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Does anyone remember this soap that I think ran on CBS sometime in between Capitol and B&B? I can't imagine it was on for very long, and to be honest the only thing about it that sticks in my head is the theme song, but I remember watching it a few times way back when and one day it was gone, just wondered whatever happened or what the ratings were like?

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Rituals was syndicated and ran for a year in the 84-85 season.

Oh okay. I always wondered about that because I never really heard anyone say much about it at the time (maybe why it was cancelled, lol) and I never see it mentioned in the forums when they discuss defunct shows, so or a while I was thinking I was a nutter :P

But thanks for the info :D

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I was just discussing "Rituals" in another post. With the success of all the primetime serials, someone decided it was time to syndicate a soap opera nightly. The show did, however, end up airing in the daytime or mid-evening in some markets. Recently, FOX was going to try something similar with a telenovela platform called "Desire" before the creation of MyNetworkTV.

"Rituals" problem was certainly poor ratings. I think it had 2.0 or less at the time, which was terrible. Several reasons can be cited for the show's failure. I believe in the course of the one year run there were three headwriters causing the show to change focus every few months or so. Initially, the drama surrounded the death of Katherine Haddon Chapin and the reprocussion of her will which required the executor Logan Williams (ex-James Bond George Lazenby) to stay a year to evaluate the conditions of the will. Other drama focused on the international love affair between Diandra Santiago, who escaped her war torn nation to work as a domestic in the Chapin family home, and soldier-turned-cop Tom Gallagher. Tom had a secret past involving the suicide of an old girlfriend and Diandra's father was involved with revolutionaries who eventually kidnapped Tom. Tom's sister Noel was the Erica Kane of the series attempting to bed playboy coke addict Brady Chapin, who was more interested in actress Dakota Lane. The show had another couple, Lacey Jarrett and Mike Gallagher, who were dealing with the complications of living together before marriage while Lacey was suffering through a difficult pregnancy.

Early on though, there was some press about Ronald Regan's daughter playing a femme fatale Marissa Mallory, who I believe was a student of Mike's who became obessed with her. There was a big squabble in October 1984 about Patti Davis reportedly not showing up to work after she had filmed two episodes. Later, Janice Heiden finished out the role, but was gone by the end of the year. Around this time, Joann Pflug departed the series citing moral reasons for her inability to play the show's rich bitch Taylor Chapin von Platen.

Most of the initial cast was gone by January 1985 and the storylines changed focus. Dakota Lane agreed to be Mike and Lacey's surrogate, which seemed to spark a Mike/Dakota/Brady triangle, while Mike's niece Noel did in her nasty father Eddie in February 1985 in a murder mystery that was a promotional attempt to bring in some ratings for the floundering serial. No one stayed around to watch Noel admit her crime or fall in love with her psychiatrist. Taylor departed in February as well and soon after her ex-husband C.J. Fields.

I suspect that the Corringtons may have been behind C.J., who fought Taylor's half-brother Carter Robinson for the family fortune. In the early episodes, it had been established that Taylor married C.J. to revive the Chapin family fortune, which was the reason she had dumped Logan Williams (who I think may have intended to be the true father of Taylor's daughter Julia, but I'm not sure if that ever played out). C.J. and Carter were the focus of the final months of the series, which saw Taylor's return in August in the form of Francine York. C.J. became the governor of Virginia, Carter had control of most of the money, and Carter's wife Christina was in a convent after shooting someone (maybe her sister Sara who Christina mentioned was dead in her final monologue).

The other major storyline that got the show some attention was the pairing of Julia Chapin Fields and Lucky Washington. Julia was C.J. and Taylor's daughter who was initially involved with Cameron Bernhardt, a wealthy man who lived in a villa in Acapulco. Julia later lost Cameron to another one of the Haddon Hall girls, Patty Dupont, who he married and left town with. Lucky Washington was the son of Maddie Washington, the black housekeeper for the Chapin family. Randy Brooks, the second actor to play cop Lucky Washington, said in an interview around the time he arrived on "Generations" that he received some interesting mail when he was paired with Andrea Moar.

Ultimately, low ratings prompted affiliates to drop the program even as producers scrambled to salvage the show, which was something they had been doing since day one. The series was initially based on Charlene Keel's book about college girls who were falling in love with their drama professor, just as their mother's had years before. A pilot was filmed with Philece Sampler, Renee Jones, and Barbara Crampton playing the girls and Joe Lambie playing the professor. However, the initial concept was scrapped several months before the show started and I believe Gene Palumbo created the original on-air concept for "Rituals".

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Kin Shriner played Mike, an eccentric artist. Mike was initially involved with Lacey and when Lacey lost the baby Mike and Lacey had Dakota carry a baby for them. Dakota was initially played by Claire Yarlett, but during the artificial insemination storyline Marybeth Evans plays her. I believe Mike was around until the end, not sure about Lacey or Dakota.

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Reving an old topic, someone has posted Christina's final speech from the convent where she revealed the fate of all the characters on "Rituals". Reading some old soap columns from the 1980s, it appears the Corringtons left the show up in the air because they weren't show if the show was going to be renewed, hence the big cliffhanger with Christina shooting her sister Sara. I have read Kin Shriner was departing the show at the end of his one year contract. I suspect he would have been recast since the show ended with both Dakota and Diandra pregnant with his baby.

The other thing is most of the affiliates dropped the show after six months and by February 1985, the show wasn't airing anywhere in a primetime slot having been shafted to a late night or daytime timeslot. The show went through a major revamp in March 1985, when the show wrote off both Tina Louise's Taylor and George Lazenby's Logan, and brought on Peter Haskell and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. Jacobs must not have lasted long as I know that Randy Brooks talked about his time on "Rituals" and he talked about the interracial pairing between Lucky and Julia. I still wonder when the Corringtons took over from L. Virginia Browne. I think the Corringtons were probably the show's best bet as they had a strong history writing interesting characters in a Southern setting. After listening to Christina's speech, I will say they seemed rather bitter about the show's cancellation. Most of the characters suffered rather unfortuante fates. I do hope this wasn't there longterm goals for said characters.

Here are some synopses from the last few months of the show. They come from a syndicated column called Before & After:

June 29-July 3, 1985: Mike and Lacey learned the conditions imposed by secret 'surrogate mother'. Sara questioned Noel about her affair with Jeff. Lisa gathered more information from Roger to give to Christina. Coming: Christina finds something unexpected in Carter's office.

July 6-10, 1985: Dakota feared the discovery of her tumor might affect her chances to be a surrogate mother. Lacey and Kin signed the papers for the surrogate parenthood program. Lisa flirted with Roger to learn the location of the Chalon formula. Coming: Christina gets a strange greeting after crashing C.J.'s fundraising reception.

July 13-17 1985: Carter vowed to Jeff he'll ruin C.J.'s chances for governorship. Christina tricked Cherry into giving her information on Roger. Jeff received a death threat from Keifer. Coming: Jeff and Brady find problems with their music video campaign.

July 20-24, 1985: Lisa told a shocked Christina that she must leave Wingfield. Cherry was suspicious of Dakota's motives in seeing Mike during Lacey's absence. Tom learned Diandra would bear a baby girl. Brady found Lucky coming out of Julia's room. Coming: Dakota realizes her medical news means changing her life.

July 27-31, 1985: No synopsis available.

August 3-7, 1985: Brady vowed to find the person responsible for Tiger's fatal injuries. Christina gave Michelle the secret file in exchange for the Chalon formula. Lacey was upset when Mike said he had to take care of Dakota who later admitted she's the surrogate mother for his child. Coming: Sara learns how to deal with C.J.'s romantic overtures.

August 10-14 1985: C.J. tried to find out if Sara still felt romantic over him. Gates told Brady the "mob" killed Tiger. Workers at C.J.'s plants may have been contaminated by radiation leaks. Coming: Mike and Dakota must cope with their growing feelings for each other.

August 17-21, 1985: Sara and Noel began to suspect the truth about Tom's condition. Dakota began to think about an abortion. Lisa realized she had to made new plans regardless of how Carter might react. Coming: Mike hears some startling news from Diandra while Dakota gets advice from Lacey.

August 24-28, 1984: No synopsis available.

August 31-September 4 1985: Carter learned the truth. A doctor was found who might be able to remove Dakota's tumor. Coming: Will the stoyr of "Rituals" resume?

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CarlD, I'd love it if you posted anything on "Rituals." There is so little out there.

There's something of a trainwreck quality to the whole thing that fascinates me. All the cast changes, story changes, production changes, etc. seem to have create this massive clusterf$%#%. Characters came and went, couples were ripped apart, but yet there seems to be some genuinely interesting elements to the show. The first year of a soap is going to be problematic. "Rituals" struggled with identity because of the syndication element. I don't think they knew whether to gear it more so to a nighttime audience or a daytime audience. Plus, the show's original concept was dropped and what ended up on air was completely different from what had been proposed by Charlene Keel.

Does anyone know who the show's headwriters were? I know Charlene Keel proposed the original concept. A pilot was filmed, but later scrapped. Then, Gene Palumbo wrote the show, and probably was behind the revamped concept. He wrote the show for about six months. From there, things get a bit screwy. Laguardia states L. Virgina Browne and John and Joyce Corrington were writers for the series. I assumed this meant they followed Palumbo as headwriter. However, someone posted on another site a SOD news article about Raymond Goldstone replacing Palumbo. Today, I found an article from June 1985 declaring Stacey Anderson and Steve Burkow were taking over as headwriters. The show was cancelled not long after. Anyone have any information they care to add?

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9/24/85 Digest, From Reel to Real, Tony Rizzo's column.

It's always sad to see a soap opera leave the airwaves, especially when it has as many wonderful people as Rituals did. Telepictures, the producers of Rituals, decided to go out with a bash. The party was held on the set upon the completion of the 280th show, which, ironically, was probably one of the most powerful for the actors who wanted to give this last episode everything they had. Christine Jones (Christina) bemoaned, "Wouldn't you know I would get 47 pages on my last day. One of my monologues went on and on, but I thought, oh well, what the heck, it's the last time. I'll show them." What will she do now that Rituals is finished? "I play to stay in Los Angeles a while. I have some work offers to check out, but as always, I will probably find myself commuting between here and New York."

Tim Maier (Jeff) had been preparing for some time for this day, systematically having his picture taken with each and every cast member. At the party he presented all of them with a picture of him with them, sort of as a forget-me-not.

George Lazenby(Logan) came to the party to say good-bye to many of his co-stars, but it was obvious he had left the show because of differences. He intimated that Rituals would be as forgettable for him as his stint as James Bond once upon a time.

Anthony Ponzini, who played police detective Lucas Gates on the show, has really mellowed since his stormy days as Vince Wolek on One Life to Live. In fact, he was kidding about it at the party. "Remember when I used to chase you press guys around?" he recalls. "Rituals was the longest run I've done on a show since One Life to Live. A lot of my attitudes have changed since the old days." Despite his past wariness of reporters, Ponizini still managed to win an Emmy. Now a great deal of his time is spent teaching others the ropes as an actor - he is one of the msot respected acting coaches in Hollywood today.

Peter Haskell (C.J.) admitted, "I just got here. It seems like only yesterday I was working on both Search for Tomorrow and Rituals. I was ready to settle into a long run and look at what's happened!"

Monte Markham (Carter) has a movie in the works and several other projects he couldn't discuss. We chatted about Perry Mason, the revival of the classic Raymond Burr series he starred in a few years ago, and he revealed, "The real reason the show was cancelled was because no one imagined when the estate of Erle Stanley Gardner was given creative control, that they would exercise that option to the point where everyone just wanted to end production." For years people have wondered why such a good show was taken off and now we know. Monte is one of those actors who never has to worry about where his next job is coming from...he's that respected.

Jon Linstrom (Brady) is already working locally in the play Bogart, playing John Huston in the life story of Humphrey Bogart (the same production Taylor Miller left to assume the role of Sally Ewing on Another World). The ironic thing about the job, Jon admits, is, "I have the same dressing room that was occupied by Marc Poppel in the last production here, Forty Deuce. I followed Marc into Rituals as Brady Chapin, and now I am copying his dressing room at the Pan Andreas Theater...shades of Twilight Zone." Jon has already been up for two other West Coast daytime shows and doesn't want to be idle for long.

The party proved a good luck charm for Karen Kelly (Noel). Executive in CHarge of Production for John Conboy Productions Richard Shields was so impressed with the actress that he introduced her to the folks at Capitol. Now she's the new Brenda (watch for a hot storyline for Karen and Bill Beyers (Wally).

Edited by CarlD2
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I don't know why I feel this way seeing as how some much more beloved film stars have done stints on soaps, but George Lazenby just seems so grand for a syndicated soap opera. I guess I always picture him in a tux and on an airplane in late night cable Emmanuelle movies.

I'm not sure I knew that Wesley Ann Pfenning did this after AW. I see that Karen Kelly was in this, she played the final Brenda on Capitol. It's kind of funny how Kin "introduces" Mary Beth Evans. Lynn Hamilton, Randy Brooks, other familiar faces.

Geesh Kin, way to make 32 feel like 82. But I found that interview interesting, specifically how he was sold on Rituals. I'd think the fact that the show was taped and came on 5x/week may have been some sort of red flag, but maybe he kinda heard what he wanted to hear? I dunno. He seems grateful yet a *little* bitter about soaps sucking up his 20s and by the time he got to the Jan-Michael Vincent reference even I was reaching for the Lexapro. I hope if you interviewed him now he'd say that he found great happiness in his career and is all in all pleased with the way everything turned out.

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