1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 8 (USA)
116 x 60 minute episodes
A popular ABC night-time soap/ drama from Aaron Spelling, Hotel ran from the fall of 1983 to the summer of 1988 and starred James Brolin as dashing hotel manager Peter McDermott.
The drama grew out of a steamy blockbuster book by novelist Arthur Hailey but quickly became a sort of Love Boat on land.
McDermott ran the show at San Francisco’s St. Gregory hotel, an old-style, grand affair in the posh Nob Hill area that housed a rotating slate of guests, including the likes of Liberace, Morgan Fairchild, Shirley Jones, Lynn Redgrave, Stewart Granger, Connie Stevens and McLean Stevenson.
When McDermott’s boss, Victoria Cabot (Anne Baxter), went to the great suite in the sky in 1986, she named McDermott her successor.
With his post-mortem promotion, he turned around and promoted assistant and main squeeze Christine Francis (Connie Sellecca) to his old post.
Other regular characters included Mark Denning, the director of guest relations (Shea Farrell), Billy Griffin, the hotel’s chief of security (Nathan Cook), desk clerk Megan Kendall (Heidi Bohay) and her husband, bellhop Dave Kendall (Michael Spound) and Julie Gillette, the hotel’s manager of information (Shari Belafonte-Harper).
Screen legend Bette Davis originally signed up to do seven episodes a year (at $100,000 a time) for Hotel, but after filming the pilot and one episode, she went for a checkup after noticing a lump in her left breast while showering. The diagnosis was a malignant tumour, and she urgently underwent a radical mastectomy.
Nine days after being assured that the cancer was successfully arrested, Davis then had a minor stroke followed by three embolisms in rapid succession, which left the right side of her face twisted and her speech slurred. As a result, she was seen only in the premiere show before the rest of the staff – and an enthusiastic TV audience – were informed that her character had gone on an ‘extended trip’.
The exteriors for the series were filmed at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
Efrem Zimbalist Jr