Amanda's

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Amanda's
Amanda's TV Title.jpg
Also known as Amanda's By The Sea
Created by Elliot Shoenman
Directed by Marc Daniels
Charles S. Dubin
J.D. Lobue
John Rich
Howard Storm
Starring Beatrice Arthur
Fred McCarren
Simone Griffeth
Tony Rosato
Rick Hurst
Keene Curtis
Kevin McCarthy
Theme music composer Lois Walden
Composer(s) Artie Butler
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (3 unaired)
Production
Executive producer(s) Len Rosenberg
Producer(s) Elliot Shoenman
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Viacom Productions
Distributor CBS Television Distribution (2007-present)
Release
Original network ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original release February 10, 1983 – May 26, 1983
Chronology
Related shows Fawlty Towers

Amanda's By The Sea, also known simply as Amanda's, is an American sitcom based on the 1970s British sitcom Fawlty Towers which aired on ABC from February 10, 1983, to May 26, 1983. The series starred Beatrice Arthur as the main character, Amanda Cartwright, who owns a seaside hotel called "Amanda's By The Sea" and was Arthur's first return to series television since Maude (1972–1978).

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

Synopsis[edit]

Amanda Cartwright (Beatrice 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.

Production[edit]

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 successful 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 has since 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 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 has since described the show as "a big disappointment".[2] Two years after the cancellation of Amanda's, Arthur was cast in the enormously successful 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. A fourth remake titled Over the Top was made in 1997 starring Tim Curry and Annie Potts (with Steve Carell in an early-career role as the Manuel character).[3] Twelve episodes were produced, but only three ever aired on American television (though the complete run was broadcast overseas). A German pilot based on the sitcom was made in 2001, named Zum letzten Kliff, but further episodes were not made.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Title Director Airdate
1 "All in a Day's Work" John Rich February 10, 1983
Amanda is forced to contend with an overbooking problem, a defunct kitchen oven and a disgruntled hotel-business magazine writer.
2 "You Were Meant For Me" Charles S. Dubin February 17, 1983
An ex-con and the town policeman both make a play for Amanda while the hotel is being robbed.
3 "The Man Who Came on Wednesday" Charles S. Dubin February 24, 1983
Amanda has to pass off a raucous group of vacationing farmers as pillars of the community to welcome the town's new banker.
4 "I Ain't Got Nobody" J.D. Lobue March 3, 1983
Amanda and Aldo desperately try to keep up with a corpse that mysteriously turns up in various guest rooms.
5 "My Cheatin' Staff" J.D. Lobue March 10, 1983
Aldo becomes enamored of a visiting stewardess; Marty and Arlene suspect Amanda of having an affair with Aldo and a hotel guest.
6 "Aunt Sonia" Marc Daniels March 24, 1983
The hotel may not survive Amanda's aunt Sonia, a golf tournament, a shortage of rooms and a dancing chicken appearing in the cabaret.
7 "Last of the Red Hot Brothers" Howard Storm May 5, 1983
Zack, the dashing and debonaire brother of Amanda's late husband, arrives at the hotel and becomes a love interest for her.
8 "I'm Dancing as Close as I Can" Howard Storm May 12, 1983
Amanda begins to get that old romantic feeling back when Zack asks her out on a date.
9 "One Passionate Night (Part 1)" Howard Storm May 19, 1983
A full moon seems to be having a romantic effect on the hotel staff, especially for Amanda and Zack.
10 "One Passionate Night (Part 2)" Howard Storm May 26, 1983
Amanda and Zack pay for their night of passion with a day of misery when Marty accidentally walks in on them in bed together.
11 "Amanda's Number One Son" Howard Storm UNAIRED
Amanda is in dire straits after Marty is lured away from working at the hotel with the possibility of a new job offer in Boston.
12 "I Was Wild About Harry" Howard Storm UNAIRED
Amanda tries to organize a luau to commemorate her late husband, but the weather does not cooperate.
13 "Oh, Promise Me" Howard Storm UNAIRED
Wedding bells are ringing for Amanda and Zack, but they must first banish the ghost of Amanda's late husband.

Broadcast history (ABC)[edit]

  • February 10, 1983 – March 24, 1983: Thursdays 8:30-9:00 p.m.
  • May 5, 1983 – May 26, 1983: Thursdays 9:30-10:00 p.m.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John Cleese ('Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened')". Digital Spy. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Amanda's". Archive of American Television. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  3. ^ "Steve Carell Biography". Tribute.ca. Tribute Entertainment Media Group. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 

External links[edit]