Santa Barbara was a NBC network soap opera created by Bridget Dobson & Jerome Dobson.
The show first premiered on July 30, 1984, airing in the United States at 3:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Central) on NBC in the same time slot as "General Hospital" on ABC and "Guiding Light" on CBS & right after "Another World".
It has won 24 Daytime Emmy Awards and was nominated 30 times for the same award and also won 18 Soap Opera Digest Awards, and won various other awards.
In 1993, NBC replaced "Santa Barbara" with game shows "Scrabble" and "Scattergories". Shortly before it was canceled by NBC, New World Television tried to shop the show to other broadcast and cable networks, but failed to find one that would air it.
"Santa Barbara" came to an end on January 15, 1993 after 9 seasons and 2,137 episodes.
"Santa Barbara" was about the eventful lives of the wealthy Capwell family of Santa Barbara, California.
Other prominent families featured on the soap were the rival Lockridge family and the more modest Andrade & Perkins families.
- Nikki Alvarez — Constance Marie
- Santana Andrade — Ava Lazar / Margaret Michaels / Gina Gallego / Wanda De Jesus
- Quinn Armitage — Roscoe Born
- Robert Barr — Roscoe Born
- Laura Simmons Asher — Christopher Norris
- Flame Beaufort — Roberta Weiss
- C.C. Capwell — Peter Mark Richman / Paul Burke / Charles Bateman / Jed Allan
- Eden Capwell — Marcy Walker
- Julia Wainwright Capwell — Nancy Lee Grahn
- Lily Blake Capwell — Lynn Clark / Paula Irvine
- Kelly Capwell — Robin Wright / Kimberly McArthur / Carrington Garland / Eileen Davidson
- Ted Capwell — Todd McKee / Michael Brainard
- Mason Capwell — Lane Davies / Terry Lester / Gordon Thomson
- Sophia Wayne Capwell — Rosemary Forsyth / Judith McConnell
- Cruz Castillo — A Martinez
- Scott Clark — Vincent Irizarry
- Suzanne Collier — Terri Garber
- Pamela Capwell Conrad — Shirley Anne Field / Marj Dusay
- Michael Donnelly — Frank Runyeon
- Peter Flint — Stephen Meadows
- Victoria Lane — Kristen Meadows
- Gina Blake Lockridge — Linda Gibboney / Robin Mattson
- Laken Lockridge — Julie Ronnie / Susan Marie Snyder / Shell Danielson
- Lionel Lockridge — Nicolas Coster
- Warren Lockridge — John Allen Nelson / Scott Jenkins / Jack Wagner
- Mark McCormick — Jon Lindstrom
- Joe Perkins — Dane Witherspoon / Mark Arnold
- Angela Raymond — Nina Arvesen
- Augusta Wainwright — Louise Sorel
- B.J. Walker — Sydney Penny
Crew & Cast ChangesEdit
In 1988, the Dobsons were locked out of NBC studios after repeated attempts to fire the head writer. They sued and were eventually allowed to return to the program, but the show's ratings never recovered, even as the show won three Daytime Emmys in a row for "Outstanding Drama Series".
Under new executive producer Jill Farren Phelps' tenure, most of the show revolved around Cruz and Eden. One controversial storyline involved Eden being brutally raped and later discovering that her assailant was her gynecologist Zack Kelton, who had examined her after her rape.
Leigh McCloskey (the actor who played the role) stated that he was uncomfortable with the storyline as he felt that women had enough concerns about visiting gynecologists. After Zack's death, McCloskey returned as a new character, District Attorney Ethan Asher.
Phelps left the series in the early 1990s shortly after being demoted and replaced by John Conboy as executive producer.
Finally, Paul Rauch became the last executive producer (all three would later be producers on the long-running daytime series Guiding Light). Many important actors had left the series for one reason or another. Robin Wright was the first to leave, in 1988, to focus on her film career following the success of The Princess Bride the previous year.
Later in 1988, Justin Deas left, followed by Lane Davies in 1989 and Marcy Walker in 1991.
Popular actress Louise Sorel was fired in 1991 because she did not want to have a romance with Dash Nichols, the man who had raped Augusta's sister Julia. Eden, Cruz and most of the Lockridges had been written out while new characters played by stars from other shows such as Kim Zimmer, Jack Wagner, and Sydney Penny took up most of the airtime.
Nicolas Coster had returned after a 2 1/2 year absence but his character disappeared soon after as Coster could not come to terms over the lack of storyline he had gotten after such promise when he first came back. By the time Coster had resolved the issues and returned permanently, Louise Sorel was on her way out, and Lionel was paired in a romance with C.C.'s former wife, Gina.
The ratings continued to collapse as more and more affiliates dropped the program. Many affiliates began moving the show to earlier time periods, as early as 10 a.m and 1 p.m.
The final episode aired in January 1993. In the finale, Sophia and C.C. Capwell moved towards a reconciliation, Kelly found love with Connor McCabe, and at Warren and BJ's wedding, unbalanced Andie Klein aimed a gun at the crowd; however, she was quickly disarmed and carried away by Connor.
This was then followed by a roll-call list of the cast and crew. The final shot consisted of executive producer Paul Rauch standing in front of the camera, smashing a cigar under his shoe, and walking away.
NBC usually pitted "Santa Barbara" against "General Hospital" on ABC and "Guiding Light" on CBS, both of which enjoyed high ratings at the time in the same time slot across all markets.
When NBC canceled the long-running soap "Search for Tomorrow" in 1986, it launched its "NBC Daytime... It Will Excite You" campaign, which promoted their three-hour block of serials starting with "Days of Our Lives", followed by "Another World" and ending with "Santa Barbara" in most markets across the U.S.
Although the show enjoyed considerable worldwide popularity, it never achieved the same heights in the United States. In its debut (1984–1985) season, it finished in 11th place and 3.4, and edged up to 10th and 4.2 the next year.
By 1987, it began to generate respectable numbers: it was still in 10th place, but achieved a 4.9 rating, the highest in the history of the show. (Incidentally, the 1987–1988 television season also proved to be the best ratings performance of the 1980s for NBC's daytime soap lineup, which had been in ratings trouble since the late 1970s).
As quickly as the ratings rose for "Santa Barbara", they fell just as quickly. After recording a 4.8 rating in the 1988-89 season, the serial dropped a full ratings point the next season.
Many of the stations airing the show began looking elsewhere for programming and began preempting Santa Barbara in favor of other shows. Some dropped the program altogether while others moved it to an earlier time slot, such as the open 12:00 PM slot that NBC gave back to the affiliates in 1991.
In 1992, with ratings barely hovering above a 3.0, NBC decided to rework its daytime schedule.
The network announced that "Santa Barbara" would be cancelled at the midway point of the 1992-93 season, with the final episode airing January 15, 1993.
NBC would then give the 3:00 PM hour back to its affiliates and in exchange for it they would take back the 12:00 PM hour which they had not programmed since "Generations" was cancelled.
"Santa Barbara" saw its place on the schedule taken by two Reg Grundy-produced game shows, a revival of the company's earlier hit "Scrabble" and a new program based on the board game "Scattergories".