David Jacobs told the 'Wall Street Journal' in 1989, "There was never anything bigger-than-life about 'Knots (Landing)'. When you watch 'Dallas', you're watching them. We thought it might be satisfying for the audience to see people as rich as this as miserable as this. When you watch 'Knots', you're watching us." Karen Heller of 'Democrat and Chronicle' added, "The rich and the powerful have always been popular in literature.

"With television, as with movies, it just took some time for the medium to catch up. Shows about the working and middle classes were highly popular in television's early years ('The Honeymooners', 'Father Knows Best') just as early silent movies were more attuned to their audiences." Clinical psychologist Dr. R. David Kissinger believed, "People are fascinated with other people. These soaps mirror real life situations. It's like eavesdropping.

"People do seem to be interested in sex and sexual relationships and with who's seducing whom. People are pretty naturally curious about people and how they live their lives. And it's safe to be involved with the Ewing family." Social worker Robert E. Stone remarked, "I think there's some attraction in being able to look in on the details of another person's life."

Karen Heller noted, "Soaps don't do well in rerun, partly because they have already been seen by faithful viewers, partly because – unlike sitcoms and other dramas – episodes of soaps must be seen in proper order to be easily understood." 'Knots Landing' drew the biggest audience in the 1984-85 season, finishing the year end ranked 9th with 20.0 ratings points.

CBS immediately commissioned for next season's episodes. Harvey Shephard of CBS explained, "First of all, they're ('Knots Landing', 'Falcon Crest' and 'Dallas') all in the Top 10 and we see no threat to that status on the horizon. Secondly, renewing these serials early gives the producers of each show a chance to plan their long-term story lines, as well as their season-ending cliffhangers. It's rare to have that sort of luxury, but with these 3 shows being so popular, we can plan more than a year in advance."

However Harvey Shephard also cautioned, "Every television show reaches a point where it experiences audience decline, usually after 5 or 7 years. When a show with key individuals has been on for so many years, you sort of run into dry spells as far as storytelling avenues are concerned. But the shows still do very well (at the time). 'Knots Landing' consistently wins its time period; I think it's the only one that hasn't experienced an audience decline. I think too much has been made of the erosion. The soaps do play strongly to women – particularly those over, say, 35."

Joel Segal of Ted Bates Advertising observed 'Knots Landing' was ranked the 5th most favorite show on television among women 18 to 49 years old in 1985. Mike White of Needham Harper Worldwide, Inc. advertising agency argued, "There's probably nothing surprising about the ratings trend. Virtually everything comes and goes – comedies, Westerns. We use up television programs so fast.

"With the soaps, you probably get tired of watching the same casts of characters going through basically the same kinds of problems. Or maybe it's the whole titillation thing, which was one of the reasons for their success. Titillation that is continual isn't titillating anymore; it's boring. These shows also lose their believability. They get more and more bizarre, and after a while you say, 'I don’t need this.' One economic factor is that the soaps don't do well in repeat episodes. That's what keeps them from proliferating, because they're basically one-shots."

Earl Hamner begged to differ, "I can only speak for 'Falcon Crest', but I do not think its (soap operas) death is imminent. We have been told to go ahead with the 'bible' for next season (1986-87) and to start setting directors, which is a healthy sign of life. In 'Miami Vice', we're up against the steamroller of all time, yet we've been able to maintain a very decent audience. We still get 30, 33 shares, which is damn good.

"In general, we are also kind of tied to the apron strings of 'Dallas', because we inherit the audience from their time slot. But when you spot the ratings going down, you examine it and see what you can do. For instance, later this month (March 1986) we'll be introducing a new character, which I think will raise the temperature a bit: The daughter of Chao Li, the major domo at Falcon Crest, who arrives from Communist China and gets involved in an uncharacteristically uncomplicated love story.

"Then, too, since we have superb actors, we can more fully explore their characters' emotions. Now, most of the time, I will admit, we explore them on the bed, but our shows aren't totally written from the groin." David Poltrack discovered, "There's a fairly substantial hard-core audience for these shows as long as the plots and characters are kept fresh. One of our (CBS) strongest points is serial drama and our 3 series rank among the highest shows in television in terms of week-in and week-out loyalty. Another misconception is that the NBC audience is more affluent. We are the leaders in adult households $40,000 plus … And we would argue that income is a better indication of product consumption than age."

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