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Some quotes from a Jacobs interview in 81

Re Behind The Screen

"It's hard to keep an audience on a serial when it's only on once a week.It was originally designed for three times a week,but the network became conservative and decided to go for once a week"

If the ratings continue to stay high during the first six weeks,however,it's expected BTS will begin airing twice a week.

How do you hook an audience?

"With Dallas,we did it with sex and no pilot has ever been more detested,but the character of JR began blowing up.As I see the history of this kind of genre,it goes back a long time.It goes back to Peyton Place,I guess,as the first primetime soap,or One Man's Family,which is where Eva Marie saint started."

"Even though The Waltons had each story separate,you can't really show those shows out of order. First of all,the kids were growing up,and it had the umbrella of the depression and of events,so even though the episodes are different you have an arc. In Family,we couldn't really play the shows out of order because we had what we call arcs,or as ABC used to call them emotional journeys of each chracter,where we find the character and where we left him at the end of the year".

Knots Landing was the first idea Jacobs and partner Michael Filerman presented to CBS,but when the network felt it was too middle class and wanted something more sensational Dallas was created. After Dallas became ahit,the network suggested they work KL into a Dallas spin-off,which Jacobs said was easy since Lucy's father was "the prodigal son".Knots Landing is still the apple of Jacob's eye.

"It's going to be the best show on television this year",he smiles."It's just wonderful and we're not very serialized at all.I thought it was a mistake to serialize so much and I don't think we were as effective. Towards the end of the season,we stopped serializing and the ratings went up.Especially this year,KL has a reality to it that's very touching and it's insightful when it's at it's best.'

"I was talking to someone recently and what I said was that if anybody put a gun to my head,i would admit that we were not doing War and Peace every week,but while we're doing it,we think we're doing War and Peace and Knots demands that of you. With Dallas you can be outrageous and crazy,but not with Knots.It's about passion,it's not about power,and it's very challenging. I guess I'm using the word challenging as a euphemism for 'very difficult',bit it's exciting.If I have my way,though,Behind The Screen would be the most fun of the three.'

"BTS isn't sexy though. There is a lot more innuendo than there is endo.I think CBS would have actually let me make the pilot sexier than it was,but I did a show last year called 'Secrets of Midland Heights',which I also loved,and it was supposed to be a show for a young audience.development people were saying,'Make it sexier,make it sexier'. Program people were saying,'Not so sexy'.Then development people were saying,'We'll take care of them',but they didn't. So what they got was a 10.00 timeslot and sexy or not,the show was not designed for 10.00.It was designed for young adults".

It seems CBS wanted to replicate the Friday combo of Dukes of Hazzard/Dallas on Saturday by pairing 'Freebie and the Bean'with SOMH.

Midland debuted in the Dallas timeslot and got a 41 share-terrific for a new show,but Dallas at that point was scoring shares in the high 50's.

The following night up against Fantasy Island the ratings fell to 22 share and continued to tumble.

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As I mentioned before, Behind the Screen fascinates me--Jacobs teamed up with a good EP do a late night soap? Cool, in concept anyway (and I love when soaps do the "soap within a soap" thing) Thanks so much for that interview!

This would be during Knots... third year right? It speaks to Jacobs' talent I think that he kept with Knots and it was his fave (nearly any true soap fan I know picks it as their fave primetime serial hands down--well it or Peyton). I wonder though about what he says about it being non serialized--I've only seen what's on DVD, the first two seasons which are, what I'd call "lightly serialized". When did it go full on soap--cuz here it sounds like he wants to make it even less so.

Fascinating what he says about Midland Heights (I wanna see it all the more now) which from the description by Schemering seemed to have about 7 sex scenes in the pilot--no wonder it got the 10pm slot. I wonder if it had been given another time slot it coulda ran half as long as Dallas or Knots. (It's fascinating to me how much the success of a tv show is dependant on time slot--I think this was even more true back then, of course).

Edited by EricMontreal22
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Eric,I don't know how much you've read on Behind The Screen(only Schemering?)The Wikepedia page basically regurgitates his work,although there is a photo.

The Jacobs interview features a pic of Debbi Morgan,Catherine Parks,Mike Sabatino and Janine Turner,all looking suitably sexy and soulful.

I have read that one of the inspirations for KL was the 57 movie No Down Payment starring Joanne Woodward,Jeffrey Hunter,Barbara Rush etc.It is well worth checking out.

I think he is talking Season 3.It did have more self contained episodes where one story was introduced and resolved egLilimae meets Jackson and falls for him,only to discover he is interested in her only because of her connections to the Ewings.

Or the one where the women accompany Laura to see a 'haunted house' and stay the night,resulting in Val nearly jumping off the roof.

Karen's college roommate Victoria(Jessica Walter)arrives and tempts her to go to New York.

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Season 3 was one of my favorite seasons. It's a transitional season, and has a number of serialized stories, but yes, there were more self-contained episodes. I guess the most memorable is the haunted house one. Another was about a troubled little girl Valene briefly looks after, and one involved Karen's ex-boyfriend, who believed he was Diana's father. Season 3 also had Karen's brother Joe, who I really liked and was disappointed when he left and was never mentioned again.

My favorite of the self-contained episodes was Silver Shadows, where Abby is dating a man but begins to neglect that relationship because she meets a rich, senile old man who notices her because of her resemblance to his late wife. She begins to basically act as his wife, hoping that when he dies, he will leave his money to her. I'll just say that the "win" is a hollow victory. She also loses her boyfriend to Karen. The last scene is one of my favorite Abby scenes -- she's standing in front of the mirror, every reason to feel angry or defeated, but she puts on the '20s style flapper cap that the old man's wife used to wear, and she smiles, somewhat wistfully.

Edited by CarlD2
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The next episode I have to watch from season three is Silver Shadows. I must say I'm finding it a bit hard getting through it. There are too many self-contained episodes and not all of them are strong. Especially Three Sisters in the haunted house. It's also unbelievable how useless Kenny and Ginger are, although her relationship with Joe and rivalry with Ciji improved things for her.

I have read that one of the inspirations for KL was the 57 movie No Down Payment starring Joanne Woodward,Jeffrey Hunter,Barbara Rush etc.It is well worth checking out.

Oh yes, that is a great film and I definitely see the inspiration. Especially for Richard, Laura, Gary and Val.

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I liked the slower pace and the general sense of exploration and moving on in season three. I do think they had no idea what to do with Ginger, but when they had written for her earlier, like the episode where she was stalked by the mother of the guy whose child she had aborted, she was fine. It's just that Ginger and Laura were not as easy to write for as Valene, Karen, or Abby, because they did not fit into the easy stereotyes. Karen was the "everywoman," Abby was the vixen with an occasional heart, Val was the sweet country girl adjusting to the tumults of a new suburban California life.

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And which are YOUR faves or ones you wish you'd see or least faves? You love to poll the community about stuff like this Sylph, but I so rarely get to read your own replies ;)

I was just going to reply to Chris B's post

Today my DVDs of Pacific Palisades, Savannah and Emerald Point NAS just arrived. Now I'm just waiting for CPW and Model's Inc. I'll let you know what I think of them once I start watching.

how I envy him on so much free time and how he can waste days, weeks and months of his life watching utter [[email protected]#$%^&*]. Absolutely horrible shows, which were dated even when they aired, not to say after all these years. All of these shows were underdeveloped, hit a wall all too soon and not even nostalgia factor is enough to re-watch.

These are the kind of shows you should watch once, except perhaps Melrose. And moments from other shows, but most certainly not whole seasons.

To see 13 pages of sh!t shows which got dumpet rightly is just... Fun. Perhaps I'll find something interesting. :)

Edited by Sylph
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You saw Emerald Point when it first ran?? :o I'm a bit surprised--I guess I always assume you're more my age. Did you see Midland Heights or Berrenger's?

You only replied in the negative--there were no primetime soaps you did like?

I kinda get what you're saying (I will point out you're a Hidden Palms fan here :P ) --to be fair to Chris though the only way to see full episodes of many of these shows that aren't on youtube--to sample them as it were is to get bootleg complete sets from ioffer and other sites. I didn't really grow up with any, except I guess Melrose and Models Inc and much of CPW (I'd like to see CPW again actually but could do with never seeing a minute of Models Inc again. They recently reaired 4 seasons of Melrose here in Canada before pulling it, late night, and I got back into it for a while but then sorta overdosed on it--the show is so trashy and disposable and fast paced that what's fun, becomes kinda draining especially five nights a week.)

Edited by EricMontreal22
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In general, I really love watching failed shows. It's interesting to see what went wrong, especially when things go horribly wrong. I also like when I occasionally find a show here and there that is actually good. Like The Monroes. Savannah came with an Aaron Spelling intro and a three minute preview which I watched and it doesn't look too thrilling. I'm sure it'll be fine, but Robin Lively, Shannon Sturges and Jamie Lunar all look old and tired. The location is the best thing so far. Pacific Palisades looks like Melrose/90210, but no thoughts on that yet. I've just popped in the Emerald Point pilot and it does seem awfully dated when you compare it to Dallas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest and Dynasty at the exact same time. What is up with Susan Dey's entire look? I'm really intrigued now.

I'm not seeing how they can squeeze a soap out of this. I'll keep you informed.

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You saw Emerald Point when it first ran?? https://boards.soapoperanetwork.com/uploads/emoticons/default_ohmy.png I'm a bit surprised--I guess I always assume you're more my age. Did you see Midland Heights or Berrenger's?

You only replied in the negative--there were no primetime soaps you did like?

No, goodnes!! Where did I say that! It was all on tapes, DVDs... I used to have a weekly Primetime Soaps Marathon, and watched them with friends. That was fun. :D

I loved Melorse, Knots, The CW (!!! even though Raquel Welch and Lauren Hutton annoyed the hell out of me; I loved dumb the dumb Stephanie Wells; I felt it was full of potential, but again — it was dated even then and people were saturated with a past decade or two of such shows), Dallas and Dynasty. What more do you want of me?!? :P Why am I assaulted with rifles and guns?! :P

My schedule is full as it is, that why I honestly said I wish I had Chris B's time to watch some things from those shows again.

And Hidden Palms I did love, I really did.

Don't get me wrong, like Chris says, I'm a passionate fan of trash TV, those godawful shows people stare at you when you say you watch: Goodness! You watch that?! Seriously?! You wouldn't belive the drecks I used to follow.

But at the same time... I feel that TV needs to be purged and freed from the claws of various Dynasty/Melrose clones etc. Those eras are done. There are many concepts that need to be investigated further. Or someone needs to write another show about feuding wine industry families à la Falcon Crest.

Ultimately, I am interested in excellence. I am interested in how dreadful shows could be transformed into something a class or two above.

Edited by Sylph
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Season 3 was one of my favorite seasons. It's a transitional season, and has a number of serialized stories, but yes, there were more self-contained episodes. I guess the most memorable is the haunted house one. Another was about a troubled little girl Valene briefly looks after, and one involved Karen's ex-boyfriend, who believed he was Diana's father. Season 3 also had Karen's brother Joe, who I really liked and was disappointed when he left and was never mentioned again.

My favorite of the self-contained episodes was Silver Shadows, where Abby is dating a man but begins to neglect that relationship because she meets a rich, senile old man who notices her because of her resemblance to his late wife. She begins to basically act as his wife, hoping that when he dies, he will leave his money to her. I'll just say that the "win" is a hollow victory. She also loses her boyfriend to Karen. The last scene is one of my favorite Abby scenes -- she's standing in front of the mirror, every reason to feel angry or defeated, but she puts on the '20s style flapper cap that the old man's wife used to wear, and she smiles, somewhat wistfully.

Word, word, word to everything. Season 3 is just brilliantly dark--even the weather seems bleak, dark, moody, versus the sunshine of previous seasons. "The Three Sisters" is one of the most brilliant hours of TV... just a fabulous episode on all levels. There is just no denying it! laugh.gif And, yes, Silver Shadows is also a wonderful episode. It's such a great study of Abby's character, it's worth it even if you just watch the episode through that prospective. Joe was just great, I really missed him when he left. And the cliffhanger for the season was just wonderfully, wonderfully climactic. Great stuff. But that episode with Cricket, the little girl Val takes under her wing? Boringness! Possibly the worst of that season.

Edited by YRBB
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The only part I liked about the "Cricket" episode was JVA's performance, and we got to see a different type of appearance for Olivia.

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I was going to skip Silver Shadows and go to Letting Go, but you guys have inspired me to check it out! I just finished the two hour pilot of Emerald Point and it was soap by the numbers with the kitchen sink thrown in. Not Michael Filerman's best work. The male characters are weak, the sets and lighting leave something to be desired. The clothes look dated by this time periods standards. And with Sela Ward's bitch character they made her too bad too soon so why should I care about her? Sela is doing a great job though.

Overall it's probably going to be watchable, but I see why it didn't work. I'm curious to see how it improves. I also want to see more of Maud Adams who did nothing in the pilot.

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