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."

Highlights
David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
03:48
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas
02:43
On how Dallas reflected its era
02:09
On how Dallas was Romeo and Juliet and Cain and Abel
00:28
On the importance of music on Knots Landing
03:58
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years, influences, and his start in writing
20:56
On his start in television writing
12:05
On the development and production of Knots Landing and Dallas
26:09

Chapter 2

On Dallas (continued)
37:01
On the role of a story editor (on Family )
04:14
On Knots Landing
17:49

Chapter 3

On producing; on Knots Landing (continued)
26:56
On his later series; on his advice to writers; on how he would like to be remembered
31:23
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
00:55

Berrenger's

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David Jacobs on his role on Berrenger's
01:30

Blue Knight, The

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David Jacobs on his first television job - a rewrite on The Blue Knight
00:38
David Jacobs on how Bob Schlitt gave him a much needed job on The Blue Knight
02:03

Bodies of Evidence

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David Jacobs on creating the show Bodies of Evidence
02:35

Dallas

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David Jacobs on the genesis and production of Dallas and Knots Landing
25:42
Creator/Producer David Jacobs on Dallas (continued)
37:00
David Jacobs on the fifth episode of Dallas, "Barbeque"
02:23
David Jacobs on the Dallas prequel, Dallas: The Early Years
03:03
David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
04:18
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas
02:41
David Jacobs on the Dallas prequel Dallas: The Early Years
01:05
David Jacobs on the writing of Dallas
01:08

Dallas: "Barbeque"

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David Jacobs on the fifth episode of Dallas, "Barbeque"
02:23

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
02:41

Dallas: "Who Done It?"

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David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
03:48

Dallas: The Early Years

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David Jacobs on the Dallas prequel, Dallas: The Early Years
03:03
David Jacobs on the Dalla s prequel Dallas: The Early Years
01:05

Dynasty

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David Jacobs on Dynasty as a perfect representation of Reagan's 2nd term
02:09

Family

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David Jacobs on becoming a staff writer on Family
01:02
Writer David Jacobs on the role of a story editor (on Family)
04:16

Four Corners

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David Jacobs on his role on CBS' Four Corners
01:21

Homefront

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David Jacobs on two of his writers creating Homefront
00:29

Knots Landing

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David Jacobs on the genesis and production of Dallas and Knots Landing
25:42
Creator/Producer David Jacobs on Knots Landing
17:49
Creator/Producer David Jacobs on Knots Landing (continued)
26:56
David Jacobs on the writing of Knots Landing
01:08

Kukla, Fran & Ollie

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David Jacobs on the show Kukla, Fran and Ollie
00:29

Lace

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David Jacobs on his role on the ABC miniseries Lace
00:58

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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David Jacobs on his role on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
03:19

Lucky Pup

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David Jacobs on how he enjoyed the children's show Lucky Pup
00:29

Moloney

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David Jacobs on his role on CBS' Moloney
01:39

Paradise

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David Jacobs on the western Paradise
09:11

Perfect Match, A

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David Jacobs on his role on the CBS TV movie A Perfect Match
00:25

Picket Fences

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David Jacobs on creating the show Bodies of Evidence and time slot differences with Picket Fences
02:35

Secrets of Midland Heights

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David Jacobs on his role on the night-time soap Secrets of Midland Heights
01:31

Waltons, The

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David Jacobs on working with Lorimar Productions - producers of The Waltons
00:16
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Dallas creator David Jacobs on the character of J.R. Ewing
05:12
Dallas creator David Jacobs on the characters of Dallas
00:44

Memorable Moments on Television

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David Jacobs on the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
03:48
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas
02:43

Pop Culture

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David Jacobs on casting Dallas
00:35
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
01:40

Writers

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Writer/show creator David Jacobs on writing
00:07
David Jacobs on writing when he has something to write
00:54
David Jacobs on advice to young writers
00:30
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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David Jacobs on the genesis and production of Knots Landing and Dallas
26:15
People

Merv Adelson

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David Jacobs on working with Lorimar Productions executive, Merv Adelson
00:53

Joan Van Ark

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David Jacobs on Knots Landing actress Joan Van Ark
01:16

Dean Cain

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David Jacobs on working with Dean Cain on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
01:47

Philip Capice

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David Jacobs on Phil Capice, Executive Producer on Dallas
00:52

George Clooney

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David Jacobs on creating the show Bodies of Evidence with George Clooney
02:35

Jim Davis

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David Jacobs on Dallas actor Jim Davis and his character Jack Ewing
00:14

William Devane

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David Jacobs on Knots Landing actor William Devane
00:44

Patrick Duffy

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David Jacobs on Patrick Duffy from Dallas
01:05

Linda Evans

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David Jacobs on pitching Knots Landin g, then creating Dallas as a vehicle for Linda Evans
01:51

Michael Filerman

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David Jacobs on how Lorimar development director Michael Filerman helped inspire Knots Landing
02:55

Robert Foxworth

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David Jacobs on casting Dallas - Robert Foxworth was the original choice to play J.R. Ewing
01:16

Barbara Bel Geddes

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David Jacobs on casting Barbara Bel Geddes for Dallas
02:03

Larry Hagman

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David Jacobs on actor Larry Hagman
04:34

Teri Hatcher

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David Jacobs on working with Teri Hatcher on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
00:31

Steve Kanaly

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David Jacobs on Dalla s actor Steve Kanaly
00:32

Leonard Katzman

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David Jacobs on Leonard Katzman, Producer on Dallas
00:52
David Jacobs on the Bobby out of the shower/last season was all a dream storyline on Dallas
02:43

Ken Kercheval

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David Jacobs on Dalla s actor Ken Kercheval
01:59

Kim LeMasters

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David Jacobs on CBS President Kim LeMasters changing the location of Paradise and on creating future shows
04:33

Deborah Joy LeVine

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David Jacobs on working on Deborah Joy Levine's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
02:32

Michele Lee

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David Jacobs on Knots Landin g actress Michelle Lee
00:34

Camille Marchetta

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David Jacobs on story editor Camille Marchetta's role in the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on Dallas
01:54

Nigel McKeand

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David Jacobs on advice on writing from writer Nigel McKeand
01:17
David Jacobs on advice on writing from writer Nigel McKeand
00:26

Victoria Principal

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David Jacobs on the difficulties of casting the character of Pamela on Dallas
03:06
David Jacobs on actress Victoria Principal and her Dallas character Pamela
01:41

Lee Rich

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David Jacobs on working with Lorimar Productions executive Lee Rich
08:39

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
00:38
David Jacobs on how Bob Schlitt gave him a much needed job on The Blue Knight
02:03

Ted Shackelford

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David Jacobs on Knots Landing actor Ted Shackleford
00:31

Peter Strauss

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David Jacobs on working with actor Peter Strauss
00:27
David Jacobs on his role on CBS' Moloney with Peter Strauss
01:39

Charlene Tilton

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David Jacobs on actress Charlene Tilton and her Dallas character Lucy 
01:00

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