The Love Boat is an American television series set on a cruise ship, which aired on the ABC Television Network from May 5, 1977, until May 24, 1986; three-hour specials aired in 1986–87 and 1990. The series revolves around the ship’s captain (played by Gavin MacLeod) and a handful of its crew, with several passengers – played by various guest actors for each episode – having romantic and humorous adventures. It was part of ABC’s popular Saturday-night lineup that included Fantasy Island until that series ended in 1984.
The original 1976 made-for-TV movie on which the show was based (also titled The Love Boat) was itself based on the nonfiction book Love Boats by Jeraldine Saunders, a real-life cruise director. Two more TV movies (titled The Love Boat II and The New Love Boat) would follow before the series began its first season in September 1977.
The executive producer for the series was Aaron Spelling, who produced several TV series for Four Star, and ABC from the 1960s into the 1980s.
In 1997, the episode with segment titles “Hidden Treasure,” “Picture from the Past,” and “Ace’s Salary” (season 9, episode 3) was ranked No. 82 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.The Love Boat ran for nine seasons plus four specials. A made-for-TV movie, titled The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage, starring four of the original cast members, aired on February 12, 1990.