Believing "the time is right", Esther Shapiro told the press in 2011 of the proposed big-screen remake of the 1980s TV series, 'Dynasty'. "(It requires) not an extraordinary budget, but it will take a few bucks to put it together." 'Rolling Stone' magazine reported in 1984, the 'Dynasty' set costed $600,000 to decorate. Another $15,000 an episode had been budgeted for clothes.
At its peak in the 1984-85 TV season, 'Dynasty' averaged 25.0% households ratings and 37% audience share. Around the world, 'Dynasty' was watched, 'The Washington Post' noted, "to the tune of 100 million regular viewers in 70 countries." Richard Shapiro added, "After we stopped producing new episodes, we were astounded by the staying power of the show and its characters. We knew it was popular, but when it hit worldwide syndication, it took on a life of its own. It is still extremely popular around the world, so unlike a lot of American-made movies, we think it might even play stronger globally than it does at home (in the U.S.)."
Its popularity had spawned a 'Dynasty' brand of jewelery, clothing, perfume, sunglasses, sheets and towels, luggages. However Esther Shapiro cautioned at the time, "We aren't going to get too carried away. I mean, how many $25,000 diamond Dynasty tiaras can you sell?" By the 1987-88 TV season, 'Dynasty's' average ratings fell to 14.3% of the 88.6 million American households with TV sets. In its final season, 1988-89, 'Dynasty' averaged 10.4% households ratings, behind 'Baby Boom' (13.5%) but still in front of 'Something Is Out There' (8.8%); 'Almost Grown' (8.7%); 'Coming of Age' (8.4%) and 'Beyond Tomorrow' (3.1%).
Esther Shapiro continued, "Nostalgia has always been big, but we want to take it a step further. We want to go back (to the 1960s) to the beginning with these characters and use the film to trace their roots. It will give us the opportunity to start fresh, without the constraints that television placed on our characters in the series." Richard Shapiro made the point, "In a way, these characters were prisoners in television.
"We were always constrained by the smaller budget of a TV series, and all the standards and practices that governed the content of the show. In the movie, if we want to have some James Bond style action, we can afford to do that. If we want to have a steamy love scene, we can do that. If we want to go a few steps beyond what they would allow on 1980s TV, we can move ahead those few steps, and then some."
On 'Dynasty', Pamela Bellwood played Claudia Johnson. She spoke to 'People Weekly' in 1984, "I don’t see how anyone could complain about being on 'Dynasty' for the amount of time it involves. We have a very large cast, the story is always rotating, and the time involved is really minimal in terms of the benefits you get." Linda Evans told 'Entertainment Weekly' in 2006, "There were so many cast members, so you couldn’t be in everything.
"Basically there were two camps, the Carrington camp and the Colby camp. John (Forsythe) and I loved working in the morning and Joan (Collins) always took over in the afternoon. It's a really great way to do a series." Joan Collins mentioned in 1984, "But I accept that people see me as notorious. I'm very ... outgoing, and I love to dress up to the nines. I know I get a lot of attention. It's like this: I love to work, but I also love to play. I go out to dinner at least twice a week, and I go to parties at least that often as well. I work 2 or 3 days a week, all day long, and after that, I will not go home and sign checks."
In 2011, the Richard Shapiro's novel, 'Tobacco Brown' was published. He made the comment, "Cognitive science assures us that the mind continues to grow if you use it. Mine, I have to confess, has taken itself places I never dreamed it would. 'Tobacco Brown' is nothing like I've ever written (or read) … That's how cognitive science sees it. For all of our lives we have no contact - none, zero - with the 95% of our mind-brains that formulate every action we take, every thought we are about to have.
"It does, though, pass along some stingy bit of it to the raggedy 5% we call consciousness. If you're interested, why don't you have a look into (George) Lakoff and (Mark) Johnson ..." Esther Shapiro maintained, "And 'Dynasty' was more revolutionary than you'd think, because popular wisdom had it that no one watches shows about the rich and no one watches shows that feature unsympathetic characters and no one watches shows that feature middle-aged women as stars."
Aaron Spelling stated, "I wasn't surprised that the show became a hit – although there was no way I knew it would become the phenomenon it is." Douglas Cramer stressed, "We walk a fine line, just this side of camp. Careful calculations are made." Richard Shapiro hinted at the time, "And the movie will be the old 'Dynasty', of course, but with horns.
"We're taking the 'Dynasty' family to places they’ve never been before. It's fun, because the fans of the show will know from the series where each of the characters end up, eventually, but what they won’t know is how they get there. There will be some very unlikely twists and situations, and people will not be expecting a lot of what we’re planning. We’re going to do a lot of coloring outside the lines."