Valley of the Dolls

(ended 1994)



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Valley of the Dolls

Show Summary

Based on the best-selling novel of all time...In a world of glamour, temptation, deals and deception, three young women will struggle to realize their dreams. Hollywood, the ultimate fantasy, where success and ambition are everything, and only the strong survive. Neely O'Hara: a triple threat, singer/dancer/actress, she'll let nothing stand in her way. Anne Welles: she left her home in the Midwest to become a player behind the scenes. Jennifer North: born into a business she hates, she won't be able to resist it's lure. Helen Lawson: Jennifer's mother, a star who's seen it all and keeps on playing. Their lives, their careers, their men. Young, beautiful, ambitious, searching for ultimate fulfillment in a world, where friendship may be the only way to survive...

This syndicated late-night soap opera was loosely based on Jacqueline Sussan's best-selling novel, and the 1967 cult/camp classic film, "Valley of the Dolls". The steamy soap was test marketed in only 13 cities, airing nightly Mon.-Fri.

The show never actually made it to national air across the country as the production company New World decided to cancel the project. However, the show did air for 13 weeks with 65 episodes in those selected cities.

The show aired following the "Late Show with David Letterman" on several CBS affiliates.

Susann's novel not only spawned the film and this short-lived soap, but a semi-sequel, "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" in 1970, and a 2-part, 4-hour 1981 TV-Miniseries.moreless
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  • This syndicated late-night soap opera aired for 13 weeks (Mon-Fri) in select cities across the U.S. in 1994. Based loosely on the trash/camp film and the best-selling novel by Jacqueline Susann, it lasted 65 half-hour episodes before being canceled.moreless

    Set in L.A., "Valley of the Dolls" took a sleazy look at Hollywood through the eyes of three beutiful rising starlets, and an aging actress who's star was fading fast.

    Innocent Anne Welles (Sharon Case, Young & Restless) arrived in L.A. from Wisconsin and eventually befriended and became roommates with Neely O'Hara(Melissa De Sousa, The $treet), a tough singer/dancer/actress powerhouse from the Bronx, and spoiled rich girl Jennifer North (Colleen Morris, Vinnie & Bobby). Jennifer was the daughter of legendary actress Helen Lawson (played so over the top by Oscar nominated Sally Kirkland, it would make your head spin), and forever resented living in her mother's shadow.

    When Anne arrived in L.A., she fell in love with Tim Burke (Kevin Spirtas, Days of our Lives) who had just been promoted to entertainment agent at a large talent agency. He got her a job in the mailroom there, and a romance developed between them, until she discovered him having sex with another woman. Anne was quickly promoted in the talent agency, and became involved with Allen Cooper (John O'Hurley, Seinfeld), a mysterious businessman. As with Tim, a frigid Anne could not be intimate with Allen. Allen convinced Anne to go away with him to Santa Barbara for the weekend. On the trip, when Anne again pulled away from him, Allen raped her. The rape triggerd a dark secret from her childhood when she was molested by a close famiy friend.

    Neely O'Hara was a tough, but penniless recovering alcoholic and singer/actress/dancer. She paid the bills by working as a waitress/stripper while trying to make it big. She befriended a fellow Bronx native Ray Ariaz (Kamar De Los Reyes, One Life To Live) and fell in love with hotshot producer Seth Stein, who promised to make her a star. Seth often referred to a firey Neely as the next Latino Madonna!

    Jennifer North returned to L.A. after catching her race car star fiancee Jean Claude in a threesome with two women in his hotel shower. Upon returning, Jennifer moved in with her mother, legendary actress Helen Lawson. When Jean Claude showed up in L.A. to beg Jennifer to take him back, he ended up in bed with her mother Helen. A distraught Jenn became so crazed upon catching them, she drove her car right into the livingroom of her mother's mansion! The man that Jenn really loved was real estate agent Peter D'Allesio. Peter was also a recovering alcoholic, who attended AA meetings with Neely. Peter just also happend to be Jenn's phsyciatrist sister Caitlin North's (Lisa Howard, Days of Our Lives) ex-husband. Though Caitlin had remarried with a dentist named Rick, she and Peter were still secretly having an affair. When Caitlin ended their affair to save her marriage, Peter was free to be with Jenn. However, Jenn's life was threatened after she became involved with a sleazy lingerie photographer who owed money to some dangerous drug dealers. When Peter came to Jenn's rescue, he was shot.

    Aging legendary actress Helen Lawson almost resumed an affair with her remarried ex-husband Gordon, when she wasn't busy bedding her own daughter's fiancee. While trying to revive her career, she also became involved in a heated affair with a much younger sexy latin lover.

    Mitch Henry (Milton Selzer, General Hospital), who was Helen's agent, ran the same talent agency that both Anne and Tim worked at. Mitch was involved in a long-term relationship with his gay lover Dennis Ulander (David Stratton). Dolls was one of the first TV soaps to deal openly with homosexuality in an honest and realistic manner. Dennis, a young artist, was crushed when all his paintings were destroyed when his and Mitch's home went up in flames in the Malibu wildfires. When he was gay-bashed outside a nightclub, Dennis's painting hand was injured so badly, that doctors informed him he would never paint again.

    Dolls pushed many envelopes in both the amount of skin it showed and it's adult language. There was tons of male nudity, including an accidental erection in the first episode that the censors missed. Given it's late-night timeslot, it was free to deal with storylines far too hot for daytime soaps.

    Like a bad movie, that's so bad it's good, Dolls was a deliciously guilty pleasure that was worth staying up late for.

    I still have every episode, and my friends and I have a Dolls marathon from time to time. A good time is always had by all. There's lots of booze and food, and of course-dolls!moreless
  • This show had too short a run

    I was eager to see Valley Of The Dolls when it first premiered as I had heard much hype about it. I was not disappointed, the show delivered. I loyally tuned in every night to watch & follow the story. Even when I went out to the clubs on Friday Nights with my friends, I would call from there to see that it was taping, I was hopelessly addicted.

    From the opening to the storylines to the closing theme, I was addicted to this show & couldn't get enough. It was syndicated for the summer of 1994 & ran 13 weeks, after which it completely vanished & was rumored to possibly be picked up again, but alas, that wasn't the case. Eleven years later & i've not seen it anywhere since.

    It bordered on the provocative, but nothing over the top. This remains one of my favorite soaps of all-time & i'd jump at the chance to buy it if it comes to DVD. I'm also proud to say I watched this show & will never forget it. The summer of 94 was special to me, more so, because of this series.

    Vote for Valley Of The Dolls (the series) on DVD