"Television is most enlightening when it becomes a mirror, capturing our most human moments and our most trying situations," Fred Rothenberg observed. George Roy Hill added, "I avoid making fashionable films because it takes me 18 months to complete a film and I'm not smart enough to know what the fashions will be by the time I'd be finished. Yet it's not at all strange for me to be working on a social drama . . . It's always a question of sustaining dramatic interest and tension."

On night time in the 1980s John Forsythe starred in 'Dynasty', "I think there is a place on the air for different variations of an 'art form' . . . I think 'Dynasty' can be a high-ranking series of distinction – with of course, an eye to the commercial market." However Michael Fillerman of Lorimar Productions stressed, "We're living in a more permissive society. Yes, we deal with the 7 deadly sins, but I think we deal with greed as well as lust, power, all the things that we sitting at home like to fantasize about. When people take them (the soaps) too seriously, I've got to say it's their problem. We feel we're providing the audience with a little escapist entertainment. You can't take these shows too seriously. I mean, if you do, then you're in bigger trouble than we are." It was noted, "A true soap is related to the old cliff-hanging movie serials in which the end of each episode leaves the audience at the brink of some new cataclysm." Morgan Fairchild noted, "Most soaps cover all bases – marriage, divorce, infidelity, abortion, childbirth, alcoholism, operations, murder and death."

On 'Falcon Crest', Lorenzo Lamas played Jane Wyman's on-screen grandson. After 3 seasons (1981-84), Lorenzo confessed, "I've been looking for a way to reach my own age group (Lorenzo was 26 at the time). Nobody between 16 and 35 watches 'Falcon Crest'. That age group isn't sitting home watching the tube at 10 o'clock on Friday nights. They're out raising hell. Young people don't see much television anyhow. On the streets it's the ladies from 60 to 80 who recognize me and tell me they like the show." At the time, Lorenzo reasoned, "I'm young and I need a young audience if I want to stick around in this business." 

Lorenzo Lamas was the son of Arlene Dahl and Fernando Lamas. He told Penn Raphaelson of Newsday, "Being around the studios with my parents, watching people succeed and watching them fail, it gave me the kind of radar that's helpful to me now (in 1984), because I can see the land sliding 5 minutes before I gotta split out of the house. It gives me an advantage over actors that are getting their success very quickly."  

Lorenzo took an acting course at the Santa Monica City College in 1975. He said being the son of Arlene and Fernando, "It was somewhat a double edged sword. It got me in the doors, but when you get in there and you're reading for the part, there's no one else to depend on but yourself. It just costs too much money these days (in 1984) for anyone to hire someone because of who they are or who they know. Your talent is your sole agent." Of his role on 'Falcon Crest', "I read for the part against 4 or 5 other people. You walk into this studio with 16 big executives and it's like, 'Let me entertain you'. I mean – you have to . . . You know, casting directors want nothing more than the right person to come into the room for their project." 'Falcon Crest' "gave me a chance to grow and learn about acting while they paid me a salary. Before that I was on a losing string."

Lorenzo's father "taught me that the more professional you are – knowing your lines, being on time, hitting your marks, getting along with the crew, not having a prima donna attitude – all those things guarantee you a certain security, because when you're up for a part and there's a choice between 2 actors, 9 times out of 10 the company will go with the actor that it is the least trouble to work with." While he studied acting, Lorenzo said he also worked a number of jobs including at McDonald’s, "I made hamburgers, served them, mopped the floor and picked up French fries that were days old between the seats. I did everything I had to do to support myself so I wouldn't have to ask my father and mother for money." 

On commercial television, the 3 months February, May and November, also known as "sweep months" were the most competitive in the industry for local market with 200 independent stations surveyed to see what programs Americans regularly watched so advertising rates could be determined. It was reported the 1976 'Charlie's Angels' pilot was one of the most successful movies in TV history. In its first season (1976-77), it was not uncommon for 'Charlie's Angels' to attract 48% share of the audience in its time slot. The show usually averaged 40 million viewers a week. The ratings for the 'Angels in Chains' episode "just went through the roof." In the 1985-86 season, it was not unusual for 'The Cosby Show' to attract 48 or 52% share of the audience. Back in 1967-68, 'The Flying Nun' was also declared "hit of the season" because it was the only new series to be ranked in the Top 20 most popular shows.

In 1980, the Joan Crawford's 1949 film 'Flamingo Road' was made into a TV movie pilot. 'Flamingo Road' was a ratings winner. Its success led to the weekly series. However Cristina Raines told the press after the first season, "I was really surprised when it got picked up because the ratings were not steady at all. They fluctuated. They went from a 20 to a 36 to a 19 – it was up and down and up and down. Nobody really knew where we stood so I thought, well, they'll probably drop us like a hot cake." In 1985, the 1949 film 'A Letter To Three Wives' was also made into a TV movie. The movie won enough ratings to be ranked in the Top 15 in a 3-way tie with 'The Golden Girls' and Arthur Hailey's 'Hotel'.

By 2001, "branding" became the marketing strategy in the television industry. John Cleese told TV Data Features Syndicate, "The television companies now (in 2001) have a very specific idea of what they want, and I think they're largely wrong. I think they understand the audience much, much worse than they think they do. The effect of so many channels, with the audience being broken up and fragmented more and more, is that each channel's trying to create its own individual identity." Tom Fontana believed, "What happens a lot of times in broadcast television is, you go in and pitch an idea, and if they have another successful show, they suddenly only want that kind of show. They start to ask you to lean your show more toward their successful shows. Sometimes, with the broadcast networks, you feel as if their agenda is completely different from yours."

Meryl Marshall-Daniels maintained, "I think branding is a problem. The likelihood that some programs might not fit into a precise brand is challenging. Fresh ideas don’t necessarily identify with a type – they may become a category; they may actually give birth to a brand – but they start out as a novel idea." Don Mischer argued, "They don't – those are basically promotional campaigns. I mean, in the end, we all want to be proud about what we’re doing. What you see happening in television, and it’s just a fact of life, is that television is a business. It’s not an art form, OK? What we see in television is the proliferation of those formats that work and bring in viewers, which is a business decision."

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