Forty-two years ago today, The Love Boat first set sail — as a TV movie.
The TV movie had many of the same ingredients as the eventual TV series, including television stalwarts like Cloris Leachman (b. 1926), Hal Linden (b. 1931), Harvey Korman (1927-2008), Tom Bosley (1927-2010) and Florence Henderson (1934-2016) as passengers, but it did have key differences.
For one thing, the original TV movie had an entirely different crew!
Ted Hamilton (b. 1937) played the captain, Dick Van Patten (1928-2015) as the ship's doctor, Theodore Wilson (1943-1991) as the bartender, Sandy Helberg (b. 1949) as Gopher, Joseph Sicari (b. 1939) as a steward and Terri aka Terry O'Mara (b. 1945) as the cruise director.
The pilot movie did not lead to a series — immediately. Instead, two more TV movie pilots were made before the show was launched on a 13-year voyage.
The rest is his-and-herstory!