Re: what ended dynasty?
posted at 9/24/2010 11:26 PM EDT
The decline of the Dynasty
Dynasty dropped from #1 to #7 in the ratings in a sixth season which featured a lookalike posing as Krystle, introduced Alexis' sister Caress (Kate O'Mara), and launched the spin-off The Colbys. Spurned by Blake, Alexis finds his estranged brother Ben (Christopher Cazenove) and the two successfully plot to strip Blake of his fortune. Steven's budding relationship with closeted Bart Fallmont (Kevin Conroy) is ruined by Adam's business-motivated public reveal that Bart is gay, and the May 21, 1986 season finale (as #4 in week) finds Blake strangling Alexis while the rest of the cast is in peril at the La Mirage hotel, accidentally set on fire by Claudia.
As the seventh season begins in September 1986, Blake stops short of killing Alexis, Claudia has died in the fire, and Amanda (now played by American Karen Cellini following Oxenberg's sudden departure) is rescued by a returning Michael Culhane. Blake turns the tables on Ben and Alexis and recovers his wealth, but loses his memory after an oil rig explosion. Alexis finds Blake and, with everyone believing he is dead, perpetuates his belief that they are still married. Living with a clean slate, Alexis finds herself softening to Blake, and ultimately tells him the truth as he reunites with Krystle. Krystina receives a heart transplant but is kidnapped; Sammy Jo's marriage to Clay Fallmont (Ted McGinley) crumbles and she falls into bed with Steven; Amanda leaves town, and North and South's Terri Garber arrives as Ben's daughter Leslie Carrington. Adam's season-long romance with Blake's secretary Dana Waring (Leann Hunley) culminates in a wedding, which is punctuated in the May 6, 1987 season finale by Alexis' car plunging off a bridge into a river and the violent return of a vengeful Matthew Blaisdel. Dynasty dropped to #24, and completely out of the top-30 in the 1987–1988 eighth season.
With The Colbys cancelled, Jeff and Fallon return for Dynasty's eighth season, their marriage now falling apart again. Matthew, returned from the dead but troubled by headaches, holds the Carringtons hostage in hopes that Krystle will run away with him. Steven ends the siege by reluctantly stabbing his old friend to death. Alexis is saved by a handsome and mysterious stranger, Sean Rowan (James Healey); she marries him, not realizing that he is Joseph's son and Kirby's brother, bent on revenge. Steven and Sammy Jo's reconciliation is short-lived as the pursuit of children unravels Adam and Dana's marriage. Sean begins to manipulate and destroy the Carringtons from the inside, with he and Dex fighting to the death in the March 30, 1988 season finale. Blake comes home to find Krystle missing and their bedroom in shambles.
The ninth and final 1988–1989 season brought a move from Wednesday to Thursday, and new Executive Supervising Producer David Paulsen, who took over the plotting of the series. Evans appeared in only a handful of episodes at the start of the season as an ailing Krystle seeks brain surgery in Switzerland but is left in an offscreen coma. In a money-saving move, Collins was contracted for only 13 out of the season's 22 episodes; former Colbys character Sable (Stephanie Beacham) was brought in as both a platonic confidante for Blake and a nemesis for Alexis, and Tracy Scoggins also reprised her Colbys role as Sable's daughter Monica. A storyline involving a murder and an old secret tying the Carrington, Colby and Dexter families together spans the season as Alexis and Sable spar first over business and then over Dex.
Ratings, however, continued to drop. An already slumping series by this time, Dynasty's ratings problems were further exacerbated by the timeslot switch as now the series was facing off against the strong NBC Thursday night line-up, which had regularly drawn the lion's share of the audience that night (led by The Cosby Show, which had supplanted Dynasty as the #1 show on television in 1986 and had continued to hold that lead). In May 1989, Robert A. Iger, the new entertainment president at ABC for the 1989–1990 season, had taken his first shot at cancelling Dynasty so the last episode of season 9 proved to be the series finale and the show ended with Blake, Alexis, and Dex in mortal peril