While there have been a lot of TV and movie series based off novels, one of the best known is Peyton Place. Peyton Place was a soap opera that aired on ABC from 1964 to 1969 and was based off a novel that shared the same name. The show had a huge cast but acted as a springboard for a number of hugely successful actors, actresses, and performers. And although the show was only around for half a decade, it still has a large number of fans. Here are some amazing facts about the show that you may not have known.
The Show Was Based on a Novel
The original novel debuted in 1956, which was around a decade before the show premiered. The book was written by Grace Metalious and was very controversial for its depiction of sexuality. But even for its controversial nature, it still sold millions of copies and stayed on the New York bestseller list for 59 straight weeks.
The Show Was Also Preceded by a Movie, Too
While the TV show has likely become the most popular medium for the story, there was also a movie that was based on the book, that actually did very well. But unlike the TV show, the movie came out the year after the book was released. It had a budget of around $2 million and made around $25 million, making it a big success.
The Show Ran in Both Black and White and Color
The show ran during a strange “transitional” period on TV in which shows were transitioning from the black and white of the past to color. From 1964 to 1966 the show ran in the traditional black and white, with the shows from 1966 to 1969 being in full and glorious color.
The Show Launched the Career of Mia Farrow
Farrow has become one of the most influential individuals in show business. She has been an actress and model, and married and dated some of the most high-profile men of the time. And she can thank this show for launching her career. She didn’t start out on the show as the star but quickly took on that role over time.
She Went on to Act in Dozens of High Profile Movies and Won Tons of Awards
And while she may have been better known as a wife of some very important men in the business, she was also an amazing actress. She acted in over 50 movies and won a ton of awards from Golden Globes to BAFTA awards. Both critics and the public alike loved her acting.
Farrow Is Also Known for Her Humanitarian Work
But since fading away from the spotlight over the last few decades, she has become heralded for her humanitarian work and her work with UNICEF. She goes to numerous countries in Africa to provide aid and was even named on of TIME’s most influential people in the world in 2008.
At the Peak of the Show, It Ran Three Times a Week
Despite only being around for about half a decade, the show ran over 500 episodes. When it first launched, the show appeared two nights a week in a prime time slot. But after the show was extremely successful and the fans wanted more, it was moved to three times a week to satisfy demand.
This Show Marked the Birth of the American Prime-Time Sitcom
While soap operas had been on in America before, but they were always during the day. But after the success of Coronation Street in England, ABC decided to try a nighttime soap in the USA. They elected to air the show during prime time, the first time this was ever done for a soap opera in America.
The Series Was Often Criticized For Its Adult Content
Just like the book that came before it, the TV show dealt with a number of sensitive issues that were controversial for the time. It dealt with a number of sexual themes like teen pregnancy which had it criticized heavily. But even though some didn’t like it, more did, and that’s why it was so successful.
The Show’s Budget Was Only $60,000 Per Episode
In addition to dealing with adult and sexual themes throughout its tenure in TV, the show also had a number of other hurdles to jump. One of them was that the show only got a budget of $60,000 per episode, which was very low for a primetime show, even in the 1960s.
Despite That, It Was A Mega Hit
But even with all those things stacked against the show like criticism and a low budget, the show was still a big success. It was an instant hit and this success continued for a few years until rating’s started to decline after Farrow left the show, but the fact it was successful at all is impressive.
There Are a Few Big Differences Between the Novel and TV Show
And despite being based directly on the novel, the TV show had some notable differences. The time in history where they occurred was different, an important family in the novel never appears in the show, the content became a little bit more family friendly and many other changes also occurred.
Mia Farrow Was Married to Frank Sinatra
Farrow was an amazing actress, but also became very famous for some of her relationships. Her first husband was none other than world famous and legendary singer and performer Frank Sinatra. The two got married in 1966 but then separated and divorced in 1968. It was a short but highly publicized relationship at the time.
She Was Also Married To Woody Allen
Her most recent marriage was also to another big name when she Woody Allen, a legendary film director in 1979. She also appeared in 13 of the 14 movies he put out during their marriage, which lasted until 1992. The marriage ended when Allen began a relationship with Farrow’s adopted daughter.
Dorothy Malone’s Career In the Business Spanned Half a Century
Farrow is probably the best-known actress to come out of this show, but at the time of its first air dates, there is no doubting Dorothy Malone was a bigger name in Hollywood. Malone had been in the business for 20 years already when the show debuted in the mid-1960s.
She Was Also a Successful Big Screen Actor Before This Show
And not only was her career in show business long, it was also very successful! In fact, when she took on her role in Peyton Place, she already had an Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actress under her belt. Her film career was at its peak during the start of the popular series.
A Number of High Profile Guest Stars Appeared on the Show
The show itself had a few recurring stars, but also a cast of over 200 primary and secondary actors, most of whom weren’t known very well. But despite this, there were a ton of notable guest stars that also appeared on the show. These individuals included Leslie Nielsen, Lee Grant, Gena Rowlands, and more.
Malone is Also One of the Only People Alive From the Golden Age of Hollywood
While Dorothy Malone’s career took a downturn after the show, she is definitely still a legendary part of show business history. She is currently 91 years old and is one of the only surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, which is used to describe the way a small number of huge studios used to dominate the industry from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Ed Nelson Was Displaced by Hurricane Katrina
Ed Nelson was another of the big stars on this show and appeared prolifically in movies, on TV, and on the stage. Up until 2005, he was living and teaching acting in New Orleans. But when Hurricane Katrina hit, it displaced him and his family and they moved up north to Louisiana.
Franz Waxman Was One of the Best Composers in the Business
Another memorable part of the show was the theme song and that was thanks to Franz Waxman. Waxman worked extensively in the TV and film composing business and was hugely successful. He has been nominated for Oscars a massive twelve times and has won two of them, and also took home a Golden Globe.