Interview With Actress Joan Van Ark
By James W, Sunday 19th May 2013

Joan Van Ark is one of America's most famous actresses and best known for playing Valene Ewing in the classic soap Knots Landing which is showing at the moment on CBS Drama. Here Joan chats about her career, her time on Knots Landing and her plans for the future.

CBSD: How did you get your first big break into acting?

JVA: With Mike Nichols directing. I auditioned in New York at 19 years old to play the female lead in the Barefoot In The Park national tour. Later, we took it to London and Broadway. (I have a photo of me in front of the Piccadilly Theatre). Great memories.

CBSD: Did you have to audition for the role of Valene Ewing?

JVA: No. My first appearance in Dallas was offered to me without an audition.

CD: What was the atmosphere like on the set of Knots Landing?

JVA: Always comfortable, but with varying intensities, depending on the scenes. Often light hearted, but always loving. A safe place for an actor to do his or her work.

CBSD: Did you bring any of your own personality to that of Valene?

JVA: The jogging, running part of me! David Jacobs put in the Knots pilot. God bless him. Oh and running in the surf! But to live with one character for 14 seasons, there were inevitably some tiny crossovers.

CBSD: Which cast members did you get on with the most?

JVA: Julie Harris, "Lilliemae," Alec Baldwin, brother "Joshua," Ted Shackelford, "Gary," Michele Lee and Donna Mills.

CBSD: How did you feel when you realised that the show had become a global phenomenon?

JVA: I still don't feel that. I don't travel enough globally to get that sense. I just get a lot of fan mail, mostly from Germany and France.

CBSD: Did it add to the pressure?

JVA: No. It's a beautiful "support" somehow to sense connection with others around the world.

CBSD: The show became known not only for it's for its gloss and gritty subjects; how did it feel tackling tough story lines?

JVA: A wonderful, daunting challenge that any actor loves. It's a gift to be given a storyline or scene that is difficult and challenging.

CD: You left after 13th season, why was that?

JVA: A wonderful, different comedy part. I loved her and my co-star Chris Meloni (Law And Order, SVU). She was light years away from Valene Ewing.

CBSD: You directed a couple of episodes of Knots Landing; would you like to do more directing?

JVA: Yes, I would! I become the "parent," instead of being the "child," which an actor always does and should.

CBSD: Do you think it’s time for a Knots Landing revival and if it did happen would you return?

JVA: That's tricky. Depends on so many things... script, vision of my character. But let's see!

CBSD: So what projects are you working on at the moment?

JVA: I've just finished filming Dallas and also RuPaul's Drag Race as a celebrity judge. I've also filmed a PBS special on prime time soap icons, Pioneers Of Broadcasting, and Watercolour Postcards an independent feature.

CBSD: Joan Van Ark, thank you very much.

Freeview viewer? How about 24 hours a day CBS Drama?
Posted on Thursday 31st October 2019
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From November 1st CBS Drama on the Freeview platform will be running a full 24 hour feed!

So whether you're a fan of CSI: NY, Diagnosis Murder, Medium or The Love Boat, you have no excuse for missing your favourite shows!

JAG lands on CBS Drama November 13th
Posted on Wednesday 23rd October 2019

JAG is a dramatic adventure series which combines the adrenaline of Top Gun with the courtroom drama of A Few Good Men.

This gripping series stars David James Elliott as Lt. Harmon Rabb, Jr.; a young and handsome Navy lawyer in the JAG (Judge Advocate General’s) corps, which is the military’s version of detective, prosecutor and defense attorney. From his home base in Washington, D.C., Rabb is sent around the globe to investigate criminal matters - from murder to treason to espionage - within the military.

Tracey Needham co-stars as his partner Lt. Meg Austin, a computer weapons specialist and fellow JAG officer. Through a revolutionary production process developed by se...

Start spreading the news! CSI: NY starts on CBS Drama 11th October
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019

CSI: NY is the second CSI spin-off series and one of the most watched across the globe. Raw, emotional and as realistic as it could be the series follows Det. Mack “Mac” Taylor (Gary Sinise) who is a dedicated and driven crime scene investigator who believes that everything is connected and for everyone there is a story. He and his partner, Det. Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes), a workaholic and a jack-of-all-trades, share a passion for the job. They lead a team of experts amid the gritty and kinetic city that never sleeps.

Their team includes Danny Messer, a Brooklyn-born investigator with rugged good looks, an unflappable spirit and a history of family in la...

The Doctor will see you on Sunday at 6pm!
Posted on Sunday 22nd September 2019

Do you like your drama to have some medical twists to it and some warm bedside manner? We have just the thing on CBS Drama as stacked episodes of Diagnosis Murder Season 8 play each Sunday evening.

Dr. Mark Sloan (Dick Van Dyke) is the Chief of Internal Medicine at Community General Hospital and often offers the LAPD medical consultation in their toughest cases. He solves these mysteries with the help of the recently promoted Lieutenant Detective Steve Sloan, his son (Barry Van Dyke).

Throughout the series, Dr. Sloan is not only assisted by his son, but also by his friend Norman Briggs (Michael Tucci) who works as a hospital administrator, medical examiner and ...

Would you like her gift? Medium Season 7 coming soon
Posted on Monday 2nd September 2019

Medium is a drama inspired by the real-life story of research medium Allison Dubois, an extraordinary young wife and mother who, since childhood, has struggled to make sense of her dreams and visions of dead people.

Emmy Award winner Patricia Arquette stars as Dubois, a strong-willed, devoted young wife and mother of three girls who has gradually come to grips with her extraordinary ability to talk to dead people, see current events and the future through her dreams, and read people's thoughts.  Dubois works as a consultant to D.A. Manuel Devalos, using her psychic abilities to solve violent and horrifying crimes that baffle Phoenix police and others within the criminal justice system. Assisting he...

Who needs to go away when we have The Love Boat for you?
Posted on Sunday 28th July 2019

The Summer holiday season is well under way but for those of you not going away we have the next best thing for you, Season 9 of The Love Boat.

For those of you new to CBS Drama, The Love Boat is a romantic comedy series in the glamorous setting of a luxurious cruise ship, the Pacific Princess, whose passengers and crew find comical, sentimental and always exciting adventures during each voyage.

Gavin MacLeod stars as the skipper, Capt. Merrill Stubing; Lauren Tewes as the personable, young cruise director, Julie McCoy; Bernie Kopell as the ship’s physician, “Doc” Adam Bricker; Fred Grandy as purser Burl “Gopher” Smith; and Ted Lange as the ship’s bartender...

Important information for Freeview viewers in south and central Wales
Posted on Tuesday 16th July 2019

CBS Drama fans living in parts of south and central Wales using the Freeview platform please take note that TV signals in this area will be updated on Wednesday 17th July and you may need to retune on this date.

If you are still missing services after completing a full retune, or would like more information, visit the Freeview website or call the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288 for assistance.

Passports at the ready! The Love Boat Season 8 in July
Posted on Thursday 27th June 2019

How many guest stars can you spot in this teaser for Season 8 of The Love Boat which starts on CBS Drama 15th July?

Important news for viewers using transmitting stations Mendip and Huntshaw Cross
Posted on Monday 17th June 2019
From 19th June, viewers watching CBS Drama via Freeview from Mendip serving parts of Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire as well as Huntshaw Cross serving north Devon will need to retune in order to continue receiving the service. Some viewers may need to realign or replace their aerial.

If you have any issues or problems you should contact the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288 or the website for assistance.

This is happening due to a decision by the Government. Some airwaves used by Freeview are being reallocated to allow for the future development of new mobile broadband services. Transmitters across the UK are being updated. If you want to know more about the G...

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