Dorothy

1 9 7 9 (USA)
4 x 30 minute episodes

dorothy1This situation comedy about a middle-aged woman who served as surrogate den mother to a quartet of rambunctious boarding school girls debuted in August 1979 in the 8:30 PM time slot on Friday nights. The series was named after its star, Broadway veteran Dorothy Loudon.

Dorothy Banks (Loudon) was an effervescent and liberated former Broadway showgirl who took a job teaching music and drama at the Hannah Huntley School for Girls, a somewhat old-fashioned institution in Connecticut.

While some of the faculty – like French teacher Miss Cathcart (Priscilla Morrill) and biology instructor Mr. Landis (Kip Gilman) – found Dorothy’s methods unorthodox and off-putting, her students, including streetwise Frankie (Linda Manz), brunette Margo (Michele Greene), blonde Cissy (Elissa Leeds) and nerdy Meredith (Susan Brecht), thought she was wonderful.

Frankie looked and spoke like a street urchin, but had a vaguely identified patron whose charity kept the school from closing, and therefore from expelling her.

While the near identical NBC show The Facts of Life, became a long-running hit that lasted for seven seasons and enjoyed a strong syndicated afterlife, Dorothy, on CBS, vanished into obscurity after its initial batch of four episodes were broadcast.

Dorothy Banks
Dorothy Loudon
Frankie
Linda Manz
Margo
Michele Greene
Cissy
Elissa Leeds
Meredith
Susan Brecht
Jack Landis
Kip Gilman
Lorna Cathcart
Priscilla Morrill
Headmaster Burton Foley
Russell Nype
Mrs. Foley
Irene Tedrow