Richard and Esther Shapiro

Richard Allen Shapiro (born June 27, 1934)[1] and Esther June Shapiro (née Mayesh; born June 6, 1928)[2] are an American married couple who work as television screenwriters and producers, through their Shapiro Film Corporation.[2] They are best known as the creators of the long-running 1980s prime time soap opera Dynasty, its spin-off series The Colbys, and the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion.

Richard Shapiro
Richard Allen Shapiro

(1934-06-27) June 27, 1934 (age 87)
OccupationTelevision writer, screenwriter, television producer
Known forDynasty, The Colbys, Dynasty: The Reunion
Spouse(s)Esther Shapiro
Esther Shapiro
Esther June Mayesh

(1928-06-06) June 6, 1928 (age 93)
OccupationTelevision writer, screenwriter, television producer
Known forDynasty, The Colbys, Dynasty: The Reunion
Spouse(s)Richard Shapiro

In 1984, Doubleday/Dolphin published the companion book Dynasty: The Authorized Biography of the Carringtons,[3] which included an introduction by Esther Shapiro.


The Shapiros created and produced the prime time soap opera Dynasty, which debuted in 1981.[4] Written as the Shapiros' creative response to the 1979 oil crisis,[5] and intended by ABC to be a competitor for CBS's Dallas,[6] the series ranked #28 its first season.[7] Ratings steadily grew, with Dynasty reaching #1 for the 1984–85 season.[8][9] A spin-off, The Colbys, debuted in 1985,[10] but was cancelled after two seasons.[11] Dynasty was cancelled in 1989, with the Shapiros writing and producing a reunion miniseries in 1991.[12][13][14]

During Dynasty's run, the Shapiros also co-created the prime time soap opera Emerald Point N.A.S., which lasted for one season from 1983 to 1984,[15] and the medical drama HeartBeat, which ran two seasons from 1988 to 1989.[16]

At the height of Dynasty's popularity in 1985, Joe Klein of New York called Esther "the ABC network's most valuable asset ... and perhaps the most influential woman executive in television".[5] Dynasty producer Aaron Spelling and others compared Esther to her creation, Blake Carrington (John Forsythe).[5]

Dynasty legacyEdit

In January 2004, Esther Shapiro participated in a marathon of the show's episodes on SOAPnet, Serial Bowl: Alexis vs. Krystle, giving behind-the-scenes tidbits and factoids.

In 2005 Ritchie Singer and Pamela Reed portrayed the Shapiros in Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure, a fictionalized ABC television movie based on the creation and behind the scenes production of Dynasty.[17]

The first season of Dynasty was released on Region 1 DVD an April 19, 2005 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. This edition includes audio commentary by Esther Shapiro.

The Shapiros announced on January 12, 2011 that they had written a Dynasty prequel feature film script set in the 1960s, and were shopping it to studios for a possible film franchise.[18] In a September 2011 interview, Dynasty actress Joan Collins chatted about a Dynasty television revival: "I've been in constant contact with Esther Shapiro, who wrote it, and apparently they've written a script."[19]

In September 2016, it was announced that a Dynasty reboot was in development at The CW, with the Shapiros attached as producers.[20][21] The project received a series order in May 2017,[22][23] and premiered in the US on October 11, 2017.[24] On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed Dynasty for a second season.[25]


Year Project Position Notes
1962 Route 66 Co-writers Episode: "A Long Piece of Mischief"
1964 Bonanza Co-writers Episode: "A Dime's Worth of Glory"
1966 Combat! Writer: Richard Shapiro only Episode: "Gulliver"
1966–1967 Iron Horse Co-writers (2) episodes
1968 Tarzan Co-writers (3) episodes
1968 Garrison's Gorillas Co-writers: Richard Shapiro & Shimon Wincelberg Episode: "Run from Death"
1969–1970 Land of the Giants Writer: Richard Shapiro only (4) episodes
1971 Medical Center Writer: Richard Shapiro only (1) episode
1975 Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic Co-writers Television film
1976 The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday Writer: Richard Shapiro only Film
1977 Intimate Strangers Co-writers/Co-producers Television film
1977 Minstrel Man Co-writers Television film
1979 The Cracker Factory Writer/producer: Richard Shapiro only Television film
1981 East of Eden Writer: Richard Shapiro only Miniseries
1981–1989 Dynasty Co-creators/Co-executive producers (220) episodes
1983–1984 Emerald Point N.A.S. Co-creators/Co-executive producers (22) episodes
1985–1987 The Colbys Co-creators/Co-executive producers (49) episodes
1987 Free Spirit Co-writers Television film
1988–1989 HeartBeat Co-creators/Co-executive producers (18) episodes
1989 When We Were Young Co-writers Television film
1991 Dynasty: The Reunion Co-creators/Co-executive producers Miniseries
1991 Blood Ties Writer: Richard Shapiro only
Co-executive producers
Television film
1996 The Colony Co-writers/Co-executive producers Television film
2017–present Dynasty Co-creators/Co-executive producers (64) episodes


  1. ^ "Library of Congress Authorities: Shapiro, Richard, 1934–". Library of Congress. Retrieved August 31, 2018 – via
  2. ^ a b "Esther Shapiro Biography 1934–". Retrieved August 31, 2018 – via
  3. ^ Dynasty: The Authorized Biography of the Carringtons, 1984, Doubleday/Dolphin, 150 pg. ISBN 0-385-19525-7.
  4. ^ Schemering, Christopher (September 1985). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. pp. 80–81. ISBN 0-345-32459-5.
  5. ^ a b c Klein, Joe (September 2, 1985). "The Real Star of Dynasty". New York. pp. 32–39. Retrieved June 1, 2017 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Jacobs, Alexandra (October 6, 2017). "A Dynasty for Generation Gossip Girl (Mom Can Watch, Too)". The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  7. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (July 24, 1981). "Prime-time soap opera Dynasty trying old whodunnit technique". The Register-Guard. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (October 2007). "Top-Rated Programs by Season". The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present (9th ed.). Ballantine Books. pp. 1689–1692. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  9. ^ " TV Ratings > 1984–1985". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "ABC Revises Fall List in Battle for Ratings". The New York Times. May 7, 1985. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  11. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2003). The Directory To Prime Time TV Shows (8th ed.). Ballantine Books.
  12. ^ Gliatto, Tom; Sheff, Vicki (August 5, 1991). "Alexis Strikes Again!". People. 36 (4). pp. 66–68. Retrieved February 21, 2009.
  13. ^ Walker, Joseph (May 24, 1989). "Dynasty Cliffhanger is Just That". Deseret News. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  14. ^ Szul, Barbara (May 21, 1989). "The Real-life Fallon: Emma Samms Of Dynasty Is A Star On A Mission". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  15. ^ Handler, David (June 1, 1999). "Relevancy tarnishes Emerald's glitter". Indiana Gazette. Pennsylvania, Indiana. p. 10. Retrieved September 8, 2018 – via  
  16. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9th ed.). Ballantine Books. p. 596. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  17. ^ "Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure: Credits". Retrieved February 27, 2009.
  18. ^ Malkin, Marc (January 12, 2011). "Shoulder Pad Alert! Another Classic Prime-Time Soap Is Headed for the Big Screen". E! Online. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  19. ^ Wightman, Catriona (September 6, 2011). "Joan Collins: 'New Dynasty script has been written'". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lesley; O'Connell, Michael (September 30, 2016). "Dynasty Reboot in the Works at The CW". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 30, 2016). "Dynasty Reboot Set At the CW With Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  22. ^ Holloway, Daniel (May 10, 2017). "Dynasty Reboot, Military Drama Valor Land Series Orders at CW". Variety. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  23. ^ Saunders, Emma (May 11, 2017). "Everything we know about the Dynasty remake". BBC. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 8, 2017). "The CW Sets Fall 2017 Premiere Dates For Dynasty & Valor And Returning Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  25. ^ Goldberg, Leslie (April 2, 2018). "Riverdale, Flash, Supernatural Among 10 CW Renewals". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 9, 2018.

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