Remembering Santa Barbara (Premiere Episode Included)

santa_barbara_aAfter cancelling both Texas and The Doctors at the end of 1982, NBC decided to start another soap.  The network turned to Bridget and Jerome Dobson, who had done great work on both Guiding Light and As the World Turns.  The Dobsons created a soap that both sweeping and satirical, and managed to effortlessly balance romance and humor.  Santa Barbara started off with a five year old murder mystery (which took several more years to solve) and starred a young Robin Wright.  

It was, however, the pairing of Marcy Walker (Eden) and A Martinez (Cruz) that made Santa Barbara soar in popularity.  For most of the show’s run, the love story of Cruz and Eden played out on the front burner.  Other fan favorites included Nancy Lee Grahn and Lane Davies as Julia and Mason; Nicolas Coster and Louise Sorel as Lionel and Augusta Lockridge; and Robin Mattson and Justin Deas as the villainous  Gina and Keith.  The show won cartloads of Emmys and was a ratings sensation in Europe, but never earned decent ratings in the United States.  

In the late 1980’s, the Dobsons were notoriously locked out of their offices and replaced by head writer Ann Howard Bailey and executive procuder Jill Farren Phelps.  After many changes in writers and producers, the show started to balance out again with headwriter Pam Long and executive producer Paul Rauch.  Unfortunately, NBC pulled the plug on the show and Santa Barbara last aired on January 15, 1993.

In honor of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the show’s debut, here is the premiere episode of Santa Barbara:

 

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One Response to “Remembering Santa Barbara (Premiere Episode Included)”

  1. piper, with a low Says:

    Thank you for the Santa Barbara tribute.

    When I did a google search, unfortunately, yours was the only site that marked this momentous occasion. I’m currently working on my own tribute and am hoping that others will follow suit.

    It really was one of the best soaps and television shows that I have ever saw and has impacted my life in so many ways.

    Again, thank you for this.

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