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Riviera - 1991 "international" soap

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Thanks. I looked under John Valente and didn't see anything. I should have looked more.

I laughed when I saw Bradley Cole's name.

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There were clips on youtube for a while, but they have since been taken down. The theme was jazzy and the credits were pretty lavish. It seemed to me to be a European attempt at 'Dynasty.' The series of clips were posted by a Jeanne Manson fan so they revolved around her character, Sybella, who was married to a penniless English Lord, Edward. Initially, the story seemed very American with Sybella and Edward having a rather volatile relationship and talk about family titles and country estates. Later, Sybella and Edward reconcilled and the story seemed more British with roguish Edward lavishing Sybella with toys for the child they were expecting and taking Sybella to a Swiss clinic to relax in the later stage of her pregnancy. It was very down to earth for a very over-the-top couple.

Harrison Ford's brother Terrence Ford appeared as an American photographer. I believe Xavier Deluc, who played the son, has become a rather well known French actor. Jeanne Manson had a music career in the 1970s / 1980s.

There was a bit of controversy regarding the production of the serial. I believe they were suppose to premier in February, but it wasn't cleared until July. Then the ratings were high, but immediately dropped. There was concern because the French production was filmed in English in order to sell it international with plans to dub it in French. This was problematic because I believe the government was allowing the television network to consider it home made production even though it was clearly being marketed by its producers to an international audience. Then, there was the issue that it was created by the business conglomerate rather than a writer. Some writers speculated that if it succeeded, businessmen would have complete creative control of future productions.

Roger Newman interviewed Wisner Washam, and he had this to say about the show:

We Love Soaps: I want to talk about some of the other soap projects you have worked on. You helped develop a European soap called RIVIERA?

Wisner Washam: One of my co-writers, Mary K. Wells, had a good friend in advertising. After she left the show, he called her one day and said that an advertising agency in Paris was interested in starting a new show over there and wanted a soap opera writer, and asked if she would be interested. She said she wasn't but recommended me. I was more than ready to go because I adore France.

I worked in Paris several months on this show which was originally called THE WHEELS OF MONTE CARLO. It was a very strange situation because they had already come up with the core group of around 12 characters. It was an international soap opera in that it was financed by a consortium of seven European nations. They wanted actors and characters representing each of those nations. It was very peculiar to write because you have to have a bad guy somewhere and I had the audacity to make him a Spaniard. They didn't even know if they wanted a daily show or a weekly show or an hour show or half-hour. I helped them sort of narrow it down.

I thought it was well on the way to being produced. I came home from one of my sessions and never heard from them again. I was most peculiar. Later it turned out some lady novelist had taken over my position and she clearly didn't know what she was doing. It was on the air as RIVIERA and ran for less than a year. They had lost everything. I felt vindicated.

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Thanks. This was far more detail than I expected. And a bonus catch up with Mary K Wells, one of those people I know little about after the 70s.

The show does sound like a mess, but I wish I could see it.

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I remembered the show airing when I was a young boy. It was aired after "Santa Barbara" in France and was clearly supposed to be the European SB. I think the timeslot changed quite a few times. It was catchy at first. I should ask my mom because she watched it for sure.

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In Germany, "Riviera" aired weekdays on VOX from September 1993 to April 1994. Only 145 episodes were dubbed into German and the show has never been repeated anywhere.

VOX later showed another French soap, "Sous le Soleil", which ran in France from 1996 to 2008 and had ca. 480 full-hour episodes. In Germany, it was known as "St. Tropez" and was featured on VOX's daytime schedule for quite some. However, the last 200 episodes were only shown during night time or in the early mornings.

http://youtu.be/JwNIOzz94qA

In 2013, the French channel TF6 revived "Sous le Soleil" as "Sous le Soleil de St. Tropez" and the show is currently in its 2nd or 3rd season.

The official website is http://www.tf6.fr/fiche/162/sous-le-soleil-de-saint-tropez-saison-1

http://youtu.be/pOvBYgTp_XE

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That's interesting - Swedish television tried to do something similar in 2002 after Sunset Beach ended it's incredibly popular run. It was a huge failure there, but apparently aired on some local tv stations in Florida and featured a young Megan Fox, Jessica Sutta (of PCD fame), SuBe alum Timothy Adams and Guiding Light's Jean Carol, among others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_Ave.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0323463/combined

A low-resolution compilation of Leigh Lombardi can be found on her home page - I'm pretty sure this is all that exists of the show online:

http://leighlombardi.net/soap.htm

Edited by te.

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Googling it quickly, it would appear that Riviera aired in the UK in the 90s at some point, on ITV in a late night slot.

No other info seems to be available.

It sounds like one of those ideas that should be interesting, but difficult to execute.

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A typical mixed blessing.

 

http://www.ccma.cat/tv3/alacarta/riviera/riviera-capitol-1/video/5543454/

 

All 260 episodes of Riviera, in Catalan.

 

It's interesting to see Addie Walsh was credited as head writer for the show's entire run. Her team also included familiar names like Jeff Ryder, Peter Brash, and Patrick Tovatt (I didn't realize he had written anything).

 

The opening episode is worth trying. The introductory sequence reminds me of the highly stylized British soaps Russell T. Davies did in the mid to late 1990s, while the overall aesthetic is heavily influenced by the American glamour soaps of the 1980s (Santa Barbara, Capitol).

 

I've watched the first seven out of curiosity. Some of it seems to have some movement (the tension between perfume manufacturer Laurent de Courcey and his playboy son Christopher), some over the top (Clara Marques' desperate pursuit of Beatrice de Courcey), while other parts muddled and hard to understand because of language (basically anything happening involving police officer Daniel Lambert, his blushing bride Ghislaine, and Daniel's sullen mother Marguerite).

 

I'd love to hear what anyone else thinks.

Edited by dc11786

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