CBS Television Distribution

In its ninth season, so-called ''boring storylines'' caused The Love Boat's ratings to decline

Being a part of a series with several successful seasons can be tricky. You don't know whether to switch things up so storylines can be new and fresh or keep everything the same since the original storylines worked for so long.

The Love Boat had this issue, resulting in a decline in their ratings during their ninth season. It was one of the most popular series to air between the late '70s to '80s. One of the reasons for its success was the show's writing format. There were three storylines per episode, each written by a different writer.

One would focus on a crew member, the second would focus on a crew member interacting with a guest and the third was centered around a single guest. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, each storyline had its own title, which is why there were three names for one episode.

It was a lot, but the writing usually flowed well together, catching viewers' attention through comedy, drama and romance. Yet, by the ninth season, the audience was tired of being told to "come aboard" even though the boat was "expecting" them.

According to a newspaper article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1986, the television writer, Art Chapman, said that ABC wasn't "oblivious to the shallow episodes or the constantly dwindling ratings, and is calling for stronger stories." The article also included a few quotes from The Love Boat's Bernie Kopell about the show's direction.

"We realize that we have been somewhat remiss in the writing area," Kopell, who played Doctor Adam Bricker, said. "And we realize that we need something innovative, something new, and we have provided that."

Kopell co-wrote a few of the series episodes and hoped that the network would give them a chance to switch things up since the show was picked up for "a piece of the tenth season."

He added, "We have added some really good young writers to the show, and [we hope] that people will give us a look and listen for the new things we've done and give us a chance.

The Love Boat ended after the tenth season, which only had four episodes.

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