Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Classic Reborn: Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998)

What was Aaron Spelling thinking?

Of all of the hit series he'd developed for ABC, only one (Fantasy Island) would be brought back for a revival, and a second landed, then dry-docked, at UPN.

Love Boat: The Next Wave was meant to reintroduce the anthology series to a new generation of viewers with a hipper look, as if the forgettable final season of the original series didn't try to accomplish that same goal. Robert Urich, who'd previously toiled for Spelling in S.W.A.T. & Vega$ years earlier, was cast as Capt. Jim Kennedy III, a divorcee who has his teenage son (Kyle Howard) aboard to keep the lad out of mischief (we think). The only other recognizable name is Phil Morris, whose father, Greg, worked with Urich on Vega$.

The series launched as a spring replacement in April 1998, and after returning for the fall season, brought the original cast & crew back for a 1-shot to resolve some viewer questions. Unfortunately, "Reunion" and other episodes are not available. The intro, though, is.

This one should've never left the dock.

Rating: C-.


magicdog said...

I don't know what Spelling's state of mind was during this period - or if most decisions were in someone else's hands. He probably figured syndicating the show would work - and you have to admit, the guest stars were pretty appropriate.

It wouldn't be long before Charmed would turn up and become an 8 season long success for Spelling's studio.

hobbyfan said...

Charmed debuted during season 2 of Love Boat: Next Wave, and, obviously, fared much, much better on WB/CW.

Some things are just better left well enough alone.

Mike Doran said...

This was put together as a get-well present for Robert Urich, who had just recovered from his cancer. Aaron Spelling liked to maintain close ties with his stars, past and present; he genuinely liked Bob Urich (as did everybody else who ever worked with him, comes to that), and believed that the Love Boat semi-anthology format was a good way to put him forward without overly taxing him.

hobbyfan said...

And a comedy-drama would be less stressful than the crime dramas that Urich had done before for Spelling (SWAT, Vega$).