NBC’s ‘The Golden Girls’ is a hilarious classic sitcom, but its rather short-lived spinoff, ‘The Golden Palace’, is known to only a few fans. ‘The Golden Palace’ was a decent try by the makers of ‘The Golden Girls’ to recreate the charm of the original series, but why was it limited to only one season?
The original series, ‘The Golden Girls’ revolved around the story of girls from different parts of the country, who participate in a series of contests and demonstrate their unique skills and talent to win the coveted title.
- ‘The Golden Girls’ starring Betty White
- How good or bad ‘The Golden Palace’ actually was
- Why the producers decided to cancel ‘The Golden Palace’ after season 1
The Sequel: ‘The Golden Palace’
‘The Golden Girls’ ran from 1985 to 1992 following the story of Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur), Rose Nylund (Betty White), Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan), and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) living together in Miami. Makers tried to carry on the charm going with a spin-off called ‘The Golden Palace’.
That show followed Rose, Blanche, and Sophia because Arthur wanted to move on to new roles. They buy a hotel and try to run it together, but it’s not organised or properly staffed, leaving them to almost completely run it on their own.
The sitcom only had one season from 1992 to 1993. But it did manage to get Arthur back for a reunion in one episode.
Why was ‘The Golden Palace’ cancelled?
The biggest difference between ‘The Golden Palace’ and ‘The Golden Girls’ was, of course, the absence of Bea Arthur’s Dorothy from the cast. While some reports had suggested that Arthur left due to a backstage feud with Betty White, there was never much evidence offered to support that notion.
‘The Golden Palace’s’ ratings started off strong, but viewership quickly declined, and not even a two-episode return by Dorothy could salvage things. However, CBS, who had outbid ‘The Golden Girls’ original network, NBC, for the rights to ‘The Golden Palace’, actually came very close to renewing the show for season 2. At one point, the network officially did so before changing its mind by the time the upcoming fall schedule had been announced. In the end, ‘The Golden Palace’ only aired 24 episodes and was cancelled after season 1.
Betty White once explained why ‘The Golden Palace’ failed
“It sounded like a marvellous idea”, White said, according to the Archive of American Television. “These cloistered women who’d been living in their nest, in their house, sell the house because Dorothy gets married. They buy a hotel in Florida, one of these art deco modern hotels. And they have to get out of that sequestered situation and face life as it comes in off the street, through the lobby of the hotel. It’s a whole new world for them, which would be interesting.”
So, what went wrong? “Problem was, we had the same writers”, she explained. “And if a script began to not fall together, they’d give one or other of us a monologue, and pretty soon we were doing Golden Girls in the lobby.”
Fans can catch ‘The Golden Palace’ on Hulu.