A spin-off of Dallas, Knots Landing debuted on CBS in 1979 and aired its final episode in 1993. Starring Ted Shackelford (Gary Ewing), Joan Van Ark (Valene Ewing), Michele Lee (Karen Cooper Fairgate) and John Pleshette (Richard Avery), Knots Landing brought to prime time rich, complex characters that were as ruthless, cruel and vindictive as they were vulnerable, loving and compassionate. Knots Landing followed the exploits of five families living in a small California community: Gary and Valene Ewing, relatives to the popular Ewing clan of Dallas; Sid and Karen Fairgate, their all-American neighbors; Richard and Laura Avery, a struggling couple; and Kenny and Ginger Ward, a newlywed couple.
Knots Landing explored social issues that many other shows avoided including episodes on illegal and prescription drug abuse, abortion, homelessness, the environment and illiteracy .The actors were vocal about incorporating these issues in their storylines to raise awareness and often volunteered their personal time to several charities including homeless shelters and homes for abused women.
The pilot was written by David Jacobs and pitched to CBS before the creation of Dallas. CBS liked the pilot, but wanted the couples to be rich and the story more saga-like. Jacobs held fast to his vision of Knots Landing, and instead decided to create a different series, Dallas, centering around Gary Ewing's rich family. With the tremendous success of Dallas, CBS gave the green light to Knots Landing.
Click below for more information on Knots Landing:
- Cast List
- Season 1 Episode List
- Season 2 Episode List
Knots Landing Season 1 DVD Set includes:
- All 13 1st season episodes
- Audio Commentary by Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackelford
on the Pilot Episode and "Home Is for Healing"
- Gary and Val Together Again: Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackelford Reminisce
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