The Love Boat

ABC (ended 1986)



User Score: 202

out of 10
User Rating
491 votes

By Users

The Love Boat

Show Summary

This lighthearted anthology series came from the mind of successful producer Aaron Spelling. A new set of passengers would work through their problems with love every week aboard the Pacific Princess, which would make its way south from California to Mexico and back. The crew of the ship was led by Captain Merrill Stubing. Regular crew members included ship's doctor Adam "Doc" Bricker, purser Burl "Gopher" Smith, chief bartender Isaac Washington and cruise director Julie McCoy. In the second season, the captain's young daughter, Vicki, became a permanent passenger and an unofficial crew member.

After the seventh season, Lauren Tewes was dismissed from her role as Julie McCoy because of substance abuse problems. Julie's responsibilities were shifted to new characters Judy McCoy (Julie's sister) and Ace Evans. Also brought onboard were a group of dancers for the ship's club, the Love Boat Mermaids, which included a young Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark, Desperate Housewives). In 1978 and from 1980 to 1984, The Love Boat ran on Saturday nights along with Fantasy Island, a similar Aaron Spelling anthology. Originally shown at 10 in its first season, it moved to the 9 p.m. time slot for the majority of its run before returning to 10 p.m. for its final season after the cancellation of Fantasy Island. Nielsen Ranking: #14 in the 1977-1978 Season #17 in the 1978-1979 Season #24 in the 1979-1980 Season #5 in the 1980-1981 Season #14 in the 1981-1982 Season #9 in the 1982-1983 Season #17 in the 1983-1984 Season #56 in the 1985-1986 Season The memorable theme song was ranked the #32 greatest TV theme by TV Land in 2002.

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  • Gavin McLeod

    Gavin McLeod

    Captain Merrill Stubing

    Bernie Kopell

    Bernie Kopell

    Dr. Adam Bricker

    Fred Grandy

    Fred Grandy

    Burl "Gopher" Smith

    Ted Lange

    Ted Lange

    Isaac Washington

    Lauren Tewes

    Lauren Tewes

    Julie McCoy

    Jill Whelan

    Jill Whelan

    Vicki Stubing

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    • Love Boat Book

      I am an author currently writing an episode guide/fact book on the Love Boat. I am trying to contact any fans out there who might have old clippings, websites, books, anything from the show that they can copy/scan to me for print in the book.

      I plan on interviewing the cast with their approval of course.

      Please use this email to contact me:

      Thanks much!

      Also, if you know of any other fans, please let them know!

    • I miss the love boat

      This used to be one of my favorite shows growing up as a kid. I loved watching this along with Fantasy Island. I just wish that all of the episodes were available. One of my favorite episodes was season 0, episode 13. One of the parts was Gopher gets an A.
    • I miss the good ol' days!

      The Love Boat people may say was cheesy, but it was great, was happy, and just a good era of TV (when TV was really good). Kids in general were happier and I think for one, they had good shows like this. This made me happy as a kid and then I got to watch Fantasy Island. Loved the late 70s! Way too much violence on TV today. I want to see something happy. It's a bittersweet watching these old shows, takes you back to a better time, but then we realize those days are over. :(moreless
    • A series of non-serial stories, often shown three at a time, and usually depicting love stories from various angles. The setting is always a cruise ship.

      I thought the show was great. Coupled with Fantasy Island of similar genre, it used to provide two hours of "winding down" time every Saturday evening.

      The lead parts were usually well cast and well played, though they were rarely lead parts in any particular story line: they tended to be segue roles as the episode drifted from story to story over the hour.

      One common complaint I hear is that the show relied on has-been actors past their prime as guest stars. As I watched the show, I found this neither accurate nor relevant. So what if they did!! Let the hot actors of the day field the hard roles. Let those approaching retirement allow me to end the week, entertained with levity.moreless
    • This series was the DWTS of its day.

      Like DWTS, it was a marginal premise that might have had some merit had they used pros!

      Instead, the story lines were impossibly weak and utterly predictable, and the guest star list for the most part was a "Who's That?" instead of a "Who's Who". Hence the DWTS connection.

      I give it a 5.5 because:

      1) on the rare occasion there was a guest star I wanted to see, I did tune in and at that age, anything they did, no matter how stupid, was watchable. 2) at that age, I liked Lauren Tewes hairdo! What can I say? I was deep as a child!

      Give me pros, and I'll watch them "dance" in any era. Career resurrection should be on the merits, and this is not a worthy format; then or now.moreless

    More Info About This Show




    odd jobs, laugh track, celebrity cameos, steamy situations, opposites attract