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I'm sure you'll find a more comprehensive answer if you look through the archives, but basically John and Tom criticised the quality of the scripts and accused Warner Bros of cheating them out of royalties, so they walked off. According to Tom: "We decided they couldn't get along without us, and they said 'yes, we can', and away they went, to all of our detriments". That's why you don't see Bo and Luke leave. Coy and Vance were brought in to fill the gap and act "just like" Bo and Luke. Things got sorted before the end of season 5, Bo and Luke returned and off went Coy and Vance, never to be seen again.

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Its kinda funy actually, because you can tell the scripts were written for John and Tom, but the actors protraying Coy and Vance had to step in.

That's a good point waikiki.

Coy and Vance don't get as much as respect as they deserve.

Byron and Christopher's acting abilities weren't as good as John and Tom's but that wasn't the real problem.

The real problem was that people loved Bo and Luke so much they weren't going to be happy with any replacement no matter who it was.

I always try to live the Dukes fantasy as much as I can so here's how I feel. Coy and Vance are heroes because they stepped in to help Jesse and Daisy on the farm when they were needed. After Bo and Luke came back they moved on to help Aunt Bessie and Uncle Elbert. What a couple of great guys, making all those sacrifices for family.

Not only that, but they're heroes because (back to reality now) if they didn't step in during season 5 the series might have ended and we would only have 4 seasons of the greatest television show in history.

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I also believe that the cast of the Dukes, if you believe John and Tom, weren't getting many royalities on Dukes merchandise. I remember as a kid having a General Lee remote control car (never could make it jump like I wanted it to, lol). It is interesting that as much as I love the Dukes there did seem to be a lot of contractual issues and who knows who was really at fault. James Best missed a few episodes because of a lack of dressing room space based on what he said and I heard once that Sorrell Booke had some issues as well that were quickly resolved. Ben Jones (Cooter) missed some episodes as well over whether Cooter should be clean shaven or not. It is hard to know the truth or really speculate but there is no question there were some problems.

Usually during the hiatus time of a television series is when writers are working on some of the scripts for a new season so I would suspect many of the Coy and Vance ones (at least the first few) were written thinking John and Tom would be there. As a kid, I hated the Coy and Vance episodes (change is hard for people, lol), so in hindsight and at that age I was unwilling to give Coy and Vance a chance. It wasn't there vault. I think one of the mistakes writers made was to make the characters exactly like Bo and Duke. Coy was the younger, a little bit wilder one that was girl crazy and Vance was the slightly older, more level headed one who got the Dukes out of a lot of messes.

What is interesting is even though I was thrilled when Tom and John returned, one of the arguments was better scripts. In watching the reruns on CMT as an adult, I noticed there does seem to be a slight drop (the show is now in 7th season reruns) in the number of car chases, but (and this happens when shows get older) I actually think the quality of scripts was on the decline and some of the jumps the General made looked so fake with the model cars and it got kind of ridiculous. They made it where the General Lee probably could have jumped over the Empire State Building. There were an increasing number of episodes that made it hard to maintain a "suspension of disbelief" as well.

When Coy and Vance joined the show the ratings took a big drop and though it slightly rebounded when John and Tom returned, the show never fully recovered. I do wonder if they had never left if the Dukes (because the ratings wouldn't have dropped so quickly) would have stook around for another season or two. Good topic.

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Very interesting topic...

Despite not liking Coy and Vance, I always felt bad for Byron and Christopher. They were put in a hard position. If the show had wrote for them, had their characters be their own characters and not a Bo and Luke clone, it may have worked. I don't think people would have chose them over Bo and Luke, but they would have been more accepted. I haven't seen a Coy and Vance episode in a long time...and don't know when I or if I will. No one will ever be able to replace Bo and Luke...nothing beats the real deal.

I have read different things about differences between the cast and the writers or producers. Too bad that the cast wasn't respected or treated better and perhaps there would have been another season or two like you said. But like what also was said, who knows what really went on. All I have heard is from several cast members and their side.

Coy and Vance may not be Bo and Luke, but they did serve their purpose and did extend the series. I can't remember a lot about the episodes, though do remember thinking that they seemed to be a little deeper than what it had been for Bo and Luke. As if they tried to compensate with a different plot lines than they used for Bo and Luke. If that makes sense. Perhaps it's just me; like I said, it's been awhile since I watched them.

Like I said, if they dealt with Tom and John leaving like they did better by creating entirely new characters and not characters dressed to be Bo and Luke with different names, it would have been better for them and for the show. ..

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I began to like them after 10 episodes or so, they werent half bad but as soon as Bo and Luke came back it seemed "right" if you know what I mean.

I agree with Charger. I normally watch my way through all the episodes in order, and after you get used to Coy and Vance (and after Coy and Vance settle in) their episodes are quite watchable. I am glad that Bo and Luke returned, but I would have been quite happy to see Coy and Vance coming back to appear with their cousins for an episode or two, say like when Jeb Stewart Duke showed up in 'Along Came a Duke'.

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Very interesting topic...

Despite not liking Coy and Vance, I always felt bad for Byron and Christopher. They were put in a hard position. If the show had wrote for them, had their characters be their own characters and not a Bo and Luke clone, it may have worked. I don't think people would have chose them over Bo and Luke, but they would have been more accepted. I haven't seen a Coy and Vance episode in a long time...and don't know when I or if I will. No one will ever be able to replace Bo and Luke...nothing beats the real deal.

I totally agree Garrett! I think that if they had written Coy and Vance their own scripts and let the characters develope while Tom and John were gone, I think the reception would have been better.

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I agree with Charger. I normally watch my way through all the episodes in order, and after you get used to Coy and Vance (and after Coy and Vance settle in) their episodes are quite watchable. I am glad that Bo and Luke returned, but I would have been quite happy to see Coy and Vance coming back to appear with their cousins for an episode or two, say like when Jeb Stewart Duke showed up in 'Along Came a Duke'.

I usually watch all the episodes in order too, as of today I've seen all of em except for two. I got the second season for christmas and episode 8 Hazzard connection and episode 9 Witness for the persecution wont work. I guess ill watch them on youtube or something.

Coy and Vance definitely were watchable once you got used to them, and after Bo and Luke came back, all the way through season 6 and 7 I almost felt like they should show up for an episode. I really liked the episode Brotherly Love (season 6) where Luke's long lost brother shows up, Three duke boys was cool I would have loved too see Bo, Luke, Coy, and Vance in an episode.

I also wanted to say I really like the atmosphere of this forum, I've been on other forum sites, none quite like this. Saying that in a good way. :)

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  • 1 year later...
I usually watch all the episodes in order too, as of today I've seen all of em except for two. I got the second season for christmas and episode 8 Hazzard connection and episode 9 Witness for the persecution wont work. I guess ill watch them on youtube or something.

Coy and Vance definitely were watchable once you got used to them, and after Bo and Luke came back, all the way through season 6 and 7 I almost felt like they should show up for an episode. I really liked the episode Brotherly Love (season 6) where Luke's long lost brother shows up, Three duke boys was cool I would have loved too see Bo, Luke, Coy, and Vance in an episode.

I also wanted to say I really like the atmosphere of this forum, I've been on other forum sites, none quite like this. Saying that in a good way. :)

Thanks, ChargerCNH320! Much appreciated! :D

About Coy n' Vance....when I was a kid I resented 'em for replacing Bo and Luke. Just like I resented the substitute Sheriffs that appeared in a few eps when Jimmie was in a snit with Warner Bros.

But when I grew up and realized what a thankless position Byron and Christopher were placed in, I had real sympathy for them both. They were not treated well by Warner Bros at all. They were not allowed to have any real personality of their own; they were supposed to be Bo and Luke but with different names and faces. Who could hope to pull that off?

Byron (Coy) has been at some Dukes events and he's a nice guy in real life. (I'm not just saying that because his agent lurks around here. Heh!) Seriously, Bryron appreciates Dukes fans and he's nothing but smiles when you meet him.

All said, Byron and Chris did the best they could do - they kept the show going during Tom and John's walkout - and gracefully gave up their roles when the original Duke boys returned. They were in a no-win situation from the word go, knowing their gig was temporary and having a lot of constraints placed on them.

If you like Coy and Vance, you'll like "The Dukes" animated series. They did a good job with thier voice talents for their cartoon selves. Here too, John and Tom returned and took over during the series, and Coy and Vance disappeared without explanation. Such is Hollywood, y'all.

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  • 3 years later...

Back when I was a kid I tried watching the first Coy and Vance episode when it first aired and then stopped watching the show until Bo and Luke returned.  What can I say, I was a kid and didn't know better.  I couldn't accept anyone other than Bo and Luke.  Apparently the General Lee wasn't the star of the show after all, as I really missed Bo and Luke and it seemed as if they were gone for years.  

 

In later years when the show went into syndication I managed to watch some of the Coy and Vance episodes and wasn't quite as bothered by their characters.  Well I had grown up a bit.

 

I recently purchased the 2 seasons on DVD I was missing, seasons 3 and 5.  My wife and I are now watching season 5 and have one more complete Coy and Vance episode to go until Bo and Luke's return.  After the first couple of Coy and Vance episodes we noticed that the actors, Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer, seemed to be more relaxed in their roles.  It must have been really hard for Byron and Christopher to not only fill John and Tom's shoes but have to copy them as well.  As said above, Byron and Christopher helped save the Dukes from cancellation and without them there would have only been 4 seasons.  

 

I admit back when the show first aired I was very happy that Bo and Luke returned and after I finish watching the last Coy and Vance episode on DVD I'll be happy to see Bo and Luke return.  Bo and Luke were the original Duke boys and still the best.  However my wife and I are really enjoying the Coy and Vance episodes and realize the actors didn't have it easy back then.  It was a thankless job Byron and Christopher had and they did it well.  

 

While Bo and Luke will always be THE Duke boys, Coy and Vance are a part of the shows history.  I'll continue to re-watch all the episodes over and over, including the Coy and Vance episodes.  It still a shame though that Coy and Vance left so early in Bo and Luke's return episode.  It would have been nice to see all 4 Duke boys 'fight the system' together or at least have Coy and Vance return in a future episode.

Edited by Boss JD Hogg
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