In the 1986-87 TV season, CBS broke a "gentlemen's agreement" by moving the prime time soap 'Knots Landing' up an hour to share the 9:00pm time slot with another prime time soap 'The Colbys' on Thursday nights. To prepare the audiences for the change, the network broadcast 2 separate episodes of 'Knots Landing' back-to-back one week before the head-to-head. 

In the episodes, viewers learnt Gary Ewing would be running against Gregory Sumner for the state senate. However Peter Hollister would be representing Greg in the race. Observers noted subtle changes were made to the show such as the different instrumental opening theme, the different font style used at the start of the episode and in the closing credit, although the main title designed by Gene Kraft were kept and Michele Lee's on-screen haircut. 

In the 1985-86 season, many of the 'Knots Landing' episodes were noted did not list any credits in the closing. At the end of the first episode of the 1986-87 season, there was an announcement, "Hi I’m Ted Shackelford. There's more 'Knots Landing' coming right up." In the second episode, one commercial promoting the 2-hour premiere of 'Dallas' trumpeted, "You remember how Patrick Duffy left 'Dallas'? This season he's back! 

"But one question still remains: Will a mother know her own son (referring to Donna Reed as Ms. Ellie when Patrick Duffy left)?" At the end of the second episode of 'Knots Landing' Donna Mills reminded viewers in her whispery voice, "I'll see you next Thursday - only make it an hour earlier: 9 o'clock, 8 central and mountain. That's Thursday. Don't be late (a pun to its traditional late time slot)." 

On Australian television, channel Ten decided to run the McElroy & McElroy Production of 'Return To Eden' face-to-face with the Reg Grundy series, 'Sons and Daughters' on channel Seven. Set 7 years after the mini-series, Rebecca Gilling played one of the richest women in Australia, Stephanie Harper, the head of a mining empire.Tim Sanders pointed out. "Ours is a totally original idea that developed here locally.

"The only similarities (to the American prime time soaps) that one would draw are the common denominators of wealth, glamor, power, big business - the ones that are implicit to the story. When we set this up it was as a new series, not as just a sequel to the mini-series. It was very much planned in its own right and we consider it to be unique because it didn't follow any previous patterns of other series here (in Australia).

"Where the others (such as 'Sons and Daughters' and 'A Country Practice') shoot 2 hours a week on their budgets, we were inclined to shoot 30 minutes a week. Elements like music, with the whole show originally scored by Brian May, and the wardrobe and sets all had priority and we spent a lot of money on them. We bought our own luxury cars so we didn't have taxi arrivals or obvious hire cars ... the whole thing was conceptually geared to produce what audiences would expect from a world such as this. It will stand on its own as a high quality series in Australia."

Of the budgeted $8 million, over $2 million of the budget was spent on designer clothes, imported cars and $1 million of which was spent on the sets. Wardrobe supervisor Miv Brewer made known, "In 'Return To Eden' we have the ideal vehicle to put real glamor on Australian television. It also gives us the opportunity to expose some of our talented young designers who are well and truly up to the standard of Europe's best."

'Sons and Daughters' told the saga of the working class Palmers of Albert Park, Victoria and the upper class Hamiltons of Dural, New South Wales. Reg Watson insisted, "I suppose subconsciously we're trying to prove that deep down we're all the same no matter where we live." In 1983, the Morrells of Tourak were introduced when Patricia the Terrible, who grew up in a lower middle-class family, married Barbara's brother Steven.

Mary Ward played the matriarch Dee Morrell. Dee revealed she was dying after returning from Europe and demanded a male heir to continue the bloodline and carry on the Morrell name. Barbara's son from her marriage to Roland was regarded an Armstrong, not a Morrell. Steven's wife Caroline could only produce two daughters. Although Dee insisted Patricia's child bearing day was not over, Patricia confessed medically it was impossible for her to provide Dee with a much desired grandson.

In the end, Dee bribed Wayne to change his family name from Hamilton to Morrell by default and to marry her granddaughter, Amanda in order deliver Dee a male heir. Dee told Wayne and Amanda they would never have to work again or relying on handout. In making changes to her will, Dee instructed her solicitor, "I wanted to take every conceivable precaution to make sure that the will is watertight. I plan to have a psychiatric test and get a signed affidavit saying I'm of sound mind. Your part will be to make sure that every legal loophole is covered. My money must go to the right people."

In a scene reminiscent of Laura Sumner's "so long!" on 'Knots Landing' 5 years later, Dee told the lawyer, "I also want you to arrange for me to make a video tape recording to be played back at the will reading. I simply want to make it more personal. My only regret is that I won't be around to see their faces." In her will, Dee left daughter Barbara her jewelery; son Steven and his wife Patricia her portrait since Steven already used up his father's inheritance.

Of her granddaughter Amanda, Dee disclosed, "You'll receive half of my asset plus the house here in Melbourne and the apartment in Sydney on condition, of course, that you give birth to a son fathered by Wayne Morrell within 12 months … If they don't have a son, their share go to charity." In the end, Dee had the last laugh against Patricia, "The remainder of my estate go to two people. They will share the other half of my asset. Also along with Wayne, they will take a third share in my business interest."  The two people were Patricia's rival Beryl and her sister Margaret, whom Patricia did not get along with.

After Dee's death, Steven shocked Patricia when he told her he had a 20-year-old illegitimate son. Viewers learnt the son was a result of an affair Steven, who was married to Caroline at the time, had with his father's secretary, who viewers discovered was 40 at the time and he was 22. Although Andy did not care about money was willing to contest the will in order to give his share to Steven and Patricia.

"You have put me through the most unbelievable hell for that woman (Dee)," Patricia complained. "And if she had her precious grandson, everything would have been fine. We would of have the money, have the house … I was the one she (Dee) was trying to get at." In later episodes, viewers were told Andy was Steven's sister Barbara's husband's son - and not a Morrell.

Kevin Dobson directed 10 of the 22 episodes of 'Return To Eden' shown in 1986 made the comment, "Why is British television interested in 'Sons and Daughters'? It's a bit of cross culture, something from someone else's kitchen, something with a different flavor. A lot of Americans are really into TV, they spend all day watching it so it is something different on the menu. The women in the show are what makes it. I just think it’s great to see an Australian production coming out with good roles for women because there was a time when all the good roles were for men."

In 1985, Patricia flew off to South America for plastic surgery and returned as Alison Carr. Patricia was one of Australian television's legendary characters. She was also one of Australia's most popular actresses Rowena Wallace's most famous role. "I'm surprised, yes," Rowena confessed to being replaced by Belinda Giblin. "It's happened in American shows like 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty'. But it's a first here.

"She's not the sort of character you slide or walk into … but she's fictional, not real and that gives you lots of scope. Any rate, it's all an act." Astrologer Bettina Warde told the press at the time, "It's Rowena's golden year. Rowena will be able to long remember 1985 as being a golden year … she will find gold at the end of the rainbow. And that's no fairy tale."

Jane Seaborn played Katie O'Brien remarked, "Actors can't get sick and I'm of that school actors that thinks if you can walk you can work … even if it means having a bucket off stage. If you are ill, you don't get a chance to recover because you don’t get a decent rest. There are some incredibly long hours and when you're tired you don't do your best work. I won't miss the long hours and getting up at 5.30 to be on location at 6.30.

"I hear so many people say: ‘I just can’t watch crap like that’ just because it’s the trendy thing to say. Everyone’s a bit dubious about joining a soap, but only because they don’t understand the process. We make 4 episodes a week and that’s incredibly fast. What a lot of people scoff at as rubbish is amazingly good for the time we get to do it in. In fact, considering our budgets and time limits, the quality of Australian drama is far better than American soaps like 'Days of our Lives' or 'The Young and the Restless'.

"People tend to lump all soaps together, but Australian drama is in a category all of its own. It’s not fair to compare it with shows like 'Dallas' or 'Dynasty' when they have budgets of hundreds of thousands of dollars per episode." Bevan Lee had said, "The show has worked consistently on the strength of the storyline … 'Sons and Daughters' works because the storylines are riveting, fast moving and strong. It's one of the fastest moving of all the series … We look at human issues (such as domestic violence) counter-balanced against some of the more melodramatic areas the show goes into (a shark followed Wayne or a snake attacking Alison)."

Susan Orr added, "Every week the program's 3 storyliners and script editor discuss the weekly breakdown of the events in the plot. Each storyliner then takes an episode and breaks the story down into scenes. The dialog writers are given the storylines from which they write the scripts by fleshing out the scenes." Don Battye acknowledged, "It's like a huge jigsaw puzzle. The job of the storyliner is the hardest part of the whole show. Not only does the product have to be ready in time to meet the deadline, it has to be entertaining as well."

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