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"Joanie Loves Chachi" (TV series)
Joanieloveschachiscreen
"Joanie Loves Chachi" opening title screen.

Genre

Sitcom

Created by:

Garry Marshall
Lowell Ganz
Mark Rothman

Starring:

Scott Baio
Erin Moran
Al Molinaro
Ellen Travolta
Art Metrano

Country / Launguage

USA / English

Network:

ABC-TV

Seasons/Episodes

2 Seasons / 17 episodes

Original Network Run:

March 23, 1982 - May 21, 1983

Exectuvie Producers:

Garry Marshall
Thomas L. Miller
Edward K. Milkis
Ronny Hallin
Robert L. Boyett
Mark Rothman

Associated shows:

Happy Days

Joanie Loves Chachi was an unsuccessful, short-lived spin-off of the hit television series Happy Days. It was originally broadcast on ABC-TV from March 23, 1982 until May 24, 1983. The show was cancelled due to low ratings. It starred Erin Moran and Scott Baio.

Plot summaryEdit

Joanie and Chachi have moved to Chicago to make it on their own with a music career together.

StorylineEdit

The series is set in the early to mid-1960s and follows the exploits of Joanie and Chachi as they moved to Chicago and tried to make it on their own with a rock band and a music career at a time when the British Invasion was looming (one episode was titled "Beatlemania"). It mixed the traditional elements of a sitcom with musical performances on each show by Baio and Moran. In fact, the beginning credit sequence of the show had them singing to each other. Their backup band consists of a spaced-out drummer named Bingo and Chachi's blasé cousins Mario and Annette.

CharactersEdit

The series also starred Ellen Travolta as Louisa Arcola-Delvecchio, Chachi's mother (Travolta and Baio would star again as mother and son later in the CBS-TV sitcom series Charles in Charge), and Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio, Chachi's new stepfather (and formerly the owner of Arnold's Drive-In in Happy Days), who opened a restaurant in which Chachi and Joanie performed most of their music. Art Metrano played Chachi's uncle Rico Mastorelli, who was the band's manager and helped Joanie and Chachi advance in their careers. Winifred Freedman (she would later play on a soap opera called Rituals) played Rico's daughter, Annette, Chachi's cousin, and bandmate.

RatingsEdit

  • Season 1: #17
  • Season 2: #60

CancellationEdit

The show initially attracted high ratings for the first few episodes, but the ratings plummeted in Season 2 with a move to Thursday nights, and the series only lasted for two seasons (both abbreviated) before the characters were rolled back into Happy Days for that program's final season. ABC determined that the show was losing too much of its lead-in, suggesting low appeal if the show were moved.

In 2010, TV Guide Network listed the show at #17 on its list of 25 Biggest TV Blunders, arguing that Joanie and Chachi was not what viewers wanted to see and that it was the Fonz who drew viewers in to Happy Days.[1]

Main castEdit

Actor Role
Scott Baio Chachi Arcola
Erin Moran Joanie Cunningham
Al Molinaro Al Delvecchio
Ellen Travolta Louisa Arcola-Delvecchio
Art Metrano Rico Mastorelli
Robert Pierce Bingo Pierce
Derrel Maury Mario Mastorelli
Winifred Freedman Annette Mastorelli

EpisodesEdit

Season 1Edit

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date # in series
1 "Chicago" Tom Trbovich Lowell Ganz March 23, 1982 1
2 "The Performance" Tom Trbovich Fred Fox, Jr. March 30, 1982 2
3 "I Do, I Don't, I Do" Joel Zwick William Bickley, Michael Warren April 6, 1982 3
4 "College Days" Lowell Ganz James Patrick Dunne April 13, 1982 4

Season 2Edit

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date # in series
1 "Fonzie's Visit" Joel Zwick Dana Olsen September 30, 1982 5
2 "Joanie's Roommate" Joel Zwick Neil Rosen, George Tricker October 14, 1982 6
3 "One-on-One" Howard Storm Larry Levinson October 21, 1982 7
4 "No Nudes Is Good Nudes" Lowell Ganz Terry Hart October 28, 1982 8
5 "Everybody Loves Aunt Vanessa" John Tracy Steve Granat, Mel Sherer November 4, 1982 9
6 "Beatlemania" John Tracy Gary Menteer November 11, 1982 10
7 "Best Foot Forward" Henry Winkler Joan Brooker, Nancy Eddo November 18, 1982 11
8 "Goodbye Delvecchio's, Hello World" John Tracy Neil Rosen, George Tricker November 25, 1982 12
9 "Term Paper" John Tracy Barry O'Brien, Cheryl Alu December 2, 1982 13
10 "My Dinner with Chachi" John Tracy Paula A. Roth December 9, 1982 14
11 "Christmas Show" John Tracy Cindy Begel, Lesa Kite (teleplay)
Nancy Churnin, Cheryl Alu (story)
December 16, 1982 15
12 "First Love, Last Love" John Tracy Terry Hart May 17, 1983 16
13 "The Elopement" John Tracy James Patrick Dunne, Millee Taggart May 24, 1983 17

DVD releaseEdit

On February 4, 2014, CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released Joanie Loves Chachi - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[2]

In popular mediaEdit

In the pilot episode of the NBC-TV sitcom series Friends, taped on 4 May 1994, Rachel Green is watching the show after she breaks up with her fiance Barry. She says, "See! But Joanie loved Chachi! That's the difference!"[3]

On the Beastie Boys track "Get It Together", released on 17 March 1994, guest vocalist rapper Q-Tip likens band member Ad Rock's close relationship with his then wife Ione Skye, to that of "Chachi and Joanie"; Ad Rock himself then replies, in rhyme, "'Cause she's the cheese and I'm the macaroni!"[4]

In the 2004 film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story when White Goodman (played by Ben Stiller) hits Justin with a dodgeball, he says "Joanie loves Chachi!".

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit