The Love Boat

Last updated
The Love Boat
The Love Boat.jpg
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)
Distributor Worldvision Enterprises
(1983–1985)
CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original releaseMay 5, 1977 (1977-05-05) 
May 24, 1986 (1986-05-24)
Chronology
Followed byThe Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage (1990)
Related shows Love Boat: The Next Wave

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.

Comedy genre of dramatic works intended to be humorous

In a modern sense, comedy refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters. The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.

Cruise ship passenger ship used for pleasure voyages

A cruise ship is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages when the voyage itself, the ship's amenities, and sometimes the different destinations along the way, form part of the passengers' experience. Transportation is not the only purpose of cruising, particularly on cruises that return passengers to their originating port. On "cruises to nowhere" or "nowhere voyages", cruise ships make 2-to-3 night round trips without any ports of call.

MS <i>Pacific</i>

MS Pacific was a cruise ship owned and operated by the Brazil-based Viagens CVC. She was built for Flagship Cruises in 1971 by the company Nordseewerke in Emden, West Germany, and named Sea Venture. She operated cruises between the United States and Bermuda, which had been settled by the survivors of the wreck of the original Sea Venture in 1609. Between 1975 and 2002 she sailed for Princess Cruises as Pacific Princess, becoming famous for appearing in the romantic comedy anthology TV series The Love Boat, airing from 1977 to 1986, along with several later made-for-TV movies with the same theme.

Contents

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 year 1976 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events in 1976.

A television film is a feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to, a television network, in contrast to theatrical films, which are made explicitly for initial showing in movie theaters.

Jeraldine Saunders was an American writer and lecturer, best known as the creator of The Love Boat, an ABC Television series and its associated made-for-TV films portraying the humorous and romantic adventures of various itinerant passengers.

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.

Aaron Spelling American film and television producer

Aaron Spelling 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).

Four Star Television

Four Star Television, also called Four Star International, was an American television production company. The company was founded in 1952 as Four Star Productions, by prominent Hollywood actors Dick Powell, David Niven, Charles Boyer, and Joel McCrea, after they were inspired by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz founded Desilu Productions a year earlier. McCrea left Four Star soon after its founding to continue acting in film, television and radio, before being replaced with Ida Lupino as the fourth star, even though Lupino did not own any stock in the company.

American Broadcasting Company American broadcast television network

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, But the network's second corporate headquarters and News headquarters remains in New York City, New York at their broadcast center on 77 West 66th Street in Lincoln Square in Upper West Side Manhattan.

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]

<i>TV Guide</i> American bi-weekly TV listing magazine

TV Guide is a bi-weekly American magazine that provides television program listings information as well as television-related news, celebrity interviews and gossip, film reviews, crossword puzzles, and, in some issues, horoscopes. The print magazine is owned by NTVB Media, while its digital properties are controlled by the CBS Interactive division of CBS Corporation; the TV Guide name and associated editorial content from the publication are licensed by CBS Interactive for use on the website and mobile app through an agreement with the magazine's parent subsidiary TVGM Holdings, Inc.

Cast

The cast members in costume, 2015; l-r: Kopell, Grandy, Lange, MacLeod, Tewes & Whelan Love Boat cast 2015.jpeg
The cast members in costume, 2015; l–r: Kopell, Grandy, Lange, MacLeod, Tewes & Whelan
Gavin MacLeod American actor

Gavin MacLeod 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.

Bernie Kopell American actor

Bernard Morton Kopell 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.

Fred Grandy American politician

Fredrick Lawrence Grandy 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.

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".

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

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.

Episodes

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

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.[ citation needed ] 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

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 nameEp no.Release datesBonus features
Region 1Region 2Region 4
Season 1, Volume 112March 4, 2008September 1, 2008April 10, 2008
  • Episodic promos
Season 1, Volume 212August 12, 2008September 1, 2008October 2, 2008
  • The New Love Boat (TV movie pilot)
  • Episodic promos
Season 2, Volume 113January 27, 2009N/ASeptember 2, 2009
  • Episodic promos
Season 2, Volume 212August 4, 2009N/ADecember 24, 2009
  • Episodic promos
Season 3, Volume 114January 17, 2017 [11] N/AN/A
  • Episodic promos
Season 3, Volume 214January 17, 2017 [11] N/AN/A
  • Episodic promos
Season 4, Volume 1TBAOctober 2, 2018 [12] N/AN/A
  • Episodic promos
Season 4, Volume 2TBAOctober 2, 2018 [13] N/AN/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. [14]

Related Research Articles

<i>McLeods Daughters</i> Australian television series

McLeod's Daughters is an Australian television drama program created by Posie Graeme-Evans and Caroline Stanton. It was produced by Millennium Television and later Southern Star for the Nine Network, premiered on the Nine Network on 8 August 2001, becoming one of the most successful series on Australian television as it was met with critical acclaim. Initially, the series starred Lisa Chappell and Bridie Carter as two main protagonists, with Sonia Todd, Jessica Napier, Rachael Carpani, Aaron Jeffery and Myles Pollard in leading roles. John Jarrett had a recurring role as Killarney station hand and Meg Fountain's love interest, Terry Dodge. Following the third season, the series took a different direction as main cast members began to depart, with a high cast turn-over occurring throughout the remaining years. After eight seasons and 224 episodes, the series was cancelled and the final episode was broadcast on 31 January 2009.

Princess Cruises cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation & plc

Princess Cruises is a cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. The company is incorporated in Bermuda and its headquarters are in Santa Clarita, California. It was previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, and is part of Holland America Group, which controls princess cruises brand. The line has 17 ships which cruise worldwide and are marketed to both American and international passengers.

<i>Sun Princess</i> cruise ship

Sun Princess is a Sun-class cruise ship built in 1995 and operated by Princess Cruises. At the time of her construction, she was one of the largest cruise ships in the world. She is the lead ship of her class that includes sister ships Sea Princess and the P&O ships Pacific Explorer and Oceana.

"The One After the Superbowl" [sic] is a double-length episode of the American television sitcom Friends' second season. The episode premiered on NBC on January 28, 1996, as the lead-out for NBC's telecast of Super Bowl XXX. The main storyline of the episode follows Ross, who learns that his former pet monkey Marcel had been employed for a film being shot in New York City, and then tries to get a role in said film as a ploy to reunite with the monkey.

"Booze Cruise" is the eleventh episode of the second season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the show's seventeenth episode overall. Written by Greg Daniels and directed by Ken Kwapis, the episode first aired in the United States on January 5, 2006 on NBC. The episode featured Rob Riggle and Amy Adams as guest stars.

Star Princess ship

Star Princess is a Grand-class cruise ship, operated by Princess Cruises. Star Princess is a sister ship to Grand Princess and the Golden Princess.

Lauren Tewes American actress

Lauren Tewes is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Julie McCoy on the television comedy anthology series The Love Boat, which originally aired on ABC from 1977–86.

<i>Pacific Princess</i>

MS Pacific Princess is a cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises and operated by Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia. She was built in 1999 by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France as MS R Three for Renaissance Cruises.

<i>Ocean Dream</i> (1972 ship)

Spirit of London was an Italian built cruise ship put into service in 1972. In January 2012, Runfeng Ocean Deluxe Cruises took over as operator, renaming the ship Ocean Dream.

I Love Lucy, a.k.a. I Love Lucy: The Movie is a 1953 American feature film spin-off of the sitcom I Love Lucy. Except for one test screening in Bakersfield, California, the film was never theatrically released and was shelved.

<i>Love Boat: The Next Wave</i> television series

Love Boat: The Next Wave is an American comedy television series which aired on UPN from April 13, 1998 to May 21, 1999. It was a revival of the original 1977–1986 ABC television series The Love Boat.

A ship sponsor, by tradition, is a female civilian who is invited to "sponsor" a vessel, presumably to bestow good luck and divine protection over the seagoing vessel and all that sail aboard. In the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard the sponsor is technically considered a permanent member of the ship's crew and is expected to give a part of her personality to the ship, as well as advocate for its continued service and well-being. For passenger ships the sponsor is called a godmother if the sponsor is female, or a godfather if the sponsor is male.

<i>Diffrent Strokes</i> television series

Diff'rent Strokes is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from November 3, 1978, to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985, to March 7, 1986. The series stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges as Arnold and Willis Jackson, two African-American boys from Harlem who are taken in by a rich white Park Avenue businessman and widower named Phillip Drummond and his daughter Kimberly, for whom their deceased mother previously worked. During the first season and first half of the second season, Charlotte Rae also starred as the Drummonds' housekeeper, Mrs. Edna Garrett.

<i>Regal Princess</i> (2013)

MS Regal Princess is a Royal-class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises. Regal Princess, as well as her sister ship Royal Princess, were ordered on 17 February 2010. The final contract was signed on 4 May 2010. She was delivered to Princess Cruises on 11 May 2014 in a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. In attendance were the Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi and the President of Princess Cruises Jan Swartz.

<i>Dr. Kildare</i> (TV series) television series

Dr. Kildare is an NBC medical drama television series which originally ran from September 28, 1961, until August 30, 1966, for a total of 191 episodes over five seasons. Produced by MGM Television, it was based on fictional doctor characters originally created by author Max Brand in the 1930s and previously used by MGM in a popular film series and radio drama. The TV series quickly achieved success and made a star of Richard Chamberlain, who played the title role. Dr. Kildare inspired or influenced many later TV shows dealing with the medical field.

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'". USA TODAY.
  10. The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage. 1990.
  11. 1 2 "TVShowsOnDVD.com - Goodbye". www.tvshowsondvd.com.
  12. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07FDT8P3S/tvshowsondvd0d-20
  13. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07FDTF8DR/tvshowsondvd0d-20
  14. "See 'The Love Boat' cast reunite live on TODAY -- and get a big surprise!". today.com. NBC. May 23, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.