Savannah (TV series)
|Created by||Constance M. Burge|
|Theme music composer||Christopher L. Stone|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||34|
|Executive producer(s)||Aaron Spelling
E Duke Vincent
|Location(s)||Atlanta, Garden City and Savannah, Georgia|
|Running time||45 Minutes|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original network||The WB|
|Original release||January 21, 1996 – February 24, 1997|
Set in the southern city of Savannah, Georgia, the series revolves around three female friends: naive rich girl Reese Burton (Shannon Sturges), noble Lane McKenzie (Robyn Lively) and scheming bad girl Peyton Richards (Jamie Luner).
Lane left Savannah after graduating from college to become a successful journalist in New York City; she returns for the wedding of her childhood best friend, Reese, who is marrying Travis Peterson (George Eads). Finding out that her apartment in New York has been burglarized, Lane tries to collect on an inheritance — only to find out that Travis has stolen every last penny of it. Reese is devastated after finding out that Travis has been having an affair with a girl he calls "Bunny", who is actually Peyton, daughter of the Burton family maid and Reese's so-called friend. Peyton envies Reese's wealth and is keen to marry for money.
Travis is soon found dead, and the first season revolves around the whodunit murder mystery and subsequent court case. There is also considerable intrigue surrounding the identity of Peyton's father (who turns out to also be Reese's father, Edward, making Peyton and Reese half-sisters) as well as the machinations of Tom Massick, a stranger in town with a score to settle. Cassandra "Cassie" Wheeler (Alexia Robinson), a longtime friend of the three other women, joined the cast in season two. George Eads later re-joined the cast as Nick, the identical twin of Travis.
|Jamie Luner||Peyton Richards|
|Robyn Lively||Lane McKenzie|
|Shannon Sturges||Reese Burton|
|David Gail||Dean Collins|
|Beth Toussaint||Veronica Koslowski|
|Paul Satterfield||Tom Massick|
|Ray Wise||Edward Burton|
|George Eads||Travis Peterson (Season 1) / Nick Corelli (Season 2)|
|Alexia Robinson||Cassie Wheeler (Season 2)|
Additional cast members
|Mimi Kennedy||Eleanor Alexander Burton|
|Wendy Phillips||Lucille Richards|
|Scott Thompson Baker||Brian Alexander|
|Taurean Blacque||Det. Michael Wheeler|
|Russell Curry||Det. Sam Lucas|
Savannah's first season was broadcast between January 21, 1996 and April 7, 1996. The first two episodes were shown together as a two-hour Saturday "sneak preview" of the upcoming series, with the remaining season one episodes shown on Sunday nights (The WB dubbing the evening "Savannah Sunday"). The show was the most successful program on WB at the time.
During its second season, Savannah was moved to Monday nights, the 22 second season episodes broadcast between August 26, 1996 and February 24, 1997 at 9:00 pm following 7th Heaven. It was cancelled at the end of the season. Garth Ancier, president of the WB's entertainment division, attributed its cancellation to the fact that "serial dramas don't repeat well, making the investment too expensive".
The first season was broadcast in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1996 on ITV in a prime time slot and became the highest rated new American series of that year. However, the second season was not network broadcast, and was shown in different ITV regions at different times in the late 1990s
Locations and filming
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The show was filmed entirely on location in the U.S. state of Georgia. Initially, exterior scenes were shot in both Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia. Locations and landmarks featured included the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge, Forsyth Park, River Street, and Bonaventure Cemetery.
Towards the end of season two, scenes were no longer filmed at the exterior locations for many of the shows main sets. These were replaced by stock establishing shot footage and scenes were filmed entirely in Atlanta.