Peyton Place (TV series): Wikis


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Peyton Place
Original title card (1964-1966)
Format Soap opera
Created by Grace Metalious
(original 1956 novel)
Developed by Paul Monash
Starring Dorothy Malone
Mia Farrow
Ed Nelson
and a cast of over 200 actors in primary and secondary roles
Opening theme "Theme from Peyton Place" by Franz Waxman
Ending theme Same as opening
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 514
Running time Per episode
30 minutes
(including commercials)
25-26 minutes
(excluding commercials)
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Original channel ABC
Original run September 15, 1964 – June 2, 1969

Peyton Place is an American prime time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes from September 15, 1964 to June 2, 1969.

Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious, the series was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation. A total of 514 episodes were broadcast, in black-and-white from 1964 to 1966 and in color from 1966 to 1969. At the show's peak ABC ran three new episodes a week. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Peyton Place is the only prime time series ever to run episodes continuously without reruns. A number of guest stars appeared in the series for extended periods, among them Dan Duryea, Susan Oliver, Leslie Nielsen, Gena Rowlands, and Lee Grant, who won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama for her role of tough-as-nails Stella Chernak. The series served as the springboard for such performers as Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, David Canary, Mariette Hartley, and Lana Wood.



The series opens with the church steeple overlaid with the words "Peyton Place," with a toning of church bells. An uncredited voice announces "This is the continuing story of Peyton Place." The scene changes to scenes of the town square, a rolling brook, and a panoramic view of Peyton Place. It dissolves to cast members, and then narration of previous episode events by Warner Anderson, who also played Matthew Swain. In 1966, the message was changed to "In color, the continuing story of Peyton Place." Warner Anderson left the series after the first season, but continued to offer his voice as narrator to the series until the final episode.

With Peyton Place, the American Broadcasting Company hoped to bring the success of the English soap opera Coronation Street to America. Inspired by that soap opera, it was decided that it should be aired on primetime.[1] Producer Paul Monash wanted to launch a revival of Grace Metalious' novel of the same name. He refused to acknowledge it as a soap opera, calling it a 'high-class anthology drama'.[1] An hour long pilot was shot in 1962. Originally, the Cross family from the novel was included, but when Irna Phillips was contacted to change the pilot, she decided to scrap it. A lot of disagreements between the makers ensued and the official pilot wasn't aired until September 15, 1964.[1]

When it premiered in late 1964, it meant the birth of the American soap opera.[2] The early stories were adapted from the 1956 book and 1957 film of the same name, although some principal character names and occupations were changed or simply eliminated. Some sensational plot lines from the novel, like incest, were replaced with less controversial themes, like teen pregnancy.[1] Nevertheless, the series was immediately criticized for the sexual themes it dealt with.[3]

Despite a budget of only $60,000 an episode, Peyton Place was an instant hit. Especially in the early years, it had loyal following from fans around the world.[4] Originally, it was aired two times a week, but because of its success, it was increased to three airings a week in June 1965.[5] When Dorothy Malone was rushed into emergency surgery, the producers were faced with the dilemma of what to do with her character Constance, who at that point was too deeply embroiled in the plot line to disappear without reason. Lola Albright was hired to take over the role and continued in the series until Malone returned.

The show's downfall began in September 1966. Ratings dropped after Mia Farrow's departure. Farrow never expected the show to become a success and immediately tried to get out of her contract when the show started its airing. On the urging of her then husband Frank Sinatra, the producers decided to write her off the show in the summer of 1966.[6] The character Rachel Welles, portrayed by Leigh Taylor-Young was written into the show as her replacement.[6] She wasn't successful in increasing the ratings, however. The show was soon cut back to two airings a week.[5] By 1968, most of the original characters were already written out of the show. Critics agreed the show became 'dated'.[5] The writers, already beginning work on what would be the final season, announced a lot of new characters would be written in the show. They would deal with 'electrifying subjects, the war, the draft, riots, music, God, and godlessness'.[5] Despite the fact several well known actors were added to the cast, including Ruby Dee, it was canceled on June 2, 1969.


Season 1 (1964-1965)

In the first episode, Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson) arrives from New York City to set up practice in town. Newspaper editor Matthew Swain (Warner Anderson) tells him people usually try to get away from towns like Peyton Place, not move to them. Matthew's niece Allison MacKenzie (Mia Farrow), a close friend of classmate Norman Harrington (Christopher Connelly), has begun to fall in love with his older brother Rodney (Ryan O'Neal); she is smitten as soon as they share their first kiss. At the end of the episode, Allison's mother, Constance (Dorothy Malone) makes it clear she disapproves of her daughter's newfound relationship with Rodney.

Allison is unamused by Betty's efforts to flirt with Rodney in this scene from early in the first season

Rodney is startled to find his father Leslie (Paul Langton) in a passionate embrace with his secretary Julie Anderson (Kasey Rogers), the mother of Rodney's girlfriend Betty (Barbara Parkins). Confused, Rodney tells Betty he cannot date her anymore and begins to see Allison instead. Betty, confused and hurt because he offered no reason for breaking up with her, discovers she is pregnant and tells Rodney. He agrees to marry her, and when Betty miscarries their child, she does not tell him until after they are wed. However, they soon find out they are not meant to be together and file for divorce.

Midway through the first season, another principal character arrives in Peyton Place. Elliot Carson (Tim O'Connor), Allison's birth father, had been imprisoned for the murder of his wife Elizabeth, though the actual culprit is Catherine Peyton Harrington (Mary Anderson), Rodney's spoiled and manipulative mother. He eventually clears his name and marries Constance. Meanwhile, Norman falls in love with working class girl Rita Jacks (Patricia Morrow), whose mother Ada (Evelyn Scott) works in a tavern. They start a relationship, but Norman is constantly bothered by her aggressive ex-boyfriend Joe Chernak (Don Quine). Rodney tries to defend his brother and lands into a fight with him, during which Joe accidentally dies.

All of this is witnessed by Kim Schuster (Kimberly Beck) the six-year-old deaf daughter of David (William Smithers) and Doris (Gail Kobe). She didn't want to move from New York City to Peyton Place and as a result, starts to rebel against her mother. She only bonds with Allison, who serves as her babysitter.

Season 2 (1965-1966)

The first half of the second season focused on the Joe Chernak death trial against Rodney, who is sued by Detective Attorney John Fowler (John Kerr) for murder. Rodney proclaims he is innocent, but soon more people turn their back to him. Only Allison truly believes in his innocence. The murder trial is worsened by Joe's sister Stella (Lee Grant), who arrives in Peyton Place to see Rodney put behind bars. She starts spreading lies about him and even gives false testimony. She is soon hated by almost everyone in Peyton Place, except for Michael, with whom she becomes romantically involved. Rita and Kim are also having emotional trouble with the trial. Rita feels it is all her fault, but Norman stays by her side and they eventually elope and move in with each other. Kim is forced to give a testimony, but she is traumatized by the night of Joe's death, after which Doris decides Peyton Place isn't the right environment for her daughter to live in. Rodney is eventually found not guilty and Stella leaves town, much to the delight of almost everyone.

Another plot in the early part of this season involves Allison, who is hit by a car and lands into a coma. John's wife Marian (Joan Blackman) is the one who hit her, but she hides the evidence, fearing punishment. Elliot especially is determined to find out who is guilty. When Allison awakens, she cannot remember what happened the past year, including the revealing of Elliot being her real father and Rodney being on trial. Michael advises Constance not to tell Allison about Elliot, claiming it will work against her recovery. This troubles Elliot, who is angry for not being allowed to see his daughter. When Allison eventually finds out the entire truth, she finds it too hard to deal with and starts to rebel, for example by cutting her hair. This causes a lot of pain to Constance, who is denounced by her own daughter. In the end, Michael makes clear to Allison she is acting selfish and convinces her to return home. She and Rodney continue their relationship, but they soon find out they have only a little in common and break up.

The second half mostly focuses on an accident involving Chris Webber (Gary Haynes), who is allegedly pushed off a cliff by Ann Howard (Susan Oliver) and blinded. Chris's tough brother Lee (Steve Oliver) accuses Ann, who leaves town with her father. She returns to prove her innocence. Lee is determined to bully her out of town, and his wife Sandy (Lana Wood) is pushed toward Rodney, who works for Lee. Meanwhile, Ann befriends Allison and becomes romantically involved with Michael.

Hannah Cord (Ruth Warrick), the housekeeper of patriarch Martin Peyton (George Macready), is determined to make Ann leave town as well. Martin is the father of Catherine and grandfather of Rodney and Norman. He intimidates everyone in town, except for Betty, who isn't afraid to talk back to him. He likes that in her and hires her as his second housekeeper. Hannah, meanwhile, carries a dark secret about her son Steven's (James Douglas) past. Steven was already introduced in the first season as Rodney's lawyer and later marries Betty. However, he remains suspicious of her rumored affair with Rodney. It eventually turns out to be that Steven and Ann are siblings, the children of Hannah's husband Brian Cord and Catherine, who gave birth to them out of wedlock.[7] Ann had been sent away with Brian, and Steven had been adopted by Hannah, who pretended he was her son. Martin is the only one who knows this secret, but soon Betty finds out as well. She confronts them, but they beg her to keep silent, claiming the truth will ruin Steven's life. Betty reluctantly agrees, but the constant lying this requires makes Steven determined to think she is indeed secretly seeing Rodney. He even goes as far as filing for a divorce, until the truth is revealed.

At the end of the season, Allison leaves town, following a fight with Chris, who tells her that she is incapable of loving someone. Rodney proposed to her only a few hours before her disappearance. The townspeople immediately starts to look for her, without any luck. Meanwhile, Lee has become the prime suspect of the murder regarding Ann. Chris turns his back on him, and becomes outraged when he finds out Steven will serve as his lawyer. Not only does he try to convince him to withdraw, but he also tries to push Sandy to stop protecting her husband.

Season 3 (1966-1967)

Color title card (1966-1969)

Season 3 begins in color and at first focuses on Connie, who has to go into premature labor, and gives birth to a son, who she names Matthew. Although she is happy for her, Rita desires to have a baby as well. Norman notices this and tells her that if she has a baby, he will have to drop out of college and work full time to support the family. As she feels that his education is very important, Rita abandons the idea and starts working as Matthew's babysitter instead. The primary focus of the third season is the trial called 'The people versus Lee Webber'. Steven, serving as Lee's attorney, is still bothered with a lot of criticism for defending him. The trial receives a lot of attention from the townspeople, mainly because of Martin Peyton and Hannah Cord's testimonies.

Hannah tried to reconcile with Steven, but he didn't let her in, giving her a hard interrogation instead. In the heat of this, she confesses that she is not Steven and Ann's biological mother. She reveals that Catherine Peyton had an affair with her husband Brian Corby and gave birth to them. Martin tried to hide the scandal by hiring Hannah as her maid and letting her claim that Steven was her son. Ann was sent away with Brian, who was paid to keep silent. Furthermore, she claims that she saw Lee pushing Ann off the cliff. In the end, Hannah is denounced by her son and Lee is released on a technicality error. He returns home joyfully, but he is not welcomed by anyone anymore. Chris, determined his brother is a murderer, tries to kill him, but fails and almost shoots Steven, who notices his anger sends him away from Peyton Place. Lee is left by Sandy as well, who has filed for a divorce and starts dating Rodney.

The other main storyline in the third season involves Rachel Welles (Leigh Taylor-Young), a young woman who ran away from home. After being taken to Peyton Place, she reacts violently to everyone's attempt to get to know her. People soon start to notice that she is wearing Allison's bracelet, which makes Elliot and Rodney think that she knows more about her faith. Rodney forces her to tell the truth, but she claims that she found it somewhere. Not believing her, she is given a hard treatment, which estranges her from the people even more. Only Michael is able to get close to her. When he finds out that her uncle Jack Chandler (John Kellogg) abused her, he tries his hardest to protect her from him. He tries to make her return with him, which worries her a lot. She threatens to tell everyone that she found Allison's bracelet in his car if he keeps on harassing her, after which he gives up his legal claim to the custody of her.

After this, Rachel grows to become a happier woman, finally able to trust people. She moves into the Carson home, but soon notices that Elliot and Constance are quarreling a lot about her. Fearing to break up their marriage, she leaves the house and tries to end all confusion by trying to prove Chandler was responsible for Allison's disappearance. This leads her to his old farmhouse, where she is attacked by him. She is able to run away and returns to Peyton Place in tears. Elliot comforts her and finally admits that he wants to take care of her, even if she does not reveal any information on Allison. Following a period of peace during which she grows close to Michael, Rachel is again harassed by Chandler. In the end, he kidnaps her and it turns out Rachel has been lying the entire time because she accidentally killed her aunt Lucy, which was witnessed by Allison. She refused to speak about Allison, because talking about her, would have meant admitting to involuntary manslaughter. Rachel is able to escape, but loses her mind and thinks she is Allison. Michael finally decides to send her to a clinic in Boston. Meanwhile, Chandler is arrested by the police.

Following Ann's death trial, Steven moves into the Peyton mansion with Betty, announcing to keep his enemy close. Peyton does the same with Lee, whom he hires as his chauffeur to eventually make him pay for killing Ann. Leslie, meanwhile, is unamused with Steven seeming to have become Peyton's favorite son. Fearing that he disinheritated Rodney and Norman, Leslie blackmails Betty into breaking into his safe to find out more on his past, threatening to reveal a report which falsely claims that Betty was dating several men while in New York. The truth eventually comes out, and Leslie is denounced, while Betty is forgiven. Leslie continues his criminal actions by, under pressure, helping Chandler escape from jail. This is seen by Norman, who blackmails his father into giving him a job, so he can support Rita, who now is pregnant. Weeks later, it is reported Chandler has been shot down by the police.

At the end of the season, the town is stirred by the arrival of two people: Adrienne Van Leyden (Gena Rowlands) and Eddie Jacks (Dan Duryea). Adrienne is a widow who is hired by Peyton to break up Steven and Betty's already unstable marriage by seducing Steven. Because Betty is immediatelly suspicious of her, Peyton comes up with a scheme of introducing her as his fiancée. However, Adrienne is able to seduce Steven and they start an affair. Meanwhile, Ada is unamused by the arrival of her estranged husband Eddie, who has left her 19 years ago. He insists on getting back in touch with his daughter, and Rita is shocked when she meets him.

Season 4 (1967-1968)

The primary focuses of the series in the beginning of the season remain Adrienne and Eddie. Adrienne starts falling in love with Steven, which is noticed by Peyton, who criticizes her for her indulgence. During her stay in Peyton Place, several claims of Adrienne's notorious past are revealed. She is rumoured to have driven her late husband to committing suicide and she has been paid multiple times for entertaining men. Betty eventually finds out about the affair and immediately leaves her husband, turning to Rodney. Steven initially denies the whole affair and blames Adrienne for misleading Betty.

Meanwhile, Rita decides she wants to learn to know Eddie and starts to quarrel with Ada, whom she blames for never having met her father. Unlike Rita, most people in town are suspicious of Eddie's motivations on his return. Norman and Peyton blame Eddie for having returned to profit from Rita's marriage to a wealthy family, but Eddie claims he returned to make sure Rita will not get hurt by Norman. Because of Eddie's mysterious meetings with Leslie, Elliot thinks that Eddie may have had a connection to Chandler.

Later, Jill Smith (Joyce Jillson) comes to town with an infant she claims is Allison's baby, although in these pre-DNA times the child's parentage is never proven. Jill later marries Joe Rossi, Michael's younger brother. Allison's disappearance, unresolved during the actual series, is explained in the TV film sequels Murder in Peyton Place (1978) and Peyton Place: The Next Generation (1985), although in two conflicting versions.

In 1968, in order to keep pace with the changing times, the writers introduced African-American Dr. Harry Miles (Percy Rodriguez), his wife Alma (Ruby Dee), and their son (Glynn Turman, who also worked as a script-writer on the show).

Season 5 (1968-1969)

In the final year, with the departure of Dorothy Malone and Tim O'Connor, Ed Nelson became the lead actor on the series, and many of the stories revolved around him. His romantic interest during the final season was Marsha Russell (Barbara Rush). In the final episode his character Michael Rossi goes on trial for a murder he did not commit. The series ended with the audience unaware of the outcome, though all must have turned out well as Rossi was back on duty at the hospital in the 1978 and 1985 sequels; Constance and Elliot Carson were back in town as well.


Original cast

Constance MacKenzie (Dorothy Malone, 1964-1968)
Allison's mother who lied to her about who her father is. She has a good relationship with her daughter, until the truth about her real father comes up. She later marries Elliot Carson.
Matthew Swain (Warner Anderson, 1964-1965)
The editor of the town newspaper. He is the father figure in Allison's life and is a good friend of his 2nd cousin Constance.
Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson, 1964-1969)
The doctor who moved from New York City to Peyton Place because of mysterious reasons. He clashes several times with colleague Dr. Robert Morton, but eventually gets accepted in the town. He becomes romantically involved with several people, including Dr. Morton's daughter Claire.
Allison MacKenzie (Mia Farrow, 1964-1966)
The quiet and smart daughter of Constance. She likes to spend her time reading books and usually befriends older people. She also becomes romantically involved with Rodney several times.
Rodney Harrington (Ryan O'Neal, 1964-1969)
The oldest son of Leslie and Catherine. He is more social and popular than his brother Norman and falls in love with Allison. Their relationship never really progresses, because his old girlfriend Betty always tries to stop them.
Betty Anderson (Barbara Parkins, 1964-1969)
The daughter of George and Julie. She is in love with Rodney and does everything to win him over, although he is in love with Allison. This includes lying about being pregnant and tricking him into marrying her.
Julie Anderson (Kasey Rogers, 1964-1966, recurring afterwards)
Wife of George and mother of Betty. She was introduced as the secretary and secret lover of Leslie. After ending their affair, she became a full time housewife.
George Anderson (Henry Beckman, 1964-1965)
Husband of Julie and father of Betty. Known as the aggressive guy, who abused his wife. He eventually lost his mind and was taken into a sanatorium.
Leslie Harrington (Paul Langton, 1964-1968)
Husband of Catherine and father of Rodney and Norman. Although he only wanted the best for his family, he was one of the most hated people of Peyton Place. He was a suspect of the murder on Elizabeth Carson and eventually left town because of his bad reputation.
Norman Harrington (Christopher Connelly, 1964-1969)
The youngest son of Leslie and Catherine and shy little brother of Rodney. He is in love with Allison, but never stands a chance with her. He later becomes romantically involved with Rita Jacks, despite of their social differences.
Laura Brooks (Patricia Breslin, 1964-1965)
Sister of Leslie and widow of Dr. Donald Brooks. After Dr. Rossi arrived in town, she immediately fell in love with him and became his secretary. They never had a relation ship, though. She eventually left town to move to Europe, explaining she couldn't live in a town with this many problems.
Catherine Harrington (Mary Anderson), 1964)
Daughter of Martin Peyton and estranged wife of Leslie and mother of Rodney and Norman. She died after a few episodes, but remained a character who was recurrently talked about. It was later revealed she caused several scandals and was the blame of Elizabeth Carson's murder.
Eli Carson (Frank Ferguson, 1964-1969)
Caring father of Elliot Carson. He never really had a story line and usually served as a person people went to for advice.
Dr. Robert Morton (Kent Smith, 1964-1965, recurring afterwards)
Husband of Grace and father of Claire. He was a rival of Dr. Rossi, but they later reconciled. He is a close friend of the Harrington family.

Later main characters

Elliot Carson (Tim O'Connor, 1965-1968)
Son of Eli, husband of Connie and father of Allison. He spent 18 years in jail for a false accusation and later became the editor of the local newspaper.
Rita Jacks (Patricia Morrow, 1965-1969)
Daughter of Ada and Eddie. She grew up in a poor family, but fell in love with the rich Norman. Their relationship had its problems, since Rita was constantly bother by her former boyfriends.
Steven Cord (James Douglas, 1965-1969)
Believed to be the son of Hannah Cord, but turned out to be an illigemate son of Catherine Harrington. He starts to work as a lawyer and is involved in a love triangle between he, Betty and Rodney.
Stella Chernak (Lee Grant, 1965-1966)
The daughter of Gus and older sister of Joe, who is hated by almost everyone in town because she is lying to the police, which is the cause of Rodney facing a jail sentence. Only Michael believes in her innocence and hires her as his personal assistant.
Martin Peyton (George Macready, 1965-1968)
The father of Catherine Harrington and the most powerful and influencial man in Peyton Place. Because of his bitter personality and short temper, he is feared by most people. He bonds with Betty and wants her to be Rodney's wife.
Ann Howard (Susan Oliver, 1966)
The girl who was believed to be the person who blinded Chris Webber. She is determined to prove her innocence and is supported by Michael. She turns out to be Catherine Harrington's daughter.
Lee Webber (Stephen Oliver, 1966-1968)
The brother of Chris and bad boy of the town. He likes to beat his wife Sandy and fights a lot with Rodney. Ann blames him for having blinded Chris and he is determined to do everything to silence her.
Rachel Welles (Leigh Taylor-Young, 1966-1967)
A teen who is abused by her uncle. She is romantically involved with Michael and moves in with the Carson family. She is eventually abducted by her uncle and loses her mind.
Jill Smith (Joyce Jillson, 1968)
The woman who claimes to have Allison's child. This results into several men of town thinking they are the father of the kid. It turns out she herself is the mother of the child, with Michael's younger brother being the father.
Joe Rossi (Michael Christian, 1968)
The younger brother of Joe who has a big romantic history with Jill. He agrees to help her with her scheme.
Tom Winter (Robert Hogan, 1968-1969)
The husband of Susan. He works as a priest. He tries to convince his wife to end her alcoholicism.
Susan Winter (Diana Hyland, 1968-1969)
The alcoholic wife of Tom. She has marriage problems, because she refuses his attempts to end her addiction.
Carolyn Russell (Tippy Walker, 1968-1969)
The wild daughter of Marsha and Fred. She falls in love with Lew, but her father disapproves of him because he is black.
Marsha Russell (Barbara Rush, 1968-1969)
The mother of Carolyn and wife of Fred. She is beaten up by Fred several times and therefore files for divorce. She next falls in love with Michael.
Fred Russell (Joe Maross, 1968-1969)
Father of Carolyn and husband of Marsha. He is known as the bad guy who beats his wife.
Dr. Harry Miles (Percy Rodriguez, 1968-1969)
A well respected surgeon who is married to Alma. He is the father of Lew.
Alma Miles (Ruby Dee, 1968-1969)
The wife of Harry and mother of Lew, who always has great manners.
Lew Miles (Glynn Turman, 1968-1969)
The son of Harry and Alma who always has good grades in school. He falls in love with Carolyn, but her father disapproves of him because he is black.

Later secondary characters

Ada Jacks (Evelyn Scott, 1965-1969)
The mother of Rita and owner of her own Tavern at the wharf. She grew up in the poor side of the town and often feels guilty for not raising Rita the right way when she was a teenager.
Sharon Purcell (Dayna Ceder, 1965)
A friend of Betty who lives in New York City. She spends her time seducing older rich men to get what she wants.
Paul Hanley (Richard Evans, 1965)
Brother of Elliot's murdered wife Elizabeth and teacher at a high school who bonds with Allison. He is an enemy of Elliot, because as a child he gave a false testimony which sent Elliot to jail for 18 years.
Claire Morton (Mariette Hartley, 1965)
Daughter of Robert and Grace who lived very long in Peru with her husband Vincent. She returned to Peyton Place when her marriage failed, running away from her husband without filing for a divorce. She falls in love with Michael.
David Schuster (William Smithers, 1965-1966)
Husband of Doris and father of Kim, who came to town to take over the Peyton Mill from Leslie. He had big marriage problems and was suspected to have feelings for Allison, Kim's babysitter.
Doris Schuster (Gail Kobe, 1965, recurring afterwards)
Wife of David and mother of Kim, who is devastated she can't have a close relationship with her daughter, who makes no secret she shates her mother. Because of their different ideas in the raising of Kim, she and David fight a lot.
Kim Schuster (Kimberly Beck, 1965, recurring afterwards)
The six-year-old daughter of David and Doris who is deaf. She hates her mother, but is fond of her babysitter Allison. She suffers a traumatic experience when she witnesses the death of Joe.
Joe Chernak (Don Quine, 1965)
The son of Gus and younger brother of Stella who has the reputation of the bad guy. He is the ex-boyfriend of Rita and is still in love with her. When she starts dating Norman, he constantly harasses him.
Vincent and Kenneth Marham (Leslie Nielsen, 1965)
Vincent is the husband of Claire and was left behind in Peru, where he works as a doctor. He also travels to Peyton Place to take his wife back and is eventually visited by his twin brother Kenneth, who tells Vincent is ill and will die if he stays in Peyton Place.
Hannah Cord (Ruth Warrick, 1965-1967)
Believed to be the mother of Steven Cord, but it turned out she adopted him. She works as the loyal maid of Martin Peyton. When the truth about Steven's true parents comes out, she becomes depressed.
Gus Chernak (Bruce Gordon, 1965-1966)
Alcoholic father of Gus and Stella who makes her daughter lie in her testimony. He hates the Harrington family and when he gets fired, he is determined to take revenge on Martin Peyton.
Marian Fowler (Joan Blackman, 1965-1966)
Wife of John Fowler, who was secretly seeing Dr. Russ Gehring. She hit Allison with her car, but didn't stop to help and keeps the accident a secret instead. She also has marriage problems and eventually admits she has an affair.
John Fowler (John Kerr, 1965-1966)
Lawyer and husband of Marian, who is enraged when he finds out his wife has an affaire. He is a district attorney who is determined to get Rodney Harrington behind jail. Elliot blames him for being too subjective, because, according to him, John hates the Harrington family.
Sandy Webber (Lana Wood, 1966-1967)
The wife of Lee who falls in love with Rodney. She is beaten up by her husband several times, but doesn't want to leave him. She becomes a rival of Betty, because she is in love with Rodney as well.
Chris Webber (Gary Haynes, 1966-1967)
The brother of Lee who is blind since he was a child. Ann tries to convince him she wasn't the one who blinded him, but Chris initially refuses to believe his own brother was responsible.
Jack Chandler (John Kellogg, 1966-1967)
The uncle of Rachel who started to sexually abuse her after the death of his wife. He follows her to Peyton Place and, after blackmailing Leslie, abducts her.
Adrienne Van Leyden (Gena Rowlands, 1967)
Introduced as the fiancee of Martin Peyton, but was actually involved in his scheme to break up Steven and Betty's marriage. Although being hated by the townspeople, she is successful in seducing Steven.
Eddie Jacks (Dan Duryea, 1967-1968)
Estranged husband of Ada and father of Rita, who left his family behind when Rita was a kid. However, he is now determined to change his life and wants to contact his daughter.


When the show premiered in 1964, Peyton Place aired twice a week. Both installments of the show were Top 20 hits in the Nielsen ratings and this inspired ABC to air the show three times a week starting in the fall of 1965. This move caused trouble for people who followed the show religiously, and many people tuned out. The season ratings for Peyton Place never rose into the Top 30 again and the serial's production was dropped back to two episodes a week. In 1969, with the show losing viewers with each episode, Peyton Place aired in one installment a week until the final episode was shown in June.

The show was one of the first seen on network television to talk about sex and infidelity in a frank manner. As such, ABC brass would only allow the show to be aired at 9:30 p.m. Eastern/Pacific time, a time at which many children and teenagers were expected to be in bed. With the show in a ratings slump in 1968, the show was moved to 8:30 p.m. in order to draw the viewers they once had shunned.

The series was revived as a daytime serial from April 3, 1972 to January 4, 1974 as Return to Peyton Place. Three of the actors from the primetime series reprised their roles on the daytime series -- Frank Ferguson as Eli Carson, Patricia Morrow as Rita Harrington, and Evelyn Scott as Ada Jacks. However, the daytime series did not prove to be as successful as the primetime series had been.

Differences between novel and TV series

  • The book is situated during World War II. This soap opera was set in the 1960s, the then modern day.
  • In the novel, Michael Rossi was a high school teacher. In the TV series, he served as a doctor.
  • In the TV series, Rodney and Norman are brothers. In the book, they are no more than class mates.
  • The entire family Cross, an important family in the novel, was scrapped in the TV series.
  • In the novel, Betty Anderson is more bad natured than in the TV series.

DVD releases

Peyton Place: Part One, was released on May 19, 2009 by Shout! Factory as a five-disc set containing 31 half-hour episodes.[8] Shout! Factory released Peyton Place: Part Two, a five-disc set including 33 half-hour episodes, on July 14, 2009.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Haralovich, Mary Beth (1999). Television, History and American Culture. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0822323945.  pp. 77
  2. ^ Cashmore, Ellis (1994). And There was Television. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415091312.  pp. 120
  3. ^ Haralovich, Mary Beth (1999). Television, History and American Culture. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0822323945.  pp. 79
  4. ^ Cashmore, Ellis (1994). And There was Television. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415091312.  pp. 121
  5. ^ a b c d Haralovich, Mary Beth (1999). Television, History and American Culture. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0822323945.  pp. 78
  6. ^ a b Trivia for "Peyton Place"
  7. ^ The 1985 TV film contradicts this, referring to Steven as the illegitimate son of Catherine's father Martin.
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

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