Hot l Baltimore
|Hot l Baltimore|
|Created by||Lanford Wilson|
|Written by||Ron Clark
|Directed by||Bob LaHendro|
Al Freeman, Jr.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Norman Lear|
|Editor(s)||Terry M. Pickford|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||T.A.T. Communications Co.|
|Distributor||Columbia TriStar Television
Sony Pictures Television
|Original release||January 24, 1975– April 25, 1975|
Premise and run
The show took place in the fictional Hotel Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland, and drew its title from the cheap establishment's neon marquee which had a burned-out letter "e". The half-hour series premiered January 24, 1975, and was produced by Norman Lear for ABC. It was the first Norman Lear property to air on ABC. The cast included Conchata Ferrell, James Cromwell, Richard Masur, Al Freeman, Jr., Gloria LeRoy, Jeannie Linero, and Charlotte Rae.
The series had several controversial elements, including two primary characters who were prostitutes, one of whom was an illegal immigrant, and one of the first gay couples to be depicted on an American television series. Because of the subject matter, the show was the first ABC network show to have a warning at its opening, cautioning viewers about mature themes. (All in the Family, also produced by Norman Lear, ran a similar disclaimer when it debuted in 1971 on CBS.) The network supported the show and gave it a full publicity campaign, but it failed to win an audience and was canceled after 13 episodes. Its last telecast was June 6, 1975. Ironically, the show was never carried by the local ABC affiliate in Baltimore, anytime during its run. WJZ-TV in Baltimore carried alternative programming, leaving Baltimore viewers to watch the show on WJLA, ABC's Washington. D.C. affiliate.
Significance for Norman Lear
This series is notable as the first failure for producer Norman Lear after a streak of mega-hit TV series, beginning with All in the Family (1971) and continuing with Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons.
- Hot l Baltimore at the Internet Movie Database
- The Hot l Baltimore at Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Hot l Baltimore at TV.com