|Created by||Diana Gould|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Original release||5 January 1985 – 16 March 1985|
Berrenger's is an American primetime television soap opera created by Diana Gould that aired on NBC in 1985. The series revolved around the Berrenger family, a New York dynasty which owned the glamorous department store which bore their name.
Following in the tradition of Dynasty and Dallas, Berrenger's played up to the familiar motifs of 1980s soap operas - glamorous and beautiful characters, using money and power in games of love, business and betrayal.
The series was cancelled after 13 one-hour episodes had been produced. In North America, only 11 of the 13 episodes were screened. Because of studio television output deals it was screened in Europe and Australia, and has sustained a modest cult following.
Produced in the mid-1980s, Berrenger's bore all the hallmarks of the genre and the era - a lavish central set (in this case, the department store's main floor) and an expensive wardrobe budget, which dressed the cast, particularly the women, in current designer fashions.
The series was made by Warner Bros. subsidiary Lorimar, who were already producing Dallas, Knots Landing and Falcon Crest. The marketing material which accompanied the launch of the series sold it with the line "... elegant clothes... beautiful people ... a powerful clan ...".
Press advertisements said: "Step through the etched-glass, art deco doors of this opulent retailer, where anything and everything can be bought or sold - for the right price - Berrenger's."
The principal focus of the series was the Berrenger family, the owners of the Manhattan department store that bore their name; headed by widowed patriarch (and somewhat devious) Simon Berrenger (Sam Wanamaker). Berrenger had three children - sons Billy (Robin Strand) and Paul (Ben Murphy) and daughter Barbara (Anita Morris).
Paul, Simon's eldest son and heir, was unhappily married to nasty New York socialite Gloria Brahms Berrenger (Andrea Marcovicci) but he was also romantically involved with the department store's merchandising vice-president, Shane Bradley (Yvette Mimieux). Nasty Gloria had her equally nasty father in-law, Simon, on her side.
Billy, Simon's younger son, was more likable, in that he wasn't scheming, his character was slightly similar to Dallas' Bobby Ewing.
Paul and Billy's sister Barbara was a reformed New York party girl, an older woman who had - in her father's eyes, at least - failed the family because of her extravagant lifestyle, and her affairs with younger men.
In one of the series few story arcs, Barbara - or Babs, as she was known - was trying to put her life on track and struggling to make it in the fashion business, without her father's money to bankroll her. (Though she was, at the time, involved with a younger man.)
The other characters typically worked in or around the department store: junior salesgirl Stacey Russell (Jonelle Allen) who was promoted to a boutique manager in the first episode, model Laurel Hayes (Laura Ashton) who charms the widowed Simon Berrenger, con man John Higgins (Jeff Conaway) who has his eye on the needy, vulnerable Barbara, store clerk, Cammie Springer (Leslie Hope) and designer and entrepreneur Julio Morales (Eddie Velez) who partners with Barbara in a business venture.
One of the series key figures was the mysterious Danny Krucek (Jack Scalia), who was involved financially with Simon Berrenger, but romantically interested in Shane Bradley. The series production notes described him as a "Mafia-connected conglomerate chief ... who lives to destroy the Berrenger empire".
Though it was never clarified on air, it was implied that Krucek was the illegitimate son of Simon Berrenger, a story twist which would have made him a legitimate claimant to Paul Berrenger's position as the elder Berrenger's heir.
The location shots of Berrenger's was at the real-life department store, Barneys in New York.
A total of 11 episodes were screened between January 5, 1985 and March 9, 1985. The episode titles were Overture, For Gloria's Benefit, Of Boardrooms & Bedrooms, Fame & Misfortune, Seduction, Dangerous Ground, Power Play, Best Laid Plans, Roll Tape, Hidden Agenda and Maelstrom.
- Stacey Allen ... Jonelle Allen
- Laurel Hayes ... Laura Ashton
- Melody Hughes ... Claudia Christian
- John Higgins ... Jeff Conaway
- Max Kaufman ... Alan Feinstein
- Todd Hughes ... Art Hindle
- Cammie Springer ... Leslie Hope
- Gloria Berrenger ... Andrea Marcovicci
- Shane Bradley ... Yvette Mimieux
- Babs Berrenger ... Anita Morris
- Paul Berrenger ... Ben Murphy
- Rinaldi ... Cesar Romero
- Danny Krucek ... Jack Scalia
- Billy Berrenger ... Robin Strand
- Julio Morales ... Eddie Velez
- Simon Berrenger ... Sam Wanamaker
- Variety, Jan 9, 1985.
- Kitman, Marvin. (1985). Newsday. February 3, 1985.
- “Berrenger’s.” Variety. January 4, 1985.