Should The Colbys have started earlier?

ClassyCo

Telly Talk TV Fanatic
I'm not sure if this particular topic has been discussed on this new site already, but I just thought I would kick-start it here.

Would Dynasty's spinoff, The Colbys, been more successful had it started earlier? I've always thought the reason Knots Landing became the hit it was because it started when Dallas itself was still young, and the two shows rose together. (Of course, Dallas was the greater hit, although Knots outlasted it.)

I've often thought The Colbys should have started around the fall of 1982 or maybe in early 1983. I my theory, I wouldn't have killed Cecil, but brought him over to California, and I seriously doubt I would have did a whole lot of "introducing" this new family dynasty on the parent show. They already had a Colby--Cecil--who was equal to Blake in many ways, and this could have generated conflict with his brother Jason. Of course, I would have took Jeff over, and perhaps Sammy Jo or Kirby. Sammy Jo probably would have been better; she could have pursued an acting/modeling career in California and her storylines with the ever-confused Steven could have stopped.

Had Dynasty II started earlier, Pamela Sue Martin would have still been around as Fallon, and possibly (...just possibly) she would have stuck around longer had the scripts been more to her liking. Maybe "the baby" (or the spinoff) would have matured and perhaps even outlasted Dynasty (just as Knots outlasted Dallas).

Simply a theory... What do you think?
 
I'm not sure if this particular topic has been discussed on this new site already, but I just thought I would kick-start it here.

Would Dynasty's spinoff, The Colbys, been more successful had it started earlier? I've always thought the reason Knots Landing became the hit it was because it started when Dallas itself was still young, and the two shows rose together. (Of course, Dallas was the greater hit, although Knots outlasted it.)

I've often thought The Colbys should have started around the fall of 1982 or maybe in early 1983. I my theory, I wouldn't have killed Cecil, but brought him over to California, and I seriously doubt I would have did a whole lot of "introducing" this new family dynasty on the parent show. They already had a Colby--Cecil--who was equal to Blake in many ways, and this could have generated conflict with his brother Jason. Of course, I would have took Jeff over, and perhaps Sammy Jo or Kirby. Sammy Jo probably would have been better; she could have pursued an acting/modeling career in California and her storylines with the ever-confused Steven could have stopped.

Had Dynasty II started earlier, Pamela Sue Martin would have still been around as Fallon, and possibly (...just possibly) she would have stuck around longer had the scripts been more to her liking. Maybe "the baby" (or the spinoff) would have matured and perhaps even outlasted Dynasty (just as Knots outlasted Dallas).

Simply a theory... What do you think?
It has been discussed before, I'm the one who started the thread on both forums, many others agree that The Colby's would've succeeded and perhaps even outlasted Dynasty had it started earlier with a much different premise aside from oil.

What made Knots Landing so successful in its own right, was the fact that it wasn't a carbon copy of Dallas, and the fact that the Knots narrative had been in the back of TPTB's minds as Knots was thought of before Dallas was.

Dallas was about rich people in the oil industry with inherited wealth, Knots Landing was about several families living in a cul de sac getting by with middle class issues, and yes there were wealthy people in the show but the characters usually had to work for it, except for Gary of course.

The Colby's, though set in LA, never took advantage of its setting, they basically rehashed Dynasty's old or discarded storylines from years earlier, and although The Colby's was producing much better storylines than what Dynasty was churning out at the same time, its characters were just counterparts with similar traits as Dynasty characters for instance:
Miles - Adam
Bliss - Amanda
Monica - Fallon (PSM's version)

Though not every comparison is set in stone as Frankie is supposed to be Krystle of The Colby's.

The Colby's could've been a success had it, chose a different industry to focus on, I mean it was set in LA, The Colby's could've been movie moguls!!

Made the characters their own personalities and not copy cats from Dynasty.

And had Aaron Spelling allowed The Shapiros to develop the spin off much earlier like they originally wanted before Spelling stole their Hotel show idea and used it for his own creation.

Plus the fact that The Colby's premiered at time when Dynasty itself
Was being ripped to shreds by the press because of the Moldavian debacle.
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
Sammy Jo probably would have been better; she could have pursued an acting/modeling career in California
Change one thing and you change everything. Take Sammy Jo away from Dynasty? Absolutely not.
In essence, there was nothing wrong with Dynasty's ideas for season 4 and 5, before the Colbys. It just didn't turn out so great.

Personally I have no problem with another oil family, especially since most of the storylines focussed on other businesses anyway.
 
Change one thing and you change everything. Take Sammy Jo away from Dynasty? Absolutely not.
In essence, there was nothing wrong with Dynasty's ideas for season 4 and 5, before the Colbys. It just didn't turn out so great.

Personally I have no problem with another oil family, especially since most of the storylines focussed on other businesses anyway.
Season 4 of Dynasty was probably the most decent season of the middle years, certainly more superior than season 6.

Another oil family would've been okay had they not rehashed old storylines from Dynasty.

Taking Sammy Jo to the spin off would've only have worked had the spin off started earlier, by season 6 she was involved in a major storyline involving Krystle's double ;-)
 

ClassyCo

Telly Talk TV Fanatic
It has been discussed before, I'm the one who started the thread on both forums, many others agree that The Colby's would've succeeded and perhaps even outlasted Dynasty had it started earlier with a much different premise aside from oil.

What made Knots Landing so successful in its own right, was the fact that it wasn't a carbon copy of Dallas, and the fact that the Knots narrative had been in the back of TPTB's minds as Knots was thought of before Dallas was.

Dallas was about rich people in the oil industry with inherited wealth, Knots Landing was about several families living in a cul de sac getting by with middle class issues, and yes there were wealthy people in the show but the characters usually had to work for it, except for Gary of course.

The Colby's, though set in LA, never took advantage of its setting, they basically rehashed Dynasty's old or discarded storylines from years earlier, and although The Colby's was producing much better storylines than what Dynasty was churning out at the same time, its characters were just counterparts with similar traits as Dynasty characters for instance:
Miles - Adam
Bliss - Amanda
Monica - Fallon (PSM's version)

Though not every comparison is set in stone as Frankie is supposed to be Krystle of The Colby's.

The Colby's could've been a success had it, chose a different industry to focus on, I mean it was set in LA, The Colby's could've been movie moguls!!

Made the characters their own personalities and not copy cats from Dynasty.

And had Aaron Spelling allowed The Shapiros to develop the spin off much earlier like they originally wanted before Spelling stole their Hotel show idea and used it for his own creation.

Plus the fact that The Colby's premiered at time when Dynasty itself
Was being ripped to shreds by the press because of the Moldavian debacle.
Change one thing and you change everything. Take Sammy Jo away from Dynasty? Absolutely not.
In essence, there was nothing wrong with Dynasty's ideas for season 4 and 5, before the Colbys. It just didn't turn out so great.

Personally I have no problem with another oil family, especially since most of the storylines focussed on other businesses anyway.
Season 4 of Dynasty was probably the most decent season of the middle years, certainly more superior than season 6.

Another oil family would've been okay had they not rehashed old storylines from Dynasty.

Taking Sammy Jo to the spin off would've only have worked had the spin off started earlier, by season 6 she was involved in a major storyline involving Krystle's double ;-)
It seems the vast majority agree that the fault with The Colbys were three things: 1) it wasn't a spinoff, it was a clone; 2) it started too late; and 3) reused old plots from the parent show. I agree that the reason Knots Landing succeeded because it didn't clone Dallas, but it appealed to a slightly different audience on a differentiated level.

As I said above, had the spinoff started earlier, I think Sammy Jo would have been an ideal character to use. She was already established with the audience, but was used very little (at that time) on the parent show.
 

Ked

Telly Talk Star
There's nowhere that says Sammy Jo had to be taken away from Dynasty to be on The Colbys. She could have gone back and forth between both shows, stirring up trouble for each family. Heck, Heather Locklear could have been on THREE shows at once (TJ Hooker, remember?)!
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator

Snarky's Ghost

Soap Chat Oracle
Casting was so important to these '80s nighttime soaps -- in fact, one could argue DYNASTY coasted on its casting for years after the writers stopped writing. So while it's true that KNOTS had a different premise and structure from its parent series DALLAS, and THE COLBYS was much more similar to DYNASTY, they can all still work if well cast .... and, y'know, well-written.

So I'm not sure when they started matters that much. Pamela Sue Martin wanted out of DYNASTY at the end of Season 2 when her buddy, Al Corley, was pushed out. And the writing for Fallon in S3 and S4 gave her no reason to change her mind. Sadly. So she wouldn't have done the spin-off -- and, as I'm against re-casting core characters as a rule (because it never works) I'd leave Fallon out of THE COLBYS.

Sure, you'd have to change the connecting points between DYNASTY and THE COLBYS, but by re-casting Fallon with Emma Samms, you've basically changed it all around anyway.

THE COLBYS showed a promise with Huson & Bast, and Beacham, that DYNASTY no longer did. But the top brass were too caught up with merchandising and splashing their toes in the Mediterranean to be concerned with what either program was doing. Amazingly for a new show, Bast and Huson were told they "can do whatever you want" and while you can feel their presence on THE COLBYS, you can also hear the knuckledhead machine of Spelling-Cramer-Shapiro-Pollock grinding away in the background somewhere.

And as John Forsythe once said in a ~2000 interview: "the most important person on the set is the producer!"

 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
I'd leave Fallon out of THE COLBYS.
Jeff and Fallon had been doing their "thing" for 5 years already (minus the missing-year), so, a continuation of that love-or-not storyline probably wasn't the best thing to look forward to.
But somehow it worked, not necessarily because I had this romantic idea that they belonged together, but because of the effect it had on the other Colbys.
This love triangle wouldn't have worked with Jeff/Channing/Miles (or any other previously unknown woman) because there's no way I would have rooted for Jeff who behaved like a total bitch.
Ha, it was almost as if the roles of "Jeff & Fallon 1" had been reversed.

But Fallon was his supposed-to-be wife, and she was the mother of LB, and she was mentally ill - and the very idea that Miles and Sable would dismiss important facts like these made them appear heartless and selfish.
Jeff was a hero by default, and perhaps Miles was a villain by default. Like I said before, it felt so different.
 

Gabriel Maxwell

Telly Talk Addict
Had Dynasty II started earlier, Pamela Sue Martin would have still been around as Fallon, and possibly (...just possibly) she would have stuck around longer had the scripts been more to her liking.
I think Pamela Sue Martin would've in that case left THE COLBYS instead of DYNASTY after a couple of seasons.

Martin approached Fallon with care-free shits and giggles attitude and never cared much for her or the decadence portrayed on the show, which ironically brought out the great qualities in her performance that the audience loved.

But for this very reason, her interest in participating in the show over a long run was simply not sustainable and she would've grown tired of it regardless of the quality of scripts.
 

tommie

Telly Talk Mega Star
Jeff and Fallon had been doing their "thing" for 5 years already (minus the missing-year), so, a continuation of that love-or-not storyline probably wasn't the best thing to look forward to.
But somehow it worked, not necessarily because I had this romantic idea that they belonged together, but because of the effect it had on the other Colbys.
This love triangle wouldn't have worked with Jeff/Channing/Miles (or any other previously unknown woman) because there's no way I would have rooted for Jeff who behaved like a total bitch.
Ha, it was almost as if the roles of "Jeff & Fallon 1" had been reversed.

But Fallon was his supposed-to-be wife, and she was the mother of LB, and she was mentally ill - and the very idea that Miles and Sable would dismiss important facts like these made them appear heartless and selfish.
Jeff was a hero by default, and perhaps Miles was a villain by default. Like I said before, it felt so different.
<3
 
If by some miracle TPTB convinced PSM to stay for an earlier version of Th Colby's then its no way I would rehash the already tired Jeff/Fallon to-ing and fro-ing around, Jeff would find someone else to love and Fallon would have a succession of lovers and flings all the while, running her successful business.

However the real question I guess is if PSM had decided to return to her role of Fallon, how would they have planned out her return storyline? And would Fallon have been made to be wimpy as Emma Samms's Fallon was? As watered down as Fallon was in seasons 3 and 4 I still prefer her during that period to how she was written in The Colby's.
 

Ked

Telly Talk Star
Well, what can I say, season 6B was brilliantly camp certainly better than season 6A and season 7B :-D
If only 6A and all of 7 had been that way...

Jeff and Fallon had been doing their "thing" for 5 years already (minus the missing-year), so, a continuation of that love-or-not storyline probably wasn't the best thing to look forward to.
But somehow it worked, not necessarily because I had this romantic idea that they belonged together, but because of the effect it had on the other Colbys.
This love triangle wouldn't have worked with Jeff/Channing/Miles (or any other previously unknown woman) because there's no way I would have rooted for Jeff who behaved like a total bitch.
Ha, it was almost as if the roles of "Jeff & Fallon 1" had been reversed.

But Fallon was his supposed-to-be wife, and she was the mother of LB, and she was mentally ill - and the very idea that Miles and Sable would dismiss important facts like these made them appear heartless and selfish.
Jeff was a hero by default, and perhaps Miles was a villain by default. Like I said before, it felt so different.
Good points, all around. :D

But for this very reason, her interest in participating in the show over a long run was simply not sustainable and she would've grown tired of it regardless of the quality of scripts.
Don't say that! :( You're ruining my fantasy that PSM would have stayed for all 9 seasons had the writing stayed good!
 

Gabriel Maxwell

Telly Talk Addict
Don't say that! :( You're ruining my fantasy that PSM would have stayed for all 9 seasons had the writing stayed good!
It was Martin herself who said in 2013: "My character Fallon is someone I never felt any connection with."

I don't think she particularly cared for Fallon or the show even during the better written early years. She was also bored, tired, washed out and had a myriad of health problems by 1984.

Being a kind of a hippy with strong 60s ideas, she may have been initially intrigued by Dynasty from a political point of view. But the original approach the show took in season 1 was not sustainable if it were to become a top-rated prime-time soap.

And on top of that, Pamela really wanted to make movies (as Collins also recalled in one of the interviews). Sadly, she began with that awful cocaine addiction movie she wrote the screenplay for herself (it has a 4.0 rating on IMDb).
 

Michael Torrance

Telly Talk Mega Star
There were multiple problems with The Colbys.

Timing: it should have started during Dynasty's season 3, perhaps mid-season. When Knots premiered, Dallas was at #15 in the ratings, so not every single publication and headlight was shining on it. When the announcement for The Colbys happened, there was a maelstrom of publicity over what was then the #1 show and the most notorious cliffhanger up to that time so its spin-off was under the same intense scrutiny.
Backstory: The earlier start would also have avoided the situation where Sable did not know what Fallon Carrington looked like, or Frankie did not even come to comfort her son and grandson at Fallon's funeral, and it would have prevented Dynasty from making the cardinal mistake of completely destroying the Colbys family tree when they killed Cecil, making the spin-off in season 6 have to go through some mind-bending contortions for viewers to accept the retcon
Casting: The show had its share of very good casting choices (most notably Stephanie Beacham) but it should have been focused more on people like Adrian Paul and less on Charlton Heston and (heaven forfend) Katharine Ross. First, you bloat the budget. Then, you bring attention to the portrayer instead of the role with bringing big names, even has-been big names. And you also do not cast the role but you are forced to have the role fit the cast. Plus, nobody was famous before Dallas and Dynasty, but they were all afterwards.
PR: By the time you create the spin-off of the #1 show and bring Heston and Stanwyck on and announce the show will be even more opulent than Dynasty, you overpromise and are bound to underdeliver, when it should have been the opposite.
Time-slot: Everyone and their mother (especially if their mother is Joan Collins) has that myth that Alexis single-handedly saved the show and they forget the move from the deathly Monday to the much friendlier Wednesday for season 2. The show should have been given Dynasty as a lead in for a year.
Plots: As @ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 mentioned, the show was based on L.A. so it should have made use of its setting. Monica should have had a record company instead of simply managing Titania records, and Jason Colby could have been a media mogul like Robert Murdoch (although I guess in this case maybe I am wrong and you might as well cast Heston). Plus it was obvious that the basic structure was copied from Dynasty: 3 children, a triangle for older people, the antagonist (Zach) like early Cecil, complete with even going after the antagonist's first wife. But there are other soap plots to tell--and in fact the show eventually found them in season 2 with Channing, with Monica's child, and of course with Philip. Why not put some more thought into the launch and make the show addictive right from the beginning?

I think it's a shame that while Knots Landing lasted as many seasons as Dallas (technically more if you count actual episodes) and outlived it, the Dynasty spin-off was cancelled after two years at the bottom of the ratings and with a cliffhanger that lives in infamy. And while this is complete back seat driving, I do think that many of these would have been possible, if the Shapiros were willing to put effort into the spin-off. Although by the middle of Dynasty's run they would not even do so for the original, season 6B nonwithstanding.
 
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