This show was a early example of the dysfunction of American lives. Each character was very colorful with each a story within itself. It has been thirty years since I saw it but I remember the cast carried off quit a few one liners. It was one of the first shows not to be about glamour and to be about real people's lives.
Highly hyped as "another television milestone", this Norman Lear produced sitcom failed to draw an audience in the Friday night time slot following The Odd Couple, a cult favorite that failed in the Neilsens but garnered several awards and a long life in
Following Norman Lear's success with the controversial All In the Family, ABC pushed this off-beat sitcom heavily before its mid-season debut. Running gags were established almost immediately, including Ainsley's habit of getting caught in the revolving door entranceway every time he entered the hotel and Mrs. Belotti's tales about her crazy-but-never-seen son. Though short-lived, the show did run long enough for Ainsley to make a successful entrance, which he celebrated by throwing his fist in the air, right into the door frame.
Controversial figures for the time included April, a flamboyant prostitute and her hispanic coworker, as well as George and Gordon, an aging homosexual couple.
Whether because of the unappealing situation or lack of a likeable, breakout character, or because of the time slot behind another promising sitcom that turned out a ratings loser, The Odd Couple, Hot l Baltimore was cancelled after only a brief run.
I remember this show when it came on.. It was controversial and so totally under appreciated. If this show was around now it would just be a normal average sitcom. But back then dealing with the topics it had every one panned it. I watched it and could not stop laughing. The whole cast seemed to mesh so well together and the interaction was there, as was the timing. Just so sad it had to be killed after not even a half a year. Guess the network just wanted it as a filler and could care less about the audience
Hot l Baltimore was a very controversial TV show for ABC.
I recently saw a audio clip of the show's theme song. An announcer said that "Our program deals with mature subject matter. Parental judgement and discretion are advised." This is one of the many reasons of the poor quality of the audio. Other reasons for the poor quality are that it was only seen in its original run on ABC in early 1975 and was never picked up for syndication.
The reasons that the show dealt with mature subject matter is that it had 2 men who were one of the first gay couples in an American television series, and 2 prostitutes.
If the sitcom were to be syndicated today, the show would recieve a TV-14 rating (not good for a classic TV series). But a classic show has to be rated either TV-PG or TV-G. There should be an edited version of the sitcom with a TV-PG rating.
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