Did "The Colbys" have to compete with the parent show?

Willie Oleson

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After all, Dynasty was so outrageously popular, and it must have been clear from the start that The Colbys was going to be something very similar.
Or was it one big happy family, as this picture seems to suggest?


The Carringtons did not have to welcome just one new castmember, but an entire new family.
So, in a way, I can understand why Joan Collins didn't want to have anything to do with it, although I'm not sure if she was actually asked to appear on The Colbys.
And to be honest, I don't think that every actor from the parent show should guest star on the new Dynasty.
It could have confused the audience!:lol:

Do you think that the concept of The Colbys was thought through? Was it what it was supposed to be?
Could it be similar enough and different enough at the same time? I'm not sure if another "industry" would have made any difference, since very little detail went into those storylines.
Come to think of it, how much oil was there on The Colbys? They had The Gallery, the IMOS project, Dominique's record company, Zach's tankers...so, actually, they were all very busy doing their business (except Bliss, and she complained about it. But with a mother like Sable and a sister like Monica I thought it was understandable).

Personally I think The Colbys was a lush and excellent melodrama, and more 1950s than Dynasty.
 

Alexis

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I love The Colbys, but weirdly it's weak point for me is Fallon. The character that for all intents and purposes spins the show off is just about dead on arrival. I'm saying this and I actually like Emma Samms. I have often wondered what The Colbys would have been like with Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon. I think she possibly would have been happier there than she was on DYNASTY. She would have still had John James to work with but wouldn't have to compete with Stephanie Beacham the way she had to with Joan Collins and Linda Evans. She also would have been able to work with John Forsyth and others from the DYNASTY cast if she wanted to. Though on The Colbys she could have been the star really. With Stephanie Beacham working with her to bolster her. Maybe Fallon could have been more edgy and fun in California. I think there was room on The Colbys for Sable and Fallon to be the two female leads, just as on DYNASTY it was Joan and Linda. And the dynamic of a young woman and a mother jostling for the affections of Miles would have been a twist on Alexis and Krystle fighting over Blake. None of the females on The Colby's really had a chance to shine when Stephanie ampted up the vamp. Though I think PSM could have. Those two could have had great back and forth bitchy dialogue I think.

She could have maybe stayed that brittle bitchy character only more that way in business and also have been a great mother to LB and later Lauren. I think she also would have enjoyed having Maxwell Caulfield as her love interest too.

If Fallon was played by PSM on The Colbys I could see them having no real need for Bliss. Fallon and Monica could have had rivalry too.
 

Willie Oleson

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I think Fallon was out-Falloned by Monica, and I wish there had been more disagreement between her (Monica) and Channing.
What I disliked the most about Fallon was that she often ran away or left the room to avoid the confrontations, she really could be a party pooper sometimes.
If you can't stand the soap, get out of The Colbys. Run away and stay away.

It's really strange that the writers didn't get this part right.
 

Alexis

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I think Fallon was out-Falloned by Monica
It seemed that writing for Fallon on The Colby's was always an after thought. Like something they were required to do, but didn't really want to. It wasn't that Sable was the "A" story and Fallon was the "B" story. Fallon was the "F" story.
 

ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

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The Colby's was good, but would've been better had it tried to make more of an effort to be different from Dynasty, having The Colby family itself is involved in the oil business, like the Carrington's, they should've been involved in the movie or entertainment industry instead.

After all, Knots Landing wasn't about oil like Dallas was, it focused on the lives of several families, who happened to live next door to Val and Gary Ewing, but they all were involved in other businesses and not oil.

Another thing about the Colby's is that it seemed to rehash some of Dynasty's earlier storylines:

The Jeff/Fallon/Miles triangle was similar to the Jeff/Kirby/Adam storyline, even with Miles raping and possibly impregnating Fallon was a rip off of Adam raping Kirby and getting her pregnant, except Kirby was carrying her rapists baby,

Zach Powers was similar to Cecil Colby, they even gave Zach a nephew

Garrett was Andrew Laird with a bigger role in the show

And the Koyla/Bliss romance was an altered version of Amanda and Michaels relationship minus the royal aspect of it.

It looks stupid watching some episodes and storylines on The Colby's knowing full well that Dynasty had already aired them half a dozen year earlier.

As for PSM coming on board for The Colby's, it would've automatically changed the outcome of not only
The Colby's but Dynasty too, I like Emma Samms, but let's face we can all agree on this forum and even on other soap forums like Dallas, KL and FC on the fact that Dynasty suffered a massive blow when
Pamela Sue Martin left the show in 1984, sure we still had Krystle and Alexis but the loss of PSM did hurt Dynasty a lot,
Even critics at the time said that The Colby's wouldn't be that great because Emma Samms didn't have the appeal at the time, that PSM had.

Now had PSM come on board for The Colby's we would've seen a stronger Fallon who wouldn't put up with any shit from Miles, Sable, Jason, Frankie and even Jeff, PSM's Fallon would've also clashed with Frankie I believe, all the characters would've changed all because of one actress over another playing the role of Fallon, we know she was weakened slightly as seasons 3 and 4 progressed but I don't think this would've been the case on The Colby's had PSM returned, the character of Fallon changed largely because of poor writing which was aided by the fact that TPTB had decided to recast the role.
 

Alexis

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PSM's Fallon would've also clashed with Frankie I believe,
That's an interesting point. In my head I can see PSM raging at Frankie and ranting about what a terrible mother she was to Jeff, saying how she knew how it felt to be abandoned by her mother. That they would always have that bond, have that in common even if they weren't in a relationship. You can see PSM doing that. You don't see Emma doing any of that.
 

Willie Oleson

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we know she was weakened slightly as seasons 3 and 4
Slightly?
I think that the Fallon1 transformation was much worse than the re-cast. Would have hated to see PSM playing that part on The Colbys - and ironically, this works in Emma Samms' favour. She wasn't Dynasty's Fallon anymore, heck she even started her storyline with another identity.
I see her as a catalyst-character, rather than the romantic or feisty lead.

And I think it's a bit optimistic to assume that the writing for The Colbys-Fallon would have been different if she had been played by Pamela Sue Martin. It doesn't work that way.

The Jeff/Fallon/Miles triangle was similar to the Jeff/Kirby/Adam storyline, even with Miles raping and possibly impregnating Fallon was a rip off of Adam raping Kirby and getting her pregnant, except Kirby was carrying her rapists baby
But on The Colbys there was much more at stake. Sable desperately wanted this baby to be Miles' child, and her grandchild.
 

Alexis

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And I think it's a bit optimistic to assume that the writing for The Colbys-Fallon would have been different if she had been played by Pamela Sue Martin. It doesn't work that way.
I don't know about that. Had they have done the Colbys while PSM was still there, say season 4, no doubt they would have feathered the bed a bit for her. They could only have moved forward with the idea had she agreed. She would likely only agree to a show she wanted to be in and to play a character she wanted to play.

Emma Samms coming in would have had no say in how anything went. She was new, and had no clout.
 

Willie Oleson

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They could only have moved forward with the idea had she agreed.
Unless her contract ended after season 4. I guess it depends on how determined they were to start the spin-off show, with or without PSM.

But still I think that a bitchy mover-and-shaker Fallon would have sabotaged the Colbys plotlines. I like it that she was being used as a ploy and I certainly wouldn't put her against Sable or Francesca. Channing, yes, but not Fallon.
 

Alexis

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Unless her contract ended after season 4. I guess it depends on how determined they were to start the spin-off show, with or without PSM.

But still I think that a bitchy mover-and-shaker Fallon would have sabotaged the Colbys plotlines. I like it that she was being used as a ploy and I certainly wouldn't put her against Sable or Francesca. Channing, yes, but not Fallon.
Well didn't PSM say that they tried to make her do a spin off about her running a Hotel but that she didn't want to do it. I don't think that the contracts would have meant they had to do the spin off. You sign on to do a specific show. Not anything the network wants you to do.
 
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ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

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Personally I felt it was too late to do a spinoff this late in Dynasty's run, having it start in season 3 would've been better as the show was in a "better place" than it was by season 6, Knots Landing premiered 18 months and nearly three seasons into Dallas's run and this was before the Who Shot JR hype.

Instead, I would've introduced the Colby family in season 5 instead of the Moldavians, then no spinoff, use a Moldavian type cliffhanger to clear house for season 6 I'd get rid of Steven (who would leave with Luke before the wedding to move on with his life away from Denver) Lady Ashley, Jeff and Dominique let's say for instances and that why we could make room for Sable, Jason, Miles and Monica (Connie would be a recurring character and no Bliss as her Dynasty equivalent was there: Amanda) Miles could replace Jeff and Steven as he marries Amanda, Sable was more effective than Dominique so she'd replace her, bring Fallon back later in the season and have done with it.

Not that I dislike The Colby's, some of it was better than what Dynasty was producing at the time, but it still came too late in the day and a dollar short for it to have been a major success, had it aired earlier I could see it outlasting Dynasty possibly into 1991 or 1992.
 

Willie Oleson

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I don't think that the contracts would have meant they had to do the spin off.
I don't think so either. And I'm glad it didn't happen (Hotel series) because I still liked her very much in season 3.
Personally I felt it was too late to do a spinoff this late in Dynasty's run, having it start in season 3 would've been better as the show was in a "better place" than it was by season 6
Maybe you're right. Nevertheless, Dynasty was still a top ten show (maybe not in such a great shape after the abysmal Moldavia Aftermath, I bet a lot of viewers were pissed off) and The Colbys also won the People's Choice Award. But somehow they changed their minds - why? Didn't they see how fantastic it was?
Instead, I would've introduced the Colby family in season 5 instead of the Moldavians, then no spinoff
No Dynasty II?:(
 

Soaplover

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To me...it seemed like this branch of the Colby family seemed more like a family. Sable was less an Alexis clone and more of a character that was her own worst enemy...and she felt remorse..and was a type that would fight tooth and nail for her children. The best scenes were the family dynamics..and when they had Sable heading up a foundation for the arts. I think in season 2..the show was slowly becoming its own..but too little too late.

And from watching clips of season 2, Frankie wasnt the beloved character worshipped by all. Wasnt Bliss the most resistant to Frankie out of love and loyalty to her mother..with Miles and Monica slightly more cordial? Sable was presented as more sympathic..imho.
 

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To me...it seemed like this branch of the Colby family seemed more like a family.
They really did. Was it because they felt more Californian and relaxed with each other (and/or the lack of S.A.D.)? Or was it that Heston seemed more like a hands-on patriarch while Blake always felt like the autocrat throughout simply tempering his domineering impulses to satisfy his sweet, second wife?
 

Alexis

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They really did. Was it because they felt more Californian and relaxed with each other (and/or the lack of S.A.D.)? Or was it that Heston seemed more like a hands-on patriarch while Blake always felt like the autocrat throughout simply tempering his domineering impulses to satisfy his sweet, second wife?
I think it's just because none of them were recast.
 

Willie Oleson

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I never got the sense that Alexis truly loved Blake..
I guess they wanted it to look like an obsession, rather than something romantic. Probably one of the reasons why she hated Krystle so very much.
Blake had no feelings for her whatsoever, and I'm glad the show did it so consistently.
 

Daniel Avery

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Personally I felt it was too late to do a spinoff this late in Dynasty's run, having it start in season 3 would've been better as the show was in a "better place" than it was by season 6, Knots Landing premiered 18 months and nearly three seasons into Dallas's run and this was before the Who Shot JR hype.
They had no way of knowing, of course, that the nighttime soap craze was losing favor in general as The Colbys premiered, but I agree The Colbys was a victim of bad timing.

No Dynasty II?:(
I think it would have been impossible to produce Dynasty at a profit with all those characters (and all those big-name star salaries) only on the parent show. They would not be able to sell enough ads in that one hour of programming to justify the expense. Separating them onto two shows (at one hour apiece) allowed 2X the ads, and even as they had to spend all that money to give each show such a glam look, it made it...well, possible at least...to have each show turn a profit.

Tangent, perhaps, but the title of this thread ("Did the Colbys have to compete with the parent show?") drew me in because of my personal experience with The Colbys when it premiered. I wanted to get in on the ground floor of this new show because I had not seen the opening few seasons of 'the parent show' and trying to pick up that show half-way through wasn't as satisfying. I watched the first season of The Colbys, "got used to it" (that is, liked it okay and made a point to keep up) and then BAM! ABC decided to air the second season in the Thursday at 9pm time slot...as CBS opted to move Knots Landing from its 10pm slot to air opposite The Colbys. I was met with a challenge: one show had to be watched, and the other would have to be taped and watched later. The one you watch was always the more loved, since watching it "live" was always preferred. You could watch the taped show later, but it wasn't the same. I had to watch KL "live", since it was my favorite of all TV shows at that point, leaving The Colbys languishing on videotapes until the weekend, to be viewed at my convenience but not viewed with the same enthusiasm as when I watched it live. I soon found I could live without watching every single bit of an episode, fast-forwarding all but the 'good bits' (all Sable, of course), and by the time CBS came to its senses and moved KL back to 10pm, I was falling out of love with The Colbys even as I could watch it live again.

So in my situation, I was asking (okay, bitching) why The Colbys had to compete with Knots Landing, a show that attracted many of the same type of viewer. It was likely more the fault of CBS than ABC, but both can be blamed for a dumb piece of counter-programming that only served to divide a finite amount of viewers wishing to watch a nighttime soap rather than the highly-rated Cheers and Night Court on NBC.
 
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