Theme music composer
Final episode date
26 March 1987
First episode date
20 November 1985
Also known as
''Dynasty II: The Colbys''
Richard & Esther ShapiroRobert & Eileen Pollock
William BastPaul Huson
Charlton HestonJohn JamesStephanie BeachamKatharine RossEmma SammsJoseph CampanellaMaxwell CaulfieldTracy ScogginsClaire YarlettRicardo MontalbanMichael ParksBarbara Stanwyck
Embarrassing 80 s dallas dynasty the colbys
The Colbys (originally titled Dynasty II: The Colbys) is an American prime time television soap opera which originally aired on ABC from November 20, 1985 to March 26, 1987. Produced by Aaron Spelling, it was a spin-off of Dynasty, which had been the highest rated series for the 1984–1985 U.S. television season. The Colbys revolves around another wealthy, upper-class family, who are relatives by marriage of the Carringtons of Dynasty and who own a large multi-national corporation. Intended to surpass its predecessor in opulence, the series' producers were handed an immensely high budget for the era and cast a handful of well-known movie stars among its leads, including Charlton Heston, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Ross and Ricardo Montalban. However, The Colbys was ultimately a ratings disappointment, and was canceled after two seasons.
The colbys 1 6 opening theme 1985
On Dynasty, presumed-dead heiress Fallon Carrington Colby (Emma Samms) reappears alive, suffering from amnesia and using the name Randall Adams. Drawn to California after recognizing the name "Colby", she meets playboy Miles Colby (Maxwell Caulfield), not realizing that he is the cousin of her ex-husband, Jeff (John James). A mutual business venture brings the Colbys of California to the Denver mansion of Fallon's father Blake Carrington (John Forsythe).
Set in Los Angeles, The Colbys focuses on the extended Colby family as Jeff relocates to California to start his life anew – and comes face to face with Fallon, now married to his cousin Miles. A fierce rivalry is sparked between Jeff and Miles, and the love triangle spans the series. Miles's father, billionaire Jason Colby (Heston), has a rocky marriage to the icy Sable (Stephanie Beacham), in part due to his longtime attraction to Sable's sister Francesca (Ross) – Jeff's estranged mother, and the former wife of Jason's deceased brother. Other characters include Jason's powerful sister Constance (Stanwyck), Miles's twin sister Monica (Tracy Scoggins) and their third sibling Bliss (Claire Yarlett).
In addition to Forsythe's Blake, Dynasty characters Adam Carrington (Gordon Thomson), Steven Carrington (Jack Coleman) and Dominique Deveraux (Diahann Carroll) also made guest appearances on the show between 1985 and 1986.
The first season's storylines include the construction of an oil pipeline, Zach Powers' vendetta against the Colbys, the romance between Jason and his sister-in-law Francesca, the subsequent collapse of Jason's marriage to Sable, and eventually the revelation that Jason, not his brother Philip, is in fact Jeff's father. There were initially a number of cross-overs featuring members of the Dynasty cast, most notably Blake Carrington, his sons Adam and Steven, and half-sister Dominique Deveraux. At the end of the season, Fallon learns that Miles could be the father of her unborn child, Monica's plane crashes, and Sable has Jason arrested for assault and battery, claiming that he had inflicted the injuries she actually sustained by falling down a flight of stairs.
In the second season, Jason manages to divorce Sable and plans to marry Francesca, but the presumed-dead Philip reappears alive. Previously romantically linked to both Zach's nephew and former stepson, Bliss falls in love with a Russian dancer watched by the KGB, the son Monica had given up eight years before reenters her life, and Constance and Hutch are killed after a plane crash in India. At the end of the season, Miles's wife Channing phones to say she will abort their unborn baby, Sable kidnaps Monica's son, Francesca seemingly dies after a car crash involving herself and Philip, and Fallon, stranded in the desert, is seemingly abducted by aliens in the finale. The show's most infamous cliffhanger proved to be its last when the series was subsequently cancelled.
Ratings and criticism
Although much hyped in 1985, garnering high ratings for its premiere episode, and also the winner of a 1986 People's Choice Award for New Dramatic TV Program, The Colbys was ultimately a ratings disappointment. The first season finished in 35th place, in part due to competition with NBC's Cheers and Night Court on Thursday nights (by comparison, Dynasty finished in 7th place the same season). The series was renewed for a second season but fared much worse. Now not only being scheduled opposite NBC's Cheers and Night Court, but also rival soap Knots Landing on CBS (for a few weeks), The Colbys finished 64th for the year prompting the network to cancel the show.
The series did not fare well among critics either, with one of its main criticisms being that it was simply a copy of Dynasty. The L.A. Times stated "It's not a spinoff, it's a clone—as close a replica as ABC and the Dynasty producers could concoct, right down to the credits." The Pittsburgh Press compared the scripts to Dick and Jane books for children. In their Directory To Primetime TV Shows, television historians Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh stated that the series likely failed because it was "too close a copy" of Dynasty.
Even some castmembers were vocal about their dissatisfaction with the series. In 1986, Barbara Stanwyck opted to end her contract and leave the series after its first season, reportedly calling it "a turkey" and telling co-creator Esther Shapiro "This is the biggest pile of garbage I ever did" and that "It's one thing to know you're making a lot of money off vulgarity, but when you don't know it's vulgar - it's plain stupid." On the contrary, Charlton Heston always had supported the show and stated its cancellation "was premature" as "we were coming closer to being a creative production team that could make the kind of show we'd planned on from the beginning."
Dynasty star Joan Collins categorically refused to make any appearances in it herself, believing it would have caused "massive confusion between the two shows", and urged her fellow Dynasty castmates not to involve themselves with it either.
Following the cancellation of The Colbys, the characters of Jeff and Fallon were immediately reintroduced into Dynasty during that series' eighth season premiere, "The Siege – Part 1". Sable (now divorced from Jason, who was still involved with Frankie, who survived the car crash) and Monica Colby (who no longer had contact with ex-lover Cash or their son Scott) also later reappeared on Dynasty for the series' ninth (and final) season in 1988–89. The only brief mentions of Miles and Bliss was that they too had both moved from the Colby mansion.
During the final season of Dynasty, it is revealed that Monica and her twin Miles might not have been Jason's children, as Sable had been raped around the time they were conceived. Miles (who refers to Jeff as his half-brother, leading to the assumption that Jason was his and Monica's father after all) later appears in the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion, reunited with Fallon, and participates in Jeff's rescue from the Consortium. The Jeff-Fallon-Miles love triangle is finally resolved, as Fallon leaves Miles for Jeff once again.
On May 12, 2015, Shout! Factory released The Colbys: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. The 12-disc set features all 49 episodes of the series as well as all new cast interviews.
On July 20, 2015, The Colbys was released in Germany (Region 2). The DVD is split in two, the first season and the second season. The DVD's have a German cover (Die Colbys - Das Imperium) but are spoken in English and dubbed in German.