Knots Landing was a spin-off from the hit soap opera Dallas which centred around the lives of four married couples living in a cul-de-sac, Seaview Circle, in a fictional coastal suburb of Los Angeles.
The show ran from the end of 1979 to 1993 airing for 14 seasons totalling 344 episodes. By the time it ended it had become one of the longest-running primetime dramas on American television.
Though Knots Landing became a spin-off from Dallas, by including the character of Gary Ewing (Ted Shackelford), brother of J.R (Larry Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) it had actually been created by David Jacobs before Dallas aired.
When David Jacobs pitched his idea to CBS for Knots Landing back in 1977 it was rejected and instead they gave the go ahead to Dallas which began in 1978. Once Dallas became a hit CBS gave the green light to Knots Landing.
By the 1988-1989 season Knots Landing had started to beat Dallas in the ratings partly due to the more dramatic storylines they introduced and the inclusion of new characters.
As the show moved into the 1990’s though its popularity had begun to wane with its big budget being cut to such an extent that in its last season the highest paid actors were asked to appear in only 15 of the 19 episodes, with the exception of actress Michele Lee, as the production company could not afford to pay them.
Michele Lee played Karen Fairgate Mackenzie who was the only actor to appear in all 344 episodes with the show’s creator seeing the character ‘as the tent pole, saying the things he wanted to say and being the voice of the viewer’.
Knots Landing will be remembered by its fans as the place where everything seemed to happen to those who lived in Seaview Circle!
By the end of its run the characters had been through the mill with storylines including rape, murder, kidnapping, assassinations, drug smuggling, corporate scheming and criminal investigations!