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CW's 'Dynasty' is about more than catfights

Posted October 10

— The first episode for the CW's reimagining of "Dynasty" has a lot of the ingredients that made the original series a hit -- family drama, lavish displays of wealth and even a fight between two women to capture the spirit of the so-called catfight legacy left behind by the show on which its based.

It's a formula that served the original series well. The primetime soap ran on ABC for nine season from 1981-89.

But the new series aims to take that winning formula and update it for a new era and audience.

"The original dynasty was fantastic and no matter what you do, some of that diamond is going to sparkle through," showrunner Sallie Patrick told CNN in an interview. "We're just trying to re-shine it, I guess."

Much has been made about "Dynasty's" play to follow in the heeled footsteps of CW's "Gossip Girl," in part because both center on a group of one percenters and also because they come from executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

While comparisons can be made, Patrick aims to a bit more with "Dynasty."

"It's fine and it's soapy and it's delicious, but we also don't want to just revel just in the 1% bubble," she said. "We also want to examine the 99% and the issues with out country -- like the gender, race divides that allow that 1% to reign."

She added: "We want to be able to tell stories that mean things and move people."

The show intends to do that through characters like Cristal Flores-Carrington (Nathalie Kelley), a Venezuelan-born businesswoman who romances CEO, Blake Carrington (Grant Show) and who doesn't come from the world private jets and mansions.

There's also Jeff Colby (Sam Adegoke), a smart, black billionaire who works "on the music side of tech."

On the original series, the feud between the Carringtons and the Colbys was fodder for much drama, but Patrick was well aware that the Carringtons were a white, wealthy family constantly at odds with a family that was "even wealthier and whiter."

"It's very interesting and very relevant to Atlanta," where the series shoots, Patrick said.

"Dynasty," Patrick hopes, will in some ways appeal to modern young people on multiple levels -- the Instagram-loving, brunch-eating side and the socially conscious side.

"There are certainly young people who are very aware of what's going on in this country, and we want to treat that with respect," she said. "We don't want to patronize our audience by just talking about the frivolousness. It's a balance."

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