Knots Landing (TV Series 1979–1993) Poster


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Excellent Show
vs66196628 September 2004
Knots Landing was an excellent drama. I watched all 14 seasons of this series. I especially liked the first few seasons when the show focused on the families in the cul-de-sac, but after the fifth season the show's story lines became similar to other prime time soap opera fare with more of a focus on greed and the desire for wealth and power. Although the show changed direction, the writing, directing and especially the acting remained top-notch and were always superior to the other shows.

Knots Landing premiered on CBS in December 1979. It followed the lives and relationships of Gary & Valene Ewing (Ted Shackelford & Joan Van Ark), recently remarried and new to town; Sid & Karen Fairgate (Don Murray & Michele Lee), the strong married couple with three children; Richard & Laura Avery (John Pleshette & Constance McCashin), the couple with marital problems; and Kenny & Ginger Ward (James Houghton & Kim Lankford), the young newlyweds.

Abby Cunningham (Donna Mills), Sid's younger divorced sister in the "bitch" role, came to town with her two children at the beginning of the second season; she was added to stir up the pot, so to speak, and began trying to seduce everyone's husband; she eventually set her sights on Gary and married him after ruining his marriage to Val. Donna Mills, who had for years played weak female and "victim" roles in various TV shows and movies, was thrilled to play a strong, powerful female lead. In fact, the show had many strong female characters.

In the beginning, these characters were a lot like people that lived down the street. They wore jeans and did the dishes... something you would never see on "Dynasty" or "Dallas"! Also, the early episodes (first 2 seasons) were self-contained and did not have the serialized format that was standard for most of the other nighttime soaps.

Early in the third season, Sid Fairgate died during emergency surgery after a car crash because Don Murray wanted to leave the show. By the end of the fourth season, original characters Richard Avery, Kenny Ward and Ginger Ward were all written off the show. The new characters of Mack MacKenzie and Gregory Sumner became more prominent.

The biggest mistake was when the powers that be fired actress Constance McCashin during the 1987-1988 season due to her real-life pregnancy. They had written her two previous pregnancies into the story, but they did not plan to do so this time. Granted, the storyline involving Laura's brain cancer and subsequent death was very well written and poignant, and superbly acted by Constance McCashin and William Devane as her husband Greg Sumner; however, they could have just had Laura leave town or written the character out of a few episodes to accommodate the actress' pregnancy since Laura was not very heavily involved in a big story at that time. Apparently, many other reviewers liked this character and felt that letting this actress go was a mistake.

There were many great actors on this show, but special mention must go to Julie Harris as Lilimae Clements, Valene's mother, and Michelle Phillips as Anne Matheson, Paige's shallow, self-absorbed mother and Mack's ex-girlfriend. They both brought lighter comedic moments to the show with their roles.

The fact that the show lasted 14 seasons demonstrates that it was far better than the other prime time soaps. The show managed to stay true to form for the most part throughout the entire series run by focusing on the characters and their motivations and not on overly outlandish plots.
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Even Better Than the Show That Spawned It
Brian Washington14 October 2003
When this show first premiered, many didn't give it a chance due to the fact that it was a spin off from the hugely popular Dallas. A lot of people didn't think that a show featuring the least known of the Ewing brothers, Gary, and his wife Val would last. However, it did last and boy did it ever. For fourteen years we saw the saga of the cul de sac and their various residents and the main reason that this show became great is the fact their was such great chemistry among the leads and that led to some great performances, especially from the woman who eventually became the lead, Michele Lee. Also, many of the stories, unlike most nighttime soaps, were based in reality. Subjects such as drug and alcohol addiction, colon cancer and rape were all covered in this show. But, perhaps the most dramatic change occurred several seasons after the show debuted when the Williamses, an African-American couple and their daughter, were introduced in 1987. This was at a time when many blacks were becoming upwardly mobile and this was just a reflection of that trend. This show definitely will always be fondly remembered by everyone.
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one of TV's all time best dramas
marc13 June 1999
Knots Landing,the TV stalwart through the 80's and some of the 90's was one of TV's best dramas. The characters were so real,they became as well known as family members. The series excelled in complex characters. From the strong women like Karen, Laura,Paige and Abby to the utterly fascinating flawed men like Greg Sumner and Gary Ewing.The show was not without its mistakes- not all the serpentine,complicated plots worked, and the reliance of the plots in later episodes on insane stalkers, was predictable. Nevertheless, when Knots stories jelled,the effects were often breathtaking. Who can forget the great moments like Sid's death and Karen's coping, Abby's marrying Greg in the middle of his romance with Paige, Laura's funeral,the return of Val's twins, the body under the cement, Olivia's drug addiction and Abby's intervention, Jill's shocking villainy revealed to Val...the list of great Knots moments goes on.There hasn't been a show like it on TV since. It is sorely missed.
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Best Show ever
honey7465812 September 2003
Knots Landing has got to be one of the best shows ever to grace our TV sets. The show that started out as a spin off of another good show Dallas turned into a guaranteed hour of enjoyable tv. Yes the show had its good and bad episodes but you always knew you could look foward to seeing your favorite neighbors on the Cul-Da-Sac Seaview Circle. By far the greatest female character on the show was Karen Fairgate Mackenzie(Michele Lee), she was married to the 2 greatest men ever Sid Fairgate(Don Murray) the owner of Knots Landing Motors and after his death she met and married Mack Mackenzie(Kevin Dobson)a lawyer. I enjoyed these two together most, they had such great chemistry together on screen they actually were believable as a married couple. When Abby(Donna Mills) arrived the show became even better, her character was always after someones husband and usually ended up with him. Sumner(Bill Devane) was another great addition to the show, his character brought a comic humor with the words he chose to use in tense drama situations. Then you had the Val(Joan Van Ark) and Gary(Ted Shackelford) the two childhood lovers who you just knew would always be together even if a few marriages got in between them. The show also had some other great characters like Laura(Constance McCashin), Richard (John Pleashette), Paige(Nicolette Sheridan), Lilimae(Julie Harris), Claudia(Kathleen Noone), Anne(Michelle Phillips), Frank(Lary Riely), Olivia(Tonya Crowe). Knots also had a ton of guest stars like Ava Gardner, Alec Baldwin, Lisa Hartman Black, Red Buttons,and Pam Grier just to name a few. Overall this show still holds up to todays standards and hopefully it will be put on DVD soon so everyone can enjoy it.
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All-time best of the nighttime serial dramas
Tom Hall-218 February 1999
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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The greatest prime time soap is missed very much
sabby13 February 1999
"Knots Landing", for 14 years, was the greatest television experience ever. From December 27, 1979, until May 13, 1993, we followed the sudsy lives of our favorite characters. From Val and Gary's initial movie into the neighborhood, to Abby's arrival and her nonstop manipulations, to Laura's terminal brain cancer and the impact it had on everyone's lives, to the ultimate psycho Jill, it was all terrific entertainment. Not overly-glossy and implausible like other night-time soaps, "Knots" had a realism all it's own. It will be missed and remembered fondly.
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The longest running prime time soap ever
k_dizzle_scarface_nizzle17 November 2004
This spin off of CBS' DALLAS premiered midway through the 1979-80 season. KNOTS follows the lives of five families residing on an oceanside cul-de-sac in the town of Knots Landing, California. They are: Gary (Ted Shackelford) and Valene Ewing (Joan Van Ark), a young remarried couple who move to the cul-de-sac to escape the pressures of living in Dallas (namely JR and the Ewing family), Sid (Don Murray) and Karen Fairgate (Michele Lee), the friendly neighbors whose marriage is on solid ground, Richard (John Pleshette) and Laura Avery (Constance McCashin), whose marriage is in dire straits even with a young son, and Kenny (James Houghton) and Ginger Ward (Kim Lankford), the newlyweds who have bought their first home in the cul-de-sac. The show crossed over with DALLAS in its' early years when JR and Bobby made occasional visits. Things were spiced up when Abby Cunningham (Donna Mills), Sid's younger sister moved in and managed to break up Gary and Val. Other characters included the smarmy politician-turned-businessman Greg Sumner (William Devane), who tangled with Abby and married Laura when Richard took off after being accused of murder. There was also Mack Mackenzie (Kevin Dobson), who would marry Karen when Sid was killed in an auto accident. Paige Matheson (Nicollette Sheridan), Mack's daughter, who tangled with Sumner, was a major character. One of the show's story lines included the birth of Gary and Val's twins that were stolen from her at birth. When Bobby Ewing died on DALLAS and Pam Ewing dreamt the whole season, KNOTS suspended its' crossover plots with the parent series, for fear that KNOTS viewers would think that the present season was all a dream as well. So while Bobby was alive on DALLAS, he remained dead on KNOTS.
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I miss this show
cooper-2922 December 1999
I grew up with this show and watched it the entire run.So much better and alittle more down to earth then the other shows, Knots was a show with Great characters and characters you either loved or loved to hate. I wish they'd bring it back for more Movie specials.
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Abby vs. VaL
brandon_locasto23 January 2005
Even though Dallas was much more popular, Knots Landing was a much stronger, more realistic, and better written show. First of all, shows like Dallas and Dynasty insulted viewers intelligence by constantly keeping a character and changing the actor. Remember how Barbara Bel Geddes turned into Donna Reed on Dallas, and then back again. Or how Jeff Colby went to bed with Pamela Sue Martin and woke up with Emma Samms on Dynasty. This is not Broadway where someone just takes over someone else's role. When Constance McCashin left Knots, did a new Laura come on...NO!...she died and we all cried. That's why Knots Landing was a far superior serial. For fourteen years, viewers were engrossed in these people's lives, because you felt like you knew them. The best characters on the show were Val and Abby. And they're friendship turned feud was riveting. It was actually Val who convinced Abby to move to Knots Landing early in Season 2 while they were on a picnic. And she grew a deep attachment to Abby's daughter, Olivia, mainly because she needed to fill the void left when J.R. took her daughter, Lucy, away from her. It was Val who comforted Abby when her ex-husband ,Jeff, stole her children. And it was Val, not their Aunt Karen, who was Brian and Olivia's second mom. All of this made it even more scandalous when Abby had an affair with Gary. These women lived across the street from each other, and cared about each other. But Abby wanted Gary. The best scene of the entire series is during the episode "China Dolls", when Val finally confronts Abby. The seconds when Val is walking across that street from her house to Abby's seem like hours. And when she opens that door and Abby comes down those stairs in that pink was so HOT! When Val asks Abby if she is having an affair with her husband, she looks right in Val's eyes and says "I'm not saying we're having an affair, and I'm not saying we're not, I am saying I can have him anytime I want him". When Val slaps Abby in the face, Abby actually gives her a look like...I know I deserved that because I know what I'm doing is wrong, but I want Gary and I don't care, so I'll take the hit. You actually feel like your watching your neighbors fight. There are no women like this on television anymore. These ladies could act. Donna Mills makes Joan Collins look like a cartoon character. And Joan Van Ark makes Linda Evans seem like an empty vessel. The scenes between Val and Abby over the next few seasons continued to shine. Val finally gets her revenge by becoming pregnant with Gary's babies, who is now married to Abby. And then Abby makes a comment to Scott Easton saying that she wishes the babies were never born. The fact that Easton takes her seriously makes the way for the best storyline of the series, and it is when Abby finally comes to her senses that we see how she truly cares for Val. When Abby finds Val alone on the beach and tells her she knows where the babies are, Val immediately knows she is going to see her twins. If it would have been anybody else, she probably wouldn't have believed them. But Abby doesn't mess around. When Abby is driving Val to her babies, they are alone in the car together, and you can feel all the years of history these two women have together. They were once like family, then bitter enemies, but through it all they are still in each others lives. They may not like each other, but they KNOW each other very well! Years later, when Laura dies, Val and Abby hug each other, sharing the pain of losing someone so close to them. Even though they don't like each other, they are once again sharing a very intimate moment. When they hug, you can feel they are reaching out to each other, actually comforting each other. And when Jill tries to kill Val and everyone thinks she tried to kill herself, Abby genuinely seems devastated by the news. When Val gets out of the hospital, Abby confronts her in Karen's kitchen, offering to help her in any way she can. And she REALLY means it. And now having to deal with psycho Jill, Val realizes that Abby is not so bad after all. The dynamics between these two actresses was phenomenal and understated. While Karen may have served as the shows backbone, it was Val and Abby who gave the show life, and spice. Both characters added depth and layers to the show that are unfounded on any other soap. Joan Van Ark, as the passive-aggressive Valene, who manages to drag everyone into her dramas and make her problems seem like the greatest problems in the world. And Donna Mills, as Abby, the greatest bitch in the history of television. Joan Collins' Alexis, and later Heather Locklears' Amanda on Melrose Place, were nothing more than Abby wanna-be's. No other bitch in television history had the multi-layered humanity of Abby Fairgate-Cunningham-Ewing. Even though she was a schemer and a manipulator, she had morals. She loved her children, and she would hurt people to get what she wanted, but nothing they couldn't recover from. Mac Macenzie once said..."Abby doesn't kill, she gets even". And that about sums it up. How amazing for once to see a woman not be a victim, and not have to pay for not being a victim. Through all their fascinating story lines, Val and Abby seem most real when they are playing off each other. And their feuds were the most dramatic moments of the series. If there is ever another Knots Landing reunion, how nice it would be to see Val and Abby sit down together for a cup of tea, and reminisce about all the insanity they've been through together.
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The nighttime soap that ran the longest
Totallyrad808 October 2003
I got into Knots Landing during its 4th season and I didn't watch it when it first began and when primetime soaps were becoming an in thing I wasn't interested in "Knots Landing" mainly because of the title and because it didn't hold viewers like the other shows (i.e. "Dynasty", "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest", but after watching it I became totally hooked on this show. I like the structure of the show where they all lived on the same block and took place of their lives and who were sleeping (mainly Abby) with who. This was a soap opera and now that I think of that show it was more interesting than "Dynasty" (which a show I cannot stand to look at on SoapNet), "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest". I was glad that they didn't have to wear these $10,000 dress (the female characters that is). Nor they made themselves jokes for a drama. Because it was more of a realistic drama than the other nighttime shows. I like the topics of the characters such as Gary's alcoholism, Karen's addiction to painkillers and Olivia's abuse on drugs. These characters had real issues and it made the show more to look at. I did catch the reruns on cable and was amazed how much I missed out on such as Sid's car accident, Abby and Richard's affair, and Abby's affair with Gary. Abby was the best! She was better than Alexis Carrington and was more real. She was soft hearted when it came to her kids, but Abby was more interesting than Alexis on "Dynasty". I remember when they fazed out on Kenny, Ginger and Richard which was sad because I did like Kenny and Ginger. When they brought on Greg and Ben it was cool. One of the only characters that I didn't like was Diana Fairgate. I was so glad when the actress Claudia Lonow was gone. I was happy they brought back Lisa Hartman (Black)as Cathy Geary than her first stint (Ciji Dunne). But Cathy was boring. They could of gave Lisa a little better to do. Now when Jill came on I thought her and Mack would of got it on, but enter Gary who had it on. I love Teri Austin and thought she was so beautiful. But it was noted that the only way to get through Gary's heart is to get him past Val (who was so boring, but I did say Gary and Val always belong together and thank God that CBS allowed to keep the show on to put them back together for a couple of more seasons) but it was the best finale they ever had when Jill attempts to murder Val. (I always remember that one because I was in my senior year in high school when that happened). But Jill bit the DUST!!! I also like Paige and all about her when the show focused on her because she was this young heroine, that all the women was not a young spring chicken (Karen, Val, Laura and not Abby). But it worked out for the show. I did like her love scenes with Tom (Joseph Gian). But the show was geared to put her and Greg together which they had great chemistry!!!! But of course I loved it when Greg was together with Laura and I cried myself when Laura died and how was Greg going to get by without Laura. I thought of her as one of those special characters that was sympethetic, unselfish, classy lady and the producers should of did whatever to keep Constance McCashin on the show. But there is Karen (Michele Lee, who was the best actress on the show). Karen was so awesome. She had her moments like putting Abby in her place, like Greg (even sometimes she wanted to kill him). Karen was great!!! I also like the fact that Abby started out as a garage girl going after horny alcoholics and a sleazeball (Richard), affair with Senator Greg and that ambitious Peter Hollister who wound up dead. This show was so good that it ran for 14 seasons and I wish it was still around for another 14 seasons. Maybe CBS could do another special like it did over 6 years ago. The best primetime soap in history
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The best night soap in the history of TV.
shanna_wilson30 October 1999
I have to admit that I didn't watch Knots Landing when it was coming on CBS. When it first started I hadn't been born and when I was old enough to watch it I just didn't care to. But, when I caught it one summer morning on TNT, I just couldn't stop watching it. When I went back to school I started taping the episodes. I loved Karen, Val, Laura, and even Abby. I was surprised when they added a black family to the show. That was special, because Knots Landing didn't use them for window dressing diversity like most TV shows do. They gave them interesting story lines, just like the other families on the show. Perhaps my favorite thing about Knots Landing is that the families were middle class and not rich. The families on Knots Landing had problems that the average person could relate to. I doubt there will ever be another night soap that will be as good as Knots Landing.
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Best prime time soap..EVER!
knotsguy8 February 1999
This is my all time favorite show. I loved almost every character on the show. Laura was my all time favorite!!! I would love to hear from any other Knots fans out there.
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jpyates26 March 2002
Knots Landing was many things over an extraordinary amount of television years....14 seasons is an astonishing feat for any television primetime show. It was the best of shows and at times the most frustrating of shows....Executive Producers Jacobs and Filerman pushed and tested the boundaries and constraints of serial drama by daring to be mundane where other shows were exciting and changing the fundamental landscape of the show three times.It is also worth noting that this show focused largely on it's female charactors and gave rise to one of the most popular women on television Karen Fairgate Mackenzie, played by the multi talented Michele Lee.

The first four seasons of the show were an attempt to look at the lives of five family units in a suburban cul de sac in Southern California. There were great strengths of performances, notably from the stellar female performances of Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark,Donna Mills, the brilliant Constance McCashin and Julie Harris. Some of the episodes were gentle some of them were harder and gave the promise of what was to come in later years, but there is no doubt that without the early, subtle and largely ignored first years of the show it could not have garnered the huge audiences it did later in it's run.

And so as the eighties swept in, so Knots Landing changed. Subtley and slowly over the fifth season, the producers changed the focus of the show from the cul de sac to the larger town. And while they changed the look of it, they didn't actually make it different. The sweeping dramatic music, the pathos, the drama and the humour all remained intact so that by it's sixth season when the writers came up with a bizarre and heartwrenching story, whereby Valene Ewing 's babies are stolen and secretly adopted, the show finally jumped into the top ten ratings and held it's time slot, beating off Hill Street Blues and later LA Law. In fact the show was the only primetime show around this time that didn't suffer a drop in ratings the next season.

Many would argue that by it's eight and ninth year things were wearing thin and when budget cuts forced producers to loose some of it's core cast Julie Harris and Constance McCashin, writers and producers again shifted the emphasis of Knots toward a new set of characters. Looking back, with hindsight it's easy to see that this was a big mistake and one that the show never fully recovered from, although the 10th season is regarded as one of it's finest years.And as always there was a fine performance from the supporting new female lead Lynne Moody.

And so it sailed into the sunset as quietly as it had begun. The later years had brought some fine performances from William Devane and Kevin Dobson, thanks to some terrific writing and a touching story involving child abuse. Other notables include the outrageous Anne Matheson character, played with glee by ex Mamas and Papas Michele Philips....Don Murray's gentle Sid Fairgate and Lar Park Lincoln's wickedly good performance as Linda Fairgate.

But when all is said and done, and the re runs keep fans old and new tuned into this shows many facets, it's a credit to Jacobs and Filerman, Lee, Shackelford, Van Ark, Mills, Harris , McCashin and Dobson that this legacy of quality entertainment is still so fondly remembered.

Knots Landing. Noises Everywhere. We will never see it's kind again.
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The Best Programme In The History Of Television!!!
bob6398 March 2002
This was undoubtedly the best TV series EVER!!! Great characters, great stories, witty scripts, fantastic acting, fantastic theme tune, the list is endless.

I watched all 344 episodes throughout the show's 14 year run (15 if you lived in the UK). I watched it grow from an average suburban series set in a Californian cul-de-sac to an international phenomenon that perhaps didn't reach the same heights as 'Dallas' or 'Dynasty', but make no mistake, this series had a devoted following all across the world - such was it's enduring appeal.

Who could forget the night Sid was driven off a cliff? Talk about a Cliffhanger!!! Who could not feel sorry for "Poor Val" when her babies were kidnapped at birth or when the evil Jill Bennett (played convincingly by Teri Austin) attempted to kill her by forcing pills down her throat? Add to that those heartbreaking scenes when Laura (played by the wonderful Constance McCashin) died of a brain tumour and 'Greggy' was left all alone to raise their child.

Then there were all those wonderfully complex stories involving all the cul-de-sac's residents united to fight against a common enemy. Wolfbridge? Treadwell? The list is endless. Knots had that unique ability to tell a good tale. It carried on telling such 'good tales' for 14 amazing years - never once really dipping in quality.

In the finale, Kevin Dobson told how it was a quality series - the type of quality that television needs. How right he was! Television didn't see such quality prior to the series' launch in 1979, and sadly it hasn't seen it since.

A fantastic production in a bygone era. The likes of which we will never see again...
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Best in its class
cpmorgenstern21 December 1999
Knots Landing was to prime time soaps what Young and the Restless is to daytime soaps. It grounded more firmly in character development than Dynasty, Dallas, or the others, which is why it held up and lasted longer. The characters were relatable, people you could have actually known in real life (with one or two exceptions, of course). This is what drew the audience in and kept them there.

Sure, there were the convoluted plot twists, the spectacular season-end cliff-hangers, but Knots Landing had a stronger, truer heart than the others. Dynasty was about flash and wardrobe (certainly not about acting ability!). Dallas was about greed and power. Knots Landing was about people. ...And nobody on Knots ever woke up after a year to explain away a bad storyline as having been just a dream...!
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Not only the best soap opera of all time but the best TV show too.
samanthagiles200118 June 2004
Knots Landing was the best TV show that was ever made. I've watched many soaps, comedies and dramas over the years but never from start to finish. Most usually start to tail off after the first few years. Even the biggest soaps here in the UK all ended up going bad or becoming contrived. The same happened with Dallas and Dynasty. After a few really exciting years, they both become full of nonsense. Knots Landing didn't though. After the first four years of average excitement, the show just got better and better. The best years were the fifth and sixth but even the years that followed saw great drama, excitement, great acting, great stories. The show just was great full stop.

The stories were the best part because they were so exciting. In the earlier quieter years when the show was set on the cul-de-sac there were still exciting moments such as the time Sid's car was tampered with and went over a cliff into the ocean, then there was Gary and Abby's affair which led to the break up of the Ewing's marriage. A split that lasted for 9 years. That was the great thing about this show. It lasted so long and had such a loyal cast who stayed with it for years that the stories could unravel in a realistic timespan.

I will never forget when Val's babies were stolen as part of an illegal adoption ring. Unlike the other TV shows that would've concentrated more on the actual kidnapping process, Knots Landing looked on the story from a different perspective - of the heartbroken mother who'd been told her babies were stillborn. My own mum lost a baby when I was a small girl so I could identify with this story myself and it was written so well, so sensitively and acted to perfection. Then after dealing with the emotional effect on Val, they dealt with the exciting part - starting the investigation into searching for the babies' whereabouts when Val's good friends Mack and Karen started to believe there was something more sinister going on.

The finale that year was the best episode they ever produced and better than anything Dallas, Dynasty or even Eastenders over here has produced. Really gripping stuff.

Things got a little quieter after that, but there were still many great stories to look forward to such as Olivia's drug addiction. Peter Hollister's murder, Laura's tearjerking death which showed the two finest individual acting performances on the show's history from Constance McCashin and William Devane.

Even in the later years, the show was still brilliant. The best moment coming when Jill Bennett tried to kill Val. That was the second best cliffhanger that was produced - very exciting and very tense because of the way Jill planned everything out to a tee. Then they brought in the character of Linda Fairgate to help fill the void left by Donna Mills who had left by then. She was a brilliant TV bitch. The story with Mack and the foster kid who'd been abused by his real life father was just amazing and heart wrenching to watch.

The 13th and 14th years weren't just as consistent but there were still some good stories like the time novelist Val had to write a book for Greg Sumner and the time Paige was shot. Then there was the psycho Grandmother who turned up trying to kidnap little Meg who had been adopted by the Mackenzies after Lauras death. The best story was the last big one though when the evil business tycoon tried to take over Greg Sumner's business and attempted to kill half the cast on the way to getting it. The final twist came in the final episode when it was revealed that his business partner was the character of Abby played by Donna Mills who returned for the final episode. Then Gary and Val reconciled after everybody thought Val had been killed in a car accident (because Joan Van Ark who played Val also returned for the final episode) and then Greg and Paige reunited.

I think I have outlined some of the main stories that happened during the show's long run. I have forgotten about some other major stories like the Treadwell espionage storyline, the Jean Hackney trying to kill Greg story and Michael Fairgate having an affair with his brother's wife and the time Joshua Rush (played by the famous Alec Baldwin) fell off a roof of a skyscraper after beating up his wife. On top of all that, the show could be very funny at times and the characters were all best friends with each other just like real life. Hopefully I have given some inclination though to what this series was like that it will hopefully entice someone new into watching the show the next time it is repeated on UK Gold or some other UK or US network. It has already been run three times before but will probably be shown again in the future because it was very popular.

My advice to anybody thinking about watching next time it is shown is to watch it because you will fall in love with it's stories, it's characters, it's theme tune (the best ever). It was marvelous and the best TV show ever made.
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Why only 2 seasons on DVD??
mtanyasmail16 April 2015
For several years now I have been watching and waiting ... Waiting for someone from Warner Brothers to grow a brain and release the remaining 12 seasons on DVD. It seems as though every other show ever created,no matter how short-lived, stupid, good, bad, loved, or hated are all released on DVD. But not Knots Landing. Why? I once read some seriously lame excuse that the sales from the release of the first 2 seasons weren't high enough. That can't be right. There are some of the most idiotic shows out there on DVD that I KNOW couldn't have sold much. But there they are. Knots Landing CLEARLY had fans in order to run for so many seasons. They can't even rerun it anymore? It makes NO sense to me. I am very positive that along with myself many many other die hard fans of this show--which IMO was the BEST prime time soap in history still to date--would purchase the rest of the seasons on DVD. Come on people, contact WB and help me let them know that we are entitled to have access to our beloved show just as well as Dallas fans are!!
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best TV show
joycemargaret25 August 2008
Knots was THE best show ever. I watched every episode...I loved each and every character....they were amazing actors. I want to buy all of the episodes and re-live it again!!!! My favorite characters were Val, Abby, and Gary. They made the best triangle ever written. I hated Abby but I loved to watch her in action. I thought her best job was when Olivia was on drugs and she was desperately trying to help her. And I loved to she what she was wearing. I loved Valene. Her character kept growing and growing. Karen was a hoot. I didn't like Paige at first, and then grew to love her! I wish it would air on TV again- is that possible???
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The best nighttime 'soap opera' ever!
hnt_dnl8 March 2008
KNOTS LANDING was a favorite show of mine as a kid and still think of it as a top nighttime drama! A very dramatic show, amazingly, I never found it sappy or boring to watch. FOURTEEN solid years! KL was the DALLAS spin-off where Gary and Valene Ewing moved to the cul-de-sac of Knots Landing in 1979. KNOTS surpasses DALLAS as the best nighttime soap opera because in EVERY season, you can find something to enjoy while DALLAS teetered on boredom in its last couple of years.

The real greatness of KNOTS was in it's sense of community, family, friendship, and all these qualities were realistically and brilliantly translated to the viewer. Originally focusing on 4 couples Sid and Karen Fairgate (Don Murray and Michele Lee), the aforementioned Gary and Val (Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark), Richard and Laura Avery (John Pleshette and Constance McCashin), and Kenny and Ginger Ward(James Houghton and Kim Lankford) who resided in Knots Landing, each week we got to see these couples interact. Amazing how solitary everyday life could be so enjoyable to watch! Of course there was a fair share of 'issue' episodes: adultery, troubled children, alcoholism, teenage drug use, etc. The first 3 seasons were mostly self-contained eps focusing on all these issues, but the main thing is that we got to learn about all these great characters, their quirks, values, beliefs, what made them tick. The show always stayed true to the characters.

The main cast ended up being the originals Karen, Gary, Val, then Abby (Sid's younger sister and Karen's worst enemy!) came in Season 2, Mack in Season 4, and Greg Sumner in Season 5. These 6 characters pretty much carried the show until it's end in Season 14. Karen was the wise everywoman and everyone's friend and confidante. Gary was the weak-willed alcoholic with good intentions. Val was the sweet, innocent woman who trusted people too much. Abby was the bitchy, devious, ambitious vixen. Mack was the street-smart, everyday joe who believed in true justice. Sumner was the rich, corporate goliath who wanted to control the world.

Special mention should go to other long-running and short-running characters: Lilimae (Val's folksy mother played by the great Julie Harris), Anne (Mack's first love played wonderfully by Michelle Phillips), Joshua (Lilimae's troubled son played by the now famous Alec Baldwin).

There was an eclectic mix of other fine characters that came and went over the years: Chip, Ciji, Ben, Peter, Jill, Paige, Ben, Frank, Pat, Olivia, Danny,Claudia. And there were many others! What do you expect for a show that ran 14 years! A great show with something for everyone!
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Knots Landing A Great Soap
gregoryshnly20 December 2006
Knots Landing started off as a spin off to Dallas,dealing with Lucy's Mum and Dad,Gary and Valene remarrying and moving to a Southern California Cul De Sac after Miss Ellie buys them a house,to make up for all the ill treatment they both suffered from the Ewings. Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackleford were both excellent throughout the entire run as was the wonderful Michele Lee who through the seasons lost her beloved husband Sid(Don Murray)got his murderers convicted and married the fiery Mack(Kevin Dobson) Karen was the only character to appear in all the Knots episodes and she was the voice of the people,in one episode when she spoke of wanting to be able to trust people,send cash in the mail etc. After a fairly quiet first season,the Cul De Sac was rocked by the arrival of Sid's sister Abby(Donna Mills)who stole Gary from Val and really brought sex and scandal to Knots Landing. Donna Mills played the part with great gusto and humour,when she left around season 10,she was sorely missed. When popular character Ciji Dunn(Lisa Hartman) was killed off,the was an outcry from fans,so the writers,created a new character lookalike Cathy Greary(Lisa Hartman again)with the plot being Abby hiring a lookalike to send Gary off the rails while she spend his inheritance! When Joan Van Ark left in the last season,Val appeared to die in a car crash but returned in the two episode finale,she'd been kidnapped for a year,a happy ending for the show!. The show didn't shrink from the reality of death though,with Sid's death and later popular character Laura(Constance McCashin)dying from brain cancer. A great show with a great cast,special mention also to William Devane for a great performance as Greg Sumner. It deserved its very long run!
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Excellent Program
ellisel25 July 2006
I enjoyed seeing "Knots Landing" at every available opportunity. The program was a spin-off from "Dallas" in the 1979-1980 Television Season. Entertainers Michelle Lee, Kevin Dobson, Ted Shackelford, William Devane, Joan Van Ark, and Julie Harris were the key cogs in the program's 14-year-run on CBS Television. The program did not air just to deal with the normal lives in everyday America. The program dealt with critical issues like greed, rape, prostitution, wife beatings, kidnapping, alcoholism, and cancer. I highly recommend this program for those that like to see reruns of the show. The show itself maintained high levels of documentation and suspense in describing the scene in the particular act of a particular episode. Even Entertainer Stacy Galina did a brilliant job in playing her role of Kate Whitaker in the show's final three years of its run. Way To Go!!
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All time favorite dramatic show
Bob-4646 November 1999
I had begun watching the show during the "Val's babies" storyline and I was hooked ever since. I remember being in high school and watching the older episodes in syndication at 5:00 every day as well as watching the new episodes every Thursday at 10:00. The show was so much better than any of the other nightime soaps in that it had much more realistic characters and storylines. All thru high school and college i can remember planning my Thursday nights around this show. I simply could not miss it. There are very few shows I can honestly say that about. But "Knots Landing" was definitely the one hour of televsion I simply could not miss.
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The most popular TV Dram series in the Middle East!
uae_rak_h11 May 2001
KL was aired 3 times in the early '90 and the people in the Middle East loved it very much as it shows what an American would be(I don't know if it's a real life!)It is now aired again and people are watching it everyday at 10 GMT.When it first aired (that would be in the early '90)I wasn't old enough to watch it or didn't care till I was very impressed with my fav character Peter Hollister.He was the best thing that ever happened to the show.I was about 8 back the but he really charmed me.He played the best villains role among the others.The big mistake was (as the usual)killing him.He was such a cutie!
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Loved it,loved it,loved it:
Rick-1351 January 1999
Knots Landing was simply the best prime-time soap ever made. Great characters like Karen,Val,Mack,Gary,Richard,Abby,Sumner etc. etc. and outstanding stories. Two big mistakes were killing off the characters of Sid and Laura though (I loved Laura Avery Sumner)
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Remained strong for all of its fourteen years
Reginald D. Garrard20 May 2006
Unlike other nighttime soaps of the 80's and 90's, "Knots Landing" never really ran out of steam. With a strong cast headed by Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark, Michelle Lee, Donna Mills, William Devane, and Broadway legend Julie Harris. the show was filled with all the soap opera trappings but mixed with a bit of realism. Though the show deviated somewhat from its middle class beginnings in season one, the opulence that some of the characters had never seemed out of reach or over the top as in "Dallas" or "Dynasty". Even when "black sheep" Ewing brother Gary (Shackelford) fell into his own financially, the character never stretched into unbelievability.

Many of the story lines reflected the day-to-day trials of normal life: wayward children, drugs, spousal abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, strained marriages, divorce, and death. The latter was no better handled when cast member Constance McCashin's character "Laura" died of cancer and left her grieving husband Greg (Devane) a previously recorded videotape. This 200th-show episode was one of the highlights in the series's long run.

Even the real death of cast member Larry Riley was worked into the story lines, as characters had to deal with a "death in the family." Also, the show had its share of big names joining the cast for pivotal episodes; both movie legends Ava Gardner and Howard Duff appeared as the separated parents of Greg Sumner.

The show was also a "stepping stone" for up-and-comers like Alec Baldwin ("Joshua Rush"), Halle Berry, and character actor Bruce Greenwood.

With over three hundred installments, "Knots Landing" remains one of the best dramas in television history.
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