Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Origin of a Classic: Love and the Television Set (aka Love and the Happy Days--Love, American Style, 1972)

From season 4 of Love, American Style:

It was originally titled, "Love and the Television Set", largely because writer Garry Marshall and the producers didn't initially believe this slice of 1950's nostalgia would take off the way it did. As you'll see, the episode was retitled, "Love and the Happy Days" when Style entered syndication, the end result of Happy Days being spun off in the winter of 1974.

As we've noted, character actor Harold Gould was the original Howard Cunningham, but when it was decided to spin Days off into its own series, Gould was unavailable due to movie commitments, enabling Tom Bosley to take his place and gain icon status. Marion Ross, Ron Howard, & Anson Williams carried over from this episode.

Only the first portion airs, narrated by Howard in character as Richie Cunningham.



Not sure if the poster has the rest of the episode. Somewhere along the way, Warren "Potsie" Weber (Williams) was dumbed down into a nearly clueless imbecile who also was pursuing a musical career in the course of the series.

Fast fact about Style: Co-producer Arnold Margolin also co-wrote the some of the music for the show, and cast his younger brother, Stuart, later of The Rockford Files, as a member of the show's repertory company for the blackout sketches.

Funny thing. Throughout its run, Style aired at 10 pm (ET). Happy Days aired earlier in the evening throughout its 11 season run.

Rating: B. It would get better.

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