'Dynasty' Wasn't The Original Title
Had things gone another way, TV viewers in the 1980s wouldn't have been watching "Dynasty", they would have been watching "Oil", and was originally meant to be set within the oil crisis of the late 1970s, looking at the lives of the workers on the rigs and the wealthy family that owned the oil company.
According to series' co-creator Esther Shapiro, producers eventually came to realize that viewers were disinterested in the stories of the workers, "but fascinated by what was going on inside that castle."
The concept was adjusted, and TV history was made.
Joan Collins Was Only 11 Years Older Than Her Onscreen Son
Actor Gordon Thomson was cast as Adam Carrington, son of Joan Collins' Alexis Carrington.
While the two played mother and son on screen, what viewers may not have known is that, in real life, the two were a lot closer in age than would have been biologically possible, with just 11 years between their respective births.
'Dynasty' Merch Raked In Big Bucks
A show based on the greed-is-good conspicuous consumption ethos of the 1990s naturally had some tie-in merchandise, and there was a LOT of it.
In fact, an entire line of "Dynasty" was released, ranging from $3 pantyhose to $150 Forever Krystle perfume to $10,000 handmade Alexis and Krystle dolls. There was even a "Dynasty"-branded chinchilla coat that retailed for $200,000.
All told, "Dynasty" products raked in an estimated $400 million.
Some Pretty Big Names Were Considered To Play Alexis
Few actors are as closely identified with a single character as Joan Collins is with Alexis Carrington. However, she wasn't the only actress under consideration, and reportedly competed for the role with some big-name stars.
In fact, the role was offered to Elizabeth Taylor, Raquel Welch and Sophia Loren, all of whom passed.
Meanwhile, before Linda Evans was cast as Kystle, "Police Woman" star Angie Dickinson was offered the role, and turned it down.
“I’ve thanked God endlessly, but I owe a special thanks to Angie Dickinson for turning down the part of Krystle," Evans wrote in her memoir.
Only One Actor Appeared In Every Episode
"Dynasty" produced an impressive 220 episodes, and only one of the series' stars appeared in every single: John Forsythe, who played patriarch Blake Carrington.
The Surprising Inspiration Behind The Show's Iconic Shoulder Pads
In addition to its ratings, "Dynasty" was known for the downright massive shoulder pads on the outfits of the show's female characters.
According to series co-creator Esther Shapiro, "Dynasty" costume designer Nolan Miller was inspired by Joan Crawford's wardrobe in such 1940s films as "Mildred Pierce". Miller was also adamant that no character wear the same outfit twice. As a result, his wardrobe budget was a whopping $350,000 per episode. He designed an estimated 3,000 outfits during the show's nine-season run.
'Dynasty' Was Huge In One Particular Eastern-European Country
"Dynasty" was a huge hit on the U.S. airwaves, and was also wildly popular worldwide.
It was particularly popular in the former Yugoslavia. According to reports at the time, streets throughout the country emptied each week during the hour when "Dynasty" was broadcast.
There Was Almost A 'Dynasty' Movie
"Dynasty" had been off the air for more than two decades when plans were made for 2012 big-screen prequel, set in 1961 and focusing on young Blake Carrington.
"We’re taking Blake Carrington back to his young manhood and when he met Alexis, and setting the movie in the 'Mad Men'-era of the 1960s," said series co-creator Esther Shapiro.
While the "Dynasty" movie never got off the ground, in 2017 The CW launched a new reboot.
The Surprising Reason The Show's Groundbreaking Gay Character Was Played By 2 Actors
Al Corley played Carrington scion Steven, a groundbreaking role in that Steven Carrington was one of the first openly gay characters on television.
While the role brought Corley a lot of attention, he quit the show when a storyline called for his character to be "cured" of homosexuality. Corley balked, walking away from the show rather than participating in that story arc.
As a result, a new actor was cast, with Jack Coleman playing Steven. The difference in the two actors' features was explained by Steven becoming injured in an explosion on an oil rig that required extensive cosmetic surgery.
None Of The Actors Knew If They Survived The Moldavian Massacre
One of the most memorable episodes was the fifth season finale in 1985, when aramed Moldavian terrorists invaded Amanda's (Catherine Oxenberg) wedding and began firing at guests.
While fans had no idea who survived and who was killed, that was also true for the show's cast. “We had no idea who was going to live or die. None of us knew,” Joan Collins said during the "Dynasty" reunion. “Because we knew if you were really bloodied up, that was it. Might as well call your agent and say, ‘I need a job’ It was very funny, actually.”
As it turned out, the only casualties were minor characters Lady Ashley Mitchell (Ali MacGraw) and Luke Fuller (Billy Campbell).