CLOSED! THE DOBSONS RETURN TO SANTA BARBARA
|Soap Opera Digest, January 22, 1991
After a three-year court battle with NBC, Jerome and Bridget Dobson,
who created Santa Barbara, are back. On September 22, 1987, the
Dobsons left in a heated dispute over creative control, claiming they'd
been "locked out." They sued NBC and New World Television for a
total of $172 million. The lawsuit against New World Television was
settled in 1988, but they didn't come to terms with NBC until last month.
(Part of the agreement precludes either party from revealing the exact
amount of the settlement.)
Pleased to be back at the helm, the husband-and-wife writing team feel
confident they can save the sinking show. "We're going to write as
smartly and as emotionally as we can," Jerry Dobson told us. "Historically,
we've always been able to buck trends. Santa Barbara was a unique
animal in daytime, but before we left, the show was starting to move up in
During their three-year exile, the Dobsons didn't keep up with the
Capwells and Castillos. "It was too painful to watch," Bridget
says. "Characters began to change before our eyes. There was too much
antic humor and not enough wit."
They promise "no blood bath" as far as cast changes go, but
intend to write scripts that "celebrate the exuberance of life. Our
characters will be flogged and driven by their principles. There will be
plenty of humor mixed with pain."
In welcoming them aboard as head writers and creative production
executives, Senior Executive Producer John Conboy said, "Having the
Dobsons back gives Santa Barbara one of the strongest creative
teams on daytime."