The continuing story of Peyton Place
, which spanned five seasons and 514 episodes, begins here. Based on the sensational bestselling novel and subsequent Oscar-nominated film, this groundbreaking 1964 series was television's first serialized primetime soap. In this inaugural year, it aired episodes twice weekly, and catapulted fledgling network ABC from third place to No. 1. The name of this New England burg has become synonymous with small-town scandal. In the first episode, Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson), a transplanted New Yorker, arrives to set up his practice. "Peyton Place is more complicated than you think," he is told. That is an understatement. An illicit kiss between wealthy and married Leslie Harrington (Paul Langton) and his married secretary, Julie Anderson (Kasey Rogers), gets things rolling. Rodney (Ryan O'Neal), Leslie's son, witnesses the kiss, and, in turn, breaks up with Betty (Barbara Parkins), his summer fling from the wrong side of the tracks, and Julie's daughter. Things get increasingly complicated from here as the series tackles such not-ready-for-primetime topics as premarital sex, teenage pregnancy, and domestic abuse. Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone (Written on the Wind
) lends some Old Hollywood glamour to the proceedings as bookstore owner and overprotective single mother Constance MacKenzie, whose own devastating family secret will be revealed in episode 31. In addition to O'Neal, New Hollywood is represented by a charming Mia Farrow as Constance's innocent daughter, Allison, an aspiring writer who falls in love with Rodney and, as these episodes unfold, becomes obsessed with the case of Elliot Carson (Tim O'Connor), who was imprisoned for killing his wife, and is up for parole.Another cast standout is Henry Beckman as discontented George Anderson, one of Leslie's salesmen, who has a sizable chip on his shoulders. Forty-five years later, Peyton Place
seems quaint and moves at a deliberate pace, but one very quickly settles in and feels right at home. As wise old local newspaper editor Matthew Swain (Warner Anderson) tells Rossi upon his arrival, "Some morning you're going to wake up and realize that every face you see is familiar, and you're going to have a definite feeling about each person... You have an experience ahead of you." --Donald Liebenson
On September 15, 1964, then fledgling television network ABC began airing a twice weekly prime time serial drama based on the scandalous and sexy best selling book Peyton Place. With brilliant acting by Dorothy Malone, Mia Farrow and Ryan O'Neal among others, this superbly written and directed nighttime soap opera stretched the boundaries of what was considered morally acceptable in the pre sexual revolution 1960s. When all was said and done, Peyton Place had won a devoted following over the course of its 514 episodes, and ABC had become a major network.This is the continuing story of Peyton Place
the soothing voice of benevolent town elder Matthew Swain would begin every episode. But the stories that followed were anything but soothing. Extramarital affairs, unwed teen pregnancies, family betrayals, mental illness and even murder were all lurking behind the storybook façade of this picture perfect, centuries old New England village and its citizens. From the day Dr. Michael Rossi arrives at Peyton Place to assume his role as town doctor, some of the townspeoples lives begin to unravel, revealing unexpected and intersecting relationships long hidden by secrets and lies. The widow Constance MacKenzie and her innocent daughter Allison; the troubled brothers Norman and Rodney Harrington and their powerful father Leslie; struggling George and Julie Anderson and their love struck daughter Betty; and the mysterious Elliot Carson are all revealed to be much more than they initially appear in these first 31 episodes. This is the beginning of the continuing story of Peyton Place.