Guest Author - Alice Rienzo
Santa Barbara, an award-winning television soap opera, broadcast on NBC from Monday, July 30, 1984 through Friday, January 15, 1993. The serial drama originally aired at 3:00 pm EST but was rescheduled toward the end of its run in the 12:00 time slot. Santa Barbara was famous for crafting a central plot around which many of the other stories revolved. The show covered the exciting lives of the wealthy Capwell family of Santa Barbara, California.
The murder of Channing Capwell Jr. took place five years before the series actually began, at which point Joe Perkins, jailed for the murder, is paroled and returns to Santa Barbara determined to prove his innocence and renew his relationship with Kelly Capwell, sister of the victim. Over the course of the soap, almost every major character would be accused of the murder of Channing Capwell Jr. or find his or her life involved in it one way or another.
Santa Barbara had many critics, but remained a wildly popular soap opera. At times, the behind-the-scenes action was more riveting than the onscreen storyline. Bridget and Jerome Dobson had creative control of the show's storylines until they were locked out of Santa Barbara's NBC offices in 1988 after the Dobson's repeated attempts to fire then head writer, Anne Howard Bailey. The Dobsons filed a $53 million lawsuit against NBC and New World Television. Even though the show won three Daytime Emmys in a row for Best Daytime Drama, momentum had slowed considerably. The first of those wins involved a mini-melodrama of its own as the extremely controversial Jill Farren Phelps shared the win with Bridget Dobson, who raced on stage and captured the trophy a few seconds before Phelps could reach the podium - such a sweet sort of revenge!
Ratings continued to collapse as more and more affiliates canceled the program. The final episode aired in January 1993. In the finale, Sophia and C.C. Capwell moved towards reconciliation, Kelly found love with Connor McCabe, Andie Klein aimed a gun at the attendees of a wedding. The final shot consisted of executive producer, Paul Rauch, standing in front of the camera, smashing a cigar under his shoe, and walking away - clearly making a bold statement of his disgust.
Broadcast: Monday, July 30, 1984 – Friday, January 15, 1993
Episodes: 2137 episodes
Creators: Bridget and Jerome Dobson
Production Companies: Dobson Productions, New World Television
Executive Producers: Bridget and Jerome Dobson (1984-1988, 1990-1992), Jeffrey Hayden (1984), Mary-Ellis Bunim (1984-1986), Jill Farren-Phelps (1988-1990), John Conboy (1990-1992), Paul Rauch (1992-1993)
Writers: Bridget and Jerome Dobson, Sheri Anderson, Kim Beyer-Johnson, Bettina F. Bradbury, Richard Culliton, Charlotte M. Dobbs, Christopher Dunn, Josh Griffith, Robert Guza Jr., Hoyt Hilsman, C.L. Johnson, N. Gail Lawrence, Pamela K. Long, Joan McCall, Patrick Mulcahey, Lynda Myles, Charles Pratt Jr., Thom Racina, Pete T. Rich, Michael Russnow, Frank Salisbury, Courtney Sherman, Jack Turley, Michele Val Jean
Directors: Rick Bennewitz, Gary Bowen, Peter Brinkerhoff, John J. Desmond, Ellen Falcon, Bill Glenn, Michael Gliona, Norman Hall, Grant A. Johnson, Bob LaHendro, Stephen Messer, Karl Messerschmidt, Gordon Rigsby, Robert Schiller, John Sedwick, Nicholas Stamos, George Thompson, Andrew D. Weyman, John C. Zak
Music: Joseph Harnell, Anthony R. Jones, Dominic Messinger, Randy Padgett, Jill Farren Phelps, Art Phillips, Rick Rhodes