In 1965, Jeane Dixon told the world there was a special 3 years old child from the Middle East who would revolutionize Mother Earth in 1980 by introducing "an all-embracing faith to mankind". Jeane beamed in 1980, "He's in Egypt now (in 1980). We're going to see him by the mid-1980s. We're really going to be seeing him." In October 1981, Anwar Sadat - the first Arab leader ever to visit the Jewish state - died. Ronald Reagan lamented, "America has lost a great friend, the world has lost a great statesman, and mankind has lost a champion of peace." In March 1981, Ronald Reagan broke the "Fatal 20" curse when he survived shots fired in an assassination attempt outside the Washington Hilton Hotel.
In December 1998, the 4-year production of the DreamWorks movie, 'The Prince of Egypt' could be seen on the big screen. The Dallas Morning News reported, "If DreamWorks has a hit, hundreds of millions of people will 'know' that Moses was once the fun-loving little brother of Rameses, future ruler of Egypt. That image will be reinforced by 26 spin-off books and 3 CDs of music." Consultant Rabbi Burton Visotzky told Jeffrey Weiss, "Jewish tradition says that in each and every generation, each person should see him or herself as though they personally came out of Egypt. That act of imagination means you try to jump into the story." The Dallas Morning News continued, "Moses is the man chosen by God to lead the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. He is an important figure for Christians and Moslems, but he is the marquee name for Judaism's most sacred texts. The movie is part of a grand, 3000-year multifaith tradition of filling in the gaps of the spare biblical narrative."
Back in 1974, Lawrence Laurent of the Washington Post told readers: "A 'spin-off' is the term in the television business to perpetuate a successful production company. The character, usually a supporting actor or 'second banana' who has been around for several years, emerges with his or her own television series. Where the production company has only one show, it now has 2. After that, if the ratings continue to be high, the successful program can once again split itself like an amoeba, and there's no end to the whole process." An example at the time was 'All In The Family' which gave rise to 'The Jeffersons', 'Gloria', 'Maude' and 'Good Times'.
In 1985, Charlton Heston turned down the opportunity to make a run for Alan Cranston's senate seat so he could appear on 'The Colbys', a spin-off of 'Dynasty'. Chuck told the Associated Press, "The part was very attractive. I'd at least have an opportunity to play in what you'd call a domestic context. I've played a lot of great, extraordinary men. Men like Marc Antony, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Cardinal Richelieu.
"I suppose 25% of my roles have been historical characters. Another 25 to 30% have been set in centuries other than our own. I've played prophets, kings, cardinals, astronauts and geniuses. It's interesting to be in a place where you wear a tie and pour coffee and not have to lie there and paint the Sistine Chapel. Half of the films I’ve been in I never wore pants, and when I did wear pants they were often of mail (made of metal). My wife is a modern 20th-century woman, not Cleopatra. I wanted to do something contemporary for a change. Once you've played a 16th-century cardinal you're asked to play an 11th-century Spanish knight, then a 14th century genius. Even when I was in a comedy, 'The Three Musketeers', the director told me to play it absolutely straight."
Chuck described the part of Jason Colby: "Jason Colby is a man who's strong and powerful and goes aggressively after what he wants. He's also a family man and sensitive, but you know he's strong. When I wrote his biographic profile, which I do for every character I play, unless they're extremely well known, I said when it came to paintings his tastes ran to Remington, Russell, George Catlin and Andrew Wyeth. My own tastes are for Wyeth, my favorite living American painter, and early American painters. I wouldn't say Remington and Russell are my favorite painters, but they're appropriate for Jason Colby. Jason Colby, like his grandfather, is a man who likes to go through his own front door every night feeling justified."
In 1979, 'Knots Landing', a spin-off of 'Dallas' went on air. Although 'Knots Landing' was David Jacobs' original idea, the network demanded 'Dallas'. When 'Dallas' became successful, it gave birth to 'Knots Landing'. Don Murray elaborated, "At first we were compared with 'Dallas' because, after all, that's where we got our start. Two of our principal characters (Gary and Valene) were brought over from 'Dallas' at the beginning. 'Dallas' is escapism and fun. It attempts to get people to forget their own problems. But we try to keep 'Knots Landing' as realistic as we can. I believe our show is adultly done. We provide realistic interrelationships among 4 middle class families, millions of whom tune in. That alone is a significant departure from 'Dynasty' and 'Dallas' which deal with enormous wealth and spoiled, selfish people."
In 1980, Donna Mills joined the cast of 'Knots Landing'. "Abby was introduced to stir up trouble. To make things sort of cook and bubble. It's important that the writers keep coming up with interesting and nasty things for Abby to do," Donna made the comment. "The thing that women seem to like about her is her strength. The way she goes after what she wants. She doesn't let anybody get in her way or tell her what to do. Women seem to admire that. She wants to be in the Ewing family. That's where the money and power are. Also, she’s fallen for Gary so she's vulnerable in that area."
In the 1982-83 season, "She's going to have some money...Gary and I will move in together and he inherits $1 million from Jock Ewing. What it does is gives us a little more glamor. 'Dallas' has it and I think it helps. Larry (Hagman) and I have had a few laughs whenever J.R. makes a guest appearance on 'Knots Landing.'"
By the 1984-85 season, "She likes power more than money. She's got enough money. It's power and achieving that she most wants. Abby likes to be in control of things. In her own way, she loves Gary, and it's not just because he's got the money. She doesn't want to lose him, and she'd also never do anything to hurt him. She would never want him to know about her affair with (Senator) Greg Sumner."
Of the criticisms about soap operas in general, "It's so ridiculous. I used to think it was funny, but it's not funny any more. These kinds of shows are really morality lessons because the bad people never win. People can see that they never get their way or triumph."
Scott Valentine starred in 'Family Ties'. He told Vernon Scott of United Press International in 1986, "NBC has asked me to play Nick in another spin-off ('the art of being nick') next spring (in 1987). The sets are already being built on the Paramount lot. The premise of the show has Nick working as a counsellor, a big brother figure, at a recreational center for young kids. They're even talking about having some of the characters from 'Family Ties' appear in some of the segments...If this new spin-off becomes a series I won't be returning to 'Family Ties' next season (1987-88). But sometimes I wonder if Nick is a strong enough character to carry a series of his own. Nick is a lovable, nice guy but with his limited vocabulary and monochromatic demeanor I'm not sure he carries enough weight. There is always an element of luck about a TV series."
By 1999, one media buyer made known, "I think in an environment that has 120 shows, networks are trying to extend brand names. For example, by having a 'time of your life' spin-off of 'Party of Five', 'Party of Five' viewers will go and sample the show." The series starred Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jennifer Garner. Another media buyer added, "People who are watching 'Law & Order', are probably going to check out 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'. If they had called it something else without that 'Law & Order' brand, it would be much harder to get it sampled."