When Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz updated “Dynasty” for a new audience — the show premieres Wednesday on The CW — they made changes to some of the show’s core characters. Krystle is now called Cristal (Nathalie Kelly) because she is Hispanic and younger than Evans was when she played the part. Sammy Jo is no longer the vixen played by Heather Locklear but a gay male operator (Rafael de la Fuente) with a shady past. So what else is new?
But the success of the original “Dynasty,” the fabled ABC prime soap that ran from 1981-89, was largely built on the padded shoulders of British diva Joan Collins. She played the outrageously manipulative and haughty Alexis Carrington — ex-wife of the series protagonist, oil tycoon Blake (John Forsythe), and enemy of his second wife, Krystle (Linda Evans).
Alexis did not enter the picture on the ABC drama, created by Esther and Richard Shapiro, until the beginning of Season 2 — but her instant popularity helped the series jump from Number 28 in the ratings into the Top 20 and eventually, in 1985, to Number 1. Alexis’ resentment of Krystle as mistress of the Carrington household (and as Blake’s wife) ran deep, and fans thrilled to the periodic cat-fights between her and Krystle, which escalated from arguments to mud-throwing and that famous throw-down in a lily pond.
In a recent chat with The Post, Savage said The CW’s version of “Dynasty” would eventually introduce Alexis, and we imagine she’ll be very different from Collins. Here are our choices for the role:
The Bronx-born diva is languishing on her tepid NBC cop drama “Shades of Blue.” Her glamour, hauteur and sexiness would jolt the new “Dynasty” into high gear. And one can only imagine how her clashes with Cristal would fire up the screen.
The durable performer had her best television role as high-maintenance magazine editor Wilhelmina Slater on ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” proving she could sling insults with the best of them. Like Lopez, Williams has glamour to spare and would look great standing next to Grant Show, who is the new Blake Carrington.
Promoting the original Sammy Jo from young vixen to full-throttle virago would be the ultimate homage to the original “Dynasty.” And Locklear has already co-starred with Show on the Fox soap “Melrose Place.”
Several seasons have passed since the demise of Berry’s first series, CBS’s “Extant,” a sci-fi thriller where she was somewhat miscast as an astronaut. Still gorgeous at 51, the Oscar winner and fashion plate would make an unforgettable entrance as Alexis — and her fans would welcome seeing her cast as another glamourpuss.
The Welsh beauty played Olivia de Havilland in the Ryan Murphy limited series “Feud: Bette and Joan,” a performance that was so controversial it prompted the classic Hollywood star to sue Murphy and FX. “Dynasty” needs someone who’s always going to stir up trouble. Could this be Zeta-Jones’ opportunity to become a full-fledged TV star?