Dynasty (2017 TV series)

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Dynasty
Dynasty (2017) title card.png
Genre Soap opera
Based on Dynasty
by Richard and Esther Shapiro
Developed by
Starring
Theme music composer Bill Conti
Paul Leonard-Morgan
Troy Nõka
Composer(s) Paul Leonard-Morgan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Richard Shapiro
  • Esther Shapiro
  • Stephanie Savage
  • Josh Schwartz
  • Brad Silberling
  • Sallie Patrick
Producer(s) Jeffrey Downer
Production location(s) Atlanta, Georgia
Cinematography Xavier Grobet
Editor(s) Brandi Bradburn
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 40–43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network The CW
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release October 11, 2017 (2017-10-11) – present (present)
External links
Website

Dynasty is an American prime time television soap opera reboot based on the 1980s series of the same name. Developed by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Sallie Patrick, the new series stars Elizabeth Gillies as Fallon Carrington, Grant Show as her father Blake Carrington, Nathalie Kelley as Blake's new wife Cristal, and James Mackay as his son Steven, with Robert Christopher Riley as chauffeur Michael Culhane, Sam Adegoke as tech billionaire Jeff Colby, Rafael de la Fuente as Sam "Sammy Jo" Jones, Cristal's nephew and Steven's fiancé, and Alan Dale as Joseph Anders, the Carrington majordomo. The series later introduced Alexis Carrington (Nicollette Sheridan), Blake's ex-wife and the estranged mother of Steven and Fallon.

The pilot, which was announced in September 2016, was ordered to series in May 2017. Dynasty premiered on October 11, 2017, on The CW in the United States, and on Netflix internationally a day later. On November 8, 2017, The CW picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes. On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the series for a second season, which is set to premiere on October 12, 2018.

Premise[edit]

Dynasty begins with heiress Fallon Carrington unhappy to find her billionaire father Blake engaged to Cristal, a rival employee at the family company. When Fallon's machinations to separate the couple backfire and cost her a promotion, she allies with Blake's nemesis and former employee, Jeff Colby, and strikes out on her own. Meanwhile, the arrival of Cristal's opportunistic nephew Sam—who becomes romantically involved with Fallon's wayward brother Steven—threatens to expose her shady past. The Carringtons form a united front in the wake of the suspicious death of Cristal's former lover, but things at the mansion do not remain harmonious for long. Later, Blake's ex-wife Alexis, Steven and Fallon's mother, returns to Atlanta with an agenda.

The reboot updates several elements from the 1980s original, including moving the setting from Denver, Colorado to Atlanta, Georgia; making Steven's homosexuality a nonissue to Blake; and changing gold digger Sammy Jo from a woman to a gay man.[1][2][3] Additionally, in the new series, both Blake's new wife and her nephew are Hispanic, and both chauffeur Michael Culhane and the Colby family are African-American.[1][3]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedNielsen ratings
First airedLast airedRankAverage viewers
(in millions inc. DVR)
122October 11, 2017 (2017-10-11)May 11, 2018 (2018-05-11)1451.00[9]
222[10]October 12, 2018 (2018-10-12)TBATBATBA


Production[edit]

Elizabeth Gillies (left) and Grant Show (right) star as Fallon and Blake Carrington.

Development[edit]

In September 2016, it was announced that a reboot of the 1980s prime time soap opera Dynasty was in development at The CW, co-written by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Sallie Patrick.[11][12] Savage said, "All of us have worked on shows that owe a huge debt to Dynasty, so it's kind of in our writing DNA to do this show."[2] The trio discussed what they found unique and attractive about the original series, and how best to preserve those elements in an update.[2] They also met with Richard and Esther Shapiro, the creators of Dynasty,[2] who were ultimately attached as producers.[11][12] Schwartz said, "We are definitely living in an age of dynasties. Whether it's the Trumps or the Clintons or the Kardashians or the Murdochs, our news is filled with the worlds of family dynasties and that was exciting for us."[13] Savage added, "When we first sat down with the Shapiros to talk about rebooting the show, they talked a lot about family. No matter the villainous things that they did, they never stopped loving each other. I think we took that core concept and then just talked about how to place the idea in the historical context of our day."[13] Patrick noted that the 1980s series was progressive for its time, dealing with issues like race, women in the workplace, and gay acceptance.[14] She said, "We're trying to figure out how do we respect what that show was doing then and pushing it even farther in our version."[14] De la Fuente said, "We're trying to make it stand on its own and be its own thing. But we have to pay homage to the original and the classic stuff that people remember from Dynasty, like the fashion, the catfights and the opulence of it all, is of course in our show. It wouldn't be Dynasty otherwise."[15]

The new series finds heiress Fallon Carrington facing off against her soon-to-be stepmother Cristal, a Hispanic woman.[11][12] Patrick said, "It was important to me as a working woman to have two women fighting over the future of the dynasty."[14] Schwartz said of the rival characters:

Even when you watch the original, Fallon is a character who feels as if she can exist in 2017. She just pops off the screen, and she can take on Krystle, who, in the original, was pure and the moral center of the show. With this new Cristal, we liked the idea of not letting her be quite as pure and raising some questions about her past and having her stir the pot—making her more formidable. That really let us lean into this rivalry between Fallon and Cristal.[2]

Patrick said, "We knew in our version—2017—we wanted Steven's conflict with Blake to be not about him being gay, but about him being liberal."[2] Savage noted, "With Steven Carrington out and proud, it makes sense for Sammy Jo to be a man."[3] Patrick said in August 2017 that Blake's first wife Alexis would be introduced during the first season, but that the role had yet to be cast.[13] She noted, "We knew Alexis was coming before we even started shooting the pilot, which allowed us to pave the way for her ... throughout the season, we hear Blake, Steven, and Fallon's memories about the woman who abandoned their family. So by the time she actually enters the series, we've established expectations about her character—which Alexis will happily break."[16] The role was cast with Nicollette Sheridan in November 2017,[17][18] and she first appeared in episode 16 in March 2018.[16][19]

The setting was also moved from Denver to Atlanta, in part because of Atlanta's diversity.[2] Schwartz called the city "a realistic location of this family to be based out of", noting that the Shapiros had arbitrarily picked Denver for the original series and were not creatively attached to it.[13] Patrick said of the change, "Denver was obviously chosen for a few solid reasons at the time, being one of the oil capitals ... For us, Denver didn't have the vibrancy and conflict that we needed."[20] She said that Atlanta is "a super diverse population and a great mixture—where there's conflict between old money and new money."[14] Kelley said, "This modern version represents a more current picture of what's happening in America. The diversity of the cast really represents that."[13] In the update, chauffeur Michael Culhane and the Colby family are African-American.[1][3] Also, Cristal's Venezuelan origins will allow the show to explore the current geopolitics of that country.[3][13]

Patrick said that episode seven, "A Taste of Your Own Medicine", "brings to a head so many of the stories that we've been slowly building. It hits the tone of the show perfectly."[21] She added:

We loved the original Dynasty—the camp and the big, surprising soapy twists. We also felt very strongly that we needed to earn those. It would have been hard to come out of the gate with an episode like this. You have to be with the characters long enough to start caring about them. We're cranking up the crazy moving forward.[21]

The episode titles are lines of dialogue from the original series.[22][23] In addition to reworked characters and plotlines, the reboot contains multiple visual homages to the 1980s series, including props and wardrobe.[22][24]

The pilot was filmed in Atlanta.[25] On May 10, 2017, the Dynasty reboot received a series order at The CW.[26][27][28] A preview trailer was released on May 18, 2017.[29][30] Dynasty premiered on The CW in the United States on Wednesday, October 11, 2017,[31] and on November 8, 2017, The CW picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes.[32] Sheridan's casting was a key factor in the decision to give Dynasty a back nine order of episodes after the initial 13.[19] On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the series for a second season,[33] which will premiere on October 12, 2018.[34]

Casting[edit]

Nathalie Kelley was cast as Cristal in January 2017,[35][36] followed by Elizabeth Gillies as Fallon,[37] Sam Adegoke as playboy Jeff Colby,[38] and Robert Christopher Riley as Blake's chauffeur Michael Culhane in February.[39] Next cast were Grant Show as Fallon's father Blake Carrington,[40] and Rafael de la Fuente as Sam Jones, a gay male version of the original series' Sammy Jo Carrington, in March.[41][42] The remaining main cast members are James Mackay as Fallon's gay brother Steven,[20][43] and Alan Dale as Carrington majordomo Anders,[44] Additional recurring performers include Nick Wechsler as Cristal's ex-lover Matthew Blaisdel,[1][45] Brianna Brown as Matthew's wife Claudia,[1][46] and Wakeema Hollis as Jeff's sister Monica Colby.[3] In November 2017, Nicollette Sheridan was cast in the role of Blake's ex-wife Alexis Carrington,[17][18] and was later promoted to series regular status for season two.[5] Other guest stars include Elena Tovar as Iris Machado, Cristal's sister and Sam's mother,[47][48] Bill Smitrovich as Thomas Carrington, Blake's estranged father,[49] and Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Cesil Colby, Jeff and Monica's father.[50]

In June 2018, Kelley told E! News that she would not be returning for season two.[4][51][52] The CW announced in August 2018 that Ana Brenda Contreras had been cast as "the real Cristal Flores" for the second season.[6][53][54] Maddison Brown was also cast as Anders' daughter, Kirby.[7] A May 2018 press release teased that the show would introduce Blake's half-sister Dominique Deveraux, Jeff and Monica's mother, in season two.[55][56]

Music[edit]

The pilot includes a flashback of a young Steven playing the original Dynasty theme by Bill Conti on piano.[1][22] An updated, 15-second version debuted as an opening credits sequence in the 1980s-themed third episode, "Guilt is for Insecure People",[23][57] but is only used in some episodes. Composer Paul Leonard-Morgan worked with Troy Nõka to get "an '80s-rock vibe" for the song, to match Leonard-Morgan's soundtrack for the series.[57] The new theme was recorded with an orchestra at Capitol Records in Hollywood, featuring Los Angeles Philharmonic lead trumpet player Tom Hooten.[57]

Broadcast[edit]

Dynasty premiered on The CW in the United States on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, with the season 2 premiere of Riverdale as its lead-in.[31] Netflix acquired the exclusive international broadcast rights to Dynasty, making it available as an original series on the platform less than a day after their original U.S. broadcast.[58] The series moved to Fridays starting with the fourteenth episode.[19][59] Season two will begin airing on October 12, 2018.[34]

Leslie Moonves, the head of CBS Corporation, said in 2017, "We own 100 percent of [Dynasty], and we've already licensed it to Netflix in 188 countries ... So this means Dynasty is profitable before it even hits the air."[60] The CW's president Mark Pedowitz said in January 2018, "I'm disappointed in the ratings, I wanted it to do more, but I'm happy with the production values that Josh, Steph and Sallie are doing. There are changes coming, I'm thrilled to have Nicollette [Sheridan] ... I'm looking forward to Nicollette and Liz [Gillies] really going at it as a mother-daughter situation, and I think that will add some juice to the show."[19]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49 rating
(average)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Wednesday 9:00 pm (episodes 1-13)
Friday 8:00 pm (episodes 14-22)
22 October 11, 2017 1.26[61] May 11, 2018 0.56[62] 2017–18 145 1.00[63] 0.3[64]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 53% approval rating with an average rating of 6.59/10 based on 40 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Dynasty's revival retains enough of its predecessor's over-the-top allure to offer a glamorous guilty pleasure in its first season, even if it never quite recaptures the magic of the original."[65] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 52 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[66]

Chris Harnick of E! Online called the pilot "soapy and fun", adding that the series is "a worthy heir to the original show and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage's previous offering Gossip Girl and The O.C.".[67] Adweek called the pilot inferior to Gossip Girl and the original Dynasty, but suggested that its pairing with Riverdale "could provide audiences a guilty-pleasure double-feature".[68]

Tierney Bricker of E! Online dubbed Kelley "this season's breakout star", with Gillies "hot on her Louboutin heels".[67]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Dorian Awards Campy TV Show of the Year Dynasty Nominated [69]
People's Choice Awards The Revival Show of 2018 Dynasty Pending [70]

Home media[edit]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Dynasty: Season One 22 September 25, 2018

References[edit]

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External links[edit]