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Bradford Dillman who played Daryl Clayton has died. Apart from FC, he was in scores of Tv shows and movies .He was 87.

Darryl Clayton  (1982–1983)
Film producer who works with Maggie Gioberti on a screenplay she is writing, but is actually part of a plot by Angela to destroy her marriage to Chase
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Published: December 4, 1981

IN ''Falcon Crest,'' the new prime-time soap opera beginning on CBS at 10 tonight, the villainous centerpiece, the sort of function served by J.R. on the same network's ''Dallas,'' is a woman. Angie Channing is a California vintner, of all things, determined to maintain control of her Napa Valley wine empire. Adding a fillip of interest to the project, Angie is played by Jane Wyman, the former Mrs. Ronald Reagan.

Angie wastes no time in getting down to heavy scheming. Discovering that her brother has been killed in an unseemly accident, she has her servant stuff the body into a car and roll it over a cliff so that it looks like he died in a drunken-driving crash. Her machinations have something to do with a special stipulation in her brother's will.

She then begins assembling the family for a hasty but proper burial. Some members are already living in her rather creepy mansion, about an hour's drive from San Francisco. Julia (Abby Dalton) is Angie's troubled and alcoholic daughter. ''Why don't you fix yourself a brandy,'' sneers mother. Lance (Lorenzo Lamas) is her handsome, horse-riding grandson. As her chosen heir, Lance is utterly devoted to Angie.

Back in New York, there is Chase Gioberti (Robert Foxworth), son of the dead man. When Aunt Angie calls with the bad news, Chase agrees to attend the funeral with his wife, Maggie (Susan Sullivan), a mildly liberated woman who is establishing a career as a magazine writer. Their two children stay behind. Teen-aged Victoria (Jamie Rose) is having an affair with an older man. Colt (Billy R. Moses), her furious older brother, is arrested for assaulting the aging lover.

And so it goes, the standard stuff of soaps, with a crisis bubble bursting at least three times between commercial breaks. Back in California, Chase begins re-evaluating his life, concluding that his children are just drifting. Much to Angie's consternation, he decides to move back to his old home in the shadows of the vineyard. Meanwhile, everybody keeps telling steely-eyed Angie what a gracious hostess she is. At fade-out, she is meaningfully stroking a live falcon on the grounds of her estate. The stage is set for anything. Miss Wyman seems to be in remarkable control.

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IComments from Jeff Frelich on his vision for the show



"In a serial, every change has a domino effect. It was very much like running a marathon and being told a mile-and-a-half was cut out of the track. All of a sudden your pacing is different," Jeff Freilich told 'The New York Times' in 1988. In discussing the 1987-88 season of the TV series, 'Falcon Crest', Jeff Freilich expressed, "I believe the only way to keep a show alive and fresh in the long run is to make it reborn. You tend to take things for granted unless you shake up the stories and change the direction your characters might be going in." 
As told to 'The Los Angeles Times', "Ultimately, you don't want to do eight stories that involve different characters. You want to do three stories that involve everyone in the cast." The character of Maggie, "She's the core of the show. Maggie's problems relate most closely to the kinds of problems our audience has." In 1985, Lee Rich called Jeff Freilich to take over as co-executive producer of 'Falcon Crest', "So, I made lots of changes and turned 'Falcon Crest' into a show that I would want to watch." 
In an interview with Marc Bradley in 2003, Jeff Freilich told fans, "When I first took over 'Falcon Crest' ... I didn’t want to change the series so radically that the audience would lose interest … Television is a very stressful, very exhausting business because you only have seven days to film a one-hour show and only a week or two to write it … Ideas need to be challenged, then changed and change takes time.
"I immediately called Mark Snow who had just purchased a synclavier — one of the early, high-tech synthesizers — and asked him to score almost the entire season. Then, I went to Hawaii with my family to try to conceive of the entire season’s worth of stories on my own … But, most importantly, I decided to make 'Falcon Crest' less of a tedious soap opera and more of a twisty, dramatic mystery. Life in California’s wine country is filled with intrigue and violence. 'Falcon Crest' needed more of both of those qualities.
"In addition, I wanted to completely change storylines. Peripheral characters had no meaning in the stories I had planned for season 6 (1986-87). Each of my two seasons (1986-88) on 'Falcon Crest' was planned differently. Season 6 was completely built around my ability to convince Kim Novak to return to the screen. We planned the season around a single storyline and added subplots as we went along. 
"We did not know how the season would end until halfway through the year (by episode 14). Season 7 was very different. We knew exactly what would happen at the end of episode 28 before we exposed a single frame of film. We planned the whole season for Melissa to take control of Falcon Crest. But, each season involved the same creative process. I would independently conceive of a 'shape' for the season, a general beginning, middle and end, as if I were writing a novel. 
"Then, I would meet with the other writers for several hours a day for several weeks. We would share our ideas and argue over twists and new characters. It was like plotting a 28-hour movie and took an enormous amount of time. But, it was crucial we had a specific direction. 'Falcon Crest' suffered in the past from plotting that was done with no preparation, at the last minute. A tight thriller has to be carefully conceived. Elements are introduced, and then paid off much later. 
"Characters have to have secrets that surface at the right moments. This kind of storytelling must be well thought out … I wanted to start my first season of 'Falcon Crest' in the most spectacular way possible. I wanted to attract as much publicity and attention as we could. I had made a creative decision to bring lots of big names to 'Falcon Crest' and create interesting, 'campy' roles for them. Joanne Brough began calling agents to see who was available or who might be interested. 
"'Vertigo' was always one of my favorites of Hitchcock. We researched Kim Novak's whereabouts and Joanne discovered that Kim might be interested in returning to the screen — but only on certain terms. I had to fly up to her home near Monterey and present my ideas ... I suggested we 'remake' 'Vertigo' on 'Falcon Crest' … In creating a parody of Hitchcock I intended to make a statement: 'Falcon Crest' would become more of a thriller — and 'Falcon Crest' would have a sense of humor. 
"Bringing Kim Novak to 'Falcon Crest' also announced that there would be many surprises on the show and that we would attract actors that would appeal to the audience. It was my idea to develop a storyline for Kim that paralleled 'Vertigo', but it was with many people's help that the story succeeded, not the least of all Kim … Take my word, working on 'Falcon Crest' was fun more often than not. 
"After the success of season 6 in which 'Falcon Crest' once again rose to the top of the ratings, we made a decision to introduce the concept of short-term, high profile guest stars to attract an even larger audience. Many notable actors approached us requesting to be on the show. I made a list of all the actors with whom I had never had the pleasure of working and asked them to join us. Most of them agreed. 
"As a child, I was a fan of the film 'Gigi' and was eager to work with Leslie Caron. The writers and I created the character of Nicole Sauguet. She served two very important purposes: first, she helped shroud the disappearance of Chase in mystery, giving him a past that Maggie was never aware of. Second, she helped introduce the key component of the entire season, the conspiracy of The Thirteen. Leslie exceeded my expectations and was a delight to have on the set. 
"While I was directing the courtroom show (season 6, episode 27 'Chain Reaction'), the other writers would sit with me while the set was being lit and we would plan season 7 together. It was a difficult job, but once we decided that Angela would lose Falcon Crest to Melissa things got easier. It was exhausting. At the end of a 28-episode season, even the most imaginative writers run out of ideas. But, somehow we created an interesting season 7 despite our fatigue.
"I believe any film or television show must have a point of view. 'Falcon Crest', for example, in season 7 dealt with the concept that a small group of very powerful men conspired to dictate economic and political policies ... I also believe that television, particularly, is not a platform from which to preach. It is entertainment and can never be taken too seriously. There is a way to make a point and be amusing at the same time. So, rather than write true-to-life stories, we wrote dark parodies." 
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Jeff Freilich was a terrible hack who destroyed the show. It got campy, with pointless guest stars and terrible incidental music. The best years were the first three, when Bob McCullough was running the show, and the central theme of the Giobertis vs Angela was still in place. Seasons 4 and 5 were still decent, but on a decline, particularly as CBS started tampering (they ordered the Nazi treasure storyline to end halfway through season 4, and the writers scrambled to fill the rest of the season).  After Earl Hamner left at the end of season 5, I was done.

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I realize the Jeff Freilich era has its' defenders, but I feel like he took too much emphasis away from the vineyards.  It was bad enough to have Nazis running around on FC's grounds, looking for buried treasure.  But the Thirteen?  WTF was that?

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If you've never seen the unaired pilot Falcon Crest - The Vintage Years with Jane Wyman in a grey wig, Michael Swan as Richard Channing, and Abby Dalton as her daughter Dorcas Cumson (the porniest name in primetime soaps), do yourself a favor and look it up on Youtube.  

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On 12/4/2019 at 7:44 PM, j swift said:



If you've never seen the unaired pilot Falcon Crest - The Vintage Years with Jane Wyman in a grey wig, Michael Swan as Richard Channing, and Abby Dalton as her daughter Dorcas Cumson (the porniest name in primetime soaps), do yourself a favor and look it up on Youtube.  

Watched the original pilot...I think it was titled "The Vintage Years." The tone was definitely more serious, less soapy...more in tone with The Waltons (which had the same creator). I'm currently watching Season 3, and while the show feels all over the place in terms of plot, it's still fun to watch.

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On 11/9/2019 at 10:21 AM, John said:

I knew Ana Alicia was fired in 1988 but I guess Susan Sullivan was as well in 1989. Always thought that exit was her choice. 

I have never seen Falcon Crest except for the youtube videos of the opening but my mother was a major fan and she still says, "I still can't believe they fired Ana Alicia! What were they thinking?"

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