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HAHA The reincarnation, hey? ;)

I dunno, it doesn't seem like it would work at all as a daytime soap to me but wouldbe perfect for primetime--so I could be projecting.

Hey, I saw her in What's New Pussycat? when I was 8 and I've loved her ever since. Underrated lady and troubled, but most of the best ones are :(

I could be projecting, too. I know they wanted to put a retooled FR in daytime, so maybe I'm putting Scruples under that umbrella.

Geez, that article. This O'Connor fella must have really hated his job.

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I'd never seen the original QAF, minus a clip of a scene with Aden Gillen and Chris...blanking on the last name, sorry; the scene aired on one of those LOOK AT THIS SHOCKING PROGRAM WHICH AIRS IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!! specials HBO used to run back when they weren't so far up their own ass. Still, I was annoyed by the early publicity for the show, which kept on about how it was so brave and daring. And then Hal Sparks made some stupid comments which bothered me. I still watched but wasn't really all that impressed. My big problems were I didn't care for the casting of Brian or Justin, the actors didn't impress me and I didn't see any chemistry and I didn't care about their relationship (Justin seemed to pout or smirk in every scene). But certainly that was not a majority opinion and I realize a lot of people loved Brian/Justin and they kept the show going. I mostly enjoyed Ben/Mike and their stories.

There were some benefits to moving to a more serious format but even though the first season wasn't great I thought that side was more of their strength. Like when they had Mike's boring doctor boyfriend do a striptease at the Babylon to prove to Mike that he wasn't uptight. That was a fun way to advance a story. I liked those little moments and ignored the cliched stories. Later on the show had less and less of those and had to rely on the handful of stories they did which weren't overly preachy. I think my favorite episodes were the ones where Brian worked for and ultimately exposed a bigot, and then at the end everyone slow-danced to "Chiqudita."

Yeah, they did a decent job on Leap Years of showing a bisexual character. I thought the guy who played him was wooden and dull, but he's gone on to a lot. Garret Dilahunt. I think he was on Deadwood, and played Jesus on Book of Daniel.

I remember those Showtime shows from back then -- Chris Isaak Show, Going to California, Leap Years. None of which are ever shown again or even out on DVD, I believe.

A lot of Showtime stuff vanishes, yet the same reruns of Love Street have aired for over 15 years...

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Hey, I saw her in What's New Pussycat? when I was 8 and I've loved her ever since. Underrated lady and troubled, but most of the best ones are :(

I could be projecting, too. I know they wanted to put a retooled FR in daytime, so maybe I'm putting Scruples under that umbrella.

Geez, that article. This O'Connor fella must have really hated his job.

I've typed out a lot of his reviews (Loving, etc) and he is weird about soaps--I get the impression he kinda secretly likes them and the more recent articles he's a bit less down on them. Still--in the 70s especially even the positive articles about soaps had to mock them. Mainstream coverage of soaps still is pretty poor, but it's actually come a long way. They don't quite feel the same need to list in the most ridiculous fashion ever the plotlines, etc.

I forgot she was in What's New Pussycat!

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I'd never seen the original QAF, minus a clip of a scene with Aden Gillen and Chris...blanking on the last name, sorry; the scene aired on one of those LOOK AT THIS SHOCKING PROGRAM WHICH AIRS IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!! specials HBO used to run back when they weren't so far up their own ass. Still, I was annoyed by the early publicity for the show, which kept on about how it was so brave and daring. And then Hal Sparks made some stupid comments which bothered me. I still watched but wasn't really all that impressed. My big problems were I didn't care for the casting of Brian or Justin, the actors didn't impress me and I didn't see any chemistry and I didn't care about their relationship (Justin seemed to pout or smirk in every scene). But certainly that was not a majority opinion and I realize a lot of people loved Brian/Justin and they kept the show going. I mostly enjoyed Ben/Mike and their stories.

The UK Queer as Folk (at least the first short series, the followup series/movie is pretty useless) remains one of my fave TV projects ever. But it has a lot to do with when I saw it in my life (and, as weird as it seems to say now, how unapologetic it was which at the time, just over ten years back, was quite rare--no need to be politically correct with how they show gays, etc, something the American one stuggled with). The acting and scriptwork are flawless though (you mean Charlie Hunnam I believe), and the early American episodes were particularly frustrating because they were based very closely on the early UK episodes but, for instance, the dialogue would be re-written to have a very witless one liner--ie it was all dumbed down. It did get better when it struck its own path (I think maybe C and L should have just been inspired by the UK show and done their own setup, because really much of what brough them down was wanting to do an "everything for every gay and lesbian" show based on a UK show that was purposefully NOT that kind of program).

I remember Hal Sparks making those dumb comments about how much he hated kissing a man, etc. Booo. I think he just wasn't thinking.

Justin is a character I HATED--he was so bratty and obnoxious and seemed to act so priviledged and justified--so did Nathan in the UK series but that felt much more real (partly as he was younger in the UK one--something they changed due to worried censors) and he outgrewit. Neither Justin nor Brian had any character growth (I have no idea why anyone would stay friends with Brian as long as his friends did with the way he behaved), and like you said wereplayed by lesser actors (the UK equivalents were less typically handsome but their acting did a lot for the roles). And of course the couple was never meant to be remotely the endgame, just the catalyst for why these three characters knew each other, in the UK series. In the US one they became some unconvincing "Great Love" story. I didn't know they had any fans to be honest--me and my friends would routinely watch and mock them. I agree with your other comments--you should check out the UK series if you ever have the chance (I know its N American release has been pretty spotty), though it probably won'tbe as impressive looking back on it than it was before the remake, etc. It's also I think the best thing Russell Davies ever did (well I'm pretty mixed on his sci fi writing, though for all its controversy in the gay community I thought Bob and Rose was pretty great too).

What is odd is that it hasn't led to more similar programming. I mean L Word I guess was the lesbian equivalent (and Ithought the first season of L Word was quite strong--I remember the Advocate had a great article by a gay man who said why he thought L Word was much better than the US QAF which I agreed with--but I lost interest in the second year and the later seasons looked pretty ridiculous). But, while I'm allfor more integrated programming with gay characters than just gay ghetto shows,it's odd that with QAF's relative success cable has nothing like it now. The uber low budget crap like Dante's Cove do NOT count, IMHO.

Yeah, they did a decent job on Leap Years of showing a bisexual character. I thought the guy who played him was wooden and dull, but he's gone on to a lot. Garret Dilahunt. I think he was on Deadwood, and played Jesus on Book of Daniel.

I remember those Showtime shows from back then -- Chris Isaak Show, Going to California, Leap Years. None of which are ever shown again or even out on DVD, I believe.

A lot of Showtime stuff vanishes, yet the same reruns of Love Street have aired for over 15 years...

I'd still like to know more about 80s Showtime works, besides their gay sitcom of course, but all their serials like New Day in Eden, that Country Western one by Pat Falken Smith, etc. They've just vanished it seems.

I'mnearly certain at least some of Chris Isaak is on DVD--the rest isn't I don't think. And yes Dilahunt is pretty but bland (He's married to Hurd in real life, I think they met doing a play before the show).

Edited by EricMontreal22
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The 1981 TV movie was on ABC and a pilot for a possible spinoff.

Shelley Smith,who briefly was a semi hot TV name due to a short lived comedy 'The Associates'took on the Lindsay Wagner role.Smith guest starred on RH as one of the celebrity guests at the opening of Delia's Crystal Palace restaurant,along with Van Johnson and Otto Preminger.

Others in the Scruples pilot included Priscilla Barnes,Dirk Benedict,Roy Thinnes,Jessica Walter,Kale Brown and James Darren.

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Shelley Smith,who briefly was a semi hot TV name due to a short lived comedy 'The Associates'took on the Lindsay Wagner role.Smith guest starred on RH as one of the celebrity guests at the opening of Delia's Crystal Palace restaurant,along with Van Johnson and Otto Preminger.

I always see Shelley on GSN reruns of Pyramid or Super Password and never know who she is. She's like that SNL sketch with Jane Curtin as Rula Lenska.

Edited by CarlD2
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I'd never seen the original QAF, minus a clip of a scene with Aden Gillen and Chris...blanking on the last name, sorry; the scene aired on one of those LOOK AT THIS SHOCKING PROGRAM WHICH AIRS IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!! specials HBO used to run back when they weren't so far up their own ass. Still, I was annoyed by the early publicity for the show, which kept on about how it was so brave and daring. And then Hal Sparks made some stupid comments which bothered me. I still watched but wasn't really all that impressed. My big problems were I didn't care for the casting of Brian or Justin, the actors didn't impress me and I didn't see any chemistry and I didn't care about their relationship (Justin seemed to pout or smirk in every scene). But certainly that was not a majority opinion and I realize a lot of people loved Brian/Justin and they kept the show going. I mostly enjoyed Ben/Mike and their stories.

I saw that HBO special. Really wasn't meant to show what the show was about, though, right? I remember the clip consisting of a rimjob and that's it.

I liked the few episodes of the US QAF that I saw. I could have done with less Gale Harold and Randy Harrison though. Peter Paige was the real highlight for me. I thought that story with him and the football player was a little stupid and predictable, but I liked the general idea.

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The 81 ABC movie was primetime.

In 83,NBC developed the daytime version with Pat Falken Smith as writer,Doris Quinlan,producer and starring Susan Flannery,

So the pilot cast you mentioned was for the Daytime? Or was there intention fora primetime pilot too?

*edit* I get what youmean--the MOVIE was a possible pilot in itself.

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New York Times again--this is the last one I'll type out tonight, lol.

April 8, 1985

Soap Opera Formula Re-evaluated

By Stephen Farber

LOS ANGELES, April 7 - Week after week, two long-running soap operas, "Dallas" and "Dynasty," vie for the top spot in the Nielsen ratings. "Knots Landing" and "Falcon Crest" are generally not far behind. That success rate has inspired the networks to look for more sex-and-glamour-soaked soaps, but not all have been able to repeat the high ratings of their forerunners.

ABC's "Paper Dolls," a melodrama about intrigue in the world of high fashion, and NBC's "Berrenger's," the saga of a department store dynasty, have both failed dismally, and now some network officials are wonderfing if the formula can still produce hits.

"All three networks are beginning to feel that the market may be glutted with serials," said Michele Brustin, NBC's vice president in charge of dramatic series development. Lorima, the company that procues "Dallas," "Knots Landing," and "Falcn Crest" -- all on CBS -- as well as the recently canceled "Berrenger's," has no plans for more serials.

"THe form may have seen its day," conceded Jeff Benson, Lorimar's executive vice president. "We're developing a new series called 'Family Honour,' about three generations of a New York police family. Originally, it was going to have some serialized elements, but we've eliminated those."

CBS has no serials on the board for next year and, for the moment, is not looking to develop any more. Referring to the three successful Lorimar shows, Harvey Shephard, a CBS senior vice president, said, "We have three serials on the air now, and we feel that's enough."

NBC is proceeding cautiously with one show that Miss Brustin called "Semi-serialized." The pilot for the show, "The Covenant," is being shot now, and Miss Brustin described it only as "the story of a family in a very unusual, surprising arena." NBC plans to present theshow as a standard episodic series in the first year, and only if it catcheson will it change to a serialized format in the second year.

Of the three networks, only ABC remains partly committed to the serial form. The network has two new serials in development for the next season; both are coming from Aaron Spelling Productions. One, a low-risk entry, is a spinoff of "Dynasty" (as "Knots Landing" was of "Dallas") called, rather cumbersomely "Dynasty II: The Colbys of California." It will feature a few of the characters from "Dynasty" in a change of venue. The second Spelling serial, "Dark Mansions," a Gothic serial along the lines of the old "Dark Shadows" series, will star Loretta Young, Linda Purl, Melissa Sue Anderson, and Raymond St. Jacques.

Mr. Spelling disputed the network prognosticators who pronounced the serial a dying form. "Just because two shows failed does not mean the serial is bad," he said. "They keep working in daytime. I don't feel the market is saturated. Maybe serials will have to take a new form, and that's why we've given 'Dark Mansions' a supernatural angle."

Because successful serialscan be so lucrative, the networks have been analysing this year's failures to see if they can learn from their mistakes. Mr. Shephard believes that "Paper Dolls" and "Berrenger's" made a fundamental miscalculation. "The serials that do work," he observed, "all have a strong family unit at the center. In 'Paper Dolls' and 'Berrenger's,' there was moreemphasis on business than on family."

In the case ofthecanceled "Paper Dolls," theshow's executive producer, Leonard Goldberg, blames the scheduling of theshow. "A serial must have constant exposure," Mr. Goldberg said. "Otherwise people can't remember the characters. 'Paper Dolls' was preempted three times in the first eitht weeks, and that's fatal."

He acknowledged, however, several of his own errors. "We had far, far too many characters," he said. "We had about 18 or 19 running characters, and we should have eliminated at least a third of those. Also, we needed stronger positive characters. The evil characters are, of course, a lot of fun on a serial, but they must have formidable opposition, and we didn't have any of that."

In the case of"Berrenger's," Miss Brustin said that its Saturday night time slot may have doomed it from the start. "We were expecing a low share to begin with," she said. "But it turned out to be much lower than we could tolerate."

Jeff Benson of Lormar agreed that the soap opera's time slot was a factor. "Our research," he said, "shows that video-casette recorder use is at its highest level at 10 o'clock on Saturday night. Research also showed that people weren't interested in a department store as a millieu."

"If we do another serial," Miss Brustin said, "the arenamust be so unique that people will not be remindedof other shows they're already watching. Or, failing that, there must be a huge star attached to it-- someone whom people have not see for a very long time and are dying to see again. We hope 'The Covenant' will prove both of those qualities correct."

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I saw that HBO special. Really wasn't meant to show what the show was about, though, right? I remember the clip consisting of a rimjob and that's it.

I liked the few episodes of the US QAF that I saw. I could have done with less Gale Harold and Randy Harrison though. Peter Paige was the real highlight for me. I thought that story with him and the football player was a little stupid and predictable, but I liked the general idea.

Yeah, it was one of those shock value shows. I think those people went on to produce the Eyes of Tammy Faye.

HBO also used to have America Undercover specials back then which were ahead of their time, like the one on workplace violence.

Peter Paige definitely impressed as the years went on.

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"THe form may have seen its day," conceded Jeff Benson, Lorimar's executive vice president. "We're developing a new series called 'Family Honour,' about three generations of a New York police family. Originally, it was going to have some serialized elements, but we've eliminated those."

CBS has no serials on the board for next year and, for the moment, is not looking to develop any more. Referring to the three successful Lorimar shows, Harvey Shephard, a CBS senior vice president, said, "We have three serials on the air now, and we feel that's enough."

NBC is proceeding cautiously with one show that Miss Brustin called "Semi-serialized." The pilot for the show, "The Covenant," is being shot now, and Miss Brustin described it only as "the story of a family in a very unusual, surprising arena." NBC plans to present theshow as a standard episodic series in the first year, and only if it catcheson will it change to a serialized format in the second year.

Did those shows make it to air?

I don't think the problem with Paper Dolls was the amount of characters. It was that aside from Racine and one or two others most of the characters were dull.

And they had that "Missing You" guy on too much.

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I've only seen the pilot movie and first episode of Paper Dolls--on youtube but I have to say it didn't grab me as much as I hoped it would. It didn't really have any strong soapnames in the behind the scenes area, did it? Who's the Missing You guy? lol

From all I can tell, The Covenant never happened--I really wanna know what this surprising arena was! I think that they start to get it right when they kinda admit that one reason primetime soaps may not be doing as well isn't cuz they're serials, but because they're too similar--really there's only so many nights a week someone wants to watch a show like Dallas.

I kinda forgot all the trashy HBO shows they had--I guess RealSex is still on? (or is it?)

Found some info on IMDB--1985 did indeed bring a Lorimar drama starring Ray Liotta--Our Family Honour which was a TV movie then a series (dunno how long it ran, but under a year). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149504/ A viewer critiquemakes it sound like it was more about the mafia than the cop family:

"This mid-1980's series could hardly be described as groundbreaking. A critic called it "a series you can't refuse" and it was a pretty apparent effort at taking advantage of the "Godfather" movies' success. Throw in love between a son from one rival family and a daughter from another, a plot which was already old when Shakespeare used it in "Romeo and Juliet", and you've pretty much got it. That having been said, the show had an expensive, movie-style look about it and a fine cast. Ironically, this probably helped to kill it. Most soap-opera type shows (and this pretty much was that) take a good while to build an audience; with the amount that this show must have cost to make per episode there was little time for that to happen due to the amount of money being lost. (Another problem is that serial-type shows have to be huge hits in order to have more than nominal value as reruns; without huge buzz few viewers will watch again to see the outcome of story lines they already know.) This show was better than lots of the other fare available at the time but suffered also from being against "Remington Steele", arguably a better copy of James Bond-style intrigue (and starring a future Bond) than this was of "Godfather"-style crime wars, and was failing to hold for ABC the audience share which it was being delivered by another high-cost show, "Moonlighting", so it had to go. "

Edited by EricMontreal22
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Whenever my Emerald Point NAS set arrives I'll upload clips to YouTube so you guys cam see it.

In the case ofthecanceled "Paper Dolls," theshow's executive producer, Leonard Goldberg, blames the scheduling of theshow. "A serial must have constant exposure," Mr. Goldberg said. "Otherwise people can't remember the characters. 'Paper Dolls' was preempted three times in the first eitht weeks, and that's fatal."

I've read that the show had strong ratings for the premiere, but they dropped as the weeks went on. I guess it makes sense now that I see it was pre-empted three times. That would kill almost any new show.

He acknowledged, however, several of his own errors. "We had far, far too many characters," he said. "We had about 18 or 19 running characters, and we should have eliminated at least a third of those. Also, we needed stronger positive characters. The evil characters are, of course, a lot of fun on a serial, but they must have formidable opposition, and we didn't have any of that."

The problem I had was that there were so many characters and so many of them were dull. I especially hated Mimi Rogers and Nancy Olson on this show. Nicolette Sheridan, Terry Ferrell, Dack Rambo and Brenda Vaccaro (some names may be messed up) rocked that show.

But with dumb scripts and dialog, poor productions and anemic performances, the result is merely damp, generating vague discomfort more than anything else.

That is harsh, but I did feel something was off in the one episode of Flamingo Road I've seen. I need to buy this show it really interests me. Plus it has two seasons which is better than most short lived primetime soaps.

I do have one general comment...so much of this thread seems devoted to the short-lived primetime soaps. As a result, I've already purchased Emerald Point NAS, Pacific Palisades and Savannah. I'll soon be ordering Titans, Models Inc, CPW, The Street and Malibu Road 2000. Now my question...can we discuss the longer running ones too? I could just run wild when it comes to Dallas and Knots Landing! And how I feel Dynasty was brilliant, modern cable quality for three seasons and complete trash the others.

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