Falcon Crest is an American prime time television soap opera that aired for nine seasons on CBS from December 4, 1981 to May 17, 1990. A total of 227 episodes were produced. The series revolved around the feuding factions of the wealthy Gioberti/Channing family in the Californian wine industry. Jane Wyman starred as Angela Channing, the tyrannical matriarch of the Falcon Crest Winery, alongside Robert Foxworth as Chase Gioberti, Angela's nephew who returns to Falcon Crest after the death of his father. The series was set in the fictitious Tuscany Valley (modeled after the Napa Valley) northeast of San Francisco.
The show was created by Earl Hamner, Jr., who had previously created The Waltons, which had just finished its final season in 1981. Hamner wanted to create a family drama involving the wine industry entitled The Vintage Years. An unaired pilot episode was produced, but CBS requested that Hamner make the show more along the lines of Dallas, which was the network's biggest hit at that time.The script was rewritten and several cast members changed for what became Falcon Crest. The series first aired in December 1981, when CBS scheduled Falcon Crest at 10 pm on Friday nights, right after Dallas. The Dallas-Falcon Crest one-two punch proved lucrative for the network and Falcon Crest was a top-20 show in the Nielsen Ratings for several years. Both shows (like The Waltons) were produced for CBS by the same company, Lorimar Productions.