1 9 7 9 (USA)
4 x 30 minute episodes
This short-lived 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 live-in job teaching music and drama at the exclusive Hannah Huntley School for Girls, a somewhat old-fashioned institution in Connecticut.
Other members of the faculty such as dizzy and emotional French teacher Miss Cathcart (Priscilla Morrill) – who unnecessarily added a French phrase to almost every sentence of conversation – and bespectacled biology instructor Mr Landis (Kip Gilman), and very prissy and demanding headmaster/grandson of the school’s founder Burton Foley (Russell Nype) – found Dorothy’s methods unorthodox and off-putting.
But her students – including streetwise tomboy Frankie (Linda Manz), brunette Margo (Michele Greene), pretty blonde Cissy (Elissa Leeds) and nerdy bookworm 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.
Headmaster Burton Foley