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‘Knots Landing’ and ‘Dallas’ Creator, David Jacobs, Dead at 84

Photo: JPI

One of the all-time great television producers and creators of the primetime soap opera, David Jacobs, has passed away on August 20 from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Jacobs son, Aaron informed The Hollywood Reporter that his father died on at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.

Jacobs is best known for bringing the familial soapy drama to CBS in the 80’s first with the juggernaut, Dallas, followed by the beloved Knots Landing. The original version of Dallas ran from 1978-1991 and lasted 14 seasons and 357 episodes.  Meanwhile, it’s spinoff, Knots Landing debuted at the end of 1979 and lasted until 1993. It also ran for 14 seasons and 344 episodes.

The winning combination of Jacobs and Michael Filerman would serve them well with Dallas and Knots Landing. David was a story editor for the ABC drama Family, which landed him a deal at Lorimar Productions where he met Filerman, a then, upcoming development executive. In fact, Jacobs recalled in an interview, how he approached Filerman with the idea to do an American version of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage, expanding it to four couples and setting it in a cul-de-sac. (Sound familiar, ‘Knots’ fans?)

Photo: JPI

However, Filerman told Jacobs to watch No Down Payment, a 1957 drama about the tawdry, soap opera-type happenings in a Southern California housing development.  “I wanted to do art. He wanted to do trash. And between us, we did television. It was a beautiful partnership,” Jacobs related on what the duo created together as their legacy.

As the story goes, Jacobs wrote a pilot, ‘The Untitled Linda Evans Project” because CBS was looking for something for the eventual Dynasty star. Filerman switched the cover and called it “Dallas” and the rest, as they say, is history!  David remained a creative consultant on Dallas throughout its run but gave up his day-to-day duties to create another show, Knots Landing.


The spinoff saw Gary and Val reunite and move from Texas to the fictional Southern California suburb and neighborhood of Knots Landing.  And while it did not have the original glitz of Dallas it had all the stellar performances and more personal conflicts from a lead female cast featuring: Michele Lee, Donna Mills, Constance McCashin, and Joan Van Ark.

Through the years, Jacobs was much more hands on for Knots Landing. In a piece for the New York Times, he wrote, “The pleasure watching Dynasty and Dallas and Falcon Crest was voyeuristic; the pleasure of watching Knots Landing was vicarious. Dynasty and Dallas and Falcon Crest were about Them. Knots Landing is about Us.”

Photo: CBS

In addition, David Jacobs was the executive producer on ABC’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Homefront.  He received two Emmy nominations for Homefront in the early 90’s.

Survivors include children: Aaron and Albyn, his second wife, Diana; daughter Molly; and grandchildren Riley and Georgi.

Share your condolences, remembrances and ‘thank you’s’ to David Jacobs for giving us Knots Landing and Dallas via the comment section below.  And for more on David and ‘Knots’, take a look back at Michael Fairman’s interview with Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee and Donna Mills from three years ago, celebrating the series 40th anniversary.

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Brilliant creator. Sadly no one is streaming either Knots or Homefront.

The prime time soap opera king was David Jacobs without a doubt. 14 years of Dallas and 14 more years of Knots is incredible. Two of my favorite shows of all time. Condolences to the family.

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WGA and AMPTP Reach Tentative Deal to End Writers Strike

Looks like we are close, very close, to the writing teams at your favorite soap operas returning to their jobs with news on Sunday that finally the WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative deal. What remains is the fine print, and having the WGA vote to ratify their contracts.

This is welcome news to the television, streaming and motion picture industry that after five months of a strike has put the 2023-2024 TV season in deep water.

In a statement, the Writers Guild shared, “We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA (Minimum Basic Agreement), which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language. We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”

As the deal goes through its final stages, the writers are still technically on strike, but picketing outside studios and shows has now been suspended.

Photo: ABC

Among the writers’ demands that they fought for are: higher residuals from streaming shows, minimum staff sizes to prevent the use of “mini rooms” and protections from the use of AI.  The hope within the entertainment industry is that the new deal for the WGA will move along a new contract for SAG-AFTRA (actors) with the AMPTP.  As of Monday, SAG-AFTRA is still on strike.

Photo: JPI

As for your favorite soap operas, during the strikes, the shows were written by non-union writers or “fi-core” writers who gave up their union benefits in order to continue working.

The next steps in process will see the WGA negotiating committee vote on “whether to recommend the agreement and send it on to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval,” tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.  Another vote by the board and council could lift the strike “restraining order”and allow scribes to “return to work during the ratification vote”.

So, are you happy to know that the writing teams from your favorite soaps are about to return to work and helm the scripts and the vision of the shows? Comment below.

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Billy Miller’s Mother Issues Statement On His Passing

Patricia Miller, the mother of the late Billy Miller, has come forward and issued a touching statement on the tragic death of her beloved son at age 43.  The statement was shared by Billy’s longtime manager, Marnie Sparer, via social media.

Billy was best-known for his performances as Richie Nowack on All My Children, Billy Abbott of The Young and the Restless and Jason Morgan/Drew Cain on General Hospital, as well as countless primetime roles.  Throughout his career, Miller took home three Daytime Emmys for his work.

“I would like to share the following thoughts,” Patricia began. “I want to personally thank the many fans & personal friends for the overwhelming amount of love, prayers & condolences sent to me and my family on the devastating death of my beautiful son BJ – Billy Miller.”

Photo: JPI

Patricia continued with these sentiments, as she wanted to clear up any misinterpretations on this death: “He fought a long hard valiant battle with bipolar depression for years. He did everything he could to control the disease. He loved his family, his friends and his fans but in the end the disease won the fight and he surrendered his life. The other causes of death being told are not true. I wish they were but they just aren’t. We all loved him so much and are desperately trying to deal with our loss. I will have nothing further to say. Thanks for the love and support.”

The soap world as well as Billy’s family, friends, loved ones, and colleagues are in deep mourning for this talented man, who was gone too soon.

Share your thoughts, and send your condolences to Patricia Miller and the rest of Billy’s family, via the comment section below.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat

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‘The Talk’, Jennifer Hudson Show & Drew Barrymore Show Postpone Return to Production Due to Strikes

Following the backlash received by Drew Barrymore on her decision to return to production of her talk show amid the writers and actors strike, major behind the scenes changes have been implemented for three daytime television talk shows.

First, Barrymore changed course and announced on Sunday via Instagram, “I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over.  I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”

Next. CBS announced that The Talk, originally scheduled to resume today on Monday, September 18th, will put another pause in production in place. The official statement read: “The Talk is pausing its season premiere scheduled for September 18, CBS said in a statement. We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date.” WGA picketers targeted The Talk outside their CBS Radford studios since it announced its imminent return.

The Talk, co-hosted by Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell and Sheryl Underwood, went dark in May due to the writers strike.

Third, The Jennifer Hudson Show has followed the lead of ‘Drew’ and The Talk.  According to Deadline, a source close to the production confirmed that after much discussion, and at Hudson’s urging, the show is pausing production and its season two premiere, which was slated for Monday, September 18.

For the remaining daytime talkers, here is the status as of now:  Monday, Sherri Shepherd’s talk show Sherri will return.  It is not considered a ‘struck show’ covered by the Writers Guild of America.

Meanwhile, The Kelly Clarkson Show which moved from Los Angeles to New York City this summer has yet to announce a season premiere date yet. Finally, The View, which normally has two WGA writers on staff, has been airing during the strikes but withouts its writers.

So, what do you think about the decision of Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Hudson and The Talk to suspend production after they intended to move forward during the writers strike? Comment below.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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Airdate: 7-24- 2023