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Ciji Dunne Back By Public Demand

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by Angela Channing, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    … or so the producers of Knots Landing would like us to believe.

    The story goes that after Ciji was killed off, the public demanded that she be brought back forcing the producers to conjure up a new character, Cathy Geary, to deal with this. However, this doesn't entirely ring true to me and I think it owes a lot to the publicity machine of the show than to the reality. I say this for the following reasons:
    1. The public mostly wanted Gary and Val to get back together and Gary's involvement with Ciji was an obstacle to this.
    2. The reincarnated character, Cathy Geary, had initials which sounded exactly like the name of the killed off character and suggests they could have been thinking about the new character when they named the original one.
    3. Lisa Hartman was only off the series for 7 episodes which doesn't seem like very long for the writers to develop a long, involved and detailed plotline for her.
    4. Lisa Hartman didn't have other commitments which would have prevented her from going back at short notice
    I think it was always the plan to kill off Ciji and bring back Lisa Hartman as Cathy and the whole public backlash forcing them to create a new character for her was just to get publicity for the show.

    Could I be right?
     
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  2. micmic

    micmic Soap Chat Active Member

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    Well you can never know unless you talk to cast / staff people.
    #1 - lisa Hartman getting killed has nothing to do with Gary and Val, because she can come back and date Richard (or Laura ;) )
    #3 - plus whatever time they had between seasons . But you're right in the sense that when joan van ark wanted to cone back at season 14 the official reason was it was too late to rewrite the script .
    #4 - she also didn't have any commitments before
    I personally loved her after watching her on roses for the rich, but except for knots it seems she didn't really have a career. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this)

    I just recently discovered another actor's departure story was a bit different from what was told so you can never know....
     
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  3. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    Please...
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    [​IMG]

    "Oh not again...NOT AGAIN!"​
     
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  5. micmic

    micmic Soap Chat Active Member

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    Lol it wasn't Constance , I need to ask about her one day.
    I asked about Donna by the way and was told that as far as anyone knows it really wasn't a salary issue and she just wanted to do her own thing
     
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  6. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    And Donna did go off and produce a shit load of TV movies didn't she. She was quite successful at that through the 90s.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  7. micmic

    micmic Soap Chat Active Member

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    How many movies did she produce ? Like 4-5 ?
     
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  8. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    I'm not sure the exact date she left Knots Landing but between 1988 and 1998 Donna Mills has 12 TV Movies listed on IMDB. I guess not all of them specifically produced by her, but my point was there were a lot of TV Movies she did after Knots Landing.
     
  9. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    True but she was having an affair with Gary when she died and I imagine most viewers were hoping Gary would reunite with Val at that time. So the idea they would want Val's rival for Gary's attention back is not entirely plausible. Secondly, the so-called public clamour for Ciji to be brought back, if that were true they must have been demanding it between seasons 4 and 5, presumably when fans weren't sure if she was really dead at that point so I doubt the demand was to bring Lisa Hartman back as a new character but as Ciji.

    Overall, I don't think the story given by the producers stands up to scrutiny.
     
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  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    No, she never slept with Gary until she turned into Cathy.

    Possibly, but I'm guessing a fair few were also enjoying watching him with Abby at that point.
     
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  11. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    You're probably right on this point. I've not seen those episodes of Knots Landing since they was first broadcast about a quarter of a century ago so I may have remembered some of the details incorrectly.

    Although they weren't having an affair some of the Knots Landing residents thought they were so I think my original point is still valid.
     
  12. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Someone on the writing staff might have thought the whole idea of bringing in a Ciji lookalike would be a very soap-y type of plot that would get them some attention. Saying they were doing it because people had liked Ciji/Lisa Hartman so much ("fan service") was a convenient way of shifting responsibility if the plot turned out to be a dud (or got ridiculed).

    I think Ciji's murder was planned from the beginning, since all of season four was so intricately woven together. But I don't think they always intended to bring LH back. If they had, it would have been easy for them to mention her off-screen twin sister, or some other detail that would have allowed an easier (and more believable) introduction for Cathy.
     
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  13. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Active Member

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    But I don't think they always intended to bring LH back. If they had, it would have been easy for them to mention her off-screen twin sister, or some other detail that would have allowed an easier (and more believable) introduction for Cathy.[/QUOTE]

    It was an OTT, contrived way to bring
    back the actress, and on paper it's eye-rolling, imho. However, the magic of Knots Landing is that the way it was executed on screen, it rose above the soapiness. The writers, directors, and actors gave us a fun soap plot and good drama at the same time. There should be a special Emmy for that!:rainbow:
     
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  14. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I dunno
    I very much doubt it was "fan service" either or originally planned - I just think they liked Lisa Hartman and thought she was an asset to the cast. However, they had already planned out the Ciji arc and didn't want to change that, so instead they ended up bringing her back as Cathy with the excuse that she was so popular with the fans, when the fans were the producers of the shows themselves.
     
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  15. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    :gp:
     
  16. CVU360

    CVU360 Soap Chat Newbie

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    The name "Ciji" makes me highly suspicious of the original plan. It was certainly an unusual, if not original, name that just happened to be two initials in disguise. The plan may not have been set in stone, but the groundwork was laid early on in case the producers decided to follow through in a later season.
     
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  17. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Active Member

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    Does anyone know exactly how they guage the viewers' reaction to a particular character?
     
  18. micmic

    micmic Soap Chat Active Member

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    I guess check media archives from that era would be a way to do it.
    Now I'm starting to wonder the same thing about the Bobby ewing storyline. Clearly he wanted to leave, but did they bring him back because the audience requested or because ratings were low and they decided it would helh the show
     
  19. micmic

    micmic Soap Chat Active Member

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    I checked imdb, donna produced 4 movies during that period (maybe 3 and 1 after knots ended )
    I believe both her and Michele had a deal for 4 tv movies each with CBS .
    She never produced anything after.
    With the cast salaries in later years doesn't seem to be a good financial decision.
     
  20. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They may have also noticed that with the Wards' departure, they had no characters in that age range...so having LH back in a new role might have been a way of offering something for that age group.
     
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