1 9 8 3 (USA)
12 x 30 minute episodes
This ABC sitcom was an obvious (though unacknowledged) US adaptation of British comedy classic, Fawlty Towers, starring John Cleese as Basil Fawlty, the manic manager of a British seaside guest house.
In this American version, the central character was turned into a female, Amanda, and played by Maude‘s Bea Arthur.
The guest house in Torquay was now “Amanda’s By The Sea”, a homey little hotel overlooking the Pacific, ruled with a rod of iron by Amanda herself.
Her fractious staff included Marty (Fred McCarren), her hotel management graduate son; Arlene (Simone Griffith), his spoiled and citified wife; Earl (Rick Hurst), the excitable chef; and Aldo (Tony Rosato), the confused bellhop of indeterminate foreign extraction (that would be Manuel, then).
Stories concerned burnt steaks, fussy guests, travel guide writers who had to be impressed, and the threatening banker, Mr Mundy (Keene Curtis), who was always about to foreclose on the hotel.
In the last few episodes, brother-in-law Zack (Kevin McCarthy) showed up to meddle and to woo Amanda.
The US had another shot at a Fawlty Towers adaptation in 1999 with the lacklustre Payne starring John Larroquette.