Set in the fictional Tuscany Valley of California, Falcon Crest focused on a large family of wealthy vinyardists, who were either bickering with each other, plotting against each other, and occasionally swapping mates.
Legendary film star Jane Wyman played the ambitious matriarch Angela Channing, constantly at loggerheads with her nephew Chase Gioberti (Robert Foxworth), an airline pilot (and ex-Vietnam vet) who returned to Falcon Crest to claim his inheritance following his father’s mysterious death.
Others in the FC’s large cast included Chase’s long-suffering wife Maggie (Susan Sullivan), their children Cole (Billy Moses) and Vickie (Jamie Rose, Dana Sparks); Angela’s children Emma (Margaret Ladd) and Julia (Abby Dalton), Abby’s irresponsible son Lance (Lorenzo Lamas), who married the conniving Melissa (Ana-Alicia), when she was pregnant with Cole’s child.
A solid soap during its first season, FC got a major boast with the arrival of nefarious Richard Channing (David Selby), who turned out to be related to the Giobertis and would stop at nothing to get his share of Falcon Crest.
The first 5-6 seasons of Falcon Crest remain among the best television has ever offered, with terrific acting, strong storylines, suspenseful and unforgettable cliff-hangers, and a wonderfully dry wit.