- Starring: John James, Wayne Northrop, John Forsythe
Dynasty was a larger than life soaps opera that purported to portray the lives of the wealthy rich while embracing the greed, glamour and excesses of the Reagan-era 1980s. The story set in Denver, Colorado, centered around the wealthy but troubled Carrington family, headed by the powerful oil tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). In the premiere episode, Blake married his beautiful and sweet secretary Krystle (Linda Evans), much to the chagrin of Blake's spoiled daughter, Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin), and Krystle's ex-lover, Matthew Blaisdel (Bo Hopkins). Blake also had trouble dealing with the fact that his son Steven (Al Corley) was a homosexual and, at the end of the first season, Blake accidentally killed Steven's ex-lover when he found him and Steven in an embrace.
In the second season premiere, Blake's world turned upside down. Not only was he on trial for murder, but his scheming ex-wife, Alexis (Joan Collins), re-entered his life to testify against him. After the trial, she ended up staying in Devener only to wreak more havoc against him and his new wife, Krystle. Initially, the show was dismissed as a clone of another primetime soap opera, Dallas, which also centered around a rich powerful family who made their fortune in oil. However, Dynasty distinguished itself from Dallas and the other primetime soap operas of its era by by embracing campy over-the-top storylines over realistic ones and larger-than-life fashions. By the end of the 1984-1985 season, Dynasty became the #1 TV show in the United States, beating out its rival, Dallas, and spinning off a second series, The Colbys (originally titled, Dynasty II: The Colbys). However, in subsequent seasons, ratings began to decline as viewers grew tired of the over-the-top storylines, such as Moldavia, Krystle's look-a-like.
After 9 seasons and 218 episodes on ABC, the show was cancelled. Two years later, ABC aired a 4 hour mini-series, Dynasty: The Reunion, to wrap up the loose ends of the series, which ended with an unresolved cliffhanger.
After its cancellation, the show was syndicated and eventually aired on SOAPnet, the ABC-owned 24-hour soap opera channel. The show received more interest in the new millenium with the airing of a satirical 2005 TV-movie, Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure; a 2006 cast reunion special, Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar, and of course, the release of the first few seasons on DVD.
Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #19 in the 1981-1982 Season
#5 in the 1982-1983 Season
#3 in the 1983-1984 Season
#1 in the 1984-1985 Season
#7 in the 1985-1986 Season
#24 in the 1986-1987 Season
ABC Broadcast History: January 1981 - April 1981 -- Mondays 10:00 PM
November 1981 - April 1983 -- Wednesdays 10:00 PM
September 1983 - May 1987 -- Wednesdays 9:00 PM
September 1987 - March 1988 -- Wednesdays 10:00 PM
November 1988 - May 1989 -- Thursdays 9:00 PM… Expand
- Genre(s): Drama
- Show Type: Ended
- Season 1 premiere date: Jan 12, 1981
- Episode Length: 60
- Air Time: 10:00 PM
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