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Executive Suite


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Does anyone remember this prime time soap that ran 1976-1977 ? All I know is it starred Leigh J. McCloskey from Dallas, Y&R, Santa Barbara, GH etc....

Leigh's character was involved in an interacial relationship with a character played by Brenda Sykes.

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I was attending college at the time. Unfortunately, there was no CBS affliate in the town where my college was located, so I did not get to watch the series. I did, however, see at least one episode (maybe more than one).

William Smithers, who had played roles on The Guiding Light and (earlier) Peyton Place, was one of the stars. His wife was named Leona or Leoni, and she suffered from some type of mental illness.

Mitchell Ryan (of Dark Shadows and All My Children) seemed to be the main characcter.

Brenda Sykes' character was named Summer. She was involved with Leigh J. McClosky. (Ms. Sykes, I believe, had played a role on One Life to Live, and Mr. McClosey later played a character on that show.)

Also appearing in some episodes were Percy Rodrigues (Peyton Place, Somerset) and Maxine Stuart (The Edge of Night).

Joan Prather (later of Eight Is Enough) and Carl Weintraub (later of Dads and Cagney & Lacey) also appeared in the cast.

The late Stephen Elliott (Young Doctor Malone, A World Apart), Wendy Phillips, the late Gwyda Donhowe (Search for Tomorrow, Another World), and Madelyn Rhue were in the cast.

The show's creator was the late Henry Slesar (who wrote The Edge of Night, One Life to Live, Capitol, and Somerset).

Barbara Corday and Barbara Corday, the creative force behind Cagney and Lacey, first worked on this show as writers.

Don Brinkley and Rita Lakin were two of the producers.

Ricardo Montalban also appeared in most of the episodes.

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Thanks for the info. I read tid bits about the series existing , but never saw it. No clips online, just 1 short promo on you tube. Leigh McCloskey remarked in an interview about Dallas, that he still gets people who come up to him and remember him from ES which was flattering. He also starred in Rich Man, Poor Man.

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I took a class that had a brief Entertainment Law intro and the guest teacher mentioned this show because William Smithers sued MGM over his billing o n this show. According to him, he was supposed to have received top billing but did not and claimed it cost him financially in terms of potential earnings/future roles. I believe the issue was that he was supposed to be credited as "and William Smithers." Anyway, his case is taught as part of Entertainment Law.

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Yes, I recall that he did sue.

I saw a play that Smithers directed in New Orleans a number of years ago. It was a production of Look Homeward, Angel. Later, I met the brother of a friend from church. The brother had been the scenic designer of the play.

I enjoyed Smithers on The Guiding Light. He could have played many roles on other shows very well. Mr. Kirkland on Ryan's Hope comes to mind.

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That's interesting that he sued. A lot of people think the last billing in credits with the "and" was an after thought or being bottom of the barrel. The "and" is considered an honor among actors to receive that type of billing. It makes them stand out among a long list of actors.

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Performers are sometimes disappointed with their billing or importance in a show. I understand that David Birney (Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, A World Apart) left the primetime St. Elsewhere because he thought that he was going to be the main character and the show, instead, was an ensemble show.

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All I know is I began to pay more attention to billing afterwards. Things like "also starring," "and," "with," and names appearing on the screen at the same time catch my attention now. I guess the highest billing level is the name of the actor starring in or in followed by the name of the movie or show.

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Performers are sometimes disappointed with their billing or importance in a show. I understand that David Birney (Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, A World Apart) left the primetime St. Elsewhere because he thought that he was going to be the main character and the show, instead, was an ensemble show.

This reminds me of the anger Tina Louise has towards Gilligans Island. She thought she was going to be the main star. She should have thought about the name of title before she signed on. It would had been Ginger's Island if it was going to be about her......LOL

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I would be interested. Last year, I purchased a lot of scripts from "Executive Suite" from the second half of the show's run. The scripts are from the tail end of the original executive producer's run and a good number of Rita Lakin's period. There were multiple versions of a couple of the scripts (11-13) because Lakin took over and revised one of the scripts and ditched the others.

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