 1985

'Berrenger's' Starring Wanamaker

By John J. O'Connor

LORIMAR PRODUCTIONS has brought to the world of entertainment the evening soaps ''Dallas,'' ''Knots Landing'' and ''Falcon Crest.'' The studio's latest venture into what it prefers to call ''the nighttime continuing drama genre'' is titled ''Berrenger's'' and it gets under way tomorrow at 9:30 on Channel 4 with a special 90-minute segment. It's all about a trendy New York department store, bearing a calculated resemblance to establishments like Bloomingdale's, and the producers - David Jacobs, Stuart Sheslow and Diana Gould - promise to go ''behind the mannequins, display cases and tables for an intimate look'' at the owners and employees.

Topping the owners' list is Simon Berrenger (Sam Wanamaker), an elegant dictator who is bent on showing his three grown children that they cannot possibly compete with him. The unhappy brood includes Paul (Ben Murphy), president of the store, who is trying to get a divorce from Gloria (Andrea Marcovicci) so that he can marry Shane (Yvette Mimieux), who is also divorced and frantically searching for a young daughter kidnapped by her former husband.

Paul's kid brother, Billy (Robin Strand), has a gambling problem and their four-times-divorced sister, Babs (Anita Morris), is partial to younger men, especially the womanizing window dresser John Higgins (Jeff Conaway) and a Puerto Rican salesman Julio Morales (Eddie Velez), who will do anything, apparently, to become a famous clothes designer. Complicating matters even further, Babs's pouty daughter Melody (Claudia Christian) is scheming to push her unscrupulous husband, Todd (Art Hindle), to a position of top power in the family business. Melody and Todd are sometimes known to intimates as Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth.

Prominent among the employees are three very attractive young women who, tidily enough, share a Manhattan apartment. Stacey (Jonelle Allen) is black and ambitious; Laurel (Laura Ashton), a model, is fragile and strange; and Cammie (Leslie Hope) is just in from the Middle West and seemingly innocent, which makes her a prime target for the lecherous window dresser. On the periphery of this activity is Danny (Jack Scalia), who is connected with a questionable deal in which Berrenger's would be acquired by a conglomerate. All of this and more is packed into the first episode.

Like other nighttime continuing dramas, ''Berrenger's'' whips up plots to spare. Those that don't click immediately with audience-research data can be discarded without damaging the project's overall construction. Miss Gould, who devised and wrote the first episode, candidly explains: ''The show is very much fantasy fulfillment with beautiful merchandise, lots of glamour and attractive, upscale people.'' In addition to realistic depictions, she says, the series will ''explore human depth.'' But the explorations in ''Berrenger's'' show little sign of going much deeper than the pancake makeup used to encase those strange department store creatures who squirt designer colognes on hapless customers.

The advertisments for ''Berrenger's'' show a sultry, horizontal Miss Mimieux wrapped in lace and fur with Mr. Murphy, in a tuxedo, tickling her under the chin with a long- stemmed rose. The scene never takes place in the show. That is what used to be called exploitation. Today it is simply called something like ''Berrenger's.'' The premiere is directed as slickly as it deserves by Larry Elikann and Nicholas Sgarro.

Edited by EricMontreal22
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"The advertisments for ''Berrenger's'' show a sultry, horizontal Miss Mimieux wrapped in lace and fur with Mr. Murphy, in a tuxedo, tickling her under the chin with a long- stemmed rose. The scene never takes place in the show. That is what used to be called exploitation. Today it is simply called something like ''Berrenger's.'' The premiere is directed as slickly as it deserves by Larry Elikann and Nicholas Sgarro."

:lol::lol:

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Doran Clark was on another short-lived primetime soap, CBS's Emerald Point N.A.S. from Richard & Esther Shapiro. And Michael Zaslow had a role on King's Crossing. Mary Frann was originally cast as Sue Ellen on Dallas before they read Linda Gray and she won the role. I wonder if Mary's MH/KC role was somewhat of a consolation prize. ;)

Edited by SFK
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Berrenger's, King's Crossing, and Emerald Point N.A.S. are like...my top three short-lived primetime soaps that I MUST!MUST!MUST! see. Bare Essence: The Series is a close #4.

King's Crossing, especially. Lorimar soaps are my favorite, and this one had all the ingredients, including a lovely disco-ish theme by Jerrold Immel.

Edited by All My Shadows
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There was a collector years ago with Berrengers, but he went off line before I could get it. I did manage to ind Emerald Point NAS, another rarity, but I've been waiting ages for that to arrive. Both shows sound interesting. LML was also a writer on Berrengers and after that show I believe she went to Knots. Similar to their deal at CBS, Lynn and Bernie were allowed to pick from Falcon Crest, Dallas and Knots Landing. I think they chose Knots because they would've had more creative power. I'd have to dig that interview up to find out.

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Yeah, all I've managed to see from those three are opening credits that seem to appear and disappear on YouTube. I'm most interested in Emerald and Bare Essence. I've seen the TV movie of BA and I'm really interested in how it was handled as a series. That show was crazy recast too. And Emerald, I could be totally off base, but for some reason I get the impression that the writing was a little more sophisticated and down to earth OR watered down and vapid in comparison to the Shapiros' hit, Dynasty. Esther wanted Rock Hudson to star in Emerald but I guess the shorter stint on Dynasty was more his speed. Dennis Weaver was cast instead.

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I haven't even seen any of the credits... I admit Secrets of Midland Heights interests me too--just as the David Jacobs soap formula seemed to be so strong with Dallas and Knots, this seemed a natural progression--would love to see how it compared with King's Crossing. Berrenger's would prob come next (partly as I adore Anita Morris). Emerald Point strikes me as fascinating--and ran a full year I believe, but I have less faith in the Shapiros (Dynasty didn't really strike it big until the Pollocks came in essentially as headwriters in Season 2 and brought out all their soap opera staples--at a rate and quality that Schemering called "soap opera on steroids and speed"). I need to track down those episodes I know people recorded of Flamingo Road too...

(Then again I've only managed to see the commercially released DVDs of Knots--so two seasons, and I'm desperate to find the rest of that). I'll try to type out a couple more interesting articles on this stuff--I just wish, for the long ones especially, I could figure out how to transfer the PDFs.

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