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Dancing With The Stars, “Love Boat” of the 21 Century

Have you ever watched Dancing With The Stars? According to the ratings, chances are you have.
This week, the celebrity line-up for the 7th season of the show has been announced.

According to the official release, the “Lucky 13” include:

  • Susan Lucci – American television legend and star of US drama ‘All My Children’
  • Toni Braxton – Six time Grammy Award winner
  • Maurice Greene and Misty May-Treanor – Olympic Gold medalists
  • Cloris Leachman – 82-year-old Oscar winning actress (‘The Last Picture Show’)
  • Cody Linley – ‘Hannah Montana’ star (the youngest contestant)
  • Warren Sapp – recently retired American football player and Superbowl Champion
  • Lance Bass – former ‘N SYNC member
  • Brooke Burke – actress and TV presenter
  • Rocco Dispirito – celebrity chef ,
  • Kim Kardashian – actress, model and reality TV star
  • Ted McGinley* – actor, and…
  • Jeffrey Ross – comedian

When I first saw ‘Dancing,’ my first reaction was, “Love Boat!!”

The purpose Love Boat served in the 70s and 80s is what Dancing with Stars is doing in the 00s. A venue where (great / once great / want to be great) actors could show themselves in a different context.

Love Boat was Cruising With The Stars!

Heck, famous TV moms Emily Hayward (Mrs. Cunningham on Happy Days) and Florence Henderson (Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch) appeared on Love Boat in at least 9 different episodes.

Love Boat promised something for everyone. Passengers could set a course for adventure or their mind on a new romance. In fact, the Love Boat promised love wouldn’t hurt anymore… love was an open smile… on a friendly shore.

Each week Captain Stubing, Bartender Isaac, Cruise Director Julie, wacky Purser Gopher, and Doctor Adam Bricker would welcome aboard a new batch of passengers. They were expecting them.

Appearing in episodes, no fewer than five times, included Florence Henderson, Charo, Jimmie Walker, Dick Van Patten, Ted Night, Milton Berle, Vicki Lawrence, Sonny Bono, Betty White and of course Carol Channing (playing Aunt Sylvia) always hoping to sit at the Captain’s table. And the list of credits goes on

Dancing With The Stars is a mash-up in a time of of mash-ups. We’ve taken the Love Boat star platform + ballroom dancing + reality TV (a bit of American Idol and a bit of Survivor). And, as a bonus, a show that – heaven forbid there is a writer’s strike – won’t be affected.

Speaking of the 70s and 80s… Dancing With The Stars is ABC’s most watched Thursday 8 pm series since Mork & Mindy in 1979. Shazbot!

Check out ABC’s Love Boat: Where Are They Now?” slideshow.

*Ted McGinley (this year’s season of ‘Dancing’ was on, among other shows: The Love Boat, Happy Days, Dynasty, Married with Children, Hope & Faith. I think I’ve made my point!

The Love Boat theme was written by Paul Williams (the short, blond guy). Up until the mid-90s when introducing myself people would say, ‘Ah… Paul Williams, like that short singer?!’ I’d just smile.

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