In 1984, the pop-culture phenomenon 'Dynasty' went retailing in a big way offering fans a chance to live the 'Dynasty' fantasy with 5 department-store chains opening the Dynasty boutiques. 'The Chicago Sun-Times' reported some 66 nations including the United States were selling the Dynasty products such as the perfume Forever Krystle ($150 an ounce) and the Krystle and Alexis 16 inches tall dolls wearing Nolan Miller's evening gowns, diamond bracelet, ring and earrings (each doll sold at $10,000).

"'Dynasty' has gone from television show to phenomenon," Chuck Ashman declared. "It was the letters plus the Nielsen demographics that proved to us we had a potential $100 million dollar business. 'Dynasty' has been the most popular show for the last year and a half (or since the fall of 1983) with women of all ages from teenagers to grandmothers." Some 70 million viewers were watching 'Dynasty' each week in America.

Reporter Sharon Barrett noted, "In fact, the 'Dynasty' lifestyle has proven so popular with its audience that the Denver switchboard has been swamped with requests for the telephone number of La Mirage, the show's jet-set (but fictitious) tennis club." Since 'Dynasty' made its debut in January 1981, Nolan Miller had received thousands of letters about the gowns and accessories (hats and gloves) and black tie worn on the show.

Delighted, Esther and Richard Shapiro convinced 20th-Century Fox to set up a worldwide licensing to sell the Dynasty merchandise which included lingerie; tuxedo (rental fee between $250 and $450); furs which sold at prices between $5,000 to $200,000; role-playing game; wine and jewelery (costume jewelery as well as gold, diamonds and platinum).

Chuck Ashman also enthused, "And for Christmas (1984) for the executive who may not have had a good year, there will be a gold-framed stock certificate for shares in Carrington Oil, signed by the chief executive officer, Blake Carrington." However, the 'Los Angeles Times' reported, "The company will also market less-expensively costumed dolls made of porcelain for $700 and of vinyl for $125. And to commemorate the birth of Blake and Krystle Carrington's baby, the firm is offering a baby Krystina doll, complete with a birth announcement, for $40."

On reflection, Linda Evans reminded, "The first year, we were opposite 'M*A*S*H' for 13 weeks and we practically went off the air. It wasn't until the 3rd year that we really began building a strong audience." In 1991, the cast reunited for the mini-series 'Dynasty: The Reunion'. Linda Evans acknowledged, "'Dynasty' gave us each so much. It changed our lives and our careers." Joan Collins conceded, "I enjoy my character. I love playing her. I still love playing Alexis." John James who was once in the middle of the Serengeti, recalled, "I thought this is amazing. We're out with the wildebeast, the hippopotamuses, and here's 'Dynasty' blaring away with the generator banging in the background."

Linda Evans continued, "I really was not prepared for the amount of success all over the world that it has become. It has been amazing to experience it. To think it could be successful and to experience it is a totally different thing … It's very strange to have a life of your own, apart from you. I know that there are a lot of people who cannot live the way that the Carringtons live, but basically the major dramas in 'Dynasty' are all about relationships: homosexuality, mental illness, fathers and sons and daughters, husbands and wives, divorce, people who are divorced and their relationship with each other and in a way, in order to entertain, you can't have it everyday life. You get everyday life at home."

In the 1980s, March marked the pilot season on television. It was the time producers started to "put together the right package for the networks". By 1985, one network executive reportedly told one producer after reviewing the package, "Today, standards have changed. You've got the concept. You've got the writers. But you know what you don't got? You don't got James Garner. Having a personality is essential in television."

Sherryl Connelly of 'New York Daily News' reported, "In television-land, as in no other land, Linda Evans, at 40, is considered fresh and hot. Because on television, what's fresh is what's appealing, no matter how long it has been on the shelf. 'New' is risky, and proven appeal is the exclusive quality of the old-timer who has been around long enough to survive both the failure of a series and what is more threatening, the success of one. The real test of success, though, comes with a winning series.

"Each of TV's special personalities has performed the neat trick of making a role particularly his or her own without becoming trapped in its confines. Audra Barkley on 'The Big Valley' became Krystle Carrington on 'Dynasty'. Captain Tony Nelson on 'I Dream of Jeannie' reappeared as none other than J.R. Ewing on 'Dallas'. In other words, audiences keep these stars coming back for more and more."

Susan St. James made the point, "I feel so sorry for Patrick Duffy, who's going to leave 'Dallas' (for one season 1985-86) to do greater things. I had kind of a snob's idea I was just going to hold out for feature films. And then, because I wasn't making the kind of money I was used to, I started doing TV movies. That started me thinking about what I was doing. Here, television really wanted me. Here, at 35, I was still considered a fresh, hot young property. I came home."

In selecting the right TV personalities, the exec proceeded to tell the producer, "Having looks just isn't enough anymore. Or talent. There must be something to the person, over and above what is there on the screen." Susan St. James believed, "People don't want to feel uncomfortable with you in their living rooms. The television personality is a special but ordinary personality. People feel they can relate to you. They understand you. That's why some of the great film actors wouldn't succeed on TV. Too dynamic. Their personalities are too strong to bring into your home on a weekly basis."

Lloyd Garver of 'Family Ties' concurred, "The very thing that helps them on television hurts them in movies. When people go to the movies they don't want to see the person next door. They want to see someone extraordinary. That's the curse of being a millionaire with a long-running series." Casting director Tony Shepherd expressed, "It's hard to define. In my business, though, you develop a sixth sense for it. There must be something so appealing about the person that everyone likes him. That's it. It's likeability. You know. You just know. It's instinct. It has something to do with a twinkle in the eye."

Geri Windsor of M.T.M. Enterprises added, "These are people you welcome into your living room every week. You must like them to do that." Leonard Goldberg argued, "They have a vulnerability, a quality separate and distinct from talent. It's a certain warmth, an indefinable something that makes you root for them." To find a member of the TV aristocracy, "When it is there, it is obvious. This one person comes in for a reading with a certain intensity or perhaps a focus. And it's as if everyone else has been in black and white and, suddenly, this one is in color."

However "People don't like their archetypes screwed with. Both (Telly) Savalas and (Valerie) Harper were too special, too specific in their roles. (James) Garner, though, moves easily through any dimension." Gary David Goldberg insisted, "We call it the 'X factor. If you don't have someone in your show who has the X factor, then you'll never get the chance to see if the show works."

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