Connect with us

News

30

‘Knots Landing’ Premiered 40 Years Ago Today: Remembering The Greatest Primetime Soap Of Them All

Photo: JPI

It wasn’t Dallas that was proved to be the longest running primetime soap opera, but it’s spin-off Knots Landing, and forty years ago on this date, back on December 27th, 1979, the characters we loved from the Southern California cul-de-sac of Seaview Circle, began to capture our hearts and strike our fancy.

Originally, when the show made its debut on CBS, the series episodes were self-contained, but shortly thereafter, following the sudsy cliffhangers of Dallas, ‘Knots’ changed into the serialized storytelling format, especially with the arrival of bad girl seductress Abby Cunningham (Donna Mills), and when all was said and done, it gave viewers some of the juiciest cliffhangers ever, serving them up on a weekly basis, better than anyone else.  ‘Knots’ lasted 14 seasons and would end its run on May 13th, 1993.

‘Knots’ creator, David Jacobs said part of his inspiration for the series came from the classic 1977 film by Ingmar Bergman’s”Scenes from a Marriage”.  And as ‘Knots’ fans know, the show revolved around several couples in its humble beginnings; the Ewings (Val and Gary), the Fairgates (Karen and Sid), the Averys (Laura and Richard) and the Wards (Ginger and Kenny).  After Don Murray exited the series as Sid, it opened up the canvas for ‘Knots’ heroin, Karen played by Michele Lee.  In fact, Michele received the series only acting Emmy nomination for her performances in Sid’s death episodes.

Even though the other primtime soaps were glitzier,(Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest), and in the public conscience (Who Shot J.R? – Dallas), ‘Knots’ continued to be the little engine that could, bringing more realistic stories and issues of the day to the forefront.

Photo: Lorimar

The series finally cracked the top ten, just once, back in 1985.  Over the years the cast included: Ted Shackleford, Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee, Kevin Dobson, Donna Mills, William Devane, Costance McCashin, Nicollette Sheridan, Julie Harris, Alec Baldwin, Lisa Hartman, and so many more.  In addition, well-known daytime soap stars came to ‘Knots’ including: Jane Elliot, Peter Reckell and Kathleen Noone.

In its 344 episodes during its 14-year run, who can ever forget when … Val’s twins were taken for her, and the cliffhanger when she is almost reunited with them! Karen’s drug addiction, Abby’s daughter, Olivia’s (Tonya Crowe) drug addiction, Laura’s videotape that she leaves for her friends and her beloved Greg Sumner when she succumbs to cancer, an unhinged Jill Bennett forcing pills down Val’s throat at gunpoint to make it look like she committed suicide, and all the other familial storylines, affairs, revenge plots, murder, corporate intrigue and takeovers.

In this primetime soap, it was the women who were the key and central figures of the story and they were played to perfection each in their own right by longtime series stars: Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark and Donna Mills.  (And Constance McCashin up to when she was killed-off the show).  One thing is for sure … Thursday nights at 10pm have never been the same since its departure.

So, today on its 40th anniversary, check out the videos below which include: the original pilot opening of ‘Knots”, the opening title sequences over the 14 years, the gut-wrenching cliffhanger where Val sees her twins, the emotional moment when Sumner sits alone and weeps as he watches Laura’s goodbye message, Abby dealing with her daughter;’s drug addiction, and the now classic Karen “polyanna” speech.

Then, share your remembrances and favorite moments as we celebrate Knots’ 40th anniversary via the comment section below.

Leave a comment | 30 Comments
Advertisement

30

avatar
16 Comment threads
14 Thread replies
21 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors
KeithJenniferMattAuroraBoop Recent comment authors
newest oldest
Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I sure miss this show! The storyline with Jill Bennett forcing Val to take pills just tore our hearts out. This show emphasized relationships as well a storylines (in contrast to today’s shows that emphasize storylines only). First class show all the way.

DMRR
Guest
DMRR

YES. & didn’t Jill kill herself, in order to blame Val or Gary?

TVJeff
Guest
TVJeff

Yes she did. Took pills, stuck her finger in a little hole in the trunk to shut it. Oh the random things we remember!

DMRR
Guest
DMRR

YES! I miss that show

Jimh
Guest
Jimh

This was the best of the prime time soaps…since Peyton Place but i liked them all..Alec Baldwin should had been included as a daytime star as he played Billy on The Docotrs!!!

Jimh
Guest
Jimh

Donna Mills, Ted Shackleford, Joan Van Ark and and kevin Dobson all did daytime too

DENIS ADAM POMPA
Guest
DENIS ADAM POMPA

Awesome show, simply the best, they don’t make this way anymore!

TVJeff
Guest
TVJeff

When will this be on a streaming service!!!

Kay
Guest
Kay

The best soap ever the baby storyline was done so well Joan Van Ark deserved a Emmy just a great soap

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Oh Kay, the memories that storyline brings back! I remember rewatching that “Val sees her twins” scene over and over….so powerful. With all the dreck available on DVD, WHERE IS KNOT’S?

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

Oh, I did the exact same thing. I kept rewinding our Beta vcr over and over. The score music from that scene has been in my head ever since. I still get chills and tears watching it-so glad I’m not alone.

Keith
Guest
Keith

I agree 100%. After she gets the twins back and she lets the Fishers say goodbye to them – there has never been a more moving scene in television.

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

Knots IMO was by far the BEST nighttime drama on television and like you said Michael, Thursday nights have never been the same…of course TV hasn’t been the same in years but that’s a whole other subject…I didn’t start watching Knots until the second year when they decided to make it into a serial…By the way, Jaime Lyn Bauer actually guest star on Knots for an episode.

DMRR
Guest
DMRR

OMG! I remember watching on Thursday nights. I remember when Sid died & how sad that episode was-
I LOVED Abby and her affair with Gary; WOW. I remember Olivia’s escalating drug addiction. Remember when Paige slept with Karen’s son? OMG. #fire

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Oh God,those were the days! I so loved that show, also Dallas, Falcon Crest, starting with Peyton Place and many others. There were so many of those night time soaps, as I called them. Never missed one!

rose
Guest
rose

Violet and all…Add Dynasty to list. What a cast. Also on my list, and while not a traditional soap, was The Thornbirds.

Violet Lemm2
Guest
Violet Lemm2

rose, I replied days ago, but maybe everyone’s on vacation as none of my replies have been posted, to you and others as well.Anyway, I just wanted to say I also loved Dynasty and do you remember Flamingo Road and the night time spin-off of Lisa with Eileen Fulton, from ATWT? Don’t remember the name.

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Violet, wasn’t it called OUR PRIVATE WORLD? The great Eileen Fulton will never be forgotten in DAYTIME history. My mom started watching ATWT in 1968 (ish) just for Lisa.

Boop
Guest
Boop

Was it Our Private World or Our Private Lives?

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Rose, thanks for mentioning my all-time favorite, THE THORN BIRDS. We watch the DVDs twice a year and reread the novel every other year. Talk about appointment TV!

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

You and me both, Violet. All the great actors and good writing that made those shows a part of our lives even today. Looking forward to them got me through many a dull work day!

Denise A Daniel
Guest
Denise A Daniel

You just had to go & rebreak my heart with that Grey & Laura clip. Sobs……

Channing Capwell
Guest
Channing Capwell

Thanks for sharing those clips. I started watching at 10 years old with my grandmother the very first night (yep, she let me stay up until 11). Knots has endured as my favorite television show of all time. The saga of Val’s twins, which culminated from multiple seasons worth of stories involving Lotus Point, The Wolfbridge Group, Dr. Ackerman and every character on the canvas, was the greatest soap umbrella story I have ever seen. To me it was Shakespeare. And that frustratingly fantastic season finale sent my teenage self into a tailspin for the entire summer. Happy 40th!

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

Yes! I agree with all of this! I was 11 when I started watching, the very first night (it was Christmas break, and we were all at my grandparents’ house)… and I watched every week till the finale in May 1993. Season 6… oh, Val’s babies. It was just… phenomenal stuff… like you said, Shakespeare. Joan Van Ark was just incredible. Goodness, I love and miss this show. So glad I’m not alone.

clb
Guest
clb

Knots Landing lasted 14 years and is one of the best. Great cast, great stories and great cul-de-sac! Can we go back for a re-union on CBS?

Susan
Guest
Susan

Great acting by the entire cast! One standout among many was when Val finally saw her twins. Riveting!

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I thought that story arc with Olivia’s drug problem was phenomenal. If Val had been Olivia’s mother, she would have just utterly collapsed; if it had been Karen, she’d have spent her time wringing her hands and agonizing over what she’d done wrong and trying to be “supportive” and what not. But not Abby! No indeed; she handled it in true Abby fashion, got right down to work and starting taking care of business–and from that moment, the drugs did not have a chance! It was totally different from the way I had seen kid-is-taking-drugs storylines handled on any other… Read more »

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

Is the series available on any of the streaming services?

Aurora
Guest
Aurora

I have searched everywhere and can only find clips on YouTube whereas the others like Dallas are available in full episodes. Anyone have any info on streaming this show?

Matt
Guest
Matt

Knots Landing was much more satisfying than any other nighttime soap because it took itself seriously in the right places. Noteworthy were the use of music, lighting and editing. A lot of classic scenes have already been discussed but I remember one in which Paige went to a hospital to visit her mother. The scene opens with Paige walking towards the camera down a long hallway all alone carrying a flower. Then there’s drama in the hospital room. Then it closes with Paige walking away from the camera down that long hallway and pausing to drop the flower either onto… Read more »

News

B&B’s Lawrence Saint-Victor and Thorsten Kaye to Guest on THE TALK

Coming up on the Monday, January 17th episode of CBS’ The Talk, look for The Bold and the Beautiful’s Lawrence Saint-Victor (Carter) and Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) to make an appearance.

The B&B duo will chat on their current story-arcs; while Lawrence will also speak about being a writer on the daytime soap opera.

In addition, the two B&B stars are on-hand to promote The Talk’s co-host Akbar Gbajabiamila upcoming appearance on the Tuesday, January 18th episode of The Bold and the Beautiful.

Look for Akbar to take on the role of “Max” who said to be a Forrester Creations executive.

So, next week will you be checking out Monday’s episode of The Talk … and Tuesday’s B&B? Comment below.

Continue Reading

News

Remembering One Life to Live on the 10th Anniversary of its Final Episode on ABC

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the final broadcast of ABC’s One Life to Live. The beloved soap opera was canceled back in April of 2011 along with All My Children, and continued to air till January 13, 2012.

As the story goes, after some false starts, the show wound up in the hands of Prospect Park in an attempted online reboot of the series which lasted some 40 plus episodes, and one season on Hulu in 2013.

Photo: ABC Archives

Agnes Nixon’s brainchild first took to the airwaves back on July 15, 1968 on ABC, and tackled many of the social issues of our time, delivered unforgettable performances, beloved soap on-screen couples, and often humorous and edgy storylines.

When the soap was initially canceled by ABC, we took to our former site to share our thoughts in the piece here back in 2011.

Photo: JPI

At the end of its 43-year-run it was then EP Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati who took the show to third place in the ratings among six soaps, and delivered a one-two punch of heart, humor, and drama to close out the ABC run of  One Life. (We have posted the final episode below).

Photo: ABC

Through the years the actors who graced the screen were ,and are, some of the all-time great actresses including: Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Judith Light, Jessica Tuck, Susan Haskell, and so many more.

Photo: ABC Archives

It also brought us the talented actors including: Al Freeman Jr., Roger Howarth, Trevor St. John, Gerald Anthony, Michael Zaslow, Robert S. Woods, Ryan Phillippe, Nathan Fillion, and the list goes on.

Photo: ABC

Below, rewatch the final episode, and the extremely well-crafted and delivered speech given by the character of Viki on the penultimate episode, how soap operas touch so many lives a la “Fraternity Row” (But, as we all know, the show was speaking directly to the longtime viewers at home about their cancellation!)

Those videos are followed two emotional interviews we conducted on the final press day of ABC’s One Life to Live with Kassie DePaiva and Kristen Alderson, then Hillary B. Smith and Robert S. Woods that we are reposting here.

Now, share your thoughts and remembrances of when you watched the final episodes of One Life to Live, and how you still miss it to this day via the comment section.

Continue Reading

News

Robert Newman On Joining the Cast of Y&R: “I Feel Pretty Blessed to Have the Opportunity”

Former Guiding Light star, Robert Newman (Ex-Josh Lewis) shared his enthusiasm and ‘thank you’s’ after his casting news went viral, that he is replacing Richard Burgi in the role of Ashland Locke on The Young and the Restless.  Burgi was let go after not adhering to Y&R’s Covid protocols, according to the actor himself.

Meanwhile, Newman took to his Facebook page and made this statement: “Thanks to everyone for the sweet posts and messages about my joining the cast of Y&R. I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve had great respect for the show and its wonderful cast for many, many years. I’m happy to be a part of it. I had a lovely zoom meeting with Josh Griffith and Anthony Morina last night. We talked quite a bit about the character, and I’m very excited by the scripts I’m getting so far. I’m scared to death, of course, but I think that’s healthy.  It’ll be a new adventure and I’m feeling pretty blessed to have the opportunity. Cheers”

Look for Robert to make his Y&R debut in February.

So, what are your thoughts of Robert coming to Y&R as the new Ashland Locke, after Richard Burgi departed over the daytime drama’s Covid-19 health and safety protocols? Weigh-in via the comment section below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
Advertisement

The Michael Channel

Advertisement

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Sofia Mattsson and Johnny Wactor as Sasha & Brando

General Hospital

Airdate:12-17-2021

Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular