The Golden Palace is a short-lived spin-off series from the NBC-TV series The Golden Girls that switched networks to CBS-TV for one season. Twenty-four episodes were produced. The series premiered on CBS on September 14, 1992; it aired its final episode on May 14, 1993 before getting canceled prior to the start of the 1993-94 TV season by CBS in September of 1993.
The series featured three of the four characters from The Golden Girls moving out of their original house, and operating an upscale hotel called The Golden Palace Hotel. The show was not as popular as its predecessor, for a number of reasons: the absence of Bea Arthur as a regular cast member (her character, Dorothy, had left the show in the Golden Girls series finale to get married to Blanche's uncle, Lucas Hollingsworth); the fact that the original series had been fading in the ratings to begin with (the show had fallen to #30 in the Nielsen ratings in its final season); the change of network (NBC to CBS); the move to the "Friday night death slot" and being placed opposite Family Matters on ABC (which was #30 in the Nielsen ratings that year). All of these factors worked against the series being successful, and it ended up #57 in the Nielsen ratings that season. Bea Arthur eventually guest starred in episodes 7 and 8 ("Seems Like Old Times: Part 1" and "Seems Like Old Times: Part 2").
Broadcast history and reception
The Golden Palace aired on CBS-TV, changing networks from NBC-TV, which had aired The Golden Girls on Saturday nights for its entire run. Susan Harris, Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas all pitched their Golden Girls successor series to NBC in early 1992, as a way to continue the saga of Blanche, Rose and Sophia after Bea Arthur's departure from the role of Dorothy. NBC entertainment chief Warren Littlefield originally committed to airing The Golden Palace, with a 13-episode order for the 1992-93 season. However, CBS soon entered the picture and fueled a bidding war for the new series, offering a full season (24 episode) order. Witt, Thomas and Harris tried to get Littlefield to improve his NBC deal, but he refused to extend his episode order, citing that the declining ratings of The Golden Girls in its seventh season made it risky to give the sequel a longer commitment. The producers thus went with CBS, who agreed to market The Golden Palace as a show with its own voice separate from that of its parent show.
CBS used The Golden Palace as one of four comedies assembled on Friday Night in an effort to combat ABC-TV's "TGIF" comedy block; The Golden Palace was grouped with Major Dad, Designing Women and Bob, all of which were either successful comedies prior to the move or, in the case of Bob, featured a previously successful sitcom star (Bob Newhart). The premiere garnered good ratings, and the show won its timeslot for the first few weeks, but viewership fell steadily for the entire block as the season progressed. CBS had scheduled the show for a second season, but canceled the show (and the entire block) the night before they announced their 1993 fall schedule. The only one of the four aforementioned shows to get picked up for the 1993-94 season was Bob, which hired Betty White to join its revamped cast.
Twenty-four episodes of the series are known to have been taped. In some versions of Disney-ABC Domestic Television's syndicated packaging of the series, The Golden Palace has aired as part of The Golden Girls syndication library.
- "TV Weekend; 3 of the Golden Girls in a New Home". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/25/news/tv-weekend-3-of-the-golden-girls-in-a-new-home.html. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "The Golden Girls: Part 5, The Girls Keep Going". tvseriesfinale.com. Archived from the original on 2009-04-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20090428195803/http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/the-golden-girls-part-5-the-girls-keep-going/. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
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