Amanda's (also known as Amanda's by the Sea) is an American sitcom based on the 1970s British sitcom Fawlty Towers that aired on ABC from February 10 to May 26, 1983. The series starred Bea Arthur as Amanda Cartwright, who owns a seaside hotel called "Amanda's by the Sea" and was Arthur's first return to series television since her sitcom Maude ended in 1978.

Amanda's
Amanda's TV Title.jpg
Also known asAmanda's by the Sea
Created byElliot Shoenman
Directed byMarc Daniels
Charles S. Dubin
J.D. Lobue
John Rich
Howard Storm
StarringBea Arthur
Fred McCarren
Simone Griffeth
Tony Rosato
Rick Hurst
Keene Curtis
Kevin McCarthy
Theme music composerLois Walden
Composer(s)Artie Butler
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (3 unaired) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Len Rosenberg
Producer(s)Elliot Shoenman
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)E&L Productions
Viacom Productions
DistributorCBS Television Distribution (2007-present)
Release
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseFebruary 10 –
May 26, 1983
Chronology
Related showsFawlty Towers

A total of thirteen episodes were produced, with three remaining unaired following the series' cancellation.

SynopsisEdit

Amanda Cartwright (Bea Arthur) is the formidable owner of "Amanda's by the Sea", a struggling California seaside hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean whose fractious staff includes her hotel-management-graduate son Marty (Fred McCarren); her spoiled daughter-in-law Arlene (Simone Griffeth); Earl, the bumbling chef (Rick Hurst) and Aldo, the bellhop of foreign extraction (Tony Rosato).

The comedy revolved around burnt steaks, fussy guests, travel-guide writers who had to be impressed, the banker Mr. Mundy (Keene Curtis) who always threatened to foreclose and brother-in-law Zack (Kevin McCarthy), who was out to woo Amanda.

ProductionEdit

Amanda's was the second attempted American adaptation of Fawlty Towers. The first, Chateau Snavely starring Harvey Korman and Betty White, was produced by ABC for a pilot in 1978, but the transfer from coastal hotel to highway motel proved too much and the series was never produced. John Cleese, creator of the original British sitcom, was critical of this first adaptation, in particular Korman and White, saying they "played it too slow and were embarrassed by the edgy dialogue".[1]

Amanda's was created by Elliot Shoenman, who had previously written six episodes of Arthur's 1970s sitcom Maude. Since Maude concluded in 1978, Arthur had been approached with numerous ideas, until Shoenman showed her some tapes of Fawlty Towers. Loving the original, Arthur agreed to take part in a remake.

However, Arthur later recalled "complaining bitterly"[2] about the show and, in particular, the plot and character changes. Amanda, unlike her original counterpart Sybil, did not have a husband, but instead had a son and daughter-in-law. Arthur noted the only real similarity between Amanda's and Fawlty Towers was the adaptation of the character Manuel, known in the remake as Aldo.[2] Norman Lear, a friend and former colleague of Arthur's, looked at the sitcom and told Arthur: "You don't have a character...you're not playing anything."[2]

Cleese recalled a meeting he attended to discuss this new adaptation of his show:

The most extraordinary remake was with Bea Arthur. I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, "That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?" They said, "Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out". And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur.[1]

Amanda's was taped in front of a live audience at ABC Studios in Hollywood, California. It was cancelled in May 1983 after a short four-month run of ten episodes, with three episodes remaining unaired. A&E channel broadcast reruns of the show during the late 1980s.

Arthur later described the show as "a big disappointment".[2] Two years after the cancellation of Amanda's, Arthur was cast in the sitcom The Golden Girls.

Following Amanda's, a third remake of Fawlty Towers entitled Payne (produced by and starring John Larroquette) was also produced, but was cancelled shortly after.

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"All in a Day's Work"John RichElliot ShoenmanFebruary 10, 1983 (1983-02-10)
Amanda is forced to contend frantically with an overbooking problem, a defunct kitchen cooking range and a disgruntled hotel-business magazine writer.
2"You Were Meant For Me"Charles S. DubinElliot ShoenmanFebruary 17, 1983 (1983-02-17)
When an ex-con (Donnelly Rhodes) holds the staff and guests hostage in the hotel lobby, both he and the chief of police (Jerry Stiller) make a play for Amanda.
3"The Man Who Came on Wednesday"Charles S. DubinElliot ShoenmanFebruary 24, 1983 (1983-02-24)
Amanda's party plans are interrupted when she has to pass off a bunch of country bumpkins as pillars of the community to welcome the town's new bank president.
4"I Ain't Got Nobody"J.D. LobueHarvey SilbermanMarch 3, 1983 (1983-03-03)
Amanda panics when she and Aldo desperately try to keep up with a corpse that mysteriously turns up in various guest rooms.
5"My Cheatin' Staff"J.D. LobueJohh MarkusMarch 10, 1983 (1983-03-10)
Aldo falls for a gorgeous airline stewardess (Ann Gillespie) while Marty and Arlene suspect Amanda of having an affair with Aldo and a married hotel guest.
6"Aunt Sonia"Marc DanielsSam GreenbaumMarch 24, 1983 (1983-03-24)
Amanda plays matchmaker for her visiting aunt Sonia (Vivian Blaine) amid a golf tournament, a shortage of rooms and a dancing chicken in the cabaret.
7"Last of the Red Hot Brothers"Howard StormDiane Wilk & Neal MarlensMay 5, 1983 (1983-05-05)
Amanda's emotions range from elation to fury with a surprise visit from her brother-in-law Zack during a financial crisis at the hotel.
8"I'm Dancing as Close as I Can"Howard StormBill Davenport & Sam GreenbaumMay 12, 1983 (1983-05-12)
Amanda's temper flares when Zack begins meddling in the hotel's affairs, then she breaks out with a case of the hives when he asks her out on a date.
9"One Passionate Night (Part 1)"Howard StormMichael LomanMay 19, 1983 (1983-05-19)
A full moon has the hotel staff feeling quite passionate which results in some strange bedfellows – especially for Amanda and Zack.
10"One Passionate Night: The Aftermath (Part 2)"Howard StormMichael LomanMay 26, 1983 (1983-05-26)
Marty takes Amanda to task when it becomes clear to him that she and his Uncle Zack have become romantically involved.
11"Amanda's Number One Son"Howard StormKaryl Geld MillerUnaired
Amanda is in dire straits after Marty is lured away from working at the hotel and receives a job offer from his father-in-law to work in Boston.
12"I Was Wild About Harry"Howard StormTBAUnaired
Amanda tries to organize a luau in honor of her late husband, but the weather insists on being anything but Hawaiian.
13"Oh, Promise Me"Howard StormClayton Baxter (s/t)
Susan Borowitz & Richard Raskind (t)
Unaired
Wedding bells are ringing for Amanda and Zack, but first they must banish the ghost of Amanda's first husband Barney (Billy Sands).

Broadcast historyEdit

Dates Time slot (ET)
February 10 – March 24, 1983 Thursday, 8:00–8:30 PM on ABC (Episodes 1–6)
May 5 – May 26, 1983 Thursday, 9:30–10:00 PM on ABC (Episodes 7–10)

US Television RatingsEdit

Season Episodes Start Date End Date Nielsen Rank Nielsen Rating Tied With
1982–83 10 February 10, 1983 May 26, 1983 54[3] N/A N/A

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "John Cleese ('Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened')". Digital Spy. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Amanda's". Archive of American Television. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  3. ^ Lina. "The TV Ratings Guide: 1982-83 Ratings History -- Soap Bubbles Rise, Several Veterans Part and NBC Renews Poorly Rated Masterpieces". Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.

External linksEdit