Knots Landing (CBS 1979-1993, Donna Mills, Ted Shackleford)

Long running US prime time soap Knots Landing was a spin off from Dallas with a character from that show Gary Ewing and his wife Valene moving to Knots Landing, small suburban close in Southern California. Initially the show was concerned solely with the lives of the residents of the close who were Sid and Karen Fairgate (Gary worked for Sid in his car dealership), record exec Kenny Ward and his wife Ginger, lawyer Richard Avery and his wife Laura. Superbitch Abby Cunningham (Sid’s divorced sister) quickly arrived on the close and was soon stirring up trouble.

Sid Fairgate died in a car accident and Karen later married attorney Mack Mackenzie. As time went on the couple all split up or left the close and plots got wilder, powerful Greg Sumner became a major player, Abby had affairs with most of the male members of the cast, one character (singer Ciji) was murdered and a look-alike (played by the same actress) quickly turned up. Another major character was charismatic young preacher Joshua Rush who later went mad and killed himself.

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Later seasons were focused more on politics with Gary and Abby both running for senate. As is the way with soaps there was plenty of sensationalism with murders, mafia figures, kidnap etc all afflicting the residents of Knots Landing.

By the time the series ended very few original cast members remained although fittingly several returned for the last episode.
One interesting fact is that when Bobby died and then ‘came back’ in Dallas in Knots Landing he stayed dead.

production details
USA / CBS – Lorimar / x60m-e / Thursday 20 December 1979 – Thursday 13 May 1993

JOAN VAN ARK as Valene Ewing Gibson Waleska
DON MURRAY as Sid Fairgate (1979-81)
MICHELE LEE as Karen Fairgate Mackenzie
DONNA MILLS as Abby Cunningham Ewing Sumner
JOHN PLESHETTE as Richard Avery
CONSTANCE McCASHIN as Laura Avery Sumner
KIM LANKFORD as Ginger Ward
CLAUDIA LONOW as Diana Fairgate
BOBBY JACOBY as Brian Cunningham (1980-85)
BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN as Brian Cunningham (1986-89)
TONYA CROWE as Olivia Cunningham
KEVIN DOBSON as Patrick ‘Mack’ Mackenzie
LISA HARTMAN as Ciji Dunne (1982-83) and then as Cathy Geary Rush (1983-86)
WILLIAM DEVANE as Gregory Sumner
ALEC BALDWIN as Joshua Rush (1984-85)
HOWARD DUFF as Paul Galveston (1984-85)
AVA GARDNER as Ruth Galveston (1985)
NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN as Paige Matheson (1986-93)
KRISTY SWANSON as Jody Campbell (1987-88)
MICHAEL YORK as Charles Scott (1987-88)
LYNNE MOODY as Patricia Williams (1988-90)
STACY GALINA as Kate Whittaker (1990-93)
BRUCE GREENWOOD as Pierce Lawton (1991-92)
HALLE BERRY as Debbie Porter (1991)

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.