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Amanda's (also known as Amanda's by the Sea) is an ABC Kids sitcom created by Elliot Shoenman based on the 1970s British sitcom, "Fawlty Towers" starring Bea Arthur in the title role, making it her first return to series TV since her previous sitcom "Maude" came to an end in 1978.
The show aired from February 10, 1983 to May 26, 1983 on Thursdays, lasting for one season and 13 episodes with three episodes unaired.
The series centered on Amanda Cartwright, the owner of a seaside hotel called "Amanda's By the Sea."
- Bea Arthur as Amanda Cartwright
- Fred McCarren as Marty Cartwright
- Simone Griffeth as Arlene Cartwright
- Tony Rosato as Aldo
- Rick Hurst as Earl Nash
- Keene Curtis as Clifford Mundy
- Kevin McCarthy as Zack Cartwright
"Amanda's" was the second attempted American adaptation of "Fawlty Towers."
The first attempt, "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 the series was never produced.
John Cleese (the 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."
The show was created by Elliot Shoenman, who had previously written six episodes of Bea 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, she agreed to take part in a remake.
However, Arthur has since 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, 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 (who was known in the remake as Aldo).
Norman Lear (a friend and former colleague of Arthur's) looked at the sitcom and told her: "You don't have a character...you're not playing anything."
Cleese recalled a meeting he attended to discuss this new adaptation of his show:
"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 cancelled in May of 1983 after a short four-month run of ten episodes, with three episodes remaining unaired. The A&E channel broadcast reruns of the show during the late 1980s.
Bea Arthur has since described the show as "a big disappointment." Two years after the cancellation of Amanda's, she was cast in the NBC sitcom, "The Golden Girls."