What if Lorimar had done Nu Dallas

Discussion in 'Dallas TNT' started by Elizabeth Ewins, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Frank Underwood

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    How do you justify huge salaries when your ratings have consistently been dropping for five years? I heard Les Moonves liked the show, which is why it stayed on the air as long as it did.

    There's also something to be said about preserving one's reputation. They spent the last few years churning out crap and went out with a whimper instead of a bang.

    Yes. They also admitted that the reunions were terrible, and Patrick said the script for "Conundrum" was the worst he ever read.

    Of course, the fact that Larry went straight to money when asked about the later seasons was enough to tell me he knew they were crap.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  2. Kenny Coyote

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    That the scripts were bad wasn't Patrick or Larry's fault, was it? When the scripts started getting bad I would've replaced the writers with ones who weren't burned out and get back to the style of Dallas that had been proven to work. That was one of their big problems. They had a formula which was working extremely well and then they changed it for no good reason.

    BTW, What was your answer to "Why would you shut down a profitable business"?
     
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  3. Frank Underwood

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    I didn't say the scripts were the fault of Larry and Patrick. I was pointing out that Larry cared more about the money rather than the quality of the show.

    Katzman was the one who allowed the change in direction, and ousting him would have been almost impossible.

    I don't know how profitable the show was towards the end, although I'm sure ratings and profitability go hand in hand. Ratings are generally the deciding factor when it comes to axing a show or renewing it. The fact that the cast earned the most money during the show's decline likely hurt its profitability as well. I also read years ago that the show would have ended a few years earlier, but Les Moonves liked it and kept it on the air. In the end, Dallas's legacy was forever tarnished because of greed and not knowing when to call it quits. What a shame.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  4. Kenny Coyote

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    I've heard people say (and I don't know if you agree with them) that Dallas should have been cancelled after season 10. Well,in season 11 they got a 15.2 rating. So, what do you think should be done? Should any show on TV that's getting a 15.2 or less be axed? That wouldn't leave too many shows to watch, would it?

    Obviously with a 15.2 they were making good money. Nobody with any business sense is going to cancel a show getting a 15.2 rating based on the possibility their legacy may be tarnished. How do you prevent that? Set a 20.0 rating as the standard for keeping legacies untarnished and cancel anything that falls under a 20,0 rating? Do they say: "We got a 27.6 in the season from 1980-1981. That was awesome. That's our standard now. If we ever fall below that, we call it quits to leave that as our legacy"!

    I don't know how many more ways I can say this. Legacies are great but they don't pay the bills. If they have a show that's making good money, no businessman with any sense is going to cancel it to save a legacy. Legacies are not the primary objective. Making money is the objective. They accomplished that. If you didn't like the show anymore, nobody was making you watch. Honestly, do you wish they'd shut it down to make sure nobody else could watch either?

    We're just typing back and forth on the internet now and I don't know y0u, but I somehow I don't imagine you'd have been too eager to walk up to the cast face to face after season 10 and say "We only got an 18.6 rating for the season we just had, so I'm shutting down the whole operation because above all, we have to save the legacy of Dallas! So as of now you're all terminated. I know you have homes to pay for, cars to pay for, you have lifestyles to pay for, and families to support. I know that you're earning a very good living in a very competitive industry where jobs are scarce, but all of that is secondary to the protecting the legacy of Dallas!"
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  5. Frank Underwood

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    There have been other shows where the cast and crew called it quits while the ratings were still good because they wanted to go out on top. You act like it's completely unheard of.

    If you're able to make money off of something most people don't enjoy anymore because you've run it into the ground, be my guest. Just don't expect people to respect you for it. I'm sure any business that's declined in quality can stick around awhile thanks to some less than discerning clientele. However, I'm sure they too will end up shutting down in disgrace eventually.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  6. Kenny Coyote

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    You watched Dallas during the original run, right? After which season did you quit watching Dallas? I'm just curious as to where you drew the line and decided Dallas had gotten so bad you didn't want to watch it anymore.



     
  7. Frank Underwood

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    I was born in 1983, so I didn't see Dallas during it's original run on CBS. I first saw the show when it was on TNN. I never stopped watching simply because I had become so invested in the show by that point. That said, the point where I no longer enjoyed watching it was the beginning of the 1988/1989 season. It became a chore because it had become so dumb & silly.

    Even the season before that was mediocre (the mummified Pam storyline being especially ridiculous.) I can certainly see why fans left in droves, causing the ratings to drop each year.
     
  8. Kenny Coyote

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    I watched right to the end of the series too. That's what die hard fans do. They watch in the good times and the bad times. We're not fairweather fans. Even in the bad times, I still enjoyed the acting performances by original members of the cast. I think they always gave a full effort to act the best they could no matter what material they had to work with.

    I agree that it eventually got silly. For me that was the last two seasons. The introduction of James and the huge amount of screen time given to James and Michelle changed the whole style of the show as far as I'm concerned. It seemed they were desperate to attract a younger demographic.

    I think they would have done better to stick with what was proven to work. They got too far away from what it was people liked about the show. The acting by the original members of the cast was always very good. It was the material they had to work with that declined in quality.

    Before the show got too far away from what made it great I'd have liked them to take the members of the creative team who were burned out and/or had lost sight of what it was that had made Dallas great, and replaced then with writers who weren't burned out - writers willing and able to get the show back on track. When the former writers had had some time to rest and recuperate so they could write at a high level again, they could have brought them back and incorporated them into some type of rotating schedule so that they could prevent running the creative team ragged to where they had no more high quality ideas to contribute.

    A lot of shows are doing a version of that today. Instead of running from fall through spring, they only make make 10 or 12 weeks of programming - what we would have called a miniseries back in the 80s. Then they have the rest of the year to get rejuvenated and be creative and fresh for the next season. That has its problems too because by the time they finally get another "season" (I kind of have to laugh at calling 10 shows a "season") people in the audience have forgotten what was going on when they left off. But it is one way of preventing the creative team from burnout.

    Are you a fan of these mini-seasons so many shows today have?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  9. Kenny Coyote

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    This is something I meant to address earlier but didn't get around to:

    I don't justify salaries increasing while ratings are dropping but I can tell you that it's not uncommon. This is how it happens:

    A lot of multi-year contracts are loaded on the back end. Someone gets a contract while business is good and it looks like this: It's a 3 year contract and you get $500,000 the first year, $600,000 the second year, and $700,000 the third year. So even if business drops off over that time period the employer is already contractually obligated to the guaranteed salary.
     
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  10. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    I don't always agree with you, but you are spot on. Like it or not, Dallas made financial sense to run until 1991 when it was cancelled. CBS wasn't going to cancel it because of the content as long as it made them money - that's just the fact of the matter.

    While as a fan I certainly prefer it when shows leave while they're still on something that can be called a "creative high", but the truth is that showbusiness doesn't work like that. It reminds me of when Bill Lawrence justified Scrubs running for as long as it did - he wasn't about to put 100+ people out of work as long as the network wanted more. People forget that there are way more people behind the scenes that rely on these shows to earn their living.
     
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  11. Karin Schill

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    Friends had a 13.6 rating when it was cancelled, which was a really good number for 2004. So it went out on top. I think the problem with Dallas was that it wasn't given proper notice of that it was the end. If they had known beforehand that it was their last season they could have wrapped it up better. So the people on CBS did Dallas a disservice not letting Katzman et. al know before they had filmed "Coundrum" that the show was axed. :(
     
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  12. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    I agree - they could've let them know that it was the last season so they could've written and maybe spent some money to make it until the end. As it was CBS left it up in the air if they were going to renew it for season 15 or not, which means that Dallas still made some financial sense at that point to at least put it on air.
     
  13. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    I didn't quit Dallas entirely but I do recall skipping episodes after the departure of Pam (Victoria). Bobby's (Patrick's) return affected me somewhat but it did appear the writers and producers made attempts to get Dallas back on the straight and narrow. Victoria's departure though was really felt. Dallas suffered and from this point forward I could take it or leave it. The character of Pam was the bond between the Ewing and Barnes family. Without Pam there I often use to wonder why Cliff hung around. He could so easily have left.
     
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  14. Frank Underwood

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    I have a feeling Katzman knew it was the end. Why else would he write a cliched "It's a Wonderful Life" episode if it was just another season finale?

    Also, every show has to end eventually. This may sound cold hearted, but I have much more respect for someone like Vince Gilligan who had the the foresight to end Breaking Bad after five seasons. He knew it would put people out of work, but he didn't want the show to become irrelevant. It went out while they were at the top of their game, and many fans believed they could have stretched the show out even further. As a fan, that's what I like to see. I'd rather have only 5 seasons and 63 episodes of a great show than to have it limp along to its death.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  15. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Reminds me very much of Stranger Things created by The Duffer Brothers. They have stated the series will likely end either at the fourth or fifth season. Putting that information out there is a positive in my opinion. Imagine if the producers of Dallas had released a media statement informing the general public this will be the last season. After being on air for 13 years this may also have had a positive influence on Dallas with many people returning to see how the series will bow out.
     
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  16. Kenny Coyote

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    I found the explanation very clear: Cliff wanted revenge against the Ewings for what they did to Digger and because he hated JR.. Whether Pam lived at Southfork or not didn't change things. Cliff went after them just as hard in the seasons where Pam had divorced Bobby and was seeing Mark. One of the things he did at that time was blackmail Sly so he could steal Ewing information. Then he married Jamie just so he could own 2/3 of Ewing Oil when he thought he'd win the court case. Cliff didn't know that Digger and Jason sold their shares of Ewing Oil to Wallace Windham who had then sold them to Jock.
     
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  17. Toni

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    Watch the True Hollywood Story or read B. Curran's book. Most of them felt it was the last season. Katzman did write it as the last one, with JR losing everything and Bobby getting to the nirvana by forgiving Hillary Taylor.

    Those long one-season storylines led to the end. L & P also said in interviews they also had the impression it was the end. Officially, Katzman didn't tell anyone on set until shooting was finished. Besides the last renewal had been for 2 years (after Sue Ellen's departure), and even if they had had a plus season, I wonder how they would have handled Dallas with only 3 male characters and an empty Southfork.

    Nowadays it would have been the perfect way to give it closure with good ideas and old characters, thru a shorter season, but then it would've been interpreted as an admission of guilt and failure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  18. Rove

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    In a sense it would have been a perfect ending.
     
  19. Matthew Blaisdel

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    Lorimar wouldn't have done anything differently, if they still existed. Lorimar didn't create shows, the prducers and screenwriters do.
     
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  20. Frank Underwood

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    Yes. Original Dallas changed writers and producers several times. Sometimes it was for the better, and sometimes it was for the worse.

    As for TNT, I'm pretty sure they wanted Dallas to be more of a crime drama in order to fit with their line-up. So not only did they have a bad writer, they were on the wrong network.
     

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