David Jacobs

Producer/ Show Creator


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his over two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Show Creator/ Producer David Jacobs discusses his long career as a writer of non-fiction books, including a biography of Charlie Chaplin, and of magazine articles for such publications as The New York Times Magazine. He talks about his transition to television writing, which began on the series The Blue Knight and on Family when he was well into his thirties. Jacobs describes in great detail his creation of two popular and long-running nighttime serials: Dallas and Knots Landing. He notes the fact that Knots Landing was created before Dallas, but pitched and produced afterward. He recounts how Dallas was created around actress Linda Evans (who would be a regular on Dynasty), how the show came to be titled and set in Dallas (a city he had never been to), and how the show reflected its era. Jacobs also explains the premise of Knots Landing, gives his impressions of the actors who appeared on the show and discusses some of the storylines on the popular series. He then comments on a number of series, miniseries, and television movies he produced in the 1980s and 90s, including the western series Paradise and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Shelley Jenkins conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on February 29, 2008.

"I'm a natural writer. I always had a lot of words in me."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas
On how Dallas reflected its era
On how Dallas was Romeo and Juliet and Cain and Abel
On the importance of music on Knots Landing
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years, influences, and his start in writing
On his start in television writing
On the development and production of Knots Landing and Dallas

Chapter 2

On Dallas (continued)
On the role of a story editor (on Family )
On Knots Landing

Chapter 3

On producing; on Knots Landing (continued)
On his later series; on his advice to writers; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Behind the Screen

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David Jacobs on his role on the late night show Behind the Screen - a soap opera about the making of soap opera

Berrenger's

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David Jacobs on his role on Berrenger's

Blue Knight, The

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David Jacobs on his first television job - a rewrite on The Blue Knight
David Jacobs on how Bob Schlitt gave him a much needed job on The Blue Knight

Bodies of Evidence

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David Jacobs on creating the show Bodies of Evidence

Dallas

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David Jacobs on the genesis and production of Dallas and Knots Landing
Creator/Producer David Jacobs on Dallas (continued)
David Jacobs on the fifth episode of Dallas, "Barbeque"
David Jacobs on the Dallas prequel, Dallas: The Early Years
David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas
David Jacobs on the Dallas prequel Dallas: The Early Years
David Jacobs on the writing of Dallas

Dallas: "Barbeque"

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David Jacobs on the fifth episode of Dallas, "Barbeque"

Dallas: "The Return to Camelot: Part 1"

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David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas

Dallas: "Who Done It?"

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David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas

Dallas: The Early Years

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David Jacobs on the Dallas prequel, Dallas: The Early Years
David Jacobs on the Dalla s prequel Dallas: The Early Years

Dynasty

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David Jacobs on Dynasty as a perfect representation of Reagan's 2nd term

Family

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David Jacobs on becoming a staff writer on Family
Writer David Jacobs on the role of a story editor (on Family)

Four Corners

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David Jacobs on his role on CBS' Four Corners

Homefront

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David Jacobs on two of his writers creating Homefront

Knots Landing

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David Jacobs on the genesis and production of Dallas and Knots Landing
Creator/Producer David Jacobs on Knots Landing
Creator/Producer David Jacobs on Knots Landing (continued)
David Jacobs on the writing of Knots Landing

Kukla, Fran & Ollie

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David Jacobs on the show Kukla, Fran and Ollie

Lace

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David Jacobs on his role on the ABC miniseries Lace

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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David Jacobs on his role on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Lucky Pup

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David Jacobs on how he enjoyed the children's show Lucky Pup

Moloney

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David Jacobs on his role on CBS' Moloney

Paradise

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David Jacobs on the western Paradise

Perfect Match, A

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David Jacobs on his role on the CBS TV movie A Perfect Match

Picket Fences

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David Jacobs on creating the show Bodies of Evidence and time slot differences with Picket Fences

Secrets of Midland Heights

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David Jacobs on his role on the night-time soap Secrets of Midland Heights

Waltons, The

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David Jacobs on working with Lorimar Productions - producers of The Waltons
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Dallas creator David Jacobs on the character of J.R. Ewing
Dallas creator David Jacobs on the characters of Dallas

Memorable Moments on Television

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David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas

Pop Culture

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David Jacobs on casting Dallas
Professions

Producers

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David Jacobs on what he learned from producer/executive Lee Rich and how he applied it to show running

Writers

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Writer/show creator David Jacobs on writing
David Jacobs on writing when he has something to write
David Jacobs on advice to young writers
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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David Jacobs on the genesis and production of Knots Landing and Dallas
People

Merv Adelson

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David Jacobs on working with Lorimar Productions executive, Merv Adelson

Joan Van Ark

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David Jacobs on Knots Landing actress Joan Van Ark

Dean Cain

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David Jacobs on working with Dean Cain on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Philip Capice

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David Jacobs on Phil Capice, Executive Producer on Dallas

George Clooney

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David Jacobs on creating the show Bodies of Evidence with George Clooney

Jim Davis

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David Jacobs on Dallas actor Jim Davis and his character Jack Ewing

William Devane

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David Jacobs on Knots Landing actor William Devane

Patrick Duffy

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David Jacobs on Patrick Duffy from Dallas

Linda Evans

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David Jacobs on pitching Knots Landin g, then creating Dallas as a vehicle for Linda Evans

Michael Filerman

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David Jacobs on how Lorimar development director Michael Filerman helped inspire Knots Landing

Robert Foxworth

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David Jacobs on casting Dallas - Robert Foxworth was the original choice to play J.R. Ewing

Barbara Bel Geddes

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David Jacobs on casting Barbara Bel Geddes for Dallas

Larry Hagman

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David Jacobs on actor Larry Hagman

Teri Hatcher

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David Jacobs on working with Teri Hatcher on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Steve Kanaly

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David Jacobs on Dalla s actor Steve Kanaly

Leonard Katzman

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David Jacobs on Leonard Katzman, Producer on Dallas
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas

Ken Kercheval

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David Jacobs on Dalla s actor Ken Kercheval

Kim LeMasters

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David Jacobs on CBS President Kim LeMasters changing the location of Paradise and on creating future shows

Deborah Joy LeVine

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David Jacobs on working on Deborah Joy Levine's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Michele Lee

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David Jacobs on Knots Landin g actress Michelle Lee

Camille Marchetta

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David Jacobs on story editor Camille Marchetta's role in the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas

Nigel McKeand

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David Jacobs on advice on writing from writer Nigel McKeand
David Jacobs on advice on writing from writer Nigel McKeand

Victoria Principal

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David Jacobs on the difficulties of casting the character of Pamela on Dallas
David Jacobs on actress Victoria Principal and her Dallas character Pamela

Lee Rich

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David Jacobs on working with Lorimar Productions executive Lee Rich

Robert Schlitt

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David Jacobs on his first television job - a rewrite on The Blue Knight, and on his admiration for development executive Bob Schlitt
David Jacobs on how Bob Schlitt gave him a much needed job on The Blue Knight

Ted Shackelford

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David Jacobs on Knots Landing actor Ted Shackleford

Peter Strauss

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David Jacobs on working with actor Peter Strauss
David Jacobs on his role on CBS' Moloney with Peter Strauss

Charlene Tilton

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David Jacobs on actress Charlene Tilton and her Dallas character Lucy 

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