Was The Colbys a flop?

Discussion in 'The Colbys' started by AndyLaird, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

    Message Count:
    986
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +728
    That wasn't the vibe I got from John James.

    JJ: "After the show [The Colbys] wrapped, ah, I wasn’t sure whether or not if I was going to [rent?] to Dynasty, it [TC] just ended. Which was sad. I thought it was a very well produced show. Might have been too expensive. Might have been for a purpose. ABC was for sale. They put another show on the air that did pretty good. Created some shareholder value. Did its purpose. Wasn’t a hit. But, we didn’t hear. All of a sudden, well, goodbye. That was it."
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,264
    Trophy Points:
    587
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +753
    Medals:
    2
    Oh, it was a flop. Mainly because ES was a flop as Fallon and the writing made Dynasty look like classical literature.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,966
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instigator
    Location:
    Alexis' studio
    Ratings:
    +3,271
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
    Barbara Stanwyck, perhaps a bit more knowledgeable than John James, called it "the biggest pile of garbage I ever did" and then quit.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Creative Creative x 1
  4. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,966
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instigator
    Location:
    Alexis' studio
    Ratings:
    +3,271
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
    I think Emma Samms (lovingly called "Fat Fallon" in many publications in Europe) was horrendous on THE COLBYS. But she was better on season 8 in DYNASTY and really good in season 9, so I think the show didn't know what to do with her character--or most of the characters.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. colbyco

    colbyco Soap Chat Active Member

    Message Count:
    256
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Location:
    Germany
    Ratings:
    +429
    - I think ABC was crazy enough to think The Colbys could win its timeslot. After all Dynasty was the number 1 tv show last season - I think all producers of the Big 4 were surprised how fast comedies became monster hits and prime time soaps were out of fashion.

    On Wednesday nights right before or after Dynasty the spin-off had much better ratings. The timeslot really killed it.

    Without Dynasty it could have been killed much earlier.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,264
    Trophy Points:
    587
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +753
    Medals:
    2
    BS's "garbage" quote pretty much sums the show up. The show POSSIBLY could have been a very minor hit if handled differently. This show wasn't even "good-bad" - just bad.

    There was no need for a Dynasty spinoff because the show was tanking itself, ES was a flop as Fallon (PSM would never have spewed Colbys dialog), etc. Actually, the only redeeming quality the show had was the sparring between Constance and Sable, but you cannot base an entire show on just that. Barring those characters, all of the others were terrible. I'm shocked the show lasted as long as it did.
     
  7. Soaplover

    Soaplover Soap Chat Active Member

    Message Count:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Location:
    Chicago, IL 60640
    Ratings:
    +222
    I think the show kind of course corrected in the second season by making Sable more the center of show with Jeff/Fallon being made more supporting.

    There were some interesting potential plotlines for a third season.. I wonder if Zane/Adrienne (the adoptive mom) would have teamed up... how Sable would have gotten out of a kidnapping charge.. plus would Frankie have survived (woefully miscast..imho).
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

    Message Count:
    10,925
    Trophy Points:
    9,250
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    marriage counselor
    Location:
    the vacated Armstrong mansion
    Ratings:
    +20,107
    Medals:
    12
    Gender:
    male
    Member Since:
    April 2002
    Well, if people rather watched The Cosbys than The Colbys then they were casting pearls before swine. It has nothing to do with the show, it was the audience.
    And Charlton Heston loved his show, and I believe him.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,966
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instigator
    Location:
    Alexis' studio
    Ratings:
    +3,271
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
    Many, many analysts and media historians have said that there was some titanic shift in audience tastes, and while I could be plain wrong, I just don't buy it. No sitcom could have beaten DYNASTY in season 2 or DALLAS in season 3 (80-81, not counting the mini-series as separate). But DYNASTY in season 6 and DALLAS in season 8 were sitting ducks. (Don't get me started on DYNASTY II: THE COLBYS). Not to mention, there were always sitcoms in the top 5 of ratings--MASH until 1983, The Cosby Show and Family Ties during 1984-1985 and later. 1983-1984 was the sole aberration. It's not likely people suddenly went "oh my God, you guys need to get on this new sitcom genre, it's amazing" and abandoned all other genres. There will always be room for many different types of genres on TV assuming they are represented by solid products--the 80s were no different. The reason we currently do not have a big breakaway sitcom or two is not that people suddenly switched to "Game of Thrones"- like fantasy or cry-dramas like "This Is Us," but because the current sitcoms are not standing out.

    I watched the show despite Heston, certainly not because. Like @Soaplover said, the show had gold in Sable/Stephanie Beacham. I dare say that lighting did strike twice and they got as tremendous a combination of character and embodiment in that role as the parent show did in Alexis. They should have made her the focus much more, like they did with her meddling in Miles' life. Much as I like dishing THE COLBYS, I have to admit that without Sable (and to a lesser degree Monica) DYNASTY's season 9 would not feel as fresh and full of potential as it did.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

    Message Count:
    10,925
    Trophy Points:
    9,250
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    marriage counselor
    Location:
    the vacated Armstrong mansion
    Ratings:
    +20,107
    Medals:
    12
    Gender:
    male
    Member Since:
    April 2002
    I said that I believed that he loved his show, just as you believe that Stanwyck hated it.
    I loved all her "behind the scenes" shenanigans and they kept it very interesting. But who knows what would have happened in S10? But since that didn't happen, maybe they should have continued with The Colbys. Maybe she could return to California because Jason has killed Miles' gay lover and she has to testify in court. Tee-heee!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,966
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instigator
    Location:
    Alexis' studio
    Ratings:
    +3,271
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
    ok--my mistake. I wasn't arguing with you that Heston loved his show. But as for Stanwyck, it is not I who believes she hated it. It was Stanwyck's own words.

    Now you are just baiting me so that I will want THE COLBYS to be revived. :D

    Some sexy youngsters age terribly by the way. IMO, Maxwell Caulfield was blessed to be a sexy older man as well
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

    Message Count:
    986
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +728
    Do you know to whom Barbara Stanwyck said that?

    What caused BS to leave the show? (On the assumption it hadn’t anything to do with any TC storyline based off 1935’s Charlie Chan’s Secret.)

    Do you want me to think that one event was the direct consequence of the other? To whom did she say she was quitting the show because it was garbage?
     
  13. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

    Message Count:
    986
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +728
    Plotlines there would have been, seeing as they wrote the show thinking they were going into a 3rd season, but whether they would have been viewed as interesting is something else. ....I don't understand why Sable would have faced a kidnapping charge. Although Sable took the boy on an outing without asking Adrianne, it wasn't as if Sable had grabbed the boy. He jumped into the car the moment he heard she wanted to take him to the beach, and Sable was still outside the car. I'm thinking Zack would have pacified Adrianne, soothed her ruffled feathers.
     
  14. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,966
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instigator
    Location:
    Alexis' studio
    Ratings:
    +3,271
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
    Her comments went public. A quick google search yields this:
    "This is the biggest pile of garbage I ever did -it's lucky I only signed for thirteen episodes. I'll be surprised if it lasts half that long. It's one thing to know you are making a lot of money off vulgarity, but when you don't know it's vulgar - it's plain stupid!

    She also called the show a a turkey saying, "I've played the same damn scene twenty-four times!"

    Ricardo Montalban himself mentions how harshly she characterized the show and he explains how his main motivation, besides money, on doing the show was to be opposite Stanwyck, and was disappointed he only had a scene with her that was insignificant. In the same interview he also talks of how he agreed with Stanwyck that it was the same repetitive, not imaginative scene again and again (he calls it crap himself) and not very well written. He also seems to think the show was more successful in Europe than in the US. Considering how badly it did in the US, maybe it fared better there by comparison.

     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

    Message Count:
    2,495
    Trophy Points:
    1,323
    Location:
    Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
    Ratings:
    +4,137
    I've always argued both Dallas and Dynasty shot themselves in the foot. But Dynasty did it first with the opening episode after the "Moldavian Massacre". With not a hair out of place the main characters stood one by one (except Dame Joan who was holding out for more money) despite all collapsing and supposedly unconscious in the previous nail-biting cliffhanger.

    Then a full season later Dallas did the unthinkable and freaked out a worldwide audience by having Bobby spin in the shower and say, "Good morning."

    I don't buy into the theory sitcoms were the all conquering TV shows which killed the prime time soaps. The primetime soaps did that to themselves.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

    Message Count:
    2,682
    Trophy Points:
    4,535
    Occupation:
    Aspiring writer and factual webmaster
    Location:
    Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
    Ratings:
    +4,845
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
    I have just watched an episode of Season 1 of "The Golden Girls" that made lol! Blanche wants to see an episode of "The Colbys" when nobody else in the house wants to, and she says that it continues from the episode aired the previous day, which sounded a bit far-fetched...A couple of episodes later, Sophia complaints that their crummy TV set mixes up two channels, and Benson (star of "Soap" and his own spin-off, both created by TGG´s showrunner) dates Miss Ellie!! What cracked me up was the Spanish translation: they said instead that Angela Channing was going to marry J.R. Ewing!! The crossover that never happened!!!
     
  17. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,264
    Trophy Points:
    587
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +753
    Medals:
    2
    Sorry, but that was an episode of "Another World" (hidden joke because Rue McClanahan used to be on it in the early '70's). "The Colbys" were never mentioned, though Dynasty, Dallas, Knots Landing, and Falcon Crest were numerous times in some way or another.

    BTW, William Shatner's rug looks better than Caulfield's!
     
  18. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

    Message Count:
    986
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +728
    For some reason, you didn’t understand what I asked.

    I’m not surprised. Many people seem unbothered about whether Ms Stanwyck actually said what she said, just happy to endlessly repeat her alleged comments about The Colbys like gospel truth.

    Problem is, as the New York Daily News realised in 1986 when they tried to verify reports coming out of Hollywood, Ms Stanwyck was not available for comment because “one of the perks in her contract with Spelling Productions was that she would not be required to give any press interviews”. …So the tabloids went to town on heresay in 1986. They were lent pseudo legitimacy by a highly questionable biography of Barbara Stanwyck, written without her and published in 1994. That became fodder for new generations of The Colbys haters to score points ever since, to be mindless regurgitated by sheeple even in 2018.

    I’ve known BS was unhappy about her role on The Colbys. She didn’t like the new TV landscape, how they were writing for her. The crux of her discontent: She preferred the writing of the Hollywood she used to know, not ‘modern’ TV writing. RM had an easier time with it because he had more substantial and recent TV industry involvement. His discontent lay with the 2nd season, where his scenes were repetitious. But then the 2nd season was when the series focussed on the stories of the younger generation. Plus there was a stretch of months when they were without direction because of the suit the Shapiros brought against Aaron Spelling’s company.

    I never doubted RM when he said BS used a worse word than crap to describe the writing she was seeing …It's just I've wondered how BS’s discontent about their writing for her came to be tied to comments about “only 13 episodes” (she appeared in 24) + how her discontent about the way they were writing for her got blown up to encompass all of the writing for the series + how much of her colourful pronouncements described by tabloids are true.

    The best that I’ve been able to trace it, Axel Madsen said that one day in March 1986 she faced down Esther Shapiro on set, saying: “This is the biggest pile of garbage I ever did – it’s lucky I only signed for 13 episodes. I’ll be surprised if it lasts half that long.” ....Holy cow, is there logic in the latter statements? I mean, when did she sign for those 13 episodes? And now it was March, and it seems that the veteran actress was expecting The Colbys to be cancelled by end April-early May 1986. Seriously?

    What she allegedly told Mrs Shapiro is found in the biography of Ms Stanwyck that Mr Madsen wrote without her. (I don't know where else before then.) For his direct material on her he relied on a handful of old interviews he’d had with her back when she did the Big Valley TV series. The rest he made look like fact.

    Mr Madsen went on to say that in the next month (ie, April), “Stanwyck’s revolt was out in the open. Tabloids had a field day. The Star (me saying this: then a cheap supermarket tabloid printed on newsprint) quoted her as telling Shapiro ‘It's one thing to know you are making a lot of money off vulgarity, but when you don't know it's vulgar - it's plain stupid!’ She called the show ‘a turkey’.”

    So Mr Madsen may have been using The Star wholly as source material. Who The Star was using as source material is a mystery to me. Did Barbara Stanwyck actually say any of these things, I dunno. I wonder what Mrs Shapiro can or can’t confirm if she could.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,864
    Trophy Points:
    2,396
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    enjoying life
    Location:
    past orbit, on the way out of the solar system
    Ratings:
    +3,236
    Medals:
    2
    Member Since:
    sometime 2005 (i guess)
    I've read sometime, that Ms. Stanwyck was in very much back pain during the first year of shooting and that this was the reason for her not to return at all for season 2.
    So maybe this ominous 13 episodes signup was ment to be her appearences for the next season but then could not take place because her health got worse?

    Because they kind of "kept" her character going in the OFF (letters, phonecalls with Monica) as if they weren't really sure at the time wether Stanwyck could return at a certain point or not because of her health status.
    And when it finally became clear, that she couldn't return at all, they let her character (and Hutch) crash. Literally. And that happened exactly at the time, when just 13 (!) episodes of season 2 were left to shoot... coincidence? ;)
    But that's all just me guessing...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

    Message Count:
    986
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +728
    Yes, I’ve read Barbara Stanwyck was in pain after spraining her back. That painful back could have made it too uncomfortable for her to work. And then things might have played out the way you said. ….If the 13 episodes she signed up for were for S2, then I doubt she thought she was working on “garbage”. Why be such a glutton for punishment otherwise? Especially after berating the scripts from as early as October, as Madsen claimed in his biography of her. (The actress had eye and breathing problems too.)

    If memory serves, Ms Stanwyck was quoted as saying in an interview after she left The Colbys that she’d been asked to return for a few episodes in S2 but that she’d said “no”. That was because she thought that if she returned, she would be disrupting the “rhythm” of the series. And then she’d told the interviewer rhythm was something the series did definitely have. (Been trying to find that interview. And please don’t ask me to explain what she meant by rhythm. I seem to remember scratching my head over that.)
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page