The Golden Palace
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The Golden Palace is an American sitcom produced as a spin-off continuation of The Golden Girls that aired on CBS from September 18, 1992, to May 7, 1993, with reruns airing until August 6, 1993. While not as popular as its predecessor, the series produced a total of 24 half-hour episodes spanning over one season. CBS cancelled the program in 1993.
|The Golden Palace|
|Created by||Susan Harris|
Billy L. Sullivan
|Theme music composer||Andrew Gold|
|Opening theme||"Thank You for Being a Friend"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original release||September 18, 1992 –|
May 7, 1993
|Preceded by||The Golden Girls|
|Followed by||The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments|
The Golden Palace begins where The Golden Girls had ended, in the quartet's now-sold Miami house. With Dorothy Zbornak having married and left in the previous series finale, the three remaining roommates (Sophia Petrillo, Rose Nylund, and Blanche Devereaux) decide to invest in a Miami hotel that is up for sale. The hotel, however, is revealed to have been stripped of all of its personnel in an effort to appear more profitable, leaving only two employees: Roland Wilson, the hotel's manager, and Chuy Castillos, the hotel's chef. This requires the women to perform all the tasks of the hotel's staff.
The series focused on the interactions between guests at the hotel and the hotel's staff, as well as between the Golden Girls and the previous hotel staff. Guest stars were frequent, including recurring characters that had previously appeared on The Golden Girls, such as Debra Engle and Harold Gould as Rebecca Devereaux and Miles Webber, and other celebrities. Bea Arthur also reprised her Dorothy Zbornak role for a two-part storyline in which she visits the hotel to check up on her mother.
Following the cancellation of the series, Sophia returns to the rebuilt Shady Pines retirement home (which had burned down in the previous series), appearing as a cast member in the later seasons of Empty Nest. What became of Rose, Blanche, and the hotel is left unresolved.
Broadcast history and receptionEdit
The Golden Palace aired on CBS, changing networks from NBC, which had aired The Golden Girls on Saturday nights for its entire run. Susan Harris, Paul Junger Witt, and Tony Thomas all pitched their Golden Girls successor series to NBC in early 1992, as a way to continue the saga of Blanche, Rose, and Sophia after Bea Arthur's departure from the role of Dorothy. NBC entertainment chief Warren Littlefield originally committed to airing The Golden Palace, with a 13-episode order for the 1992–93 season. However, CBS soon entered the picture and fueled a bidding war for the new series, offering a full season (24 episode) order. Witt, Thomas, and Harris tried to get Littlefield to improve his NBC deal, but he refused to extend his episode order, citing that the declining ratings of The Golden Girls in its seventh season made it risky to give the spin-off a longer commitment. The producers thus went with CBS, which agreed to market The Golden Palace as a show with its own voice separate from that of its parent show.
CBS used The Golden Palace as one of four comedies assembled on Friday night in an effort to combat ABC's TGIF comedy block; The Golden Palace was grouped with Major Dad, Designing Women, and Bob, all of which were either successful comedies prior to the move, or in the case of Bob, featured a previously successful sitcom star (Bob Newhart). The premiere garnered solid ratings, and the show won its timeslot for its first few weeks, but viewership fell steadily for the entire block as the season progressed. CBS had scheduled the show for a second season, but cancelled the show (and the entire block) the night before they announced their 1993 fall schedule. The only one of the four aforementioned shows to get picked up for the 1993–94 season was Bob, which hired Betty White to join its revamped cast. Twenty-four episodes of The Golden Palace were produced.
British comedian Alexei Sayle was originally hired for the series in the role of the hotel's chef, who initially was to be portrayed as Eastern European. Sayle was replaced by Cheech Marin before the pilot was shot. The Carlyle hotel on Miami Beach's Ocean Drive was used for exterior shots depicting the Golden Palace hotel, while the rest of the series was taped at Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood, California.
Syndication of the series is handled by Disney–ABC Domestic Television. Although the series has never been syndicated as a stand-alone series, Lifetime, during the time it owned the rights to The Golden Girls, carried The Golden Palace on several occasions, running the series in rotation as a de facto eighth season of The Golden Girls. (The current rights holders to The Golden Girls have, to date, not picked up The Golden Palace.)
- Betty White as Rose Nylund is a jack-of-all-trades in the hotel. This series has Rose being of a notably stronger will than her previous incarnation (as Dorothy Zbornak noted in her guest appearance, "When did she become the strong one?").
- Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux served as the main operator of the hotel. Her character traits, particularly her promiscuity and vanity, are significantly toned down in this series, although she retains her Southern charm and generally chipper demeanor.
- Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo is the hotel's 87-year-old co-chef. In this series, her character is beginning to show signs of senile dementia, and is somewhat kinder and gentler than in the original series. (In real life, other members of the cast had noticed Getty's increased difficulty in remembering lines and relying on cue cards during this series and toward the end of the previous one; she would not be formally diagnosed with dementia until 2000.)
- Don Cheadle as Roland Wilson is the hotel's manager and a straight man to the rest of the cast. He is one of only two staff members retained from the previous ownership.
- Cheech Marin as Chuy Castillos, is the other co-chef, and the other staff member held on from the previous ownership. He nearly quits after getting into a fight with Sophia over Italian vs. Mexican food, but comes back and remains with the staff for the rest of the series run.
- Billy L. Sullivan as Oliver Webb is Roland's foster child for episodes one to six, eleven and fourteen. A streetwise, arrogant preteen, Oliver was written out of the series fairly early on, with the character's birth mother (Joely Fisher) retaking custody of him in episode 14.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||Prod.|
|1||"The Golden Palace"||Terry Hughes||Susan Harris||September 18, 1992||1001|
Blanche, Rose, and Sophia sell their Miami house and purchase The Golden Palace, a hotel in the city. The women meet hotel manager Roland, his foster child Oliver, and hotel chef Chuy Castillos. The women learn that the previous owners had fired much of the staff to make the hotel appear profitable, and the hotel has no money to hire new employees. Furthermore, the ladies have only one week to make the hotel's bank note payment, which is dependent on satisfying a group of travel agents booked for the hotel. Sophia and Rose are upset at Blanche for getting them into the situation, but Blanche convinces them that they can operate the hotel and make the business a success. Chuy wants to continue serving Mexican food at the hotel, while Sophia wants to start serving Italian food instead. Chuy quits in frustration, but later asks for his job back, and he and Sophia agree to work together. The women manage to get through the week after hosting the travel agents, making enough money to keep the hotel for another month and hire more staff.Guest stars: Tom LaGrua as the Thief, Stephen James Carver as Brad
|2||"Promotional Considerations"||Lex Passaris||Jim Vallely||September 25, 1992||1002|
Rose makes a deal with the producer of a talk show to have a guest on the program stay at the Golden Palace for free, in exchange for an ad acknowledging the hotel. However, they learn that the program will be focusing on murderers who are set free, which includes their new hotel guest, Gordon M. Cosay. Blanche, Rose, and the other hotel employees are nervous about having Cosay stay at the hotel, and they try to keep him happy, as he is easily upset and frequently yells. Roland eventually confronts Cosay and helps him realize that he appears weird to people, convincing him not to yell. When the program airs, the hotel employees are surprised to learn that Cosay is actually a psychiatrist, and they are upset when he recommends the Golden Palace as a quiet, stress-free place for former murderers to stay. Meanwhile, Roland and the other employees are upset that Blanche keeps trying to oversee all aspects of the hotel, and that she wants decisions to be approved by her. Blanche later realizes how much she needs Roland to help operate the hotel.Guest star: Bobcat Goldthwait as Gordon M. Cosay
|3||"Miles, We Hardly Knew Ye"||Peter D. Beyt||Jamie Wooten & Marc Cherry||October 2, 1992||1006|
While looking through the hotel guestbooks, Blanche discovers that Rose's boyfriend Miles Webber was a frequent guest at the Golden Palace until the ladies purchased it. As Miles has frequently been cancelling his dates with Rose lately, Blanche concludes that he has been cheating on Rose. Later, Rose confronts Miles and ends their relationship before he can explain himself. However, Roland clarifies that the Miles Webber who frequented the hotel was a different man and not Rose's boyfriend, which causes tensions between Rose and Blanche. Miles and Rose reconcile, although he has recently fallen in love with another woman, a waitress named Fern. Not wanting to ruin Rose's friendship with Blanche, Miles decides to tell Rose about Fern, revealing that Blanche happened to be right about him. Although Miles still loves Rose too, she decides to break up with him, and later reconciles with Blanche. Meanwhile, Sophia discovers that Oliver has been charging guests who want to retrieve their missing items from the hotel's lost-and-found.Special guest star: Harold Gould as Miles
|4||"One Old Lady to Go"||Lex Passaris||Jim Vallely||October 9, 1992||1005|
Rose befriends a disoriented elderly woman named Vivian, who is lost and believes that Rose is her daughter Charlene. Rose lets Vivian stay at the Golden Palace, ignoring advice to contact the police. For the past six years, Rose has regretted putting her own mother in a retirement home, and she feels she can now make up for it by not letting Vivian wind up in a police shelter, as Vivian reminds Rose of her mother. Meanwhile, a new Chinese restaurant, also called the Golden Palace, has opened in Miami, causing confusion between the two businesses. Sophia takes advantage of this by accepting food orders from people who mistakenly contact the hotel. Chuy hires his friend, a woman named Dr. Fong, to help prepare the food, which is then delivered by Oliver. Roland discovers the scheme and forces the group to give their earnings to the real Golden Palace restaurant. Roland and Blanche also convince Rose to contact the police to help locate Vivian's family. When the police arrive at the hotel, they initially take Sophia by mistake, believing she is Vivian. Eventually, Vivian is reunited with her daughter, Charlene. Meanwhile, Roland is hesitant to have a talk with Oliver about sex.
Guest star: Anne Haney as VivianCo-stars: Margaret Cho as Fong, Michael Francis Clarke as Officer #1, Kelly Cinnante as Officer #2, Annie O'Donnell as Charlene
|5||"Ebbtide for the Defense"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Sotkin||October 16, 1992||1008|
The hotel's insurance company declines to renew its policy following a mishap in which Rose covered the hotel pool while unaware that people were still in it. The hotel is hosting a convention of lawyers, and Rose has booked the remaining rooms for a group of judges from Jacksonville, Florida. Because Rose has accidentally overbooked the hotel, she, Blanche, and Sophia agree to share a room, while Roland, Chuy, and Oliver share another. They also convince one of the lawyers, Mr. Burrows, to share a room with one of the judges. However, the hotel employees realize that the Judges of Jacksonville are actually a biker group, and Burrows threatens legal action if anything should happen to him while staying with his roommate, a biker named Angel. Burrows later checks out of the hotel without any complaints. Meanwhile, the hotel hires a second chef named Rubin, the man who had sex with Chuy's now-estranged wife. Chuy and Rubin had been friends since childhood, and Chuy eventually forgives Rubin.Guest stars: Gregory Sierra as Rubin, Christopher Collins as Angel, Steve Hytner as Burrows
|6||"Can't Stand Losing You"||Peter D. Beyt||Mitchell Hurwitz||October 23, 1992||1007|
Rose believes that Roland is lonely and should have a girlfriend, and she convinces Blanche to compete with her in finding a woman for him. Rose finds a woman named Joanne, whom Roland likes. Blanche learns that Roland had an ex-girlfriend named Trisha and decides to have her fly to Miami to see him, thinking that Roland still likes Trisha. However, Blanche learns that Trisha is overly affectionate and obsessed with Roland, who had lied to Trisha about moving elsewhere to become a priest, in order to end their relationship. Roland eventually tells Trisha the truth that he is not in love with her, and she accepts it. Meanwhile, Sophia is upset that Chuy is chosen instead of her to go on a television program for a cooking segment.Monica Allison as Joanne
|7||"Seems Like Old Times (Part 1)"||Lex Passaris||Jamie Wooten & Marc Cherry||October 30, 1992||1009|
Dorothy reunites with her old friends at the hotel, and is shocked at how hard her mother Sophia is working.
Special guest star: Beatrice Arthur as DorothyGuests stars: Bertila Damas as Beverly, Henry Polic II as Man #1
|8||"Seems Like Old Times (Part 2)"||Lex Passaris||Jim Vallely||November 6, 1992||1010|
Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose search for Sophia, who has gone missing.
Special guest star: Beatrice Arthur as DorothyGuest stars: Bertila Damas as Beverly, Carol Leifer as Meredith, Miguel Sandoval as Ramone
|9||"Just a Gigolo"||Lex Passaris||Tony DeLia||November 13, 1992||1011|
Blanche is escorted to a dance by a gigolo named Nick.
Special guest star: Barry Bostwick as Nick DeCarloGuest star: Phil Proctor as Vincent Vale
|10||"Marriage on the Rocks, with a Twist"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Cherry & Jamie Wooten||November 20, 1992||1012|
Roland's parents visit the hotel with the announcement that they are getting a divorce.Bruce A. Young as George Wilson, Ja'Net DuBois as Louise Wilson
|11||"Camp Town Races Aren't Nearly as Much Fun as They Used to Be"||Lex Passaris||Marc Sotkin||December 4, 1992||1004|
Blanche and Roland have a disagreement over a Confederate flag hung on the front desk. Also, Rose is against guests coming into the hotel only to have sex.
Guest star: Charles Napier as Mr. SmithCo-star: Camille Ameen as Mrs. Smith
|12||"It's Beginning to Look a Lot (Less) Like Christmas"||Peter D. Beyt||Jonathan Schmock||December 18, 1992||1014|
Chuy has a Christmas Carol-esque nightmare about Rose, Blanche, and Sophia.Guest star: Nick Toth as Dr. Norman Charles
|13||"Rose and Fern"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Sotkin||January 8, 1993||1013|
Rose's ex, Miles, keeps calling the hotel, leading Rose to believe he wants to get back together with her.
Special guest star: Harold Gould as MilesCo-star: Nanette Fabray as Fern
|14||"Runaways"||Lex Passaris||Mitchell Hurwitz||January 15, 1993||1003|
Oliver's mother Paula has arrived to take her son home. However, Oliver and Sophia have run away in a stolen car.Guest stars: Hansford Rowe as Mr. Siegel, Joely Fisher as Paula Webb
|15||"Heartbreak Hotel"||Lex Passaris||Julie Thacker||January 29, 1993||1016|
Blanche tries to win over the man who snubbed her in college, who ends up falling for Rose.Guest star: Dick Van Patten as Taylor, Pamela Dunlap as The Love Doctor
|16||"Señor Stinky Learns Absolutely Nothing About Life"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Sotkin||February 5, 1993||1019|
Roland, Rose, and Brad the pool man form a volleyball team, and constantly leave Chuy out.
Special guest star: Ricardo Montalbán as Lawrence GentryGuest star: Stephen James Carver as Brad, the pool guy
|17||"Say Goodbye, Rose"||Peter D. Beyt||Jim Vallely||February 12, 1993||1020|
Rose's new boyfriend, Bill (Eddie Albert in his last television role), bears a striking resemblance to her late husband, Charlie. Meanwhile, the hotel holds a comedy competition.
|18||"You've Lost That Livin' Feeling"||Peter D. Beyt||Marco Pennette||February 19, 1993||1018|
|Rose invites a restaurant critic (Eric Christmas) to review the hotel restaurant's food. There, the critic drops dead, and the staff fears that Chuy — whom the critic once gave a bad review — may have poisoned him.|
|19||"The Chicken and the Egg"||Lex Passaris||Mitchell Hurwitz||March 5, 1993||1015|
|Blanche calls upon her daughter Rebecca for an egg cell after agreeing to have her beau's children, then has a dream that Rose, Sophia, Roland, Chuy, and she are pregnant.|
|20||"A New Leash on Life"||Lex Passaris||Marco Pennette||April 2, 1993||1022|
|Blanche's new love interest plans to put his racing greyhound to sleep if it does not win its next race. This does not sit well with Rose. Roland fears that Chuy is dating his mother and tries to put a stop to it.|
|21||"Pro and Concierge"||Lex Passaris||Kevin Rooney||April 9, 1993||1024|
|Blanche fires Roland after he is caught in a job interview with the representative of another hotel chain. Blanche and Rose suggest that Sophia should go on a vacation, so she stays at the hotel.|
|22||"Tad"||Peter D. Beyt||Marc Cherry & Jamie Wooten||April 16, 1993||1023|
|Blanche's mentally disabled brother Tad (Ned Beatty) visits the hotel, and falls for Rose.|
|23||"One Angry Stan"||Lex Passaris||Michael Davidoff & Bill Rosenthal||April 30, 1993||1021|
Stanley Zbornak, Dorothy's ex-husband, is presumed dead. His ex-mother-in-law Sophia, however, begins seeing Stan duck in when no one else is around, claiming he has faked his death in a tax evasion scheme. As no one else witnesses Stan, the others assume Sophia is having demented hallucinations.
|24||"Sex, Lies and Tortillas"||Lex Passaris||Michael Davidoff & Bill Rosenthal||May 7, 1993||1017|
|Spring break at the Golden Palace: Roland discovers a college kid who has been sneaking friends into his room, Chuy tries to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, and Rose's granddaughter (Brooke Theiss) checks into the hotel with plans of sleeping with her boyfriend.|
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