Bring The Love Boat Home!

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 The Love Boat - Season One, Vol. 1

 The Love Boat: Season One, Vol. 2

 The Love Boat - Season Two - Vol. 1

 Love Boats - Novel by Jeraldine Saunders  


Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: September 24, 1977

Last Telecast: September 5, 1986

Theme Song:

"The Love Boat", by Paul Williams and Charles Fox; sung by Jack Jones (1977-1985) and Dionne Warwick (1985-1986)

Broadcast History:

September 1977 – January 1978, Saturday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

January 1978 – September 1985, Saturday 9:00-10:00 on ABC

September 1985 – May 1986, Saturday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

June 1986 – September 1986, Friday 10:00-11:00 on ABC


Captain Merrill Stubing / Marshall Stubing..... Gavin MacLeod

Ship's Doctor Adam Bricker..... Bernie Kopell

Yeoman-Purser Burl "Gopher" Smith..... Fred Grandy

Bartender Isaac Washington..... Ted Lange

Cruise Director Julie McCoy (1977-1984)..... Lauren Tewes

Vicki Stubing (1979-1986)..... Jill Whelan

Singer-Guitarist April Lopez..... Charo

Cruise Director Judy McCoy (1984-1986)..... Pat Klous

Photographer Ashley Covington Evans (Ace) (1984-1986)..... Ted McGinley

Emily Heywood (1986)..... Marion Ross

The Love Boat Mermaids (1985-1986)

Susie..... Deborah Bartlett

Maria..... Tori Brenno

Jane..... Nanci Lynn Hammond

Amy..... Teri Hatcher

Patti..... Debra Johnson

Sheila..... Macarena

Starlight..... Andrea Moen

Mary Beth..... Beth Myatt


The Love Boat was closely patterned after ABC’s hit series, Love, American Style, which ran from 1969 to 1974. Both programs consisted each week of several short comic sketches dealing with love of all types, young and old, married an unmarried, and both featured guest stars in the sketches. The difference was that all of Love Boat’s stories were set aboard the Pacific Princess, a luxury cruise ship which embarked each week on a romantic, sentimental, and often hilarious voyage across tropic seas. The three or four stories told on each telecast were thus interwoven and often involved the ship's crew, who were seen on the show every week.

Famous movie and TV stars of the past and present were delighted to accept guest roles on The Love Boat’s floating soundstage, combining work with travel to exotic locations. Among the many famous names appearing were Raymond Burr, Pearl Bailey, Steve Allen, Janet Gaynor, Greer Garson, Jane Wyman, Don Adams, Helen Hayes, Mildred Natwick, Dick Van Patten, and Charo (in the recurring role of singer-guitarist April Lopez). Some stories revolved around the crew, with Capt. Stubing's womanizing brother Marshall (played by MacLeod wearing a toupée) showing up on occasion, and Vicki, Stubing's 12-year-old daughter by a past girlfriend, becoming a regular cast member in 1979.

Most of Love Boat’s episodes were filmed on two real cruise ships, the Pacific Princess and the Island Princess, during their regular voyages from the Virgin Islands to Alaska. Paying passengers were invited to participate as extras, getting a raffle ticket for each day they "worked". Most passengers were delighted to take part, and cruises on which filming was planned were always booked solid long in advance.

Among the highlights of later seasons were voyages to ever more exotic location – Australia in 1981, the Mediterranean in 1982, and China in 1983. February 1982 saw the first “Love Boat Follies,” a shipboard musical extravaganza featuring the regular cast plus Cab Calloway, Carol Channing, Van Johnson, Ethel Merman, Ann Miller, and Della Reese.

A number of changes were made in the fall of 1985, in an attempt to buoy the slowly sinking series. In addition to a new time period and a new theme singer, a group of eight beautiful singer/dancers (The Love Boat Mermaids) were added to the crew, appearing in a weekly musical number and working in the casino that had been added to The Pacific Princess. It didn’t help. In the spring of 1986, at the end of the original series run, Capt. Stubing romanced and married Emily Heywood, played by Marion Ross. (A number of new two-hour Love Boat specials were aired during the following season.)

The series was based on Jeraldine Saunders’s novel The Love Boats (drawn from her experiences as a cruise hostess), and first aired as a series of specials during the 1976-1977 season. ABC aired reruns of The Love Boat on weekday mornings from June 1980 to June 1983.