Joanie Loves Chachi

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Joanie Loves Chachi
Joanieloveschachiscreen.gif
Genre Sitcom
Created by Lowell Ganz
Mark Rothman
Garry Marshall
Developed by Thomas L. Miller
Robert L. Boyett
Written by Cheryl Alu
James Patrick Dunne
Lowell Ganz
Terry Hart
Neil Rosen
George Tricker
Directed by Lowell Ganz
John Tracy
Tom Trbovich
Joel Zwick
Starring Erin Moran
Scott Baio
Al Molinaro
Ellen Travolta
Art Metrano
Opening theme "You Look at Me", performed by Scott Baio and Erin Moran
Composer(s) Howard Pearl
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 17 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Lowell Ganz
Robert L. Boyett
Ronny Hallin
Garry Marshall
Edward K. Milkis
Tom Miller
Producer(s) James Patrick Dunne
Fred Fox, Jr.
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Paramount Television
Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions
Henderson Productions
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run March 23, 1982 (1982-03-23) – May 24, 1983 (1983-05-24)
Chronology
Preceded by Love, American Style
Happy Days
Related shows Laverne & Shirley
Blansky's Beauties
Mork & Mindy
Out of the Blue

Joanie Loves Chachi is an American television spin-off of the American sitcom Happy Days that was originally broadcast on ABC from March 23, 1982 to May 24, 1983. It stars Erin Moran and Scott Baio as the titular Joanie Cunningham and Chachi Arcola, respectively.

Storyline[edit]

The series follows the exploits of Joanie and Chachi as they moved to Chicago and tried to make it on their own with a rock band and a music career. It mixed the traditional elements of a sitcom with musical performances on each show by Baio and Moran. In fact, the beginning credit sequence of the show had them singing to each other. Their backup band consists of a spaced-out drummer named Bingo and Chachi's blase cousins Mario and Annette.

The series also starred Ellen Travolta as Louisa Delvecchio, Chachi's mother, and Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio, Chachi's stepfather (and formerly the owner of Arnold's Drive-In in Happy Days), who opened a restaurant in which Chachi and Joanie performed most of their music. Art Metrano played Chachi's uncle Rico Mastorelli, who was the band's manager and helped Joanie and Chachi advance in their careers. Actress Winifred Freedman played Rico's daughter, Annette, Chachi's cousin, and bandmate.

Production[edit]

Joanie Loves Chachi was the first Miller-Boyett (and only Garry Marshall-produced) sitcom developed by Tom Miller and Robert L. Boyett, and was created by Lowell Ganz, Mark Rothman, and Garry Marshall. Unlike other Garry Marshall/Miller-Boyett sitcoms, this is the only series that does not have Charles Fox and/or Norman Gimbel as the show's theme song/music cue composer.

An urban legend circulated that the show was far more popular in Korea due to "chachi" being similar to a Korean word for "penis". However, the only airings in Korea were on the Armed Forces Network.[1]

Scott Baio later recalled that:

All the Happy Days people had written the first four episodes, when the show got picked up for series, but then they left to go back to Happy Days, and we were stuck with new writers who didn’t know us. So that was a problem. And then some of the people on the show had chemical issues, and that was a problem. It was just on and on and on, and it just sort of all crumbled and fell apart. In retrospect, if given the choice again, I would not have done that show. That was just the wrong idea. If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve waited ’til Happy Days was over until I did anything else.[2]

Ratings[edit]

  • Season 1: #17
  • Season 2: #60

Cancellation[edit]

The show initially attracted high ratings for the first few episodes, but the ratings plummeted in Season 2 with a move to Thursday nights, and the series only lasted for two seasons (both abbreviated) before the characters were rolled back into Happy Days for that program's final season. ABC determined that the show was losing too much of its lead-in, suggesting low appeal if the show were moved.

In 2010, TV Guide Network listed the show at #17 on its list of 25 Biggest TV Blunders, arguing that Joanie and Chachi was not what viewers wanted to see and that it was the Fonz that drew viewers in to Happy Days.[3]

Main cast[edit]

Actor Role
Scott Baio Chachi Arcola
Erin Moran Joanie Cunningham
Al Molinaro Al Delvecchio
Ellen Travolta Louisa Delvecchio
Art Metrano Rico Mastorelli
Robert Pierce Bingo Pierce
Derrel Maury Mario Mastorelli
Winifred Freedman Annette Mastorelli

Episode list[edit]

Season 1 (1982)[edit]

No Title Original airdate
1 "Chicago" March 23, 1982
2 "The Performance" March 30, 1982
3 "I Do, I Don't, I Do" April 6, 1982
4 "College Days" April 13, 1982

Season 2 (1982–1983)[edit]

No. Title Air date
1 "Fonzie's Visit" September 30, 1982
2 "Joanie's Roommate" October 14, 1982
3 "One-on-One" October 21, 1982
4 "No Nudes Is Good Nudes" October 28, 1982
5 "Everybody Loves Aunt Vanessa" November 4, 1982
6 "Beatlemania" November 11, 1982
7 "Best Foot Forward" November 18, 1982
8 "Goodbye Delvecchio's, Hello World" November 25, 1982
9 "Term Paper" December 2, 1982
10 "My Dinner with Chachi" December 9, 1982
11 "Christmas Show" December 16, 1982
12 "First Love, Last Love" May 17, 1983
13 "The Elopement" May 24, 1983

DVD release[edit]

On February 4, 2014, CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released Joanie Loves Chachi - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]