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    Coronation Street

    Coronation Street

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    ITV
    Coronation Street is credited as being one of the longest running soaps in the world and the longest running television soap in Britain (with the longest running overall being The Archers on BBC radio). The show has been on British TV screens since 1960 and has aired over 6,000 episodes. Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, who drew on his own experiences living in Salford when developing the show for Granada Television in Manchester. The show's working title was Florizel Street. In a memo from Tony Warren to Granada, he explains the basis of the show: "A fascinating freemasonary, a volume of unwritten rules. These are the driving forces behind life in a working class street in the north of England. The purpose of Florizel Street is to examine a community of this nature, and to entertain." The first episode of Coronation Street, written by Tony Warren and containing the first airing of the iconic theme music (composed by Eric Spear), was transmitted live at 7.00pm on Friday 9th December 1960 and was an instant success due to its eliment of "realism". The series began as a twice weekly serial (airing originally on Wednesdays and Fridays) and was initially only commissioned for twelve episodes but due to the series' success with the viewers it became a perminant fixture, soon changing its transmission days to Monday and Wednesdays. Almost 30 years later the number of episodes increased to three per week in 1989 (additional episode on Fridays) and then to four in 1996 (additional episode on Sundays). Recently that has increased again with a second episode being added on a Monday night at 8.30, leaving a half hour gap between the end of the first episode of the evening and the start of the second. Coronation Street, Corrie or The Street (however you know it) has been at the top of the ratings for most of it's long run and despite tough competition from new soaps and even new TV channels it remains the highest rated programme on British television. William Roache is now the only original cast member remaining - he's played Ken Barlow since episode one. The Set: In early 1960, after Granada Television commissioned twelve episodes of Coronation Street, the set designer Denis Parkin was taken on a tour of Salford by series creator Tony Warren for inspiration on the set. The street's set was based on Archie Street in the Ordsall district, a film shot of which was used in the opening credits of the programme from 1960 to 1964. Archie Street itself was knocked down in 1971. The original television set was built indoors, the cobbles and paving slabs were painted to the floor and the houses were made out of wood. The set was so big and the studio so small that it had to be erected in two parts which explains why shots of the entire street were not seen until 1968 when Granada decided that the interior set was too limiting and so re-erected the set outside in a yard rented from British Railways on Grape Street on Manchester, behind the Granada studios. The cast hated it! They complained that it was draughty and cold; nevertheless it was soon re-built in bricks and mortar and survived until the end of the 1970s when the decision was made to incorporate the set into the Granada Studios Tour. By 1982 a brand new set had been erected on a new site just a few hundred yards away. When the set was complete it was opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The new set was first seen on-screen in episode 2210, broadcast on Monday 7 June 1982. From 1982 up until 1999, it was possible for fans of the show to visit the exterior set as part of the Granada Studios Tour. With the closure of the tour, Granada were able to expanded the exterior set to incorporate further buildings on Rosamund Street (the Health Centre) and later on Victoria Street (Roy's Rolls & Elliot and Son). Coronation Street currently airs on the following days in the UK: Monday @ 7.30pm & 8.30pm, Wednesday @ 7.30pm, Friday @ 7.30pm, Sunday @ 7.30pm. Note: This episode guide mirrors the episode numbers that are used by Granada Television. These, in turn, are based on the episode production numbers. On the odd occasion over the years these have proven to be slightly haphazard. To explain; the first episode of the programme was production code P228/1, the second P228/2, etc. In 1970, the production team reached episode 999 with the episode that was broadcast on Wednesday 19th August that year. The next episode, the 1000th, was not given the production code of P228/1000 but instead was given the new production code of P694 and the number 1! (To confuse matters more, Granada also publicised episode 999 as the 1000th episode!). The actual 1000th episode was therefore known as episode P694/1. As the seventies went on, two episodes (P694/26 and P694/27) were edited down into one half-hour episode, supposedly because Doris Speed - playing Annie Walker - was ill, and four episode numbers were not used at all - P694/503, P694/504, P694/505 and P694/549. You will therefore not find episodes 1503, 1504, 1505 or 1549 in this guide - because they were never made! When the 4000th episode was broadcast in April 1996, Granada's production codes skipped from P694/2999 to P694/4000, thereby mirroring better the actual episode number being shown and publicised. The fact remains though that other episode numbers have been skipped or counted as double episodes and therefore the publicity over episodes such as number 6000 in 2005 are a few episodes out. This is no big secret and, on occasion, comments have appeared in the UK press about this anomoly.moreless
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    The Bold and the Beautiful

    The Bold and the Beautiful

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    CBS
    They created a dynasty where passion rules, they are the Forresters, the first name in Fashion. The Bold and the Beautiful, a world of fashion, glamor and romance. A place where power, money and success are there for the taking in a city where dreams really do come true. Follow the lives and loves of the Forresters on The Bold and the Beautiful...moreless
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    The Young and the Restless

    The Young and the Restless

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    CBS
    The Young and the Restless revolves around the rivalries, romances, hopes and fears of the residents of the fictional Midwestern metropolis, Genoa City. The lives and loves of a wide variety of characters mingle through the generations, dominated by the Newman, Abbott and Winters families. When the show premiered in 1973, it revolutionized the daytime drama. It continues to set the standard with strong characters, socially conscious storylines, romance and sensuality. The Young and the Restless premiered on March 26, 1973, and was originally a 30 minute show. It was not until January 1980 that the show had become a one hour show like it is today. The show has ran for years at 12:30 PM on the east coast, and at 11:00 AM on the west coast. Over the years, many things have happened, and there have been many twisted story lines, many stolen husbands, and many people dead. It has also featured character cross-overs with another CBS soap, The Bold and the Beautiful. These include the psychotic Sheila Carter, who began on The Young and the Restless and shown her more psychotic side on The Bold and the Beautiful. The same goes for Lauren Fenmore, who also can be seen on The Bold and the Beautiful occasionally. The Young and the Restless is not like other soaps which convey a surreal way of life. This show, however, is based on the lives of people in a small town called Genoa City, Wisconsin, where the money is plentiful and so are the women. Many times, we wish that we could live in that small, mid-western town, just to see how life would really be like. Sometimes, we put our own problems aside and worry about what will happen next on the show. However, we're very fortunate not to have a world like they do on any soap! The theme song was written by Barry DeVorzon and Perry Botkin, and originally entitled Cotton's Theme from the film Bless the Beasts, but later became known as Nadia's Theme.moreless
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    Little House on the Prairie

    Little House on the Prairie

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    NBC (ended 1983)
    This award-winning family drama was based upon Laura Ingalls Wilder's 9-part series of autobiographical books. Television producer and NBC executive Ed Friendly became aware of this enduring story in the early 1970s. He asked Michael Landon to direct the pilot movie, who agreed on the condition that he could also play Charles Ingalls. TIME: beginning in the 1870s. PLACE: the American frontier - more specifically, Walnut Grove in the state of Minnesota. THE CHARACTERS: Charles/Pa Ingalls: a homesteader farmer/woodworker; compassionate and loving, yet quick-tempered and ready to throw a defensive punch whenever necessary Caroline/Ma Ingalls: Patient and understanding wife and mother; the ideal prairie woman Laura Ingalls Wilder: The winsome, tomboyish second daughter of Charles and Caroline, who serves as the voice of the entire series, and eventually married Almanzo Wilder Mary Ingalls Kendall: Charles and Caroline's pretty and ultra-responsible oldest daughter, who longs to be a teacher and goes completely blind at the age of 15. She later marries Adam Kendall, although this is a fictional piece created just for the TV series Carrie Ingalls: The cute third daughter of Charles and Caroline, who didn't have a large role but was always portrayed as a very sweet little girl Grace Ingalls: Charles and Caroline's fifth and final child, who was only about 4 when her role in the series ended Jack: the loyal, lovable family dog, who was replaced by Bandit when he died in Season 4. Albert Quinn Ingalls: The fictional adopted son of Charles and Caroline--an orphaned runaway whom the Ingalls meet while living temporarily in Winoka James Cooper Ingalls: The fictional adopted son of Charles and Caroline, who comes to live with them after the death of his parents Cassandra Cooper Ingalls: The fictional adopted daughter of Charles and Caroline, and the younger sister of James Supporting characters include: Miss Eva Beadle: The first teacher of Walnut Grove, who taught Laura to read and helped Mary realize her dream to teach Dr. Hiram Baker: the loyal town physician Reverend Robert Alden: The town's devout and hugely caring Church minister Mr. Isaiah Edwards: The mountain-man/drifter-turned-farmer who settled in Walnut Grove, who had a drinking problem and, despite his happy-go-lucky exterior, had a lot of emotional turmoil in his life Grace Snider: A widow and town postmistress who marries Isaiah and adopts three orphaned children with him John Sanderson Edwards: the oldest adopted son of Isaiah and Grace, who lives with them after the death of his widowed mother, and becomes a writer Carl Sanderson Edwards: Isaiah and Grace's second adopted child, brother of John and Alicia Alicia Sanderson Edwards: The sweet youngest adopted child of Isaiah and Grace, and the younger sister of John and Carl Lars Hanson: The beloved founder of Walnut Grove, and proprietor of the Hanson Lumber Mill, where Charles and Isaiah worked Nels Oleson: father and proprietor of the mercantile (general store). Harriet Oleson: The rude, gossiping woman who spoils her children rotten and has a perpetual hold on her ever-patient husband Nellie Oleson Dalton: The bratty oldest child of Nels and Harriet, who butts heads with Laura throughout their childhood and later marries Percival Dalton (another fictional event). Willie Oleson: Nels and Harriet's youngest child, who is mischievous but has more of his father's kindhearted traits; eventually marries Rachel Brown Adam Kendall: Mary's husband, who is also blind and wins her heart by teaching her to reclaim her life when she first goes blind. Has two children with Mary, but they both die in infancy Almanzo Wilder: Laura's charismatic husband, a farmer who has two children with Laura, one of whom dies in infancy John Carter: A blacksmith and family man who moves from Walnut Grove to New York in Season 9 with his wife and two sons, moving into the Ingalls house when they relocate to Iowa. Sarah Carter: A newspaper editor and loving mother, wife of John Carter. Jeb Carter: John and Sarah's oldest child, fairly underdeveloped, but always a good kid Jason Carter: John and Sarah's adorable, endearing youngest son who was often Michael Landon's go-to kid for comic relief in some of the darker episodes from Seasons 9 and 10 Jenny Wilder: the sweet, effervescent fictional niece of Laura and Almanzo, who comes to live with them permanently after the death of her father, Almanzo's brother Royal. Nancy Oleson: A young girl that Nels and Harriet adopt once Nellie is grown; a monstrous, manipulative child who has her mother wrapped around her little fingermoreless
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    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

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    CBS (ended 1994)
    "Space... The final frontier... These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: To explore strange new worlds... To seek out new life; new civilisations... To boldly go where no one has gone before!" Monologue of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the opening credits Star Trek: The Next Generation is a science fiction show with some action and drama, that presents the watcher with a series of adventures from the crew of the USS Enterprise. The Enterprise is an explorer spaceship composed of a mix of different characters, from various races and cultures, whose crew is on a quest to discover the galaxy secrets and specially their inner secrets.moreless
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    General Hospital

    General Hospital

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    ABC
    General Hospital, the multi Emmy Award-Winning drama series hailed by critics as the 'The Greatest Soap Opera of All Time', will celebrate 50 years of broadcasting in 2013. The tradition of passion, intrigue, and adventure takes place in the fictional town of Port Charles, set in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves, and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. And, as always, love and danger continue to abound whether on the docks, in the ER, at brownstones, or trespassing on Quartermaine property with contemporary story lines and unforgettable characters. In the past several years, General Hospital has been praised by national organizations for elevating the public awareness of several important social issues. It has received three SHINE awards for its continued contribution to the awareness of sexual responsibility. The Ryan White Foundation presented its 1996 Ryan's Angels Award to "General Hospital" for the moving and thorough examination of HIV/AIDS through the characters of Robin, Stone, and the Nurses' Ball. The show was further honored by the American Red Cross for its HIV/AIDS-related storylines. Several other prestigious awards have been bestowed upon "General Hospital" for confronting sexual child abuse, organ donation, and other social issues as well. The program inspired Port Charles, the spin-off series that premiered in June 1997, and ended October 2003. In 2007 the 3rd spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift premiered which revolves around the interns and the doctors working the night shift at the hospital and ended October 2008. GH has had lots of movie and tv stars (and those in the making) over the years such as Demi Moore, Jack Wagner, Vanessa Marcil, Elizabeth Taylor, Ricky Martin, Rick Springfield, John Stamos, among others, as well as other soap opera stars. General Hospital is the longest-running dramatic serial on the ABC Network, and is the longest-running daytime drama produced on the West Coast. In May of 2000, General Hospital made Daytime Emmy history as the only Daytime drama to ever receive the prestigious Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama series a record seven times, marking the show's fifth win in six years (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000). It had also garnered the Emmy Award as Outstanding Daytime Drama Series in 1980-81 and 1983-84. In the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of TV Guide, General Hospital was hailed as the "All-Time Best Daytime Soap." General Hospital was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. General Hospital currently airs Monday-Friday (2:00-3:00 p.m., ET; & 1:00-2:00 p.m., PT) on the ABC Television Network. GH also reruns current episodes at 10pm, 3am, and 10am-as well as a weekend marathon on SOAPnet, the 24 hour Soap Opera Network.moreless
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    Neighbours

    Neighbours

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    Network Ten
    Neighbours is a weekday soap opera exploring the lives and relationships of the residents of Ramsay Street in Erinsborough. Now in its 26th year of production, Neighbours is Australia's most successful television program, not to mention being a hit world-wide. Neighbours has already hit the 6000th episode mark and looks set to continue serving up the laughter, tears and drama that has taken the world by storm. The show is currently produced by FremantleMedia Australia. Reg Watson is the man who created the show. Music tracks provided to the show are done so by Mushroom Music Publishing. Animals appearing on the show are provided by Animal Actors. The current network's drama executive is Claire Tonkin and the network's publicist is Paula Lucarelli, these associations and people are credited at the end of each episode. Neighbours originated on Australia's Seven Network in 1985, then moved to Network Ten from 1986-2010. In 2011 it moved to one of Network Ten's free-to-air digital channels, Eleven, where in currently airs Monday-Friday at 6:30pm. It should be noted that this episode guide runs at the same pace as the episodes originally air in Australia. For New Zealand the guide is approximately 3 weeks ahead (15 episodes). In the UK and Ireland the guide is approximately 9 weeks ahead (45 episodes). The end credits of each episode show the entire main cast and any main cast that have moved from starring in the show, to take on a recurring role, even if they didn't appear in an episode. The episode guide however only contains the cast specific to the episode, along with the crew credited for appearing on the show. Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson) is the only current cast member to appear in the first episode and remain on the show, although had left in 1992, before returning in 2005. He lives at number 22, with his daughter Lucinda 'Elle' Robinson (Pippa Black) her boyfriend Lucas Fitzgerald (Scott Major) and Donna Freedman (Margot Robbie). Number 24 is the home of the Ramsays donated to them by the Salvation Army. Here brother & sister Harry (Will Moore), and Kate (Ashleigh Brewer) live with younger sister, Sophie (Kaiya Jones). Number 26 is were the currently longest serving cast member Tom Oliver lives, as Lou Carpenter. The Napiers also live here, with mother Rebecca (Jane Hall) lives with her son Declan (James Sorensen) and his daughter India (currently played by two twin babies, Alia & Gab Devercelli). Number 28 is the Kennedy's family home, were Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and Karl (Alan Fletcher) live, alongside their adoptive son Zeke Kinski (Matthew Werkmeister) and his friend Ringo Brown (Sam Clark). Sunny Lee (Hany Lee Choi) also lives here. Number 30 or 'The House of Trouser' as dubbed by many of it's residents over the years, is Jarrod "Toadie" Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) home. Were he lives with his adopted son Callum Jones (Morgan Baker). The pair are joined by Dan Fitzgerald (Brett Tucker), Karl & Susan's daughter and Dan's husband, Elizabeth "Libby" Kennedy-Fitzgerald (Kym Valentine), Libby's son Ben (Blake O'Leary) also lives here. Number 32, is the Scully family home, Steph Scully (Carla Bonner) lives here with her son Charlie Hoyland (Jacob Brito) and her mum Lyn (Janet Andrewartha).moreless
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    EastEnders

    EastEnders

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    BBC
    EastEnders began in 1985 as a rival for ITV's Coronation Street. It focuses on the lives of the inhabitants of Albert Square in the rough EastEnd of London. For the past 25 years, EastEnders has entertained audiences with dramatic storylines focusing on real life situations.moreless
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    Perry Mason

    Perry Mason

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    There are few actors so closely tied to a persona than Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. This long-running series was built upon Erle Stanley Gardner´s many novels about a brilliant defense lawyer and his staff, that solved many a crime with surprise witnesses and stern cross-examinations. It was the first mystery series to feature chalk or tape outlines to mark the spots where bodies were found. Filmed almost exclusively in the Los Angeles area, Raymond Burr had Gardner's seal of approval in the role. The cases were usually won by way of pivotal confessions of witnesses, solicited by Perry Mason (Burr's) surgeon-like examination or with last-minute, key evidence brought into the courtroom by private investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper). Della Street (Barbara Hale), Perry´s faithful secretary, was always at Perry's side in the courtroom where hapless Hamilton Burger (William Tallman) was the Los Angeles District Attorney who never seemed to win. As to the myth that Perry Mason never lost, there were two episodes where it did occur... but you'll have to watch to find out. The show was revived in 1973-74, with other actors in the familiar roles (Monte Markham as Mason), and then again with the some of the original cast, in a string of feature length TV films from 1985 until Raymond Burr´s death in 1993.moreless
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    Home and Away

    Home and Away

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    Seven Network
    Home and Away is an Australian series that has been in production since January 1988. It was originally centered around Pippa and Tom Fletcher and the children that they foster, set in the small coastal fictional town, Summer Bay, just north of "the city" - Sydney. Now, however, this classic Australian soap depicts the trials and tribulations, plus the romances, arguments, successes and failures of the people of this town, only one of whom have lived there for the last 22 years, Alf Stewart.moreless
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    Days of our Lives

    Days of our Lives

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    NBC
    Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives...

    For over forty years, those words, spoken by the late Macdonald Carey, have introduced and underscored one of daytime drama's rare mainstays. NBC's Days of our Lives, will celebrate its 48th anniversary on November 8, 2013. It first premiered as a half-hour drama in 1965 and expanded to an hour ten years later. Today, it remains a consistent favorite among viewers of daytime television serials. It is the powerhouse of NBC's soap opera lineup and demonstrates its staying power in television history.

    In its lifetime years, Days of our Lives has garnered numerous Emmy Awards, Soap Opera Digest Awards and People's Choice Awards. The show's success derives from its consistent commitment to excellence in writing and storytelling, supported by an ensemble of performers, and an uncanny knack for anticipating viewer interests. From demonic possessions and baby switches to exciting teen stories and love triangles, Days of our Lives remains a perennial favorite among viewers of all ages.

    Filmed in Burbank, California, Days of our Lives is set in the fictitious midwestern town of Salem. The core families are the Hortons and the Bradys, and the multi-layered storylines involve elements of romance, adventure, mystery, comedy and drama. Original cast member Frances Reid continues to star as Alice Horton.

    Days of our Lives is produced by Corday Productions Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producer, Ken Corday, is following in the tradition of his parents, Betty and Ted Corday, who co-created Days of our Lives and helmed the series for many years.moreless
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    Moonlighting

    Moonlighting

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    ABC (ended 1989)
    When former fashion model Maddie Hayes goes broke and finds that one of her few remaining assets is ownership of the Blue Moon Detective Agency, she is tempted to liquidate it until she meets the quirky employees and gets involved in their even quirkier cases. Moonlighting as a series was plagued by production delays and erratic scheduling. Scheduled episodes were often delayed for weeks and reruns substituted at the last minute. Many in-jokes and short fill-in pieces refer to this and other topical items at the beginning and end of some programs. Episodes 35 - 39 were particularly affected by this, and in their original broadcast contained intros dealing with the slow production pace. ABC Broadcast History March 1985 - February 1989: Tuesdays 9:00 PM April 1989 - May 1989: Sundays 8:00 PMmoreless
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    Knots Landing

    Knots Landing

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    CBS (ended 1993)
    Hoping to ride the crest of its success with Dallas, CBS spun off this series featuring the black sheep of the Ewing Family, Gary Ewing. Gary, a reformed alcoholic remarried his wife, Valene, and moved to the Southern California community of Knots Landing. Originally, the series focused on the four married couples who resided in the cul-de-sac of Seaview Circle in the quiet beach town of Knots Landing.

    In addition to being neighbors, their lives intertwined in other ways. Gary worked for Sid Fairgate, owner of Knots Landing Motors, the local c car dealership. Sid and his wife Karen Fairgate had three teenage children: Eric Fairgate, Michael Fairgate, and Diana Fairgate. The other two couples on the cul-de-sac were young recording executive Kenny Ward and his attractive wife, Ginger, and Richard and Laura Avery. Richard was an obnoxious, aggresive, unprincipled attorney who was always lusting after other women and resented Laura's success selling real estate.

    In 1980, Sid's recently divorced sister, Abby Cunningham, moved onto the cul-de-sac with her two kids, Brian and Olivia Cunningham, and immediately began undermining the relationships of her married neighbors, spreading gossip about affairs, and setting her own sights on Richard Avery. Gary, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, sponsored a new member, Earl Trent, and ended up having an affair with Judy, Earl's passionate wife.

    In the fall of 1981, Sid Fairgate was paralyzed and later died as a result of an auto accident, leaving Karen to run KL Motors with Abby and Gary. Val's mother, Lilimae Clements, came to live with Val to resolve the pain and suffering that she had caused her over the years. Abby started having her sights on Gary, while Val wrote a novel, "Capricorn Crude", that was a thinly disguised chronicle of the manipulations of the Ewing family.

    In 1982-1983, Gary eventually divorced Val, married Abby, and inherited part of Jock Ewing's fortune. Val became quite a celebrity with her book and began dating reporter Ben Gibson. Another plot involved Chip Roberts, who worked for Val's press agent and who was simultaneously having affairs with Diana and Ciji Dunne, a pretty singer. When Ciji got pregnant, Chip killed her, but because of circumstantial evidence, Gary was indicted for the crime. Diana and Chip skipped town together; later she returned alone and moved in with Abby. In the next season, Chip was subsequently caught and convicted of Ciji's murder, escaped from prison, and died in a freak accident at Gary's ranch where he was hiding out with Diana. Meanwhile, Richard's marriage and career were falling apart. Laura wanted to leave him but held off due to her pregnancy and his nervous breakdown. Richard's attempt to open a estaurant, "Daniel", financed by Gary and Abby, was unsuccessful and his philandering with Abby finally caused Laura to divorce him.

    In the 1983-1984 season, Abby continued to build her power base. She had part of KL Motors, was married into Gary Ewing Enterprises, was heavily into the Lotus Point real estate development, and was having another affair- this one with powerful underworld-connected State Senator Gregory Sumner. Sumner was an old friend of Attorney Mack MacKenzie (Karen's new husband), and offered him a job as crime commissioner. When Sumner realized that Mack could be a serious roadblock to his own schemes, he sought to dicredit Mack. Gary began to have an affair with Cathy Geary, who looked exactly like Ciji adn was an excellent singer as well. She was also a convict who was pursued by her ex-husband, Ray. When all cleared up, Cathy lived a normal yet formidible life in Knots Landing.

    The 1984-1985 season brought problems for three of Knots Landing's leading women. Karen was shot by a bullet meant for Gary, and was paralyzed for a period; Abby was taken hostage by St. Claire, whow as eventually killed by Sumner; and Val gave birth to twins (by ex, Gary). The babies were stolen from the hospital and sold in a black market scheme that took an entire season to unravel. Sen. Sumner continued his political machinations, pressuring Mack to drop his investigation of unscrupulous tycoon Paul Galveston (Sumner's father) and trying to force Gary out of the Empire Valley development project. The Senator also made a play for Laura and they were married. Handsome Joshua Rush (son of Lilimae, half brother of Val), entered the scene as a preacher turned successful local TV personality. He wooed Cathy and even proposed to her on the air. Eventually they got married and there were problems from the start.

    In the 1985-1986 season, Cathy was featured regularly on Joshua's show and was receiving more fan mail than Joshua. Joshua had a mental breakdown and was eventually fired from his show. He tried to kill Cathy, but ended up dead himself. Also in this season, young Olivia had a bout with drugs due to all of the stress placed on her by Abby. Val had a rocky marriage to Ben, which ended up with Cathy flirting with him. There were more dirty doings at the Empire Valley project, and Abby's latest trick was Peter Hollinger, an up-and-coming politico who claimed to be Sumner's brother. The season ended with Mack's and Anne Matheson's (who we'll meet in the next season) illegitiate daughter Paige Matheson came to town and Karen getting kidnapped.

    Politics was a major focus in 1986-1987, as Gary ran against Peter and for the Senate and lost both the campaign and his wife Abby to his opponent. This was when Gary took up with Jill Bennett, Peter's sister. Val, on the other hand, was trying to make her marriage to Ben work. When it didn't, Ben left for South America. Karen's kidnapper was Phil Harbet, who wanted to get even with Mack. Sexy, young Paige was causing problems for all. Paige began having affairs with Michael Fairgate and Peter. There was also a continuing story about Olivia's drug problem. Peter also tried to seduce Olivia, before he met a violent end at the end of the season.

    When the 1987-1988 season began, there was a serious investigation of Peter's murder. Abby confessed to cover for her daughter Olivia. Soon after, it was dicovered that Paige did it, but Peter's death was ruled as an accident. Abby had by this time divorced Gary and walked away with $2 million in the settlement. She had also rekindles a long-ago romance with Charles Scott and had plans to marry him, but that was scraped totally. Laura had a baby named Meg and she died of a brain tumor. She was mourned in a two-part episode. With her death, Greg gave Meg to Karen and Mack so they can be her legally adopted parents. Laura's home on the cul-de-sac was taken by a black couple Frank and Patricia Williams and their daughter Julie. They were all hiding in the Witness Protection Program to keep safe from a hitman who was out to get them. The other main story of the season was Gary, Abby, and Karen getting involved in the Lotus Point luxury resort development with shady Manny Vasquez. Manny turned out to be an international drug lord who used the marina for his shipments. Gary continued his affair with pesky Jill, who wanted Gary all to herself. She was fed up with Val getting in the way and tried to do something about it. First, she wrote Val letters to make it look like they were coming from Ben, and she tried to kill Val by making her swallow a handful of sleeping pills and make it look like Val killed herself in the season finale cliffhanger.

    In the 1988-1989 season premiere, Manny was killed by his nephew Harold Dyer, Olivia's love interest, in a kidnapping shoot-out in Mexico. Val survived but Jill continued to plot against her. When everyone found out about what she did to Val, she took revenge by bounding and gagging herself, hopping into Gary's trunk of his car, and died there so he can be accused of her murder! Other main stories of this season included Abby's plot to swindle her partners out of Lotus Point and illegally drill for oil, using the phony "Murakame Cooperation" as a front; several murders resulting from the cover-up; Greg's relationship with the younger Paige; his marriage of convenience to Abby as he vainly tried to restart his political career with the help of PR man Ted Melcher; and a computer theft story involving Michael, Ellen, and Johnny. As the season closed, Abby narrowly avoided exposure for her illegal dealings, was appointed to the U.S. Trade Representative job that Greg had been angling for and left for Japan.

    In 1989-1990, dirty deals were afoot. Ted was accused of murder in the Lotus Point scandal and left for Japan, close on Abby's heels. Pension fund fraud at Oakman Industries (Greg's company) grew into a series of murders involving crooked cop Tom Ryan and investigator Mack, Greg's estranged daughter Mary Frances (killed by her boyfriend), and Greg himself, who was shot and then poisoned in the hospital with tainted pesticides from his own company. Things were certainly looking up for Karen when she began a TV talk show named "Open Mike", only to be undercut by producer Dianne and stalked by two maniacal fans, one of whom turned out to be producer Jeff. Eric came back to town and had constant fights with Michael over his wife Linda Fairgate. Tom Ryan had fell in love with Paige and proposed to her. Anne Matheson returned and tried to steal her daughter Paige's inheritance, and poor Val married charming but violent Danny Waleska (whom we met in the last season). Danny had a serious record during his tenure on the show: He raped his former wife Amanda, terrorized the twins Bobby and Betsy, and ran over Pat Williams while drunk.

    In 1990-1991, Tom left Paige at the altar and Val and Gary were slowly getting back together again. Greg, dying from toxic poisoning, was saved by a liver transplant and took up with Paige again. Danny tried to kill Gary and was killed himself by falling in the Williams' swimming pool while tring to rape Julie. Paige's loser mother Anne tried raising cash by sending herself blackmail notes and asking a former lover for the payoff money, leading to an affair with shady Nick Schillace (aka Dimitri Pappas); the plan didn't work and by the end of the season Anne was homeless and on the streets. Greg's estranged sister Claudia Whittaker showed up with her daughter Kate Whittaker and rejected ex-con son Steve Brewer. Good guy Mack got in trouble trying to protect abused teenager Jason Lochner from his violent father Dick. Widower Frank had problems with his wayward daughter Julie. The season ended with Gary and Val suddenly getting remarried.

    The 1991-1992 season saw Gary teaming up with Joseph Barringer and others in Tidal Energy, a grandiose plan to harness the ocean tides as an energy source. It failed, and Gary lost so much money that he had to sell his beloved ranch. Val began researching a book on Greg Sumner, to the discomfort of many. Linda was murdered and this led to long search for Brian Johnston, who terrorized a number of characters. Homeless Anne worked her way off the streets by posing nude for a men's magazine and eventually launched a successful radio career. Pierce Lawton, another casualty in the Tidal Energy scheme, stalked Greg and other characters in revenge, especially Paige. At the end of the season, Greg startled everyone by giving up the Sumner Group and retiring to a cabin in Montana.

    As the 1992-1993 season began, Gary searched desperately for Val (Joan Van Ark had left the show at this time), who had disappeared while researching Sumner's book. Assuming that she is dead, Gary found solace in Kate's arms. After Greg's departure, the Sumner Group divided up among Claudia, Paige, and Meg. Greg returned from the wood (pursued by Ann, who was trying to use the old false-pregnancy trick to get him to marry her) and plotted to gain control. Another story had Mary Robeson trying to take little Meg away from Mack and Karen. This so unhinged good-guy Mack that he attempted to frame Mary for extortion, then was accused of her murder. As the series ended, a mysterious and murderous man named Nigel Treadwell was trying to wrest control of the Sumner Group. He tried to shoot Greg (unbeknownst to him that Greg was saved by a bullet proof vest he wore under his clothes), and tried to blow up his plane with a hidden bomb.

    The two-hour series finale, which aired May 13, 1993, featured familiar faces that returned to say farewell to the series that had outlasted all the other 1980s soaps. Greg finds out about the bomb and, with the help of Tom and Paige, defuses it at the last second. Val, who had been captured by Treadwell, came back to Knots Landing and into the comfort of Gary, Karen and Mack. Treadwell had also taken Vanessa Hunt as a hostage and his cohort in his power was ABBY! It all ended when Vanessa killed Treadwell when he tried to kill Greg, and Val was free to go back to her old life again. As the show closed, Claudia, Nick and Anne left for Monaco and Abby bought her house on the cul-de-sac. Seeing her for the first time in many years, Val and Karen grabbed their husbands and walked away, thinking that Abby probably hasn't changed!

    To tie up Knots Landing, The cast came back together for a two-part two night reunion movie called "Back to the Cul-De-Sac", which shows how the cast has changed since the final episode. It was a real gathering of sort that really brought an end to an era of primetime soap operas that stood the test of time.

    Spinoff of: Dallas

    First Telecast: December 27, 1979 Last Telecast: May 13, 1993

    Episodes: 344 Color Episodes

    CBS Broadcast History:

    December 27, 1979- March 27, 1980----Thursdays----10:00-11:00 P.M.
    June 5, 1980- March 26, 1981----Thursdays----10:00-11:00 P.M.
    June 4, 1981- March 11, 1982----Thursdays----9:00-10:00 P.M.
    March 25, 1982- March 31, 1983----Thursdays----10:00-11:00 P.M.
    June 3, 1983- June 26, 1986----Thursdays----10:00-11:00 P.M.
    September 18, 1986- November 6, 1986----Thursdays----9:00-10:00 P.M.
    November 13, 1986- March 11, 1993----Thursdays----10:00-11:00 P.M.
    May 13, 1993----Thursday----9:00-11:00 P.M.


    Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better)

    #30 in the 1979- 1980 Season #28 in the 1980- 1981 Season #20 in the 1982- 1983 Season #11 in the 1983- 1984 Season #9 in the 1984- 1985 Season #17 in the 1985- 1986 Season #26 in the 1986- 1987 Season #27 in the 1988- 1989 Seasonmoreless
  • 14
    Bonanza

    Bonanza

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    NBC (ended 1973)
    White-haired Ben was the proud patriarch of the Cartwrights, the family at the center of one of TV's most beloved and long-running series. Their ranch, the Ponderosa, was 1,000 square-miles (600,000 acres) in size and sprawled from mountainous shores of Lake Tahoe to the desert terrain near Virginia City in the Nevada Territory. Ben oversaw his frontier empire with the help of his three sons: Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The series was set in 1859 when the series began and would progress through and following the Civil War.
    ---------------------------------- Series creator and producer David Dortort, who oversaw the series during its 14 year network run on NBC, says he first first got the idea for the series writing the 1953 episode of "Fireside Theatre" titled "Man of the Comstock."
    ---------------------------------- By 1959, NBC wanted a big filmed series to promote the sales of color television sets. NBC was the only network investing in color programs since its parent company RCA owned the electronic color transmitting system used by TV. "Bonanza" was just the type of show the network needed to "show off" its living color. In its initial season, it floundered in the ratings on Saturday nights against CBS' "Perry Mason"; it's said its renewal had a lot to do with its being shot in color. In the second season, "Bonanza" more than held its own in the Nielsens. It was the network's decision to move the series to Sunday nights that allowed it explode into a Top-10 hit.
    ---------------------------------- "Bonanza" differed in many ways from the dozens of other westerns on the air during its run. It relied more heavily on the characters than it did on action--though there was plenty of that. Good and bad weren't always as simple as "black hats" vs. "white hats"; many times, good people didn't live happily ever after. Despite that, Ben imparted a high code of ethics upon his sons. Among the principles: 1-Intolerance and bigotry were not acceptable. The Cartwrights often came to the defense of Indians, Chinese, and others who were the targets of the narrow-minded. 2-Once a man had paid his debt to society and was released from prison, he deserved a clean slate and a chance to start over. 3-The land was sacred. Ben's greatest business headaches came from his refusal to allow his land to be polluted and destroyed for profit. When the Cartwrights cut down a tree for lumber, they planted another. Their environmental concerns remain unique for a television series.
    ---------------------------------- Ben's path to his dream home of the Ponderosa (named for the Ponderosa Pine, plentiful in that area) was a long time in coming. He was a seaman, acting as first mate for Captain Abel Stoddard, when he met his boss' daughter Elizabeth and fell in love. She died after giving birth to first child Adam. Leaving the sad memories behind in the Northeast, he traveled to St. Louis and opened a trading company. He met and married the Swedish stunner Inger Inger Borgstrom who loved horses and shooting. She gave birth to son Hoss en route to the frontier, but was killed by an arrow during an ambush. Moving to New Orleans, Ben became an importer/exporter and fell for Creole beauty Marie DeMarigny. He made her wife number three and finally made it to the West. They established the Ponderosa and she gave him another son, Joseph. Marie died several years later in a riding accident. The story of each of these romance were detailed in individual episodes early in the series' run.
    ---------------------------------- The high mortality rate of women encountered by Ben and his sons, known jokingly as the "Cartwright Curse," became a running gag among comedians and viewers alike. If a female became a love interest to any of the show's men, even money says she'll be sick, dying, or dead by the end credits.
    --------------------------- Location filming kept the series from feeling "studio bound" and gave Bonanza a chance to highlight its color cinematography. Though much was filmed on a huge sound stage at Paramount Studios, scenes were regularly shot on the studio's outdoor "Western Street" and on locations throughout Southern California and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The rising cost of shooting at Paramount eventually forced a move to the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank. To explain the new appearance of Virginia City, Season 12 began with "The Night Virginia City Died" where a huge fire destroyed the "old" town.
    ---------------------------------- Changes inevitably took place among cast members during "Bonanza"'s long run. After several years of complaining about being held back from a movie career, Pernell Roberts was finally sent on his merry way after of Season 6. Prior to that, amid fears of Roberts' departure, Guy Williams was brought in for a few episodes as Ben's nephew Will Cartwright. It's said the cast resented his character being added and he disappeared after five appearances. Beginning with "Sense of Duty" in Season 9, David Canary joined the cast as Ponderosa ranch foreman Candy Canady. He practically became a Cartwright, appearing in roughly a third of the series' total episodes. He disappeared with no mention at the end of season eleven after failing to get a raise from producer Dortort. Young orphaned teenager Jamie Hunter did become a real fourth Cartwright son when he was taken in by Ben in Season 12 and legally adopted in "A Home for Jamie" the next season. In the wake of Dan Blocker's death following Season 13, the cast was beefed up. David Canary returned as Candy (reportedly Michael Landon personally asked him to appear) and Tim Matheson was added a Griff King, a young man paroled into Ben's custody who was hired as a ranch hand.
    ---------------------------------- The loss of Blocker left a hole that simply couldn't be filled. This, combined with the show's move to Tuesday nights after eleven years on Sunday, dealt the series a death blow. Ratings took a nosedive and Bonanza aired it final episode in the middle of Season 14 on January 16. 1973.
    ---------------------------------- After all these years, Bonanza remains hugely popular. Besides the quality of the program itself, having filmed in color has kept it from looking "old". Episodes began to be released by CBS/Paramount on DVD beginning in 2009, and were uncut from their network airing with all the original music intact.
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  • 15
    The Bill

    The Bill

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to The Bill guide at TV.com. The Bill recounts the goings-on within and around Sun Hill, a Metropolitan Police Station located in the fictional Borough of Canley, in east London. Running for over 25 years, The Bill was Britain's longest running police drama series, finally outstripping Dixon of Dock Green on 10 August 2005. It adapted to meet the challenges of the highly competitive world of independent television, evolving from a standard post-watershed police procedural drama, through a period as a twice- and, later, thrice-weekly early evening ratings grabber with stand-alone plots, then as a twice-weekly one-hour drama with ongoing soap-style exploration of the troubled personal lives of its police officers. The Bill reverted to a once a week, post-watershed drama on 23 July 2009, but ITV decided not to renew the show when the contract came up for renewal the following year. The Bill is not your average cop show, but rather an extraordinary police drama that brings each episode to the audience through the eyes of the characters. An excellent cast, supported by some of the country's leading writers and directors and some innovative camera work gives an incredible sense of realism. Other police dramas have been created in an attempt to mirror its conventions and match its success, but none has lasted. The Bill truly deserves its accolade as Britain's most successful police drama.moreless
  • 16
    Agatha Christie's Poirot

    Agatha Christie's Poirot

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    ITV (ended 2013)
    Welcome to the Poirot guide at TV.com. This is a British series which brings to life Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet, whose sleuthing for the purposes of this series belongs in the mid-1930s. Based in London, with the very English Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) as his Dr Watson, Poirot's field of operations ranges around the world. The series has strong story lines, good production and acting, and a real period flavour. Poirot won two BAFTA awards in 1990, then had more BAFTA nominations as Best Drama Series in 1991 and 1992. All of Agatha Christie's seventy-two Poirot stories were produced with David Suchet as Poirot, and the show has been broadcast in more than one hundred countries around the world.moreless
  • 17
    Dallas

    Dallas

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    CBS (ended 1991)
    In the ranks of prime-time dramas, this was one of the biggest. Dallas, the saga of the Ewing Family, began as a five part mini-series in 1978. Throughout its thirteen seasons, many actors passed through the gates of Southfork. In the late 1960's, Peyton Place was a nighttime serial drama success-a novelty at the time. But since then, no P.M. show had caught the soap opera crowd's attention… until Dallas. The show first went on the air for a five week run in early 1978, and then fell into a Saturday nighttime slot later that year. Ratings were fair, but they were nothing compared to when the show moved to Friday nights, when the ratings well didn't run dry for a long, long time. The Ewing family lived at the sprawling South Fork ranch, in hoity-toity Braddock County just outside Dallas. Like any good power family, there was a matriarch and patriarch, and three sons- this core group, their extensive romantic relations, and the Barnes clan of rival oilers were all Jacobs needed to create a self-contained histrionic world of intrigue, dysfunction and passion. Borrowing from Romeo and Juliet, the youngest Ewing boy, Bobby, fell for a beautiful Barnes girl. And with a nod to the biblical Cain and Abel, Bobby and older brother J.R. didn't exactly play nice with each other like you might expect brothers to. Whereas J.R. was nearly a hundred percent scoundrel, Bobby had discernable streaks of honesty and integrity…but that patented Ewing viciousness certainly reared its head once in a while. The South Fork ranch housed Jock and Miss Ellie, the king and queen of South Fork, J.R. and long-suffering wife Sue Ellen, and Bobby and Pamela…though why they all lived under one roof demands a little poetic license, because money certainly wasn't a problem, and it wasn't like there was a whole lot of binding inter-family harmony. Here's just a taste of the drama devices that ensued: insane asylums, car accidents, affairs, illegitimate children, gunfights, fistfights, catfights, lies, drinking problems (both real and imagined), poufy 80's hairstyles for the ladies and best of all, notorious season finale cliffhangers. The most famous, of course, came at the end of the 1979-80 season, when a mysterious late-night intruder shot J.R. in the chest while he was toiling away at the office one night. The resulting "Who Shot J.R.?" publicity raced around the globe, because by that time, Dallas was an international hit in just about every developed country in the world. Odds on the shooter's identity were figured, bets were placed, and theories were construed– since there were about fifteen possible candidates, fans and pundits were kept very busy indeed. Don't read the next part of this sentence if you want to remain one of the few of-age humans who doesn't know whodunit… it was Kristin, J.R.'s scorned sister-in-law and recent romantic entanglement. Dallas was conceived as a show that had plenty of sex and romance for the female audiences, and a lot of cowboy posturing and business intrigue for the male viewers. The formula worked, because by the early 1980's, it was one of the most popular shows in TV history. There were magazine covers galore, a spin-off named Knots Landing about Gary, the middle Ewing son who wasn't seen or heard from much during proceedings at South Fork, and primetime serialization imitators like Dynasty and Falcon Crest. So for the show that kicked off the nighttime drama trend that's status quo today, we tip those ten-gallon hats and breathe a secret sigh of relief that J.R. was just a fictional character who couldn't manipulate us in real life. Because let's be honest, that guy could have taken most of us down. CBS Broadcast History: April 2, 1978- April 30, 1978----Sundays----10:00-11:00 P.M. September 23, 1978- October 14, 1978----Saturdays----10:00-11:00 P.M. October 15, 1978- January 14, 1979----Sundays----10:00-11:00 P.M. January 26, 1979- November 27, 1981----Fridays----10:00-11:00 P.M. December 4, 1981- May 17, 1985----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. September 27, 1985- May 16, 1986----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. September 26, 1986- May 13, 1988----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. October 28, 1988- March 9, 1990----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. March 16, 1990- May 11, 1990----Fridays----10:00-11:00 P.M. November 2, 1990- December 21, 1990----Fridays----10:00-11:00 P.M. January 4, 1991- May 3, 1991----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M.moreless
  • 18
    Cops

    Cops

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    Spike TV
    Now known as the original reality series, COPS hit the airwaves in early 1989, putting camera crews in police cars all across the United States. Adopting the Cinema Verité style of documentary filming, COPS uses no narration, depending completely on the police officers and the footage shot as it happens to tell the story. Each COPS camera crew consists of a camera operator and a sound mixer. The officer is mic'd with a wireless mic directly to the camera and the sound mixer captures the suspects, witnesses and other officers with a boom mic. Multiple crews can be stationed in one area as well as crews working different cities across the country at the same time. Still one of the most popular television shows on the air, COPS moved from the FOX network to Spike TV in the fall of 2013, keeping it's original 8pm time slot on Saturday nights.moreless
  • 19
    The Waltons

    The Waltons

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    CBS (ended 1981)
    This is the story of the Waltons. The show takes place during the Depression and then during World War II. John & Olivia had eight kids, three girls and five boys. One of the boys died at birth; he was a twin to Jim-Bob. John and Olivia's children names are John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, twins Jim-Bob & Joseph, and Elizabeth; Joseph died at birth. John's parents also lived with them - Esther and Zeb. The Waltons was based on the life of the Hamner family. Earl Hamner Jr. was the show's creator and narrator. This show was based on his life growing up.moreless
  • 20
    Cheers

    Cheers

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    NBC (ended 1993)
    Sam (Ted Danson), a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, owns and runs Cheers, a cozy bar in Boston. Somewhat snobby, beautiful and intelligent Diane (Shelley Long) -- forced to become a waitress when her fiance jilts her -- constantly bickers with Sam. Eventually, they fall in love. Several wacky characters make the bar their home-away-from-home, including sarcastic waitress Carla (Rhea Perlman), beer-loving Norm (George Wendt) and Boston letter carrier Cliff (John Ratzenberger) A few seasons later, Sam sells the bar to buy a boat and sail around the world. But his boat sinks and he returns to bartending. Rebecca (Kirstie Alley), the new (more ambitious) manager, hires him back. They love to hate each other and eventually get together as well. Intro Theme: Making your way in the world today takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away? Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, And they're always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name. You wanna go where people know people are all the same. You wanna go where everybody knows your name. Nielsen Ratings: #75 in the 1982-1983 season #13 in the 1984-1985 season #5 in the 1985-1986 season #3 in the 1986-1987 season #3 in the 1987-1988 season #4 in the 1988-1989 season #3 in the 1989-1990 season #1 in the 1990-1991 season #4 in the 1991-1992 season #9 in the 1992-1993 seasonmoreless
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