The Golden Palace
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|The Golden Palace|
|Created by||Susan Harris|
Billy L. Sullivan
|Theme music composer||Andrew Gold|
|Opening theme||"Thank You for Being a Friend"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original release||September 18, 1992– May 14, 1993|
|Preceded by||The Golden Girls|
|Followed by||The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments|
The Golden Palace is an American sitcom produced as a spin-off and continuation of The Golden Girls that aired on CBS from September 18, 1992, to May 14, 1993, with reruns airing until August 6, 1993. While not as popular as its predecessor, the series produced a total of 24 half-hour episodes spanning over one season. CBS cancelled the program in 1993.
The Golden Palace begins where The Golden Girls had ended, in the quartet's now-sold Miami house. With Dorothy Zbornak having married and left in the previous series finale, the three remaining roommates (Sophia Petrillo, Rose Nylund, and Blanche Devereaux) decide to invest in a Miami hotel that is up for sale. The hotel, however, is revealed to have been stripped of all of its personnel in an effort to appear more profitable, leaving only two employees: Roland Wilson, the hotel's manager, and Chuy Castillos, the hotel's chef. This requires the women to perform all the tasks of the hotel's staff.
The series focused on the interactions between guests at the hotel and the hotel's staff, as well as between the Golden Girls and the previous hotel staff. Guest stars were frequent, including recurring characters that had previously appeared on The Golden Girls, such as Debra Engle and Harold Gould as Rebecca Devereaux and Miles Webber, and other celebrities. Bea Arthur also reprised her Dorothy Zbornak role for a two-part storyline in which she visits the hotel to check up on her mother.
Following the cancellation of the series, Sophia returns to the rebuilt Shady Pines retirement home (which had burned down in the previous series), appearing as a cast member in the later seasons of Empty Nest. What became of Rose, Blanche, and the hotel is left unresolved.
Broadcast history and reception
The Golden Palace aired on CBS, changing networks from NBC, which had aired The Golden Girls on Saturday nights for its entire run. Susan Harris, Paul Junger Witt, and Tony Thomas all pitched their Golden Girls successor series to NBC in early 1992, as a way to continue the saga of Blanche, Rose, and Sophia after Bea Arthur's departure from the role of Dorothy. NBC entertainment chief Warren Littlefield originally committed to airing The Golden Palace, with a 13-episode order for the 1992–93 season. However, CBS soon entered the picture and fueled a bidding war for the new series, offering a full season (24 episode) order. Witt, Thomas, and Harris tried to get Littlefield to improve his NBC deal, but he refused to extend his episode order, citing that the declining ratings of The Golden Girls in its seventh season made it risky to give the spin-off a longer commitment. The producers thus went with CBS, which agreed to market The Golden Palace as a show with its own voice separate from that of its parent show.
CBS used The Golden Palace as one of four comedies assembled on Friday night in an effort to combat ABC's TGIF comedy block; The Golden Palace was grouped with Major Dad, Designing Women, and Bob, all of which were either successful comedies prior to the move, or in the case of Bob, featured a previously successful sitcom star (Bob Newhart). The premiere garnered solid ratings, and the show won its timeslot for its first few weeks, but viewership fell steadily for the entire block as the season progressed. CBS had scheduled the show for a second season, but cancelled the show (and the entire block) the night before they announced their 1993 fall schedule. The only one of the four aforementioned shows to get picked up for the 1993–94 season was Bob, which hired Betty White to join its revamped cast. Twenty-four episodes of The Golden Palace were produced.
British comedian Alexei Sayle was originally hired for the series in the role of the hotel's chef, who initially was to be portrayed as Eastern European. Sayle was replaced by Cheech Marin before the pilot was shot.
Syndication of the series is handled by Disney–ABC Domestic Television. Although the series has never been syndicated as a stand-alone series, Lifetime, during the time it owned the rights to The Golden Girls, carried The Golden Palace on several occasions, running the series in rotation as a de facto eighth season of The Golden Girls. (The current rights holders to The Golden Girls have, to date, not picked up The Golden Palace.)
- Betty White as Rose Nylund is a jack-of-all-trades in the hotel. This series has Rose being of a notably stronger will than her previous incarnation (as Dorothy Zbornak noted in her guest appearance, "When did she become the strong one?").
- Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux served as the main operator of the hotel. Her character traits, particularly her promiscuity and vanity, are significantly toned down in this series, although she retains her Southern charm and generally chipper demeanor.
- Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo is the hotel's 87-year-old co-chef. In this series, her character is beginning to show signs of senile dementia, and is somewhat kinder and gentler than in the original series. (In real life, other members of the cast had noticed Getty's increased difficulty in remembering lines and relying on cue cards during this series and toward the end of the previous one; she would not be formally diagnosed with dementia until 2000.)
- Don Cheadle as Roland Wilson is the hotel's manager. He is one of only two staff members retained from the previous ownership.
- Cheech Marin as Chuy Castillos, is the other co-chef, and the other staff member held on from the previous ownership. He nearly quits after getting into a fight with Sophia over Italian vs. Mexican food, but comes back and remains with the staff for the rest of the series run.
- Billy L. Sullivan as Oliver Webb is Roland's foster child for episodes one to six, eleven and fourteen. A streetwise, arrogant preteen, Oliver was written out of the series fairly early on, with the character's birth mother (Joely Fisher) retaking custody of him in episode 14.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"The Golden Palace"||Terry Hughes||Susan Harris||September 18, 1992|
|Pilot episode: Rose, Blanche, and Sophia move out of their home and into The Golden Palace hotel, where they meet the manager named Roland, his foster child Oliver, and the chef, named Chuy.|
|2||"Promotional Considerations"||Lex Passaris||Jim Vallely||September 25, 1992|
Rose makes a deal with producers of a talk show to have guests on the show stay at the Golden Palace for free, in exchange for an ad acknowledging the hotel, until they find out that one of their newest guests is a killer.
|3||"Miles, We Hardly Knew Ye"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Cherry,|
|October 2, 1992|
|When Blanche finds Rose's boyfriend, Miles' (Harold Gould) name in the hotel guest list, she suspects he has been cheating on her and she plans to tell Rose. However, her plan backfires when Roland tells her that the Miles Webber who comes to the hotel is a different man, which causes tensions between Rose and Blanche. As Rose prepares to put her relationship with Miles back on track, Miles reveals a devastating secret.|
|4||"One Old Lady to Go"||Lex Passaris||Jim Vallely||October 9, 1992|
Rose makes friends with an old woman (Anne Haney) at the hotel.
|5||"Ebbtide for the Defense"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Sotkin||October 16, 1992|
|Just as Rose has overbooked the hotel with guests — the majority of whom are lawyers visiting the city for a convention — Blanche and Roland find that the hotel's insurance has been cancelled.|
|6||"Can't Stand Losing You"||Peter D. Beyt||Mitchell Hurwitz||October 23, 1992|
|The girls compete to help Roland find a date, and Blanche brings in an old girlfriend (Kim Fields).|
|7||"Seems Like Old Times (Part 1)"||Lex Passaris||Marc Cherry,|
|October 30, 1992|
Dorothy reunites with her old friends at the hotel, and is shocked at how hard her mother Sophia is working.
|8||"Seems Like Old Times (Part 2)"||Lex Passaris||Jim Vallely||November 6, 1992|
Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose search for Sophia, who has gone missing.
|9||"Just a Gigolo"||Lex Passaris||Tony DeLia||November 13, 1992|
|Blanche is escorted to a dance by a gigolo named Nick (Barry Bostwick).|
|10||"Marriage on the Rocks, with a Twist"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Cherry,|
|November 20, 1992|
Roland's parents visit the hotel with the announcement that they are getting a divorce.
|11||"Camp Town Races Aren't Nearly as Much Fun as They Used to Be"||Lex Passaris||Marc Sotkin||December 4, 1992|
|Blanche and Roland have a disagreement over a Confederate flag hung on the front desk. Also, Rose is against guests coming into the hotel only to have sex.|
|12||"It's Beginning to Look a Lot (Less) Like Christmas"||Peter D. Beyt||Jonathan Schmock||December 18, 1992|
|Chuy has a Christmas Carol-esque nightmare about Rose, Blanche, and Sophia.|
|13||"Rose and Fern"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Sotkin||January 8, 1993|
Rose's ex, Miles, keeps calling the hotel, leading Rose to believe he wants to get back together with her.
|14||"Runaways"||Lex Passaris||Mitchell Hurwitz||January 15, 1993|
|Oliver's mother (Joely Fisher) has arrived to take her son home. However, Oliver and Sophia have run away in a stolen car.|
|15||"Heartbreak Hotel"||Lex Passaris||Julie Thacker||January 29, 1993|
Blanche tries to win over the man who snubbed her in college, who ends up falling for Rose.
|16||"Señor Stinky Learns Absolutely Nothing About Life"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Sotkin||February 5, 1993|
|Roland, Rose, and Brad the pool man form a volleyball team, and constantly leave Chuy out.|
|17||"Say Goodbye, Rose"||Peter D. Beyt||Jim Vallely||February 12, 1993|
Rose's new boyfriend, Bill (Eddie Albert), bears a striking resemblance to her late husband, Charlie. Meanwhile, the hotel holds a comedy competition.
|18||"You've Lost That Livin' Feeling"||Peter D. Beyt||Marco Pennette||February 19, 1993|
|Rose invites a restaurant critic (Eric Christmas) to review the hotel restaurant's food. There, the critic drops dead, and the staff fears that Chuy — whom the critic once gave a bad review — may have poisoned him.|
|19||"A New Leash on Life"||Lex Passaris||Marco Pennette||April 2, 1993|
|Blanche's new love interest plans to put his racing greyhound to sleep if it does not win its next race. This does not sit well with Rose. Roland fears that Chuy is dating his mother and tries to put a stop to it.|
|20||"Pro and Concierge"||Lex Passaris||Kevin Rooney||April 9, 1993|
|Blanche fires Roland after he is caught in a job interview with the representative of another hotel chain. Blanche and Rose suggest that Sophia should go on a vacation, so she stays at the hotel.|
|21||"Tad"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Cherry,|
|April 16, 1993|
|Blanche's mentally disabled brother Tad (Ned Beatty) visits the hotel, and falls for Rose.|
|22||"One Angry Stan"||Lex Passaris||Michael Davidoff,|
|April 30, 1993|
Stanley Zbornak, Dorothy's ex-husband, is presumed dead. His ex-mother-in-law Sophia, however, begins seeing Stan duck in when no one else is around, claiming he has faked his death in a tax evasion scheme. As no one else witnesses Stan, the others assume Sophia is having demented hallucinations.
|23||"Sex, Lies and Tortillas"||Lex Passaris||Michael Davidoff,|
|May 7, 1993|
|Spring break at the Golden Palace: Roland discovers a college kid who has been sneaking friends into his room, Chuy tries to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, and Rose's granddaughter (Brooke Theiss) checks into the hotel with plans of sleeping with her boyfriend.|
|24||"The Chicken and the Egg"||Lex Passaris||Mitchell Hurwitz||May 14, 1993|
|Blanche calls upon her daughter Rebecca for an egg cell after agreeing to have her beau's children, then has a dream that Rose, Sophia, Roland, Chuy, and she are pregnant.|
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- "Comic Lists His 'Golden Palace'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "George Burns Makes Trip to 'The Golden Palace' – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 2001-05-08. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
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