Production[ edit ] The one-hour sitcom was usually set aboard Pacific Princess , at the time a real-life Princess Cruises cruise ship. Only the latter four ships still exist. The series was filmed primarily on sets in California— 20th Century Fox Studios for seasons one through five and Warner Hollywood Studios for the remainder of the series.
After being renamed MS Pacific and spending her golden years owned by a cruise line in Spain, Pacific Princess was retired to Turkey in where she was scrapped by a ship breaking company after no buyer could be found. They traditionally aired as season premieres or during the sweeps months of February, May and November.
Writing format[ edit ] Original cast in a program premiere publicity photo 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. On rare occasions, there were crossovers between the stories. In one scene, the two pass each other in a corridor, exchange a "Do I know you? 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, 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[ edit ] 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, being another example.
Theme song and title sequence[ edit ] Main article: The lyrics were written by Paul Williams with music by Charles Fox. The song has since been recorded and released commercially by Charo in and Amanda Lear in 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. 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[ edit ] 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 For the —81 season it posted its highest rating at No.
By the beginning of the —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 —87 season. Syndication[ edit ] The Love Boat entered the syndication market in the United States in September , with Worldvision Enterprises handling distribution. As an alternative to stations with tight scheduling commitments, Worldvision offered edited minute episodes in addition to the original hour-long programs beginning in the fall of after the series completed its original run on ABC.
Sequels, spin-offs and crossovers[ edit ] A episode of another Aaron Spelling series, Charlie's Angels , 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. A second TV series, Love Boat: Each season has been released in two volume sets.