The Love Boat

The Love Boat is an American comedy/drama television series set on luxury passenger cruise ship S.S. Pacific Princess, which aired on the ABC television network from May 5, 1977 until May 24, 1986; plus, four three-hour long specials aired in 1986, 1987, and 1990.[1] The series revolves around the ship's captain Merrill Stubing (played by Gavin MacLeod) and a handful of its crew, with several passengers—played by various guest star actors for each episode—having romantic and humorous adventures. It was part of ABC's popular Saturday-night lineup of the time, which also included Fantasy Island until that series ended two years earlier in 1984.

The original 1976 made-for-TV movie on which the show was based (also titled The Love Boat) was itself based on the nonfiction book Love Boats by Jeraldine Saunders, a real-life cruise director on a passenger cruise ship line.[2][3] It was followed by two more TV-made-for movies (titled The Love Boat II and The New Love Boat), all before the series began its first season in September 1977.[4]

The executive producer for the series was Aaron Spelling, who produced several TV series for Four Star Television, and American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from the 1960s into the 1980s.

In 1997, the episode with segment titles "Hidden Treasure", "Picture from the Past", and "Ace's Salary" (season 9, episode 3) was ranked No. 82 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time from TV Guide magazine.[5] The Love Boat ran for nine seasons plus four specials. Another made-for-TV movie, titled The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage, starring four of the original cast members, aired finally on February 12, 1990.[6]

The Love Boat
The Love Boat
Genre
Based onLove Boats
by Jeraldine Saunders
Developed byW. L. Baumes
Starring
Opening theme"The Love Boat" sung by Jack Jones, seasons 1–8; by Dionne Warwick season 9
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons9 + 5 specials
No. of episodes249 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Running time45–52 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWorldvision Enterprises
(1983–1985)
CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseMay 5, 1977 –
May 24, 1986
Chronology
Followed byThe Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage (1990)
Related showsLove Boat: The Next Wave

Cast

Love Boat cast 2015.jpeg
The cast members in costume, 2015; l–r: Kopell, Grandy, Lange, MacLeod, Tewes & Whelan
  • Gavin MacLeod as Captain Merrill Stubing
  • Bernie Kopell as Dr. Adam "Doc" Bricker, ship's physician
  • Fred Grandy as Burl "Gopher" Smith, yeoman purser (seasons 1–9)
  • Ted Lange as Isaac Washington, bartender (seasons 1–9), yeoman purser (made-for-TV movie)
  • Lauren Tewes as Julie McCoy, cruise director (seasons 1–7, four specials, plus a guest star appearance in Season 9 episode 9)
  • Jill Whelan as Vicki Stubing, the captain's daughter (seasons 3–9, four specials, made-for-TV movie, plus a guest star appearance in Season 2 episode 8)[7]
  • Ted McGinley as Ashley "Ace" Covington Evans, ship's photographer (seasons 7–9), yeoman purser (four specials)
  • Pat Klous as Judy McCoy, Julie's sister and successor as cruise director (seasons 8–9)

MacLeod, Kopell and Lange are the only cast members to appear in every episode of the TV series as well as the last three made-for-TV movies. Grandy was in every episode throughout the run of the series, but was not in the last of the TV movies due to his 1986 campaign for (and election to) the United States House of Representatives. MacLeod was not the captain of the Pacific Princess in the first two TV movies and did not appear in them, although when his character was introduced there was a mention of his being "the new captain".

Among the series' attractions was the casting of well-known actors in guest-starring roles, with many famous film stars of yesteryear making rare television appearances. The Love Boat was not the first comedy series to use the guest-star cast anthology format—Love, American Style had used the formula seven years earlier—but it had such success with the formula that future series in similar style (such as Supertrain and Masquerade) always drew comparisons to The Love Boat. The series was followed on Saturday nights on ABC by Fantasy Island, which was likewise produced by Aaron Spelling, and had a similar format.

Production

The one-hour sitcom was usually set aboard Pacific Princess, at the time a real-life Princess Cruises cruise ship.[8] Other ships used were the Pacific Princess twin sister vessel Island Princess, along with other cruise liners: SS Stella Solaris (for a Mediterranean Sea cruise), MS Pearl of Scandinavia (for a Chinese cruise), Royal Viking Sky (for European cruises, now MV Boudicca) and Royal Princess (now S.S. Artemis) and Sun Princess (for Caribbean Sea cruises). In 1981, P&O Cruises' line Sea Princess (now MS Veronica) was also used for the special two-hour episode "Julie's Wedding", set in and around Australia. Only the latter four ships still exist today.

The series was filmed primarily on sets in southern California's20th Century Fox Studios for seasons one through five, and the Old Warner Brothers Hollywood Studios for the remainder of the series. The "star of the show", the cruise ship itself, after being renamed the MS Pacific and being sold then owned by another cruise line in Spain, the now-world famous Pacific Princess was retired to Turkey in 2013, where she was scrapped by a ship breaking company after no further buyer could be found.[9]

Episodes set and filmed in other European and East Asian locations became more frequent instead of the usual west coasts along the Pacific shores of the Americas as the show continued. They traditionally aired as season premieres or during the sweeps months of February, May and November.

Writing format

Julie McCoy (Lauren Tewes)Captain Merrill Stubing (Gavin MacLeod)Dr. Adam Bricker (Bernie Kopell)Isaac Washington (Ted Lange)Burl "Gopher" Smith (Fred Grandy)
Original cast in a program premiere publicity photo 1977

Another unique aspect of The Love Boat was its writing format. Every episode contained several storylines, each written by a different set of writers working on one group of guest stars. As a result, episodes ended up with ungainly titles like "Disco Baby/Alas, Poor Dwyer/After the War/Ticket to Ride/Itsy Bitsy: Part 1".

Even though the cast of the female detective sleuths of Charlie's Angels had been in separate episodes of the series, there was a crossover episode of the series in which the lady detectives had a case onboard the ship.

On rare occasions, there were crossovers between the stories. In one episode, actors Robert Reed and Florence Henderson, formerly of The Brady Bunch, guest-starred in separate segments. In one scene, the two pass each other in a corridor, exchange a "Do I know you?" questioning, then do a double-take, and then continue on their separate ways down the hall without another word.

In a one-time Fantasy Island crossover episode, the cruise ship makes a detour to deliver a troubled woman (played by Loni Anderson) to the mysterious island of Mr. Roarke instead of by the usual plane, and her storyline continued on that series.

There were typically three storylines. One storyline usually focused on a member of the crew, a second storyline would often focus on a crew member interacting with a passenger, and the third storyline was more focused on a single passenger (or a group of passengers). The three storylines usually followed a similar thematic pattern: One storyline (typically the "crew" one) was straight-ahead comedy. The second would typically follow more of a romantic comedy format (with only occasional dramatic elements). The third storyline would usually be the most dramatic of the three, often offering few (if any) laughs and a far more serious tone.

Laugh track

The series was also distinctive as being one of the few hour-long series ever made for American television that used a laugh track Eight Is Enough, on the same network and produced at the same time, is another example.

Theme song and title sequence

The Love Boat theme song was sung by Jack Jones (except for the last season, where a cover version by Dionne Warwick was used). The lyrics were written by Paul Williams with music by Charles Fox. The song has since been recorded and released commercially, by Charo in 1978 and Amanda Lear in 2001.

The opening sequence for the series underwent three changes over the years. From seasons one to eight, the opening sequence began with a long shot of the ship before the camera slowly zoomed in onto its bridge area. This was followed by posing shots of the crew members (updated several times due to cast additions and changes throughout all seasons) at different points on the ship set. The long shot footage of the ship was used for the credits of the celebrity guest stars. For only the first season, the guest stars were credited by having their names appear on the screen while the series' logo, a radar/compass style circle with four hearts, wrapped around them. Beginning with season two (and originally experimented with in the fifteenth episode of the first season), the compass was graphically put in place and at its center, the guest stars were shown posing for the camera on different parts of the set (or a city spot used in on-location episodes) while their names appeared at the bottom of the screen. For the final season, the compass was replaced by a crescent wave and the long shots of the ship were replaced by a montage of the various locations traveled to on the series. At the center of the wave graphic, the guest stars were shown posing for the camera wearing their formal outfits against different colored backgrounds.

Reception

For its first seven years, The Love Boat was very successful in the ratings. During that time, it ranked among the top 20, and even the top 10. For the 1980–81 season it posted its highest rating at No. 5. By the beginning of the 1984–85 season, the ratings were beginning to drop, and at the end of the following year, The Love Boat was canceled after nine years on ABC, although four three-hour specials aired during the 1986–87 season.

Syndication

The Love Boat entered the syndication market in the United States in September 1983, with Worldvision Enterprises handling distribution. As an alternative for stations with tight scheduling commitments, Worldvision offered edited 30-minute episodes in addition to the original hour-long programs beginning in the fall of 1986 after the series completed its original run on ABC.

Sequels, spin-offs and crossovers

  • A two-part 1979 episode of Charlie's Angels—another Aaron Spelling series—called "Love Boat Angels: Part 1" and "Part 2" had that series' characters attempting to recover a stolen statue while aboard the Pacific Princess on a Caribbean cruise (all of the Love Boat regulars had cameo appearances).
  • In 1982, "The Love Boat Goes to Fantasy Island" was a 90-minute back-to-back of each series—the episode started on The Love Boat, and the guest stars finished on Fantasy Island
  • A TV reunion movie, The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage, aired on CBS in 1990[10]
  • A second TV series, Love Boat: The Next Wave aired on UPN from 1998 to 1999, with Robert Urich as Captain Jim Kennedy, a retired United States Navy officer, Phil Morris as Chief Purser Will Sanders, and Heidi Mark as cruise director Nicole Jordan (several members of the original show's cast guest-starred on a reunion-themed episode, where it was revealed that Julie and Doc had been in love all along)
  • A two-part 1997 Martin episode, "Goin' Overboard", had the main characters going on a cruise and encountering Isaac, Julie, Doc, and Vicki
  • Isaac Washington also appeared in a 2005 episode of The King of Queens, "The Black List"

Home media

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released seasons 1–4 of The Love Boat on DVD in Region 1. Each season has been released in two-volume sets.

DVD name Ep no. Release dates Bonus features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season 1, Volume 1 12 March 4, 2008 September 1, 2008 April 10, 2008
  • Episodic promos
Season 1, Volume 2 12 August 12, 2008 September 1, 2008 October 2, 2008
  • The New Love Boat (TV movie pilot)
  • Episodic promos
Season 2, Volume 1 13 January 27, 2009 N/A September 2, 2009
  • Episodic promos
Season 2, Volume 2 12 August 4, 2009 N/A December 24, 2009
  • Episodic promos
Season 3, Volume 1 14 January 17, 2017[11] N/A N/A
  • Episodic promos
Season 3, Volume 2 14 January 17, 2017[12] N/A N/A
  • Episodic promos
Season 4, Volume 1 TBA October 2, 2018[13] N/A N/A
  • Episodic promos
Season 4, Volume 2 TBA October 2, 2018[14] N/A N/A
  • Episodic promos

Awards and honors

On May 23, 2017, the original cast (MacLeod, Kopell, Grandy, Lange, Tewes and Whelan) reunited on Today, where it was announced they will be receiving a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their contributions to television, sponsored by Princess Cruises.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Then/Now: The cast of 'The Love Boat'". Fox News. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  2. ^ Sean Daly (23 August 2016). "9 surprising facts about the 'Love Boat'". Fox News. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  3. ^ Kelly Corrigan (13 November 2014). "'Love Boats' author returns from celebration cruise". LA Times. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  4. ^ Gordon Cox (27 September 2013). "'Love Boat' Musical: Full Steam Ahead on Vegas Stage Version". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Special Collectors' Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28-July 4). 1997.
  6. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: The Love Boat: a Valentine Voyage". People. 12 February 1990. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  7. ^ from watching Season 2 on DVD
  8. ^ Sloan, Gene (August 8, 2013). "Famed 'Love Boat' makes final voyage to scrapyard". USA Today. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Cruise ship tour: Last look at the original 'Love Boat'".
  10. ^ The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage. 1990.
  11. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Love-Boat-Season-3/22778
  12. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Love-Boat-Season-3-Box-Art/22782
  13. ^ https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07FDT8P3S/tvshowsondvd0d-20
  14. ^ https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07FDTF8DR/tvshowsondvd0d-20
  15. ^ "See 'The Love Boat' cast reunite live on TODAY -- and get a big surprise!". today.com. NBC. May 23, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.

External links

Aaron Spelling

Aaron Spelling (April 22, 1923 – June 23, 2006) was an American film and television producer. Some of his works include the TV programs Charlie's Angels (1976–81), The Love Boat (1977–86), Hart to Hart (1979–84), Dynasty (1981–89), Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–2000), 7th Heaven (1996–2007), and Charmed (1998–2006). He also served as producer of Mod Squad (1968-1973), The Rookies (1972-1976), and Sunset Beach (1997-1999).

Through his eponymous production company Spelling Television, Spelling holds the record as the most prolific television writer and producer in US television history, with 218 producer and executive producer credits. Forbes ranked him the 11th top-earning deceased celebrity in 2009.

Aloha Paradise

Aloha Paradise is an American comedy series that aired on ABC on Wednesday night from February 25, 1981 to April 22, 1981. The series stars Debbie Reynolds and was created by Tom Greene.

Aloha Paradise was executive produced by Douglas S. Cramer and Aaron Spelling, the same team that produced The Love Boat to which the series bore a resemblance.

Barry Van Dyke

Barry Van Dyke (born July 31, 1951) is an American actor and the second son of actor and entertainer Dick Van Dyke and Margie Willett, and nephew of Jerry Van Dyke. He has often worked with his father. He is best known to audiences as Lieutenant Detective Steve Sloan, a homicide detective and the son of Dr. Mark Sloan (played by Dick Van Dyke) on Diagnosis: Murder. In the show, the characters' relatives were frequently played by real-life family members.

Bernie Kopell

Bernard Morton Kopell (born June 21, 1933) is an American character actor known for his roles as Siegfried in Get Smart from 1966 to 1969 and as Dr. Adam Bricker ("Doc") on The Love Boat from 1977 to 1986.

Don Adams

Donald James Yarmy (April 13, 1923 – September 25, 2005), known professionally as Don Adams, was an American actor, comedian and director. In his five decades on television, he was best known as Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) in the television situation comedy Get Smart (1965–70, 1995), which he also sometimes directed and wrote. Adams won three consecutive Emmy Awards for his performance in the series (1967–69). Adams also provided the voices for the animated series Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963–66) and Inspector Gadget (1983–86) as well as several revivals and spinoffs of the latter in the 1990s.

Fred Grandy

Fredrick Lawrence Grandy (born June 29, 1948) is an American actor best known for his role as "Gopher" on the sitcom The Love Boat and who later became a member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Iowa. Grandy was most recently the host of The Grandy Group, a morning drive time radio talk show on 630 WMAL in Washington, D.C.

Gavin MacLeod

Gavin MacLeod (born Allan George See; February 28, 1931) is an American film and television character actor, ship's ambassador, and Christian activist and author, whose career spans six decades. He has also appeared as a guest on several talk, variety, and religious programs.

MacLeod's long career began in films in 1957, playing opposite Peter Mann in The Sword of Ali Baba (1965). He went on to play opposite Anthony Franciosa in A Man Called Gannon (1968), opposite Christopher George in The Thousand Plane Raid, and opposite Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, and Carroll O'Connor in Kelly's Heroes (1970). He achieved continuing television success co-starring opposite Ernest Borgnine on McHale's Navy (1962–1964), as Joseph "Happy" Haines, and on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977) as Murray Slaughter. He is best known for his starring role on ABC's The Love Boat (1977–1986), in which he was cast as ship's Captain Merrill Stubing.

Glitter (TV series)

Glitter is an American television drama series broadcast by the ABC network during the 1984-1985 season.

The series was produced by Aaron Spelling and was set behind the scenes of a top entertainment magazine titled "Glitter" and attempted to combine the urgency of journalism and business politics with the glamorous lifestyles of the rich and famous featured in the pages of the magazine. The leading cast members were David Birney, Morgan Brittany and Arthur Hill.

The format of the series was similar to two other popular ABC shows which were also produced by Aaron Spelling; The Love Boat and Hotel, in that each week it featured high-profile guest appearances from famous celebrities, including Ginger Rogers and Cyd Charisse. Unlike the other shows, Glitter was not a ratings success. It was scheduled on Thursday nights against Simon & Simon, Cheers and Night Court which were all among the Top 20 most-watched programs at that time. The first three episodes aired in September 1984, and then the show was taken off the air (though was still in production) until December 1984 when three more episodes were shown. Ratings did not improve and the series was cancelled. The remaining eight episodes were shown during December 1985 as part of ABC's late-night line-up.

Despite its lack of success in the US, Glitter was sold internationally. It was shown in the UK on BBC1 in the summer of 1985 (though not all episodes were shown).

International Airport (film)

International Airport is a 1985 American made-for-television drama film starring Gil Gerard and Connie Sellecca. It was directed by Charles S. Dubin and Don Chaffey and executive produced by Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer.

It was called a "combination of Airport and The Love Boat." It was a pilot for a proposed TV series which did not eventuate; however the film screened as a stand-alone movie.

Jack Jones (singer)

John Allan Jones (born January 14, 1938) known professionally as Jack Jones, is an American actor and jazz and pop singer, popular during the 1960s. He is the son of actor/singer Allan Jones and actress Irene Hervey.

Jones is primarily a straight-pop singer (even when he recorded contemporary material) whose ventures in the direction of jazz are mostly of the big band/swing variety. Jones has won two Grammy Awards.He continues to perform concerts around the world and remains popular in Las Vegas. Jones is widely known for his recordings of "Wives and Lovers" (1964 Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance), "The Race Is On", "Lollipops and Roses" (1962, Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance), "The Impossible Dream", "Call Me Irresponsible", "Lady", and "The Love Boat Theme". He was also the voice of Greg's frog in the 2014 animated television miniseries Over the Garden Wall.

Lauren Tewes

Lauren Tewes (; born Cynthia Lauren Tewes; October 26, 1953) is an American actress. She is known for her role on the television comedy anthology series The Love Boat, which originally aired on ABC from 1977–86.

List of The Love Boat guest stars

This list of guest stars on the television series The Love Boat is alphabetical by last name.

Love Boat (song)

"Love Boat" (also known as "Love Boat Theme" and "The Love Boat") is a 1977 song performed by American singer and actor Jack Jones, used as the theme song in American television series The Love Boat. It was later covered by numerous artists.

Paul Williams (songwriter)

Paul Hamilton Williams Jr. (born September 19, 1940) is an American composer, singer, songwriter and actor. He is known for writing popular songs performed by a number of acts in the 1970s, including Three Dog Night's "An Old Fashioned Love Song" and "Out in the Country," Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World," David Bowie's "Fill Your Heart" and the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays." Williams is also known for his musical contributions to films, including the Academy Award-nominated song "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie, and penning the lyrics to the #1 chart-topping song "Evergreen," the love theme from the Barbra Streisand vehicle A Star Is Born, for which he won a Grammy for Song of the Year and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. He wrote the lyrics to the opening theme for the television show The Love Boat, with music previously composed by Charles Fox, which was originally sung by Jack Jones and, later, by Dionne Warwick.Williams had a variety of high-profile acting roles, such as "Little Enos Burdette" in the action-comedy Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and the villainous Swan in Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise (1974), which Williams also co-scored, receiving an Oscar nomination in the process.

Stella Stevens

Stella Stevens (born Estelle Eggleston; October 1, 1938) is an American film, television, and stage actress. She began her acting career in 1959 and starred in such popular films as Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), The Nutty Professor (1963), The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963), The Silencers (1966), Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (1968), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972).

Stevens also appeared in numerous television series, miniseries, and movies, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960, 1988), Bonanza (1960), The Love Boat (1977, 1983), Hart to Hart (1979), Newhart (1983), Murder, She Wrote (1985), Magnum, P.I. (1986), Highlander: The Series (1995) and Twenty Good Years (2006). In 1960, she won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress. Stevens has also worked as a film producer, director, and writer. She appeared in three Playboy pictorials, and was Playmate of the Month for January 1960.

Ted Lange

Theodore William "Ted" Lange (; born January 5, 1948) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter best known for his role as the bartender, Isaac Washington, in the TV series The Love Boat.

Ted McGinley

Theodore Martin "Ted" McGinley (born May 30, 1958) is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Jefferson D'Arcy on the television sitcom Married... with Children and as Charley Shanowski on the ABC sitcom Hope & Faith. He was also a late regular on Happy Days, Dynasty and The Love Boat. He is also known for playing the villainous role of Stan Gable in the film Revenge of the Nerds.

Tony Webster (screenwriter)

Tony Webster (January 9, 1922 - June 26, 1987) was an American screenwriter.

He wrote for Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows," "The Phil Silvers Show," "Car 54, Where Are You?" and "The Love Boat." He died of esophagus cancer at his home in Beverly Hills at age 65.

The Love Boat
Works produced by Aaron Spelling
Feature films
TV programs
TV movies
TV miniseries

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