Why did DYNASTY writing go bad?

tommie

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I dunno
Krystle coping with depression and Sammy Jo trying to destituate her as her executrix.
Amanda accidentally shooting Michael (he would survive) and being trialed for that.
Adam getting Denver-Carrington with the power of attorney but in the cliffhanger we were supposed to meet the real Adam !
Steven taking an apartment with Bart until Adam destroyed their relationship by letting Bart think that Steven double-crossed him.
Honestly, these storylines doesn't sound too bad, though I guess I wouldn't trade season 6B for them. Krystle trying to cope with depression sounds good because it would mean that the Rita storyline had actual repercussions and imho should've stayed in 6B.
 

GillesDenver

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You're right about repercussions (not to mention the fact that Linda Evans had nothing to do in season 6 B after the retooling) but after 15 episodes of Krystle crying in the attic, it would have been too much to have Krystle crying for 15 episodes in the mansion.
 

Zara

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Ah. So the doppelganger story was in the OB?

That makes sense since she was intruduced in late season 5. But then again, with Dynasty you never did know anything even if it was introduced

Krystle sure did overcome the attic horror pretty fast. Like everything else horrific in Dynasty..
 

Toni

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Oh, I'm sure Spelling nixed the avalanche cliffhanger due to "budget."
Probably. He couldn´t find a B-movie to steal avalanche footage from...but he did find one with footage of a car falling off a bridge, and decided to use it for that cliffhanger. As simple as that. :NI:
 

Michael Torrance

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That is odd.

What (nastiness) were Dynasty and Dallas planing to show, mass murder on children or incest victims speaking out?
On paper, it was a combination of factors, from wider cultural change (soon to be solidified with Black Monday in 1987) to TV change with the rise of family-focused programming to focus groups telling them that DYNASTY, with Blake trying to kill Alexis for instance, had gone too far.

In reality, I think it was a) the fact that unlike the extremely focused 6B, 7A was lacking momentum and cohesion and b)ABC had started losing interest in the franchise after seeing the show drop in the ratings from the 20s in 6B to mid 15s in 7A and from the abysmal ratings in the Colbys. So they asked for a change of tone, and the show delivered, and it became a mess. Nobody seemed to care that the only spike in ratings was during "A Love Remembered" and that was NOT because it was family-focused, but because finally the show was exploring the past and the Blake-Alexis dynamic.
 
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Zara

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Even so. It's logically (if not right) for Blake in that moment to want to kill Alexis. The thing leading up to the staircase-strangling. Blake had threatened Alexis' life many times before that, and the dynamic of their later relationship stood in the light of a heated and explosive Blake (something K also experienced). Though more civilized in general. I can really see why Blake reacted/acted as he did. The moral is Alexis had it coming...And she didn't even learn anything from it. Continuing with her rampage of revenge.

Or the audience just wanted to see when Krystle found him and see if he would sleep with Alexis and be "unfaithful"! :D Not so much the true exploration of him and Alexis.

What was the ratings of ALR? Do you know?
 
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tommie

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What was the ratings of ALR? Do you know?
DY VII-14 A Love Remembered Part I (1987) 22th (18.7) 16,343,800 households
DY VII-15 A Love Remembered Part II (1987) 20th (19.6) 17,130,400 households

Compared to...
DY VII-13 The Rig (1987) 26th (18.4) 16,081,600 households
and
DY VII-16 The Portrait (1987) 16th (18.9) 16,518,600 households
and the season finale
DY VII-28 Shadow Play (1987) 14th (17.6) 15,382,400 households

https://carringtondynasty.fandom.com/wiki/Ratings

So, not a massive spike, but a spike nonetheless.
 

Michael Torrance

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What was the ratings of ALR? Do you know?
"A Love Remembered Part I" : 18.7
"A Love Remembered Part II" : 19.6 (and back in the top 20 of Nielsen)

That 19.6 was the second highest, with the highest being the premiere episode "The Victory" at 20.1 (#15 in the ratings). In the second episode they had an 18.7 and #20 in the ratings, and then they dropped out of the top 20 until ALR.
 

tommie

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You're right about repercussions (not to mention the fact that Linda Evans had nothing to do in season 6 B after the retooling) but after 15 episodes of Krystle crying in the attic, it would have been too much to have Krystle crying for 15 episodes in the mansion.
Hm, ordinarily I'd say that depression/mental health issues can manifest itself in various ways besides running around crying, but then I remembered that this isn't a drama, it's DYNASTY.
 

Tony

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You're right about season 6, but the show had derailed long before that. And frankly, I am glad they forced them to turn the mess of season 6A into the very enjoyable 6B.

As for season 7, I do remember some articles about both Dallas and Dynasty toning down the nastiness as a result of the changing cultural climate and what not. If that is the case, then maybe my worst pile of episodes (7B) is ABC's fault.

But I don't think ABC forced them into Fallon being aimless in season 4, or into the way Dominique was not really utilized to her potential in season 5, or that Devil Bus was utilized to his potential to our detriment. And I know ABC did not force them into Rita or the aimless Moldavians in Denver in 6A.
I think ABC only started to interfere when the ratings dropped in 6A. I mean you can hardly blame them. Dynasty starts September 1985 as the hottest No 1 show, and by December bottoms out to 18 in the ratings.

They assigned Peter Roth to the story conferences to help fix the problem. Once the Moldavians were gone, the feeling was that Amanda didn't have much purpose. Roth also hated Garret saying Ken Howard wasn't sexy which paved the way for Nick Kimball the following season, in the same way that Cecil was dropped for Mark and later Dex.

The switch from 7A to 7B seems to be more of a Shapiros/Pollock decision to a 'love conquers all' family affair. There may be Network notes and interference but I haven't seen any.
 

tommie

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I think ABC only started to interfere when the ratings dropped in 6A. I mean you can hardly blame them. Dynasty starts September 1985 as the hottest No 1 show, and by December bottoms out to 18 in the ratings.

They assigned Peter Roth to the story conferences to help fix the problem. Once the Moldavians were gone, the feeling was that Amanda didn't have much purpose. Roth also hated Garret saying Ken Howard wasn't sexy which paved the way for Nick Kimball the following season, in the same way that Cecil was dropped for Mark and later Dex.
I remember hearing how the producers of Melrose Place / Beverly Hills 90210 rarely got notes from the network since they ended up having to produce episodes faster than normal 22 episode tv shows (IIRC, the only notes Melrose Place ever got was about DoorMatt and how all his boyfriends needed to keep a distance from him) - since Dynasty usually also had 30-ish episodes per season, I imagine they ran into the same thing there. I imagine there just often wasn't time for the network to give extensive notes unless it was an emergency, such as the show dropping from the number one slot to barely hanging onto the top 20.
 

Michael Torrance

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I remember hearing how the producers of Melrose Place / Beverly Hills 90210 rarely got notes from the network since they ended up having to produce episodes faster than normal 22 episode tv shows (IIRC, the only notes Melrose Place ever got was about DoorMatt and how all his boyfriends needed to keep a distance from him) - since Dynasty usually also had 30-ish episodes per season, I imagine they ran into the same thing there. I imagine there just often wasn't time for the network to give extensive notes unless it was an emergency, such as the show dropping from the number one slot to barely hanging onto the top 20.
Esther Shapiro said in THE DYNASTY YEARS that feedback from the network and focus groups came too late for her to change anything and at any rate she had to trust her instinct. Then in the SOAPNET marathon commentary she said the audience did not care for the Blaisdels so they were written off. So I guess it depends on what she was smoking.

I tend to believe that thanks to Spelling and Shapiro, DYNASTY had quite the artistic freedom in its first five years, Steven's homosexuality aside. There was more pressure from Spelling on the writers/execs to keep the cast number the same, thus the ridiculous edicts that Cecil had to die if they were to bring Adam (which is why he was not cast in late season 2 per the Pollocks' plan), Nick had to go for them to bring Mark, etc. It is possible to have someone be a recurring character, as the show itself showed with Heather Locklear, who was quite successful as an occasional guest star.
 

Jock's Ghost

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It always felt the show suffered when it went to plot only. Screw the characters and the logic established, but plow ahead anyway.
Jumping the shark moments didn't help.
Change in Fallons. How they handled Adam. Making him a JR Ewing like shark was fun, but considering his origin seems like the psychological avenues were not explored. Alexis and Blake both should have given him whatever he wanted no.matter what and turned a blind eye to his shenanigans. Over compensating for his life, guilt. They both make excuses for him until it becomes unacceptable they no longer can. They seek his forgiveness. He seeks their approval.
I'm perhaps injecting too much logic into a trashy good time but there's no reason trash cant be good.
 

Michael Torrance

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I think Alexis sort of did that.
When she cut him out of her will in season 4 and told him he is no longer her son? Or in season 3, when she blackmailed him to sabotage Steven and Blake's dinner even though Adam wanted to smooth things out with his brother?
 
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