Monday, May 20, 2013

This Week in Television History: May 2013 PART III

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:
As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

May 23, 1933
Joan Collins is born. 
Joan Collins, a classically trained actress who will become best known for her role on the 1980s prime-time soap opera Dynasty, is born in London, England.
The daughter of a theatrical booking agent, Collins made her theater debut at the age of nine, in a production of The Dollhouse by Henrik Ibsen. As a teenager, she studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and appeared in nine British films. She headed to Hollywood at the age of 22, and landed sultry roles in several popular films, including Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955).

On Star Trek "The City on the Edge of Forever" Written ByHarlan Ellison Collins played Edith Keeler a social worker who ran a soup-kitchen out of the Twenty-First Street Mission, on planet Earth in 1930. Known for her compassion and forward thinking, she sought to bring peace to the entire planet. In that year, she died in an automobile accident.

She continued making films in the United States and the United Kingdom through the 1960s, but her career languished in the 1970s, and she was reduced to starring in horror flicks like Fear in the Night (1972). She also starred in two films based on best-selling novels by her younger sister Jackie Collins, The Stud (1978) and The Bitch (1979).

In 1981, Collins landed the plum role of Alexis Carrington (later Colby) in the prime-time soap opera Dynasty, which ran for eight years. Her portrayal of the vindictive ex-wife of the oil tycoon Blake Carrington--and the bitter rival of his current wife and former secretary, the beautiful blonde Krystle (played by Linda Evans)--rejuvenated Collins’ career, as buzz for the show began to grow and the Alexis-Krystle clash became one of its central plotlines. In one of Dynasty’s most memorable scenes, Alexis and Krystle come to blows in a lily pond; in another, Krystle dumps a bowl of mud on Alexis after she overhears her gossiping about her at a spa. After several years of declining ratings, ABC dropped Dynasty from its lineup in 1989.  In 1997, Collins reprised the role of Alexis on Aaron Spelling’s Pacific Palisades. She later joined former cast mates in two reunion specials, most recently Caviar and Catfights: The Dynasty Reunion (2006).
By the late 1980s, Collins followed in her sister Jackie’s footsteps and published her first novel, which she sold to Simon and Schuster for a rumored $3 million. Despite critical pans, the book, Prime Time, became a bestseller when it debuted in 1988. Two years later, Random House offered Collins $4 million in a two-book deal, paying a $1.3 million advance, with the rest due on delivery of the manuscripts. When Collins turned in the first of the two manuscripts in 1991, the publishing house claimed the manuscript was unacceptable and sued for the return of the advance. In 1996, the court ruled in favor of Collins and demanded that Random House pay her an additional $1 million for the work she turned in. Her zest for writing was apparently unquenched by the battle--she published the beauty book My Secrets in 1994, followed by Second Act in 1996 and a sequel My Secrets, My Friends’ Secrets, in 1999.
In addition to her writing career, Collins has continued to act, appearing in films such as Kenneth Branagh’s In the Bleak Midwinter (1995) and The Flinstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), and television series (Will & Grace, Footballers’ Wives) in the United States and the United Kingdom. Since 2002, Collins has been married to her fifth husband, Percy Gibson, who is more than three decades her junior.

May 20, 1993
The final episode of Cheers Titled One for the Road. This episode serves as the 271st episode and the 25th episode of the eleventh season of Cheers. It first aired on NBC in Thursday, May 20, 1993, to an audience of approximately 42.4 million households in a 98 minute version, making it the second-highest-rated series finale of all time behind the series finale of M*A*S*H and the highest-rated episode of the 1992-1993 television season in the United States. The 98 minute version was re-shown on Sunday, May 23, 1993, and an edited 90 minute version aired on Thursday, August 19, 1993.

May 25, 1992
Sugarbaker Designs closed its doors, as Designing Women ended its 7 season run, in 1993.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

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Tony Figueroa
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