Although the producers of “The Love Boat” tried to be as accurate and true to what a real-life crew of a ship and its management would be, there were obviously some errors. This was the main and most criticized part of the central plot of the series.
Obviously, writers for the show didn’t want to change this because it’s precisely what made for hilarious and juicy stories onboard, but in actuality, romantic and intimate relationships between a ship’s crew members and its passengers are strictly forbidden. In fact, this is one of the golden rules of any cruise ship, and it’s in place for a number of good reasons.
ABC Was One Big Family
Just like today, ABC was one of America’s biggest television networks back in the 70s and 80s. It produced many of the era’s most successful and beloved sitcoms, and the execs at ABC loved to combine their star shows. For instance, among the many celebrity guests that appeared on “The Love Boat,” many were the leading characters of other successful shows.
Among them were “Welcome Back, Kotter,” from 1975, “Battlestar Galactica” from 1978, “Happy Days” from 1974, and “Three’s Company” from 1976. Often, the episodes that combined TV’s favorite characters were the ones with the highest ratings, and obviously, the network wanted exactly that.
“Gilligan’s Island” Boarded “The Love Boat”
As massively successful as “The Love Boat” was in the 70s, so was “Gilligan’s Island” during the 60s. “Gilligan’s Island” was also an adventure-comedy series about seven people who get stranded on a desert tropical island. For three whole seasons and 100 episodes, one could see the hilarious and crazy attempts at escaping the island and the interactions between the very diverse group of people, which made for great ratings.
In a collaboration between the two shows, nearly every single member of “Gilligan’s Island” guest-starred on “The Love Boat” at one point. Among the actors that roamed the hallways of the love boat were Bob Denver (who played Gilligan), Alan Hale Jr. (who played The Skipper), Natalie Schaefer (who played Eunice), Tina Louise (who played Ginger Grant), and Dawn Wells (who played Mary Ann).
They Made a Reality Show Based on “The Love Boat”
One of the many spin-offs made of “The Love Boat” was the reality show “The Real Love Boat,” produced by CBS in 2022. The first version was Australian, and it was a reality dating competition show where single contestants would board a luxury cruise ship in search of love. The contestants would participate in different challenges and go on several dates to not get booted off the ship and eliminated from the competition.
As contestants would lose and new participants boarded the ship, the last couple that stayed won the competition and were awarded a cruise vacation and a hefty cash prize. The American version of the show also premiered in 2022 and was hosted by married actors Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn.
The Many Nominations of “The Love Boat”
During its nine-season run, “The Love Boat” amassed a long list of accolades, among them being nominated four years in a row to a Golden Globe for ‘Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy,’ from 1978 to 1981. Four of its episodes were also nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards, and original cast actors Gavin MacLeod and Lauren Tewes were nominated for a Golden Globe for best actors.
In 1977, “The Love Boat” won the People’s Choice Award for ‘Favorite New TV Comedy Program.’ But perhaps the biggest accolade was the amount of spin-offs, sequels, and crossovers that were done to try and achieve the show’s original success.