With the sad passing of Gavin Macleod, Captain Stubing of The LoveBoat, here’s 10 fun (and interesting facts!)
1. THE LOVE BOAT FOLLOWS THE LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE ANTHOLOGY FORMULA.
The Love Boat was unique for television at the time in that it was centered around multiple vignettes every week, chronicling the comedic (and romantic) misadventures of an ever-changing group of passengers and the stalwart crew of the ship.
The separate storylines would all have different writers and weave in and out throughout the episode. It wasn’t a typical sitcom, nor was it sketch comedy; it was a style that executive producer Aaron Spelling directly modeled after ABC’s earlier comic hit Love, American Style.
Aimed at an older audience—with an eye on comic hijinks dripping with sexual tension—The Love Boat found an audience instantly, debuting at number 14 on the Nielsen charts and staying strong until the finale.
2. THE SHOW WAS BASED ON A TELL-ALL BOOK BY A REAL CRUISE DIRECTOR.
There’s more reality to The Love Boat than most people would assume. The show was actually based on a book titled Love Boats by Jeraldine Saunders, the first female to become cruise director for Princess Cruises. The 1974 book is a tell-all, revealing anecdotes from Saunders’s decade-long career (at that point) as a cruise director and the various run-ins she had with colorful passengers, crew members, and exotic destinations.
3. IT WAS TURNED INTO THREE TV MOVIES FIRST.
Before The Love Boat became a weekly television show, ABC tested the waters with three made-for-TV movies acting as pilots: The Love Boat (1976), The Love Boat II (1977), and The New Love Boat (1977). The Love Boat II saw the eventual TV cast appear in early versions of their famous roles, including Bernie Kopell, Ted Lange, and Fred Grandy. And The New Love Boat was basically a pilot for what the finalized series was going to be.
After three TV movies and an overhaul of the cast, The Love Boat was ready to officially set sail on September 24, 1977.
Click on the link below for the other 7 fun facts about The Love Boat, and thanks to Gavin Macleod for the years of laughter you brought to millions.