The REAL reason DARK SHADOWS got cancelled

If you’re a fan of DARK SHADOWS—and all self-respecting vampire marks should be—you’ve been offered a myriad of reasons why the series, a pop culture phenomenon perhaps more beloved today than when it aired for six years in the late 60s and early 70s, came to an end. Why didn’t the show last? Why isn’t it still on the air, like GENERAL HOSPITAL or DAYS OF OUR LIVES or one of the numerous “straight” soap operas? Considering that it’s still so viable 50 years after its debut, these are good questions, yes? We’ve been told ratings were down. They were—but not that much. Not enough to warrant cancellation. We’ve heard that the writers simply “ran out of ideas.” That explanation won’t wash. Easy enough to hire new writers with fresh ideas. We’ve heard series creator Dan Curtis pulled the plug. Why would he? He could’ve handed over producer duties to someone else if he wanted to work on other projects.

No, the real reason the show ended was because Jonathon Frid’s contract was up, and he refused to go on playing Barnabas Collins. Just as the introduction of the vampiric Barnabas had saved the show during its first year on the air, his leaving would have surely doomed it. The powers-that-be knew that there IS no DARK SHADOWS without Barnabas Collins. Simple as that.

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless. Denn die totden reiten schnell!


  1. I think the show could have continued with Quinton &angelic & Josette & the rest of the cast.Yes Barnabas was the main reason the show was great but with good writers the fans would have stuck by the show!

  2. The fact that Jonathan (proper spelling) Frid wanted too play another role on the show, didn’t mean that he would have stopped playing Barnabas altogether. Had the show lasted, I have no doubt he would have revived the character after the lottery/1841 parallel timeline story line finished. No, the creator and owner of the rights of the show-Dan Curtis-wanted to move on to other things. And when the boss says end it, you end it. IMO, THAT’S the most logical reason for the show ending. I’m not saying the other reasons given in this article didn’t play a factor. But I do believe the final decision fell on Curtis’ shoulders and no one elses.

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