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Dark Shadows - original series

Old 09-08-2020, 08:36 AM
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Default Dark Shadows - original series

So, I saw that Tubi has the original Dark Shadows TV series for free. As a child (3-4th grade) I used to come home from school and watch this everyday right after Speed Racer. I saw many episodes about 5 years ago when it was on cable early morning. I was surprised to see that Tubi has over 20 "seasons" listed, with 40 episodes in each! Well, it was a daily show. Wikipedia says there were over 1,200 episodes! Interestingly, (to me) Barnabas Collins did not appear until episode 220. The Tubi series starts at episode 220. Then, I found that Tubi also has the original episode 1-219 under the title Dark Shadows- the Beginning ("the lost episodes"). I never saw any of those episodes before (before Barnabas).

So, I am up to #40 on the Beginning. It is B&W, the acting sucks. Video quality sucks. They didn't do "takes", if an actor flubbed lines, they just kept going. If a technician walked past the background, or talked behind the camera, they just kept going. Each episode is 21 minutes, and Tubi only has one 30-second commercial in the middle. First few minutes of an episode is usually the same as last few minutes of previous episode.

I love it! You will probably hate it, unless you saw it as a kid. Pre-Barnabas episodes are the Collins Family when Victoria Winters arrives as tutor for kid (David). Maggie Evans is the waitress at coffee shop. Roger Collins is involved in a murder cover-up, and young David tries to kill Roger by removing bleeder from brake cylinder on Roger's car. Some ghosts so far, but only noises. No vampires, werewolves, or other super-naturals yet.

Only 1180 episodes to go. Check back with me in a year.
Old 09-08-2020, 08:37 AM
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History

Creator Dan Curtis claimed he had a dream in 1965 of a mysterious young woman on a train. The following day Curtis told his wife of the dream and pitched the idea as a TV series to ABC. Network officials greenlit production and Curtis began hiring crew members.[4]

Art Wallace was hired to create a story from Curtis's dream sequence. Wallace wrote the story bible Shadows on the Wall,[5] the proposed title for the show, later changed to Dark Shadows.[6] Robert Costello was added as a line producer, and Curtis took on the creator and executive producer roles. Lela Swift, John Sedwick, and Henry Kaplan all agreed to be directors for the new series. Robert Cobert created the musical score and Sy Tomashoff designed the set.

Broadcast history

Perhaps one of ABC's first truly popular daytime series, along with the game show Let's Make a Deal (which had moved from its original home NBC in 1968), Dark Shadows found its demographic niche in teenagers coming home from school in time to watch the show at 4 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Central, where it aired for almost all of its network run, the exception being a 15-month stretch between April 1967 and July 1968, when it aired a half-hour earlier. Originally, it was aired in black-and-white, but the show went into color starting with the episode broadcast on August 11, 1967. It became one of ABC's first daytime shows to actually win the rating for its timeslot, leading to the demise of NBC's original Match Game and Art Linkletter's long-running House Party on CBS, both in 1969.

Dark Shadows began with a 4.1 rating in the 1965-66 TV season, tying for thirteenth place out of eighteen daytime dramas. The audience figures only improved slightly, to 4.3, in 1966-67. 1966 was a volatile year for soaps, and many ended their runs between the premiere date of Dark Shadows in June and the month of December. By that time, six months had passed, and for Dark Shadows, the news was not good; the soap had failed to gain major traction. In June, it ranked #13 out of 18 soaps, and by December, the lower-rated offerings were gone and the show officially ranked #13 out of 13 soaps. “The show was limping along, really limping”, head writer Sam Hall remembered, “and ABC said, ‘We're canceling it. Unless you pick up in 26 weeks, you're finished.’ [Series creator Dan Curtis] had always wanted to do a vampire picture, so he decided to bring a vampire — Barnabas Collins — to the series.”[7]

Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins, a 200-year-old vampireBarnabas was introduced in April 1967 and the fan response was swift and immediate. Coupled with a time slot change to 3:30 Eastern / 2:30 Central, the fortunes of Dark Shadows rebounded, as many more teenagers found the program after tuning out the other offerings that may have been too "boring" to them. By May 1968, the series was still in last place (out of 12 offerings), but rose to a 7.3 rating, the rough equivalent (at that time) of gaining the viewership of three million households in the span of one year. Dark Shadows would return to its 4 p.m. Eastern / 3 p.m. Central time slot in July 1968, without losing much of its audience at all. One Life to Live, which was launched by ABC in July 1968 in the 3:30 slot, also sought to reach the newfound young demographic.

The series reached its peak in popularity during a storyline set in the year 1897, broadcast from March 1969. By the end of May, Dark Shadows was ABC's most popular soap opera, and by late 1969 it was reaching between 7 and 9 million viewers on any given day, and ranking 11th out of a total 15 daytime dramas in that time period.[8][9]

In November 1969, after nine months of some of Dark Shadows' most intricate, intelligent storylines, the 1897 storyline came to an end. With ratings at an all-time high, the writers were under pressure to hold the audience.[10] Their next storyline, known as "The Leviathans", proved to be a thematic misstep for the show and one from which it never recovered. Fans tended to dislike the portrayal of Barnabas as the pawn of some greater power. They were more interested in the archetypes of classic horror—the vampire, the witch, the werewolf—than in off-camera suggestion.[11] The launch of Somerset in March 1970, a much-ballyhooed spin-off of NBC's Another World, also hurt the series considerably.

The release of the film House of Dark Shadows in September of that year is also thought to have caused TV ratings to fall, perhaps because of parents who attended the film with their children, and seeing the amount of blood spilled across the screen, discouraged their children's choice of television viewing material.[12] Beginning in the fall of 1970, several ABC stations across the country dropped the show due to falling viewership. Within six months, ratings dropped from 7.3 to 5.3. Ironically, Nielsen ratings for March 1971, the last full month that Dark Shadows was on the air, revealed that viewership had risen in its final weeks.[13]

By early 1971, though, ABC was trying to cut costs in the face of harsh new economic realities including a national economic recession, a sharp dip in advertising revenue following the discontinuance of cigarette commercials, and a record-high number of competing soap operas—which were more expensive to produce than game or talk shows—on the networks' daytime schedules. Thus, the network began weeding out supposedly unproductive programming.

Despite its relatively high station clearances for its time slot and low production costs, Dark Shadows fell victim to the purge mainly because of its young audience, who usually did not make decisions about the purchasing of household goods and food products for the family, which were the two chief industries that bought airtime on daytime television in that era. Practically no other daytime show skewed so much under the 18–35 demographic threshold as Dark Shadows did. Furthermore, prime-time shows and movies with horror or science fiction themes (e.g., Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) had been on the decline for some time, and, of course, the serial appealed heavily to fanciers of those genres, people who usually did not express much interest in the often sentimental domestic or romantic themes on which traditional soaps had relied since their inception on radio in the 1930s. In addition and probably more decisively, the program experienced a precipitous drop in its ratings during its last two years on the air, falling from a peak of 8.4 in the 1968–69 television season to a 5.3 in 1970–71.[14] Reflecting on the series' cancellation, in an interview included in a 2005 DVD release, series creator Curtis welcomed the show's cancellation, feeling it had run out of fresh ideas: "I was just hoping it was going to end. I couldn't squeeze my brain any harder to come up with just one more story. I just wanted to move on and out."[15]

Despite many letters of protest from outraged fans, ABC canceled the five-year-old show on April 2, 1971, and replaced it with a new version of the hit 1960s game show Password. The rather abrupt ending of the series left some plotlines (such as Victoria Winters' parentage, and the story of the Jennings family) unfinished, although most of the plot threads came to a happy conclusion, via a voice-over explaining future events in the final minute of the last episode.[16]

The original cast reunited in 2003 for a special reunion play recorded for MPI, and in 2006 resumed production of Dark Shadows audio dramas for Big Finish (see below). These dramas have been ongoing for 10 seasons.[17]
Old 09-08-2020, 10:20 AM
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I watched it bc Angelique (Lara Parker) was hot.

Old 09-08-2020, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Cobia 217 View Post
I watched it bc Angelique (Lara Parker) was hot.
Here; Here

Old 09-08-2020, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Cobia 217 View Post
I watched it bc Angelique (Lara Parker) was hot.
Wasn't on my agenda when I was 7, LOL!
Old 09-08-2020, 03:41 PM
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Fish Haid,
Any chance your name Alex and you lived on Fernview Dr?

Growing up, one of the kids in my neighborhood would never play outside after school because he was really into Dark Shadows.



Old 09-08-2020, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aubv View Post
Fish Haid,
Any chance your name Alex and you lived on Fernview Dr?

Growing up, one of the kids in my neighborhood would never play outside after school because he was really into Dark Shadows.
No. My name was Fern, and I lived on Alex Drive. LOL!

Old 09-08-2020, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish Haid View Post
Wasn't on my agenda when I was 7, LOL!
At 14 or 15 she certainly was.
Old 09-08-2020, 04:18 PM
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I HATED the show

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