Gary and Valene Ewing, relatives of the Ewing clan of Dallas, arrive in Knots Landing to make a new home for themselves. However, scheming Abby Fairgate-Cunningham later breaks up their marriage when she seduces Gary.
The saga of a wealthy Denver family in the oil business: Blake Carrington, the patriarch; Krystle, his former secretary and wife; his children: Adam, lost in childhood after a kidnapping; ... See full summary »
It has been two years since Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing took over control of Ewing Oil. Although J.R. is successfully managing a large oil conglomerate, he wants to once again own his ... See full summary »
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A popular night time soap opera, it followed the adventures of five families living in a coastal suburb of Los Angeles in California: Gary and Valene Ewing, relatives of the popular Ewing clan of Dallas; Sid and Karen Fairgate, their all-American neighbors; the troubled Richard and Laura Avery; young newlyweds Kenny and Ginger Ward; and divorcee Abby Cunningham, Sid's scheming sister. Written by
Two cast members remained with the series from the first episode in 1979 until the final episode in 1993: Michele Lee and Ted Shackelford. Lee is the only actor to have appeared in all 344 episodes, which was a record for an actress on a prime-time drama at that time (though this has since been surpassed by S. Epatha Merkerson who appeared on Law & Order (1990) for 19 seasons and (at least) 391 episodes). Joan Van Ark appeared in every season of Knots Landing, but only in the final episode of the show's last season. See more »
The second-longest-running drama on network television, Knots Landing was often overshadowed by the flashier serials Dallas and Dynasty. However, according to a Wall Street Journal article, Knots Landing's audience actually grew when the heyday of the nighttime soaps had passed, and it outlived its competitors. Its remarkable 14-season run was consistent in its use of believable plotlines and characters the viewers could care about. Knots Landing never insulted the intelligence of its audience while developing intricately intertwined relationships among the characters.
The series changed over the years, beginning as a California "Scenes from a Marriage" with four couples living on a cul-de-sac: Dallas transplants Valene and Gary Ewing, who had reunited after 15 years apart; Karen and Sid Fairgate, a community activist and the owner of a car dealership; Laura and Richard Avery, a bored housewife and a lawyer whose marriage was in trouble; and Ginger and Kenny Ward, the newlyweds. (The producers had developed Knots Landing before Dallas but created the latter when CBS wanted something flashier.) Over the years, Sid died and Karen remarried crusading attorney Mack Mackenzie; Richard abandoned Laura, who married politician/industrialist Gregory Sumner and later died; the Wards had numerous spats before moving to Nashville to pursue music careers; and Val and Gary divorced and married a third time. Sid's sister, Abby Fairgate, was introduced as a conniving vixen in the second season; her actions indirectly caused the death of her brother and directly caused the breakup of the Ewings. Others living on Seaview Circle at one time or another included Val's mother Lilimae Clements, second husband Ben Gibson and brother Joshua Rush; Joshua's wife Cathy Geary; Mack's daughter Paige Matheson and her mother Anne; Greg's sister Claudia Whitaker and her daughter Kate; and Pat and Frank Williams, whose family was under the federal witness protection program. Much of the action eventually moved to the Lotus Point resort or the Sumner Group offices, where underhanded business dealings flourished. However, the series ended where it all started, with the surviving original characters returning to the cul-de-sac.
Knots Landing was imbued with a sense of fun that never became camp, despite mind-boggling developments like the "return" of dead singer Ciji Dunne in the form of identical Cathy Geary. At its best, Knots Landing could make you laugh one moment and cry the next, as it did during the two-parter dealing with Laura's funeral. By this time, the actors knew their characters so well that they were able to improvise their own lines, which were incorporated into the script. Fans and TV critics acknowledged Knots Landing as the best of its genre. Perhaps more significantly, the show survived in its Thursday time slot against tough competition including Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law. Even though Knots Landing left the air in 1993, its fans still miss the show--particularly the memorable characters who lived through births, deaths, marriages, divorces, murders and love affairs. Often overlooked but still imitated, Knots Landing is a place where many viewers would like to return.
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