The Survivors was a soap opera miniseries on ABC with each episode being 60 minutes in length. It was about the wealthy Carlyle family who pursued further riches with little regard for ethics. The only decent members of the family were Mrs. Hastings who strived to keep the men in her family from corrupting her son Jeffrey.
The Survivors Miniseries Cast
Lana Turner .... Tracy Carlyle Hastings
Jan-Michael Vincent .... Jeffrey Hastings
George Hamilton .... Duncan Carlyle
Ralph Bellamy .... Baylor Carlyle
Kevin McCarthy .... Philip Hastings
Diana Muldaur .... Belle
Louis Hayward .... Jonathan Carlyle
Louise Sorel .... Jean Vale
Rossano Brazzi .... Antaeus Riakos
Robert Viharo .... Miguel Santerra
Natalie Schafer .... Eleanor Carlyle
Clu Gulager .... Senator Mark Jennings
Robert Lipton .... Tom Steinberg
Katherine Cannon .... Shelia Riley
Donna Baccala .... Marguerita
The Survivors Miniseries Trivia
The Survivors was promoted on ABC as "Harold Robbins' The Survivors" in order to take advantage of the famed best-selling author who wrote the scripts.
Miniseries became very popular in the mid-1970s and 1980s. Many people believe that "Roots" or "Rich Man, Poor Man" was television's first miniseries but in actuality the first was "The Survivors". It was the first story told on TV in numerous episodes that was planned from the start to tell a story from beginning to end in a specific number of episodes.
The Carlyles' riches came from the banking business. They privately owned one of the largest banks in Manhattan.
The Survivors was the only time that movie actress Lana Turner was seen as a regular cast member on television. Several of the other Cast also made a rare TV appearance in The Survivors, many like Lana Turner, because their movie careers had all but ended.
This miniseries was a major ratings disaster despite the long list of "former" megastars and the popular author. It was rerun the following summer in a futile attempt to recover some of the huge production costs.
Probably the main reason that The Survivors attracted so few viewers is that it had some pretty strong competition in its time slot. There was the "Monday Night Movie" on NBC and CBS was airing the popular "Doris Day Show" and "Mayberry R.F.D.".
Towards the end of the series the Carlyle's foreign investments got them mixed up in revolutionary conflicts in South America.
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