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The San Pedro Beach Bums is a ABC network sitcom that was executively produced by Aaron Spelling & Douglas S. Cramer.
The show premiered on September 19, 1977 and aired at 8:00 p.m. on Mondays during its run. Despite heavy promotion for the series, highly favorable scheduling and cross-marketing with more successful ABC shows, it was cancelled on December 19, 1977 after 10 episodes.
The show was about five carefree young men in their early 20s (who all had been friends since high school) discovering a derelict boat in the harbor at San Pedro, California. They take possession of it, name it "Our Boat" and move aboard to use it as their houseboat.
Buddy is smart, tough, streetwise, always confident, and the group's self-proclaimed leader; the shy, nervous, and not very bright Dancer is so nicknamed because he is too fidgety to sit still; Stuf is intellectual and sophisticated and a compulsive eater and gourmand who sees beauty in being overweight; Moose is large, muscled, and stupid, but gentle; and Boychick is a Clark Gable-like ladies man. Headquartered aboard Our Boat, they experience many slapstick, almost cartoonish adventures.
Suzi Camelli, Julie, and Ralphie are friends of the Bums, Margie is a lifeguard and Louise is the waitress at Tina Teena's Beach Café.
- Christopher Murney as Buddy Binder
- Stuart Pankin as Stuf
- John Mark Robinson as Ed "Dancer" McClory
- Darryl McCullough as Moose
- Chris DeRose as Boychick
- Louise Hoven as Louise
- Susan Mullen as Suzi
- Lisa Reeves as Margie
- Nancy Morgan as Julie
- Kristoff St. John as Ralphie
On May 13, 1977, ABC broadcast the pilot for "The San Pedro Beach Bums", a 90-minute movie entitled "The San Pedro Bums "which told the story of the "Bums" finding Our Boat and moving aboard.
Although a similar premise had not worked in the unsuccessful NBC comedy-drama "It's a Man's World" in 1962-1963, ABC believed enough in the concept that it picked up the show as a weekly one-hour situation comedy for its fall 1977 schedule.
Concerned that the use of the word "bums" in the pilot's title could be construed as negative and drive some viewers away unless softened by a more lighthearted connotation, ABC changed the name of the weekly series to "The San Pedro Beach Bums".
A cast change also took place, with Jeff Druce (who played Boychick in the pilot), being replaced by Christopher De Rose in the weekly series.
To boost viewership for the show, ABC scheduled it as the lead-in for the 1977 season of the popular ABC "Monday Night Football" and to garner extra attention for the show's premiere in September 1977, the women who starred as the "Angels" in the hit ABC program "Charlie's Angels": Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, and Cheryl Ladd guest-starred as themselves in the episode.