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Peyton Place - The fictional New England town (pop. 9875) that was the inspiration for the steamy prime time drama PEYTON PLACE/ABC/1964-69 and the sequel RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE/NBC/1972-74. The program was based on the best-selling novel "Peyton Place" (1956) written by Grace Metalious, the wife of a school teacher who lived in the quiet little town of Gilmanton, New Hampshire.

Peyton Place Logo

Unfortunately, the sexual going-ons professed in the novel upset the citizens of Gilmanton especially the high school principal Thomas Makris who sued Metalious for slander and defamation when he discovered that the principal in the book was suggestively named "Tomas" Makris.

Metalious claimed that her book was a work of fiction and that none of the characters were based on the good people of her hometown, but that didn't keep her husband from being fired from his teaching position.

Look magazine offered some viewing rules when watching the soap opera: 1) You need to watch every episode; 2) If you suspect anything, you're wrong; and 3) If a villain appears, he's probably not one.

Gilmanton (a.k.a. "Peyton Place") is located about 20 miles northeast of Concord, taking eastbound Interstate 393 and northbound New Hampshire 106 in the Lakes Region near Laconia. The prime time TV version was so popular that it was aired three evenings a week during the 1965-66 season.

Peyton Place Film Poster

Metalious' book also inspired the movie Peyton Place (1957) starring Lana Turner as Constance MacKenzie; the sequel Return to Peyton Place (1961) starring Carol Lynley as Allison MacKenzie; and the made-for-TV-movies Murder in Peyton Place ( 1979); and Peyton Place: The Next Generation (1985).

The town of Peyton Place worked its way further into American popular culture when the phrase "This is just another Peyton Place" appeared in the lyrics of the Number One hit song "Harper Valley, PTA" (1968) sung by Jeannie C. Riley. See also - FASHION: "Mia Farrow's Trim"

TRIVIA NOTE: The 2001-2002 season WB Network program GLORY DAYS starred Eddie Cahill as author Mike Dolan who returns his hometown Lake Glory to write a second novel . Unfortunately, the town's residents give him a cold welcome because of the way he portrayed them in his first novel. What an original idea!


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