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Dallas behind the scenes interviews

Dallas interview with the production team on the hit TV show Dallas.

Leonard Katzman.

Dallas started life in 1978 and grew to become one of the most watched Television series of all time.

In1985 Leonard Katzman the Executive Producer, gave a rare interview to Barry Norman, revealing some behind the scenes secrets of Dallas, including why he thinks Dallas was a big success and his view of Dynasty

Along with Leonard Katzman, both Linda Gray and Larry Hagman are interviewed, giving an insight into the top soap

Barry : I hear Dallas is shown in Beirut?

Larry : I read the other day about the hostages who would be incarcerated in this room, the ones they took away from the plane and the young terrorists would come in and they would all lye down on these mattresses and watch Dallas and they said they loved JR, they loved this character. They asked the hostages if they had ever been to Dallas and they said no, and they said what you haven't been to Dallas that's the most famous place in the world.

Barry : Do you regard Dallas as a Soap Opera?

Larry : Sure, absolutely. its a serial

Linda: well what's a soap opera? Its a story about all kinds of people in their relationships that's what we are if you want to call us a soap opera but its not a soap opera, you know what is a soap opera?? Life is a soap opera (she laughs)

Barry: What is the difference between Dallas and daytime soaps?

Larry : The money, you get paid a hell of allot more in the night then you do in the day.

Katzman : It takes us 7 days to shoot one show, they do one everyday, we shoot on film , they shoot on three camera tape, the quality is a little different, the actors perform minor, or major miracles everyday. There's only so much materiel in the world and 5 days aweek would use up a tremendous amount of it if they went at the rate of a night time soap, I don`t think its possible, I'm not sure its possible for us (he laughs)

Barry : what you feel about Dynasty?

Linda : Its nice to be copied, its nice to be the first one , its a compliment. There is room for everybody and the people on Dynasty are wonderful, Linda is a friend and John. They are terrific people, their show is different in that they have a more surface approach ours is all about relationships.

Katzman : When people talk about Dynasty they talk about the clothes, when they talk about Dallas they talk about the stories, the plots and the actors.

Barry : Why do you think Dallas is the most successful soap opera of all time?

Katzman : What we have done is taken a real family and taken it to a somewhat illogical extreme. The Ewings are kind of ordinary people who have millions and millions of dollars and they have fancy trappings but they all drive themselves, no chauffeurs, the dining room seats eight, the house is not a mansion, so I think allot of people can put themselves into the Ewing household. They can picture themselves sitting at that table.

Barry : The single most important episode was the one where JR was shot. But that came about quite by accident. The original plan was to end that season with another feebler cliffhanger, but all of a sudden the network demanded two more episodes, so panic....now what? Then somebody said "hey Iv got it, lets shoot JR"

Larry : yes they extended the show two more episodes and they had nothing to do so they had me shot. I felt I had done a rather good job by that time and thought it was time to renegotiate my contract and I was at an age where I thought Id never work again or I`ll be one of the richest actors in the world and it worked out to my benefit.

Katzman: Good writing is terrific and good directing is terrific and good producing is wonderful but what the audience tunes into see are the actors so the actors have more power then anyone if they choose to use it and it becomes at renegotiation time a decision by management how well you can survive without them , who plays hardball first. The salary is only partial , Larry could make as much money as he wants to because he could open a supermarket everyday of the year for 50 thousand dollars, so he's chosen not to do that anymore, the benefits of a successful TV show are extraordinary yes.

Barry : Larry is there anymore you want?

Larry : I got everything I want, everything, I don`t think there's anything I need, my wife and I were talking about getting a jet the other day, getting some kind of jet. I thought we could lease it any time we wanted to but to spend 8 or 10 million dollars on a jet which sits around and waits is dumb.


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