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Love, American Style
Love american style.jpg

Love, American Style opening title.
Format Comedy Anthology
Starring An ensemble cast, changing from week to week.
Theme music composer Charles Fox, Arnold Margolin
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 224
Running time 60 minutes (1969–1970, 1971–1974}
30 minutes {1970–1971}
Original channel ABC
Original run September 29, 1969 – January 11, 1974

Love, American Style is an hour-long television anthology which was produced by Paramount Television and originally aired between September 1969 (see 1969 in television) and January 1974. For the 1971 and 1972 seasons it was a part of an ABC Friday prime-time lineup that also included The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, and The Odd Couple.

Each week, the show featured different stories of romance, usually with a comedic spin. All episodes were unrelated, featuring different characters, stories and locations. The show often featured the same actors playing different characters in many episodes. In addition a large and ornate brass bed was a recurring prop in many episodes. Charles Fox's delicate yet hip music score, featuring flutes, harp, and flugelhorn set to a contemporary pop beat, provided the "love" ambiance which tied the stories together as a multifaceted romantic comedy each week.

For its first season, the theme song was performed by The Cowsills. Starting in the second season, the same theme song was sung by John Bahler, Tom Bahler, and Ron Hicklin, (billed as "The Charles Fox Singers"), and was carried on for the remainder of the series, as well as most episodes in syndication.

In many ways the show initiated the "mini comedic soap opera" form used and "perfected" later on by Spelling for The Love Boat. While it lacked the connective threads that The Love Boat used, it generally told the same sort of "cotton candy" light emotional stories about underlying aspects of love, romance, and human relationships.

The title is loosely derived from a 1961 Italian comedy film called Divorzio all'italiana (Divorce, Italian Style), which won Academy Award nominations in 1962 for Best Director for Pietro Germi and for Best Actor for star Marcello Mastroianni. The film was later spoofed in 1967 by Divorce, American Style, starring Dick Van Dyke. The term "(xxx), (nationality) Style" became a minor cultural meme as the sixties progressed.

The original series was also known for its 10–20 second drop-in silent movie style "joke clips" between the featured segments. This regular troupe featured future Rockford Files cast member Stuart Margolin, future Vega$ leading lady Phyllis Davis, and a young character actor, James Hampton (F Troop, The Longest Yard). These clips allowed the show to be padded to the required length without padding the main segments. They generally consisted of then-risque, burlesque-style comedy of manners visual jokes.

The show subsequently became a daytime standard in syndication, since it was readily edited down to a half-hour by the proper interweaving of the clips with a main segment, allowing for heavy stripping. By this technique five years of shows became effectively ten as far as stripping went.

A decade after it went off the air, a new version premiered on ABC's daytime schedule in 1985 entitled New Love, American Style but was canceled after a few months due to low ratings against The Price Is Right on CBS. A third edition, starring Melissa Joan Hart among others, was shot as a pilot for the 1998–1999 television season but was not ordered into a series. Nevertheless, ABC aired the pilot on February 20, 1999.[1]


Happy Days

Garry Marshall was known to enjoy saying that Love, American Style was where failed sitcom pilots went to die, and there was much truth to that. Many times, if a TV producer could not find a network interested in a sitcom pilot he had made, he would sell the unused script to Aaron Spelling, who would use the funniest bits of the pilot as a segment on Love, American Style.

In 1971, Garry Marshall came up with a concept for a sitcom about teenagers growing up in the 1950s, and shot a pilot which he titled New Family In Town, starring Ron Howard (as Richie), Marion Ross (as Richie's mother), and Anson Williams (as Potsie, Richie's friend), Harold Gould (as Howard, Richie's father), Susan Neher (Joanie, Richie's sister), and Ric Carrott (Chuck, Richie's brother).

Marshall tried, unsuccessfully, to sell the sitcom to all three networks. At last, he sold the pilot to Spelling, who aired the show in February 1972 as "Love and the Happy Days".

Shortly afterward, the movie American Graffiti and the Broadway musical Grease led to a wave of 1950s nostalgia, and ABC executives decided to buy Marshall's pilot – Happy Days, which became a huge hit and ran for eleven years. Gould, Neher, and Carrott were all replaced when the series launched.

Noteworthy recurring actors and guest actors

DVD releases

On November 20, 2007, CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released Love, American Style, Season 1 Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1. Season 1, Volume 2 on DVD was released on March 11, 2008.[2]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1, Volume 1 12 November 20, 2007
Season 1, Volume 2 12 March 11, 2008


  1. ^ "Love, American Style" Returns, Zap2it, February 15, 1999. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  2. ^ Love, American Style – Get the Rest of the 1st Season this March with More DVD Love,, December 18, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2008.

External links

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