This show should've been a huge, huge success. It had everything going for it...marquis actors, an appealing younger cast, a superb diva bitch in Stephanie Beecham, popular Dynasty characters & occasional crossovers, intriguing storylines, beautiful Nolan Miller costumes, and a sweeping theme to end all themes.
I realize that the parent show was beginning to show its cracks when The Colbys premiered and that the excesses of the Reagan years that had been reflected in many TV series were beginning to fall by the wayside, but the Colbys, with all of its assets, should've been able to overcome these obstacles. So how did it all go so terribly wrong?
Not enough Joan Collins!
Not enough shirtless Maxwell Caufield!
I've never seen it but have seen the crossovers and it just looked like Dynasty warmed over.
They should have just made a show about Alexis, Caress and Sable.
[quote] marquis actors
I am not aware of any members of the nobility in the cast.
R3 hit the nail on the head. Jeff and Fallon were boring characters to spin off as well.
Emma Samms as Fallon was the downfall. They built a whole spinoff around a bad casting replacement. Suddenly Fallon is brittish??
I think if it had premiered when Dynasty was red-hot, it would have done better.
The Colbys debuted six months after Dynasty's Moldavian massacre, which was a true jump-the-shark moment and took a lot of the luster off the show for the fans.
Had Pamela Sue Martin still been Fallon, it might have been more interesting, but Emma Samms and John James were perfectly bland and the other young people in The Colbys cast weren't any more interesting.
All recycled plots from Dynasty
Stephanie Beechman was the best thing about that show.
Emma Saams was miscast.
Genie Francis would have made a better Fallon recast
It was too much like Dynasty, oddly enough. The plots were the same and the house looked the same and the look was the same--it just seemed like Dynasty Lite. They needed to make it different--take advantage of the California setting.
One reason why Knots Landing succeeded was that it didn't too much like Dallas, from which it was a spinoff.
Stephanie Beacham was EXCELLENT as was Barbara Stanwyck.
However I couldn't stand Charlton Heston. Charlton Heston's smugness ruined what was otherwise a great show.
R9 Funny thing Knots Landing was supposedly pitched before Dallas! So it was markedly different in tone and was in some weird sense the original show.
The Colbys? At that point,Dynasty was making fun of itself it didn't need a tepid remake. PSA was Fallon. I like Emma Samms as Holly BUT not as Fallon. Her American accent was blah to say the least. Chuckie Heston, Stephanie B and Barbara Stanwyck were OK BUT Chuck seemed like he was playing Taylor from POTA or Omega Man half the time!
Stephanie Beacham was the best thing about The Colbys -- by a mile.
I love Stephanie Beacham's voice. I could listen to it all day, it's like velvet.
And to think, Alexis never thought to say when she married Cecil, "Isn't it funny how my first cousin Sable is also married to a Colby!"
Watching the two-parter where the Colby's are finally all introduced is hilarity in bad exposition. There are more lines of the characters introducing themselves to the viewers with "little brother" and Alexis' phone call to Sable where Sable says, "Well, you know we are first cousins on your mother's side" as though Alexis had forgotten.
And Ken Howard (and his dull character) with the thankless line, "I'm just the family lawyer, I feel a little left out here."
Prior to that there was no connection between Alexis and the Colby clan (other than marrying Cecil)
But when they made Alexis and Sable cousins, that meant Fallon and Jeff were cousins. Who married one another!
Katharine Ross was also miscast as a Krystle type heroine (who was sisters with Sable).
"I don't know what to do, Sis! What? I've never called you "Sis" before? You're right! It is oddly clunky and expositional. I mean, I know you're my sister, so who am I saying it for?"
Francine, "American Dad"
The Colby's failed because by the time it premiered in the fall of 1985, the big primetime soap opera boom of the late 70s/ early 80s was coming to an end
Remember the ratings disaster of "Fresno" the following season? It was probably on a season too late.
Wasn't my fault.
MISS Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck's major complaint was she had no storyline.
And when she did have screen time, she was replaying the same scene over and over again.
[quote]But when they made Alexis and Sable cousins, that meant Fallon and Jeff were cousins. Who married one another!
Sable was not Jeff's mother: she was his aunt. (Alexis was also his step-aunt.)
John James and his acting eyebrows...
Judging from her appearances on "Dynasty" in the run-up to the new show, Stanwyck seemed like she was gasping for oxygen every time she had a line.
She seemed winded just opening the doors of the mansion.
For a weekly soap it was dreadful amateur theatre. The concept and the story plots felt stale.
And it was around that time where family variety entertainment started to die off and shows became more demographic centric.
Was Fallon's UFO abduction a big FU to the network for cancellation? Or did they really intend to follow that up?
And how was her abduction explained? "Dynasty" had this annoying habit of not always following stories through. Dr. Nick Toscani- rides away on his horse, never pays for his crime. Joel Abrigore? Vanishes and never seen again.
Heard John James gained 50 lbs. - he lives in seclusion, in Vermont, or Maine, with his family. My only question - did he marry well ? The guy seems to have a nice country squire life- even though he hasn't worked in 25 years. Anyone know the story ?
John James daughter was just on America's Next Top Model the college years - she might have won I am not sure Tyra Banks makes me vomit. John and his wife appeared a few times.
[quote] Sable was not Jeff's mother: she was his aunt. (Alexis was also his step-aunt.)
Jeff Mother was Francesca. She is cousins with Alexis.
Francesca and Sable are sisters, their cousins with Alexis.
Which makes Jeff and Fallon cousins.
John James played a serial killer on As The World Turns after Dynasty
The Colby-Carrington family tree was just one big incestuous mess.
In The Colbys pilot episode Bliss said something along the lines of: "I always had a crush on you, Jeff" by the pool.
Emma Samms was terrible as Fallon. Charleston Heston couldn't hold a candle to John Forsyth.
Charlton Heston = Blake
Stephanie Beecham = Alexis
Katharine Ross = Krystle
Maxwell Caulfield = Adam
Tracy Scoggins = Fallon
Not to defend Heston since he was a major asshole but John Forsythe was painful to watch on Dynasty. He would deliver his lines in the hammiest possible way and basically had two facial expressions: angry and happy.
R35 George Preppard originated the role of Blake, but was let go due to 'creative' differences.
The Colbys left us with a wonderful legacy, though: the hilarious Alexis/Sable scenes from season 9 of Dynasty.
I have forgotten more about this show than I remember, but I'm pretty sure Stephanie Beechum and MISS Stanwyck were the only good things about it. Well, Caulfield was good eye candy, and Tracy Scoggins wasn't too bad. Didn't she and Beecham move on to Dynasty when The Colby's tanked?
Emma Samms should have never been cast as Fallon, much less given a spin-off. Never cared for John James, either. Did they ever explain why Sable and Francesca had different accents?
Stephanie Beacham was magnificent and Sable was the all-round most realized character in the whole Dynasty canon.
Their parents got divorced and Sable moved to England with her mother whilst Frankie stayed in America with her father
They cast Emma Samms based on her popularity and Q-rating.
They thought her popularity from GH would translate into ratings. It didn't.
Rula Lenksa was wanted for Sable but refused to have a facelift so in came Stephanie. They both appeared in Coronation Street.
Did Kate O'Mara ever do The Colbys? She's a stalwart of the regional theatre circuit.
Faye Dunaway was originally offered the part of Sable. Her asking price was too high.
After paying the salaries of Heston, Stanwyck and Katharine Ross, they didn't much left.
So they hired Stephanie Beecham on the cheap.
Ironic that she was the best thing on the show.
Kate O'Mara played Alexis sister on Dynasty
Candice Bergen was offered Frankie but turned it down.
[quote] Their parents got divorced and Sable moved to England with her mother whilst Frankie stayed in America with her father
Then the sisters switched continents. Sable married Jason and moved to America.
While Frankie married an English Lord and moved to England, thus becoming Lady Francesca Langdon.
Candice Azzara was offered Constance but turned it down.
"Stephanie Beacham gave Joan Collins a run for her money. I think she was much sexier, much classier, much less SHOWY... and yet JUST as effective." - critic on Channel 4's Top Ten Bitches (2001)
"I loved our Sable, I thought she was heaven... because she was VERY feminine." - Stephanie Beacham
Stephanie was the best thing in the show. I thought Tracy was pretty good too. The should have made Maxwell's character on out and proud over promiscuous homosexual. If it hadn't been for her commitment to some wretched syndication show we would have had Jane Badler as the recast Fallon. Now that would have been great.
Sable to Frankie
"You are a walking ad for adultery!"
Sable was so superior Alexis; the former seemed like she could exist in the real world whereas Alexis was just a caricature of herself by 1985 with her endless "I-will-destroy-you-and-takeover-your-company" threats.
I could totally imagine Stephanie as an Old Hollywood star.
Ah, season 9 of Dynasty - where I felt the show was getting its mojo back and having real fun again.
And they did address the UFO incident on Dynasty the following season when they folded Fallon and Jeff back into the family. As I recall, Fallon instead it really happened, Jeff thought she was delusional, and that caused them to separate. But no, they never really definitively said one way or the other.
Bette Midler doing Alexis' "I-will-destroy-you-and-takeover-your-company" speech in Big Business was hysterical. That is one underrated movie. Especially the hot Duke guy. But I digress.
The spaceship tainted what was otherwise a great series.
Like the flying car at the end of Grease.
Does anyone remember that guy on DL who said he worked on both Dynasty and Colby sets? Let me refresh your memory. He said that actor who played Fallon's husband, John James, was gay at the time who had a lot of male lovers around him, and when he got married everyone was shocked. He also said that Linda Evans was a bitch in real life ,and Joan Collins was extremely nice and funny. Also, Stanwyck was worn out between takes,but when it was time to film she was ready to go,and Cheston Heston wanted his chair with his name on it where ever they filmed and was a jerk.
I remember I asked him if Max Caulfield is bisexual, and he said we all wondered ,but he didn't know.I am aware Caulfield is Married to Juliet Mills. Gosh he was such a stud! When I was a kid I couldn't take my eyes off of him when he did his scenes!
I loved Emma Samms. I agree she was wrong for Fallon's part,but She always seemed like a nice person in general. I was pissed off and felt shafted when they didn't end Dynasty properly. Fallon got trapped in that hidden room that she found with those gorgeous antiques and artwork and then that was that. I remember they got a lot of complaints from the viewers because they didn't give Dynasty a proper ending so they came back to film a proper ending ,but they made a new story line and ditched the previous ending all together close the show which stupid and still left questions unanswered.
I love Stephanie Beacham. She was really classy and conniving. BTW, even though Heston was a jerk in real life, I still like him as an actor and Stanwyck goes with out saying has always been one of my favorite actresses.
Emma should have been recast as Amanda.
R59 Miles Colby is really married to Tabatha the witch from Passions?
I thought Stephanie Beacham looked older than her age. BTW, Andy Cohen interviewed Joan Collins and she said that she based her character on a female version of JR from Dallas.
Yes R61, here is the link too. BTW, they never had children and he is younger than her.
When Heston found out he had Alzheimer's, he called up Stephanie Beacham and said "I just want you to know before my mind really goes that I love you."
Stephanie starring in "The Nightcomers" with some actor called Brando supporting her. If she'd wanted Hollywood as a young woman, she could have taken it. I suppose what happened to Sharon Tate put her off:
Pro that she was, Stanwyck didn't bitch about the show in public until after it was cancelled. Then she said it had the worst scripts she had ever seen in her life. Which is saying a lot considering she was in her 80s then.
R61. Another way of putting your statement is Michael Carrington from Grease2 has been married to Phoebe Figalilly (nanny) for over 30 years!
I thought Tracy Scoggins played the storyline in which Monica was revealed as having given up her baby for adoption really well. She was very believable and compelling.
Were there two Bliss Colbys? What a stupid name.
Miles was a milquetoasty name, too. I gather that he really was named Max first but when Caulfield was cast they changed it. Max would have been the perfect name for the character. And it would have been wonderful if he'd been a raging bisexual like Caulfield was.
[quote]He said that actor who played Fallon's husband, John James, was gay at the time who had a lot of male lovers around him, and when he got married everyone was shocked.
That's funny. I had been under the impression James was out and was also shocked when I read he was married.
R70 it is a soap opera and soaps are infamous for having characters with stupid names.
R27 He(John James) has a farm in upstate New York.........Cambridge,NY.Yeah he went slumming on ATWT and AMC in the Twenty Os. He might as well do the new AMC now,everyone else is.....
Was John James considered a hunk during his time on Dynasty and The Colbys? I seem to recall a beefcake poster he did, standing shirtless while wearing jeans with the top button undone, looking seductively (as best as he could) into the camera.
The guys on Dynasty/Colbys were way too pretty. I much preferred the more manly looking guys like Patrick Duffy on Dallas and Ted Shackelford on Knots.
I once read that both, Heston and Stanwyck, were big pains in the producers' asses. Apparently they kept asking for script changes (Stanwyck and Heston) and didn't stick to the written dialogues (Heston obviously). When Stanwyck asked to be released from her contract the producers were more than happy to let her go.
It still puzzles me why they chose Emma Samms for Fallon. Her look and acting didn't have anything in common with the original character. The writing didn't help either. All typical Fallon traits were totally washed out or written for Scoggin's Monica. Tracy Scoggins should have played Fallon and Samms could have played the Colby daughter.
[quote] just looked like Dynasty warmed over
That really said it all.
Heston was so not warm or relatable. Almost everyone on the show was a complete chore to watch, but Stephanie Beacham was definitely the spark. I enjoyed her scenes, and cheered her joining the mother show in its last year.
Tori Spelling suggested Emma Samms to her father after seeing her on General Hospital.
Emma improved slightly in S8 of Dynasty and dramatically in S9. S9 Fallon is my favorite incarnation of Fallon.
I think Stephanie said she was blacklisted in Hollywood after posing for Playboy.
The dynamic for The Colbys was always off.
Sable was obviously supposed to be the Alexis of the show, but whereas Alexis was a feisty troublemaker, Sable was actually a good hearted wife and mother.
It was her slutty sister, The Lady Langdon (a very haggard looking Katherine Ross) who was trying to steal Jason away from her.
Sable had that "spark," but it was wasted because there was no one really decent on that show to play off of. Ricardo Montalban had a goo run to trying to seduce her away from Jason.
So much better when they moved her over to Dynasty to play off Joan. Alexis had fucked Jason Colby, after he left Sable. And that made for great retribution. Then there was the fact it was revealed that Jason was only the biological father of Bliss (there was only one) and the twins, Monica & Miles, were a product of her being raped. But that bastard Jason disowned them anyways.
Glad Sable got to fuck Dex. Alexis should never had run him away.
The guy who played Alexis's boyfriend Dexter, isn't he gay in real life? I think he got arrested one tome because he was a drug dealer on the side. Oh man! he was so gorgeous! He is a native American stud!
[quote]The Colby's failed because by the time it premiered in the fall of 1985, the big primetime soap opera boom of the late 70s/ early 80s was coming to an end
Nonsense. Dynasty ran until '89 and Dallas until '91. And in the early 90's, along came Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210, which were both hits and lasted a long time.
The Colbys simply sucked.
Barbara Stanwyck was asked what she thought of working with Charleton Heston, to which she replied, "Not much."
Casting Katharine Ross as the "Krystle" character on The Colbys was really miscasting.
btw Maxwell Caulfield and Juliet Mills who are married played cousins on Dynasty/The Colbys!
This was also the series that gave us Adrian Paul (future tv Highlander) in a speedo! I think he played a ballet dancer that was dating Bliss.
The best thing about the Colby's - was that they moved Sable and Monica over to Dynasty the last season and allowed Dynasty to at least be interesting for its last season.
And John James had to be the sexiest thing for me growing up. He had those thick lips and that fantastically hairy torso.
[quote] The best thing about the Colby's - was that they moved Sable and Monica over to Dynasty the last season
But then they had Jeff and Monica fall in love and they are brother and sister!
Not to mention cousins.
I appreciate the OP and every poster who resisted using the unnecessary apostrophe. The rest of you can fuck off.
[quote]Barbara Stanwyck was asked what she thought of working with Charleton Heston, to which she replied, "Not much."
Stanwyck only enjoyed working with Beacham. She let that be well known.
I believe at one point she wouldn't even speak to the rest of the cast unless it involved a scene.
Apparently, Kate O'Mara was originally going to be sister Frankie (explaining why Sable was English) after successfully auditioning but she couldn't get out of her West End play on time so they cast Katharine Ross and when Kate was ready, they cast her as Caress on Dynasty. I think she would have been superb as Frankie.
[quote]I think she would have been superb as Frankie.
Certainly more attractive than the haggard Ross.
O'Mara would have made Frankie more of a brunette Krystle. And so, the spark would have been there. What's better than 1 English bitch on a show? 1 English bitch and one English angel! Colbys would have surpassed the mothership had O'Mara been Frankie.
r35, I agree, but he was absolutely brilliant as the cold ruthless bastard that Blake was in season 1. A classier J.R. Ewing. Then they proceeded to make him into a hero. With the decline in quality in the writing that happened along with it, Blake and Forsythe just became campier and hammier as the seasons rolled on to its painful end.
r81, Nader isn't gay - or at least there have never been stories of him. His uncle George Nader however was one of Rock Hudson's lovers.
Nader was involved with DL favorite Brenda Dickson.
Gorgeous set of Beacham stills here during her Colbys run. The song choice is funny!
[quote]The guy who played Alexis's boyfriend Dexter, isn't he gay in real life? I think he got arrested one tome because he was a drug dealer on the side. Oh man! he was so gorgeous! He is a native American stud!
Micheal Nader is Lebanese.
R92 That was odd. Was it always known that Jason was Jeff's father or did that come out in The Colby's?
Monica and Jeff did have this big, bizarre flirtation going on then, somewhat hypocritically, were furious with Adam for making it public.
It led to a big catfight between Jeff and Adam in the Carlton. (Jeff: How could you!? She's my sister! Adam: That makes you a pervert.)
In the middle of all this, Alexis prances in and announced that Miles and Monica were the product of rape. That, in turn, led to the Alexis/Sable catfight.
That same season Sammy Jo was dating a priest, Sable got Dex hot by spraying perfume in his eyes and biting his lip until it bled, and Fallon was having sexual fantasies about a corpse (her mother's lover, Roger Grimes.)
Lots of kinky shit that season.
Stephanie was great, but Joan had an edge and awareness of how to do camp that pushed Dynasty into the stratosphere.
Joan was not doing 'camp'. Do you even know the definition of the term? Camp is something that comes about unintentionally.
r106, Joan was actually acting. She was not trying to be funny or ironic. She was serious.
Alexis was seldom written with the depth Sable was. When they gave Collins the material she could deliver. Beacham, though, is a more talented actress.
It's interesting that if you look just at the actions of Sable and Francesca, it's Francesca who is the homewrecking ssssslut, while Sable is the loving, but definitely manipulative wife.