Take a COVID-Free Cruise

(Above: The Pacific Princess, aka ‘The Love Boat.’ Source: CNBC)

Anyone up for a cruise this weekend?

Okay, the last place we’d want to be right now is on a cruise ship. But if you’d like to travel back some 40 years and board The Love Boat, tune to Decades starting tomorrow at noon ET for 41 straight episodes of the mostly hour-long, mostly comedic 1977-1987 ABC series.

The Love Boat was filmed aboard ships of the Princess line, whose Diamond Princess ship was among the first to be put under quarantine a couple of months ago. Carnival, the current owner of Princess, has since shut down all operations and is seeking $6 billion in funding. Like other cruise lines with US headquarters, Carnival operates as a foreign company to avoid taxes and is thus ineligible to receive any of the $2 trillion US stimulus package.

(Photo source: MeTV)

We don’t think a rapidly spreading infection and resulting quarantine ever hit The Love Boat. Indeed, we doubt that “Doc” (Bernie Kopell, right) ever put up with anything more severe than a seasick passenger. So The Love Boat’s shipboard shenanigans and big-time guest stars may well make for good escapist bingeing.

If, on the other hand, you’d prefer stories where contagious diseases do spread on cruise ships, click or tap below to watch Voyage of Terror, starring The Bionic Woman’s Lindsay Wagner as a CDC infectious disease specialist fighting an ebola-like virus. The 1998 made-for-TV movie, also starring Michael Ironside and Martin Sheen, first ran on The Family Channel (now Freeform).

FuboTV subscribers can also stream Pacific Liner (1939), in which cholera strikes a ship’s crew. The film received an Oscar nomination for Robert Russell Bennett’s score. Here’s a clip:

Boarding The Love Boat

Decades doesn’t seem to have scheduled its marathon episodes in any particular order this weekend (you can see the complete schedule at decades.com/binge) But if you want to watch weekly episodes from the beginning of season three, switch over to sister channel MeTV starting this Sunday at 6 pm.

You can view both Decades and MeTV free over the air via an antenna hooked up to your TV set, as well as on many cable systems. For your local channel numbers, visit Decade’s Where to Watch page and/or MeTV’s Where to Watch page.

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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