Gyl Roland was cast to play Selena Cross. In the novel on which the series is based, Selena killed her sexually abusive stepfather. But during pre-production, ABC executives demanded the story not appear in the series and Roland was dropped.
Dorothy Malone complained that her role was being overshadowed by the role of co-star Mia Farrow. In 1968, she was written off the show, and she sued 20th Century Fox for breach of contract. The case was settled out of court.
In 1968, African-American characters were added to the cast played by Ruby Dee, Percy Rodrigues, and Glynn Turman. African-American writers were also hired. But writer Gene Boland publicly complained that their ideas were being rewritten and he was fired. Dee's husband, Ossie Davis was hired as a consultant.
According to her memoirs, Mia Farrow never expected this series to succeed, let alone become the runaway sensation it was. She tried (unsuccessfully) to get out of her contract almost immediately after the show hit the airwaves. Two years later, her then-husband Frank Sinatra used his considerable industry clout to get her released from her contract with ABC. Farrow's character "Allison Mackenzie" was written out by simply having her run away from town and never be heard from again. In 1968, the series' writers got even with Farrow in a way - they wrote a storyline in which a new girl came to town with a baby she claimed was birthed by Allison. This storyline was launched immediately after "Rosemary's Baby" (starring Mia Farrow) went into release.
The producers originally wanted character, Betty Anderson, to die in the car accident in the 11th episode. Because of the rising popularity of portrayer Barbara Parkins, they finally decided not to go forward with it.
An hour long pilot episode was made in 1962. It included a storyline with the Cross family, described in the novel on which the series is based on. Producer Irna Phillips decided to scrap the Cross family.
The golden years of Peyton Place were between 1964 and 1966. By 1968, the show had lost all its popularity and critical acclaim. The makers tried to make a revive by casting several well-known character actors and developing new characters, but all they tried, didn't help.
In the beginning of the show's second season, the show dominated the lot of 20th Century Fox, occupying five sound stages, two major outdoor sets and several minor ones, including the public square with bandstand outside the studio commissary whose exterior doubles as Peyton Place's hospital.
When Mia Farrow suddenly took an unannounced vacation in 1965, the writers rushed a coma story line into the show. They told the press they initially were not certain if they were going to put Farrow's character out of the coma.
Unlike some other actors, Barbara Rush was very positive about her work on the show, calling it "an actor's paradise". She recalled especially liking being able to put some of herself in the character and the flexible working days.
When asked why Barbara Rush took the role, she responded: "I was told I would work only two or three days a week. The studio is only five minutes from my home. I do not have to leave my husband and children for location filming."
Christopher Connelly didn't audition for the role. He got the role when he agreed on helping a girl take a screen test for a role in the show. Paul Monash wasn't impressed by the girl, but offered Connelly the part of Norman.
The original plan of the writers was that Constance would kill Elliot after a couple of episodes, followed by a dramatic murder trial. However, Elliot proved to be beloved among the public, and the plan was aborted.
James Douglas portrayed an attorney in an TV pilot called 'Hawk's Landing'. Although the pilot was failed, Paul Monash saw the screening and was so impressed by the performance of Douglas, that he offered him the role of Steven Cord.
In early 1967, Barbara Parkins indicated she was planning on leaving the show, explaining to the press she did not want to work every day any longer. She also said: "I have done everything possible with the character of Betty Anderson. Now, it becomes mechanical." However, Parkins remained on the show until its cancellation in 1969.
Paul Monash offered Lana Wood the role of Sandy Webber after seeing her in The Long, Hot Summer (1965). Ironically, Wood planned on contacting Monash around the same time to show interest in the same role.
Around the time of Betty and Steven's marriage, there was talks of returning Henry Beckman to the show, because Kasey Rogers told the writers that her character didn't have much to do anymore. According to Rogers, Beckman demanded too much money.