The Prime Time Soaps That Never Happened

Michael Torrance

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Oh my God, how it is possible that Richard Shapiro never thought of including vampires in "Dynasty" ? "The Colbys" had an UFO and the only thing as ridiculous could have been to have a vampire ! I can picture Emma Samms as the victim. :D
That is how Roger Grimes should have come back!
 

Toni

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On the subject of all things supernatural, here's another TV movie burn off that was supposed to be an Aaron Spelling soap.

But Michael York is in that! Go back to the Soap Hell Charles Scott!! :hide:
 

JeffUSA

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This movie/pilot is very familiar to me. I must have watched it when it aired.

While watching the opening credits, it made me think of the Bare Essence spinoff series and the NBC remake of Dark Shadows, both shows having used the same mansion (the Greystone Mansion) as the one in this show.

Until going to the website of this property, I didn't realize that it was also used in the Dynasty: The Reunion and an during an episode of The Colbys.


On the subject of all things supernatural, here's another TV movie burn off that was supposed to be an Aaron Spelling soap.

 

Michael Torrance

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Wow, I had forgotten Dark Mansions.

Why didn't Spelling go with that a few years earlier? Just as a Dynasty spin-off came to life when the genre was losing its novelty, so too did Dark Mansions as an idea (although the title sounds dumb). Now, I know being among the first is not enough (witness Flamingo Road) but by that time there was a wide-spread belief that the genre was sliding.
 

Willie Oleson

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That is how Roger Grimes should have come back!
In the season 4 cliffhanger she spots Count Peter De Vilbis in front of her bedroom window, floating, and beckoning her.
This explanation makes sense.
Starring Casper Van Dan. The DVD release was so bargain basement, they couldn't even be arsed to proofread the cover.
To be fair, I still don't know what his official name is: Van Dien or Van Diem?
 

Alexis

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On the subject of all things supernatural, here's another TV movie burn off that was supposed to be an Aaron Spelling soap.

I would love to watch this obvious Dark Shadows meets Dynasty rip off but the picture quality is so terrible. It sounds to me that the music scoring is rehashed from The Colbys only with slight variation.
 
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Alexis

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I couldn't help myself, I watched Dark Mansions! I really like it and think it could have grown into something quite good. It really did borrow very heavily from Dark Shadows but that was a plus for me. It would have been interesting to see how they would have recreated the Greystone Mansion in studio as a set. I also loved most of the cast, that guy playing Nicolas was so classically soap opera handsome. About 7 ft tall, blonde, chiselled to the Gods, I also recognise him from watching clips of old Daytime soaps. The adopted brother I am sure went on to work on Days Of Our Lives. Lois Chiles was great as the bitchy villainous wife with a southern twang and Joan Fontaine was suitably snootily aloof and fake. The only downside is that it probably wasn't dark enough.

That music score is also very like some of the stuff from Dynasty season 9 as well.
 
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Alexis

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I just checked IMDb and Dark Mansions was indeed scored by Ken Harrison who scored lots of The Colbys and some season 8 and 9 of Dynasty. He most definitely has a style and I like it. It's very sweeping and grand but also very ominous.

It was also part produced by Robert McCullough who produced early Falcon Crest. Dark Mansions does have a wee bit of that Falcon Crest vibe about it, a bit gothic, the extended intermingled families, the old house etc. I would have loved if this show had have been picked up it's actually right up my street. It would have been better than Hotel.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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I just checked IMDb and Dark Mansions was indeed scored by Ken Harrison who scored lots of The Colbys and some season 8 and 9 of Dynasty. He most definitely has a style and I like it. It's very sweeping and grand but also very ominous.

It was also part produced by Robert McCullough who produced early Falcon Crest. Dark Mansions does have a wee bit of that Falcon Crest vibe about it, a bit gothic, the extended intermingled families, the old house etc. I would have loved if this show had have been picked up it's actually right up my street. It would have been better than Hotel.
Yes. There was definitely music used that I thought was very similar to / or had been used again in The Colbys. Particularly the bit at the end of this scene.


The music in this promo is also quite Colbys-esque


Robert "Bob" McCullough has a podcast called Where Hollywood Hides that I discussed over in the FC forum previously. The below are the bits about Dark Mansions that I gleaned from the podcast.

  • Bob also developed Dark Mansions for Aaron Spelling. They originally wanted to cast Loretta Young in the lead role but when they went to her home to meet her, she said she'd do the role once "God was represented properly onscreen" and then made Bob get on the ground for 15 minutes so she could show him how to pray properly. The role was cast with Joan Fontaine as a result, with the official line to the press at the time being "Loretta didn't like the script".
  • Originally, I'd read that Dark Mansions didn't go to series because ABC only wanted one new soap that season and went with The Colbys instead. As it turns out, they had a viewer screening to gauge the response to it and the assembled audience howled with laughter at what was supposed to be a straight drama. This ended up souring Bob's relationship with Spelling as Aaron and Duke Vincent blamed Bob for the failure of the show and froze him out. Bob himself says he thought it was a fine show bar the musical score being a bit OTT. He figures it would have been a success had they just put it on air without the audience testing.
http://www.soapchat.net/threads/where-hollywood-hides.3169/
 

Alexis

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They really should have just put it on the air without the test screening. It feels like it could have been one of those shows that slowly gained an audience. It actually could have worked in the way that Dark Shadows did having a loyal cult following of teens/school kids. It would have also have had to have taken a more supernatural turning though and I wonder how they could have done that. Although Spelling did produce Charmed way later so maybe not all that unrealistic.
It's all about tone and from what I saw in the pilot I loved it, and thought the tone was just right. It was part soap by numbers, part gothic melodrama but they were at least playing it dead straight and that's what made it work.
 

Alexis

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Willie Oleson

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As it turns out, they had a viewer screening to gauge the response to it and the assembled audience howled with laughter at what was supposed to be a straight drama
I just watched this movie.

*howls with laughter*

Good news for Barbara Stanwyck: she wasn't in the biggest pile of garbage, Joan Fontaine was.
The set up is basically an extended Murder She Wrote episode, except that MSW looked a hundred times better.

When Linda Purl enters the mansion for the first time there's an extremely loud eerie score but...there's nothing eerie about the mansion itself. It just looks beautiful.
Melissa Sue Anderson plays a blind character again? Well it was fun watching her assaulting a banjo, the idea obviously based on Emma Channing.
Paul Shenar plays a poor copy of Adam Carrington and overall the men are terribly written: one-dymensional, hysterical drama queens. The acting is simply cringeworthy.

Noelle to Shellane: "You know about emotions, just like Yvette".
Or...maybe because she's human being? Just a wild guess.
Seriously, who writes stuff like that? It's insulting!

Jason to his daughter: "Vanda, why are you doing this to yourself...sleeping around like a common whore?"
He actually asks it as a question, instead of an accusation!! It's almost like he doesn't even know what he's saying. Back to acting class!

Is Jessica going to trick Shellane into wearing Yvette's dress? Suspense, suspense...yes she does! And the result couldn't have been more anticlimatic. My goodness!
The whole point is to create a mystery by throwing different (hilarious) versions of a certain deadly event at Shellane.
upload_2019-4-28_4-46-42.png


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"There's a light...got-to-get-to-the-light...can't...breathe…"

That's it, that's the whole stupid story. The very idea that this would become an ongoing series fills me with horror, all the horror that this movie is painfully lacking.
Absolutely the biggest pile of horseshit I've ever seen.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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Keeping with the Gothic theme, ABC did a pilot in 2013 called Gothica that was billed as a "sexy Gothic soap opera". Tom Ellis, Chris Egan, Seth Gabel and Melissa George were among the cast but it wasn't picked up to series.
 

Mel O'Drama

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The Shapiros also did a Vampire show in the 90s I think.
Blood Ties could have been the first True Blood!
There was also Spelling TV's Kindred: The Embraced, which was basically a vampiric Melrose Place with elements of of The X-Files and Beauty And The Beast (with Kelly Rutherford as both Scully and Catherine).

I was quite into it when it first aired, but only a handful of episodes were made. I can still remember my shock when lead actor Mark Frankel's death was announced over the closing credits of one of the episodes mid-season.

Several of the actors drifted into other Spelling shows after it was cancelled. Rutherford and Stacy Haiduk were installed in Melrose Place the very next season.

 

Willie Oleson

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I can still remember my shock when lead actor Mark Frankel's death was announced over the closing credits of one of the episodes mid-season.
Gosh I had no idea. He also played millionaire Simon Bolt in Sisters.

Additionally, the descripition of Aaron Spelling's Forbidden Island :
"Survivors of a plane crash are stranded on a tropical island, which seems to have mysterious supernatural powers"

It's confusing because IMDB lists it as "season" but only 1 episode. Either way, could it have been the first LOST?
 
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