The Love Boat and Love Boat: The Next Wave

The Love Boat (1977-1986)
Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998-1999)
Type: Spin Off
Group: 6

   Love, exciting and new. Come aboard we're expecting yoouuuuuuu... For nine years ABC expected viewers to show up every Saturday night at 9pm for a trip on The Love Boat and they did. For quite awhile they even stuck around for a visit to Fantasy Island afterward!

   Love Boat was a good show with a simple premise. It was set on a cruise ship and each week a new group of guests would take a cruise they hoped would lead to romance. And every week the viewers would watch as two or three comedic stories unfolded with the help of the ship's crew. There was Captain Stubing who was eventually joined on board by his daughter Vicki. Then there was the ship's doctor Dr. Adam Bricker, Doc for short, who had a way with the ladies. Gopher was the lovable but bumbling ships Purser. Isaac Washington was the ships chief bartender. He had the ability to somehow work at every bar on the ship simultaneously. No matter what bar a guest went to, there was Isaac! Spooky really. The ship's Cruise Director was originally Julie McCoy and then when she was written off the show Judy McCoy, Julie's sister. About halfway through the show, the crew also gained a ship photographer named Ace. When Gopher was promoted, Ace became the new Purser. Usually the crew played as background characters helping to move the different stories along although once in awhile they would get a story of their own, falling in love and the like.

   The Love Boat's greatest asset was its constant need for new passengers. It offered older actors from the golden days of Hollywood who people loved a chance to act and be seen. It also offered young up and coming actors a chance to be seen and often to work with the aforementioned Hollywood legends! Not too shabby. Plus the audience at home got to see great talent in light hearted escapist entertainment.

   When Paramount started its own television network in the late nineties, it needed programming. Not just programming to fill air time but something that would draw an audience and keep the network afloat. Building an audience for a new show can be hard. They decided to revive The Love Boat in a new show called Love Boat: The Next Wave. It seemed a wise bet. The show would inspire fond memories in people and hopefully come with a built in audience.

   The new show had an all new crew: Captain Jim Kennedy, Security Chief Camille Hunter, Doctor John Morgan, Chief Bartender Paolo Kaire, Purser Will, Cruise Directors Suzanne Zimmerman and Nicole and the captain's son Danny Kennedy.

   The formula was the same but, quite frankly, the Hollywood old timers who made the original show such fun to watch just weren't around anymore. The show relied more on the up and coming actors and actors from currently popular shows. It still worked but not with the same kick as the original. Plus it aired on Mondays and then on Fridays! Hello! It's The Love Boat! Saturday is the night!

   Love Boat: The New Wave only lasted two seasons and then was cancelled, but not before it got in an official crossover episode with the original show. Most of the crew of the original show showed up as guest on the new ship to help celebrate the wedding of Vicki Stubing! Of course all the old cast now found themselves the ones with love problems. Vicki worried that her husband-to-be worsphipped her a little too much. For him she could do no wrong! Isaac felt he was out of step when it came to romance and didn't have the ability to commit. The new bartender kept trying to help him into a new romance but Isaac just kept shying away. Not wanting to look pathetic in front of her old friends, solo Julie invented a phoney boyfriend only to later find out that old buddy Doc actually had a romantic interest in her. And Captain Stubing? He had to decide if he would rather take a promotion to president of the cruise lines or stay in the captain's chair. Seeing that Fred Grandy who played Gopher is now a Washington politician, he missed the boat.

Other Love Boat Crossover Links
The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels
The Love Boat and Fantasy Island
The Love Boat and Martin

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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