Amanda's (also known as Amanda's by the Sea) is an American sitcom based on the 1970s British sitcom Fawlty Towers that aired on ABC from February 10 to May 26, 1983. The series starred Bea Arthur as Amanda Cartwright, who owns a seaside hotel called "Amanda's by the Sea" and was Arthur's first return to series television since her sitcom Maude ended in 1978.
|Also known as||Amanda's by the Sea|
|Created by||Elliot Shoenman|
|Directed by||Marc Daniels|
Charles S. Dubin
|Theme music composer||Lois Walden|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (3 unaired) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Len Rosenberg|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||E&L Productions|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution (2007-present)|
|Original release||February 10 –|
May 26, 1983
|Related shows||Fawlty Towers|
A total of thirteen episodes were produced, with three remaining unaired following the series' cancellation.
Amanda Cartwright (Bea Arthur) is the formidable owner of "Amanda's by the Sea", a struggling California seaside hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean whose fractious staff includes her hotel-management-graduate son Marty (Fred McCarren); her spoiled daughter-in-law Arlene (Simone Griffeth); Earl, the bumbling chef (Rick Hurst) and Aldo, the bellhop of foreign extraction (Tony Rosato).
The comedy revolved around burnt steaks, fussy guests, travel-guide writers who had to be impressed, the banker Mr. Mundy (Keene Curtis) who always threatened to foreclose and brother-in-law Zack (Kevin McCarthy), who was out to woo Amanda.
Amanda's is the second attempted American adaptation of Fawlty Towers. The first, Snavely (also known as Chateau Snavely) starring Harvey Korman and Betty White, was produced by ABC for a pilot in 1978, but the transfer from coastal hotel to highway motel proved too much and additional episodes were never filmed after the completion and review of that pilot. John Cleese, co-creator of the original British sitcom, was critical of this first adaptation, in particular Korman and White, saying they "played it too slow and were embarrassed by the edgy dialogue".
Amanda's was created by Elliot Shoenman, who had previously written six episodes of Arthur's 1970s sitcom Maude. Since Maude concluded in 1978, Arthur had been approached with numerous ideas, until Shoenman showed her some tapes of Fawlty Towers. Loving the original, Arthur agreed to take part in a remake. Later, however, she recalled "complaining bitterly" about the show and, in particular, the plot and character changes. Amanda, unlike her original counterpart Sybil, did not have a husband (she was a widow), but instead had a son and daughter-in-law. Arthur noted the only real similarity between Amanda's and Fawlty Towers was the adaptation of the character Manuel, known in the remake as Aldo. Norman Lear, a friend and former colleague of Arthur's, looked at the sitcom and told Arthur: "You don't have a character...you're not playing anything."
Cleese, in a 2009 interview, described the occasion when American television producers spoke to him about their development of Amanda's:
The most extraordinary remake was with Bea Arthur. I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, "That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?" They said, "Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out". And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur.
Amanda's was taped in front of a live audience at ABC Studios in Hollywood, California. It was canceled in May 1983 after a short four-month run of ten episodes, with three episodes remaining unaired. A&E channel broadcast reruns of the show during the late 1980s.
A third remake of Fawlty Towers, titled Payne, was developed sixteen years after Amanda's ended. Produced by and starring John Larroquette, that CBS series was canceled after the broadcast of its eighth episode on April 28, 1999.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"All in a Day's Work"||John Rich||Elliot Shoenman||February 10, 1983|
|Amanda is forced to contend frantically with an overbooking problem, a defunct kitchen cooking range and a disgruntled hotel-business magazine writer.|
|2||"You Were Meant For Me"||Charles S. Dubin||Elliot Shoenman||February 17, 1983|
|When an ex-con (Donnelly Rhodes) holds the staff and guests hostage in the hotel lobby, both he and the chief of police (Jerry Stiller) make a play for Amanda.|
|3||"The Man Who Came on Wednesday"||Charles S. Dubin||Elliot Shoenman||February 24, 1983|
|Amanda's party plans are interrupted when she has to pass off a bunch of country bumpkins as pillars of the community to welcome the town's new bank president.|
|4||"I Ain't Got Nobody"||J.D. Lobue||Harvey Silberman||March 3, 1983|
|Amanda panics when she and Aldo desperately try to keep up with a corpse that mysteriously turns up in various guest rooms.|
|5||"My Cheatin' Staff"||J.D. Lobue||John Markus||March 10, 1983|
|Aldo falls for a gorgeous airline stewardess (Ann Gillespie) while Marty and Arlene suspect Amanda of having an affair with Aldo and a married hotel guest.|
|6||"Aunt Sonia"||Marc Daniels||Sam Greenbaum||March 24, 1983|
|Amanda plays matchmaker for her visiting aunt Sonia (Vivian Blaine) amid a golf tournament, a shortage of rooms and a dancing chicken in the cabaret.|
|7||"Last of the Red Hot Brothers"||Howard Storm||Diane Wilk & Neal Marlens||May 5, 1983|
|Amanda's emotions range from elation to fury with a surprise visit from her brother-in-law Zack during a financial crisis at the hotel.|
|8||"I'm Dancing as Close as I Can"||Howard Storm||Bill Davenport & Sam Greenbaum||May 12, 1983|
|Amanda's temper flares when Zack begins meddling in the hotel's affairs, then she breaks out with a case of the hives when he asks her out on a date.|
|9||"One Passionate Night (Part 1)"||Howard Storm||Michael Loman||May 19, 1983|
|A full moon has the hotel staff feeling quite passionate which results in some strange bedfellows – especially for Amanda and Zack.|
|10||"One Passionate Night: The Aftermath (Part 2)"||Howard Storm||Michael Loman||May 26, 1983|
|Marty takes Amanda to task when it becomes clear to him that she and his Uncle Zack have become romantically involved.|
|11||"Amanda's Number One Son"||Howard Storm||Karyl Geld Miller||Unaired|
|Amanda is in dire straits after Marty is lured away from working at the hotel and receives a job offer from his father-in-law to work in Boston.|
|12||"I Was Wild About Harry"||Howard Storm||TBA||Unaired|
|Amanda tries to organize a luau in honor of her late husband, but the weather insists on being anything but Hawaiian.|
|13||"Oh, Promise Me"||Howard Storm||Clayton Baxter (s/t)|
Susan Borowitz & Richard Raskind (t)
|Wedding bells are ringing for Amanda and Zack, but first they must banish the ghost of Amanda's first husband Barney (Billy Sands).|
|Dates||Time slot (ET)|
|February 10 – March 24, 1983||Thursday, 8:00–8:30 PM on ABC (Episodes 1–6)|
|May 5 – May 26, 1983||Thursday, 9:30–10:00 PM on ABC (Episodes 7–10)|
US Television RatingsEdit
|Season||Episodes||Start Date||End Date||Nielsen Rank||Nielsen Rating||Tied With|
|1982–83||10||February 10, 1983||May 26, 1983||54||N/A||N/A|
- Digital copies of the pilot episode "Amanda's By the Sea—All in a Days Work" and other full installments of the series are available for viewing on the streaming service YouTube, Google, Mountain View, California; originally posted 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- A digital copy of the full pilot, "Snavely 1978 Harvey Korman Betty White Fawlty Towers", is also provided for viewing on YouTube; copy originally posted by Jay Vanzil on December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- "John Cleese ('Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened')". Digital Spy. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Amanda's". Archive of American Television. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- Lina. "The TV Ratings Guide: 1982-83 Ratings History -- Soap Bubbles Rise, Several Veterans Part and NBC Renews Poorly Rated Masterpieces". Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.