Love, American Style is an hour-long television anthology which was produced by Paramount Television and originally aired between September 1969 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 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 on all episodes in syndication.
The original series was also known for its 10-20 second drop-in silent movie style "joke clips" between the featured vignettes. 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).
A decade later, a new version premiered on ABC's daytime schedule in 1985 entitled New Love, American Style but was cancelled 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
Garry Marshall likes to say 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 couldn't find a network interested in a sitcom pilot he'd made, he'd sell the unused script to Aaron Spelling, who'd use the funniest bits of the pilot as a segment on Love, American Style.
In 1972, Garry Marshall came up with a concept for a sitcom about teenagers growing up in the Fifties, and shot a Happy Days pilot starring Ron Howard (as Richie), Marion Ross (as Richie's mother), Anson Williams (as Potsie, Richie's friend), among others. Roles played in the episode by Harold Gould (Howard the father), Susan Neher (Joanie, Richie's sister), and Ric Carrott (Chuck, Richie's brother) were played by other actors in the spin-off. Marshall tried, unsuccessfully, to sell the sitcom to all three networks. At last, he sold the pilot to Aaron Spelling, who aired the show in February 1972, as "Love and the Happy Days."
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|Season 1, Volume 1||12||November 20 2007|
|Season 1, Volume 2||12||March 11 2008|