- Happy Days
Main title screen (seasons 1-10)
Also known as Happy Days Again Genre Sitcom Created by Garry Marshall Starring Ron Howard (seasons 1–7, 11)
Donny Most (seasons 1–7, 11)
Al Molinaro (seasons 4–9, 11)
Scott Baio (seasons 5–11)
Lynda Goodfriend (seasons 4–9, 11)
Cathy Silvers (seasons 8-11)
Ted McGinley (seasons 8–11)
Linda Purl (season 10)
Pat Morita (seasons 3, 10–11)
Theme music composer Bill Haley & His Comets (1974-1975), Norman Gimbel with Charles Fox (1975–1983), Bobby Arvon (1983–1984) Opening theme Rock Around the Clock (1974–1975), Happy Days theme (1975-1984) Ending theme Pratt and McClain (1974–1975), Norman Gimble with Charles Fox (1975–1983), Bobby Avron (1983–1984) Composer(s) John Beal, Frank Comstock, James Patrick Dunne, Dan Foliart, Charles Fox, Jack Hayes, Pete King Country of origin United States Language(s) English No. of seasons 11 No. of episodes 250 (List of episodes) Production Executive producer(s) Garry Marshall
Thomas L. Miller
Edward K. Milkis
Robert L. Boyett (Seasons 8-11)
Producer(s) William Bickley
Anthony W. Marshall
Fred Fox, Jr.
Camera setup Single Camera (1974-1975)
Running time 22–24 minutes Production company(s) Henderson Productions (Seasons 4–11)
Miller-Milkis Productions (Seasons 1–8)
Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions (Seasons 9-11)
Distributor Paramount Television
CBS Television Distribution
Broadcast Original channel ABC Audio format Monaural Original run January 15, 1974 – September 24, 1984 Chronology Preceded by Love, American Style Related shows Laverne & Shirley
Mork & Mindy
Out of the Blue,
Joanie Loves Chachi
Happy Days is an American television sitcom that originally aired from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life in mid-1950s to mid-1960s America.
Set in the Midwestern city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the series revolves around teenager Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) and his family: his father, Howard (Tom Bosley), who owns a hardware store; traditional homemaker mother Marion (Marion Ross); younger sister Joanie (Erin Moran); and high school dropout, biker and suave ladies man Arthur "Fonzie"/"The Fonz" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), who would eventually become the Cunninghams' upstairs tenant. The earlier episodes revolve around Richie and his friends, Warren "Potsie" Weber (Anson Williams), Ralph Malph (Donny Most) with Fonzarelli as a secondary character. As the series progressed, Fonzarelli proved to be a favorite with viewers and soon more story lines were written to reflect his growing popularity. Fonzie befriends Richie and the Cunningham family, and when Richie (Ron Howard) left the series for military service, Winkler's Fonzie became the central figure of the show. In later seasons, other characters were introduced including Fonzie's young cousin, Charles "Chachi" Arcola (Scott Baio), who became a love interest for Joanie Cunningham.
Originally spun off from a one-episode teleplay on the anthology series Love, American Style, the series spawned some other hit television shows, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy, and two non hits Joanie Loves Chachi and Blansky's Beauties, featuring Nancy Walker as Howard's cousin. The show is the basis for the Happy Days musical touring the United States. The leather jacket worn by Winkler during the series currently hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.
- 1 Cast
- 2 History
- 3 Ratings
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Syndication
- 6 DVD releases
- 7 Spin-offs
- 8 Merchandising revenue lawsuit
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Full character list
- Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard): The protagonist for the first seven years of the series (1974–1980). When Howard left the cast due to his burgeoning directorial career, Richie was written out by leaving to join the United States Army. Howard returned for guest appearances as Richie during the show's final season, in which he wore a mustache.
- Howard "Mr. C". Cunningham (Tom Bosley): Husband, father, business owner (hardware store), lodge member, family man. Frequently seen reading the daily newspaper in his easy chair. Enjoys driving his beloved DeSoto.
- Marion "Mrs. C". Cunningham (Marion Ross): Wife, mother and homemaker. She was the only character whom Fonzie allowed to call him by his real first name, Arthur, which she always did affectionately.
- Joanie Cunningham / Joanie Cunningham Arcola (Erin Moran): Richie's younger sister. In early seasons, she is a pre-teen sometimes snooping on Richie's activities. Called "Shortcake" by the Fonz. Married Fonzie's cousin Chachi in the series finale.
- Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler): Initially a minor character, he was a hugely popular breakout character and was made a series regular. Known for being especially cool and for his catchphrases "(H)eyyyy!" and "Whoa!" His coolness gave him special powers, such as making machinery (such as Arnold's jukebox, electric lights, and car engines) function by pounding his fist, or getting the attention of girls by snapping his fingers. His heroes are James Dean and The Lone Ranger.
- Warren "Potsie" Weber (Anson Williams): Richie's best friend, and a talented singer. He is somewhat more carefree and "worldly" than Richie in early seasons. In later seasons, his character evolves to increasingly emphasize his dimwitted side, and Ralph would often say to him "You're such a Potsie". "Potsie" often talked about the terrible relationship he had with his father, who was never actually seen on the show. Potsie remained with the show after Richie and Ralph joined the Army, however his character became far more minor.
- Ralph Malph (Donny Most): Richie's cowardly friend and a self-styled comedian. Known for saying "I still got it!" after delivering one of his jokes. Ralph left with Richie (in the 1980 season) to join the Army. Returned as a guest star in the final season.
- Charles "Chachi" Arcola (Scott Baio): Fonzie's younger cousin and later, Al Delvecchio's stepson. Chachi eventually dated and later married Joanie Cunningham.
- Mesuma "Arnold" Takahashi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita): In Season 1, Arnold had little air time. Morita depicted the owner of Arnold's Drive-In for Season 3 (1975–1976). He stated that he obtained the moniker when he purchased Arnold's restaurant and people thought it was named after him, explaining that it was too costly to buy enough letter signs needed to rename it "Takahashi". He moonlighted as a martial arts instructor, teaching self-defence classes at the drive-in after hours. Morita also played "Arnold" as a guest star in 1977 and 1979 before returning as a recurring character after Al Molinaro departed in 1982.
- Al Delvecchio (Al Molinaro): From Seasons 4–10 (1976–1982) Al became the new owner/cook of the drive-in after Arnold got married the previous season. Al later married Chachi's mother, Louisa, thereby becoming Chachi's stepfather and Fonzie's uncle. Molinaro left Happy Days in 1982 to take his "Al" character to Joanie Loves Chachi, and returned as Al in three later episodes of Happy Days. Known for sighing "Yeeep, yep, yep, yep, yep" when he was disappointed or when things did not go his way.
- Jenny Piccolo (Cathy Silvers): Joanie's boy-crazy best friend (1980–1983). Mentioned often in early episodes, but never appeared in person until the 1980 season. Returned as a guest star in the series finale. Jenny's father appeared in one episode, played by Silvers' real-life father Phil Silvers.
- Lori Beth Allen Cunningham (Lynda Goodfriend): Richie's girlfriend and later his wife (1977–1982). Returned as a guest star in the final season.
- Charles "Chuck" Cunningham (Gavan O'Herlihy, Randolph Roberts): Elder son, college student and basketball player. Chuck's rarely-seen character disappeared without explanation in season two, giving rise to the pejorative term "Chuck Cunningham Syndrome" to describe TV characters simply disappearing from shows. In the last episode Howard comments that he is proud of his "two kids". Fonzie's character took on the role of big brother to Richie and his friends.
- "Bag" Zombroski (Neil J. Schwartz): A schoolmate and leader of a gang called "The Demons".
- Pinky Tuscadero (Roz Kelly): Former girlfriend of Fonzie and a traveling demolition derby driver.
- Leather Tuscadero (Suzi Quatro): Musician. Sister of Pinky Tuscadero, and a former juvenile delinquent. Formed her own girl group called "Leather Tuscadero and the Suedes".
- Dr. Mickey Malph (Jack Dodson): Ralph's father, an optometrist and, like his son, a self-styled comedian.
- Singer/actor Eddie Reardon appeared in one episode as Fonzie's father. Reardon earlier had scored a 1958 Billboard hit with 'Nothin Shakin' for Argo Records, a subsidiary of Chess, under the name Eddie Fontaine.
- Roger Phillips (Ted McGinley): Marion's nephew and coach and teacher at Jefferson High. Introduced after Richie left the show. (1980–1984)
- Flip Phillips (Billy Warlock): Roger's rebellious younger brother. (10th season only)
- Krystal "KC" Cunningham (Crystal Bernard): Howard's niece. (10th season only)
- Marsha Simms (Beatrice Colen): A carhop in the first two seasons.
- Spike (Danny Butch) Fonzie's even younger nephew and Fonzie's copycat. Made fleeting appearances before the introduction of Chachi. The kinship between Spike and Chachi was never explained.
- Wendy (Hee Haw's Misty Rowe): Another carhop from Arnold's in the first two seasons.
- Louisa Arcola / Louisa Delvecchio (Ellen Travolta) Mother of Chachi Arcola and Fonzie's aunt. Married Al Delvecchio.
- Melvin Belvin (Scott Bernstein): Nerdy classmate of Joanie and Chachi.
- Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel): Twin brother of Melvin Belvin. Also a nerd.
- Bobby (Harris Kal): Friend of Chachi and Joanie seen in episodes after Richie and Ralph left the show.
- Bill "Sticks" Downey (Jack Baker): African American friend of Richie, Potsie and Ralph and drummer for their band, hence his nickname "Sticks", though he claimed he got the nickname because he was skinny. The only African American to play any sort of significant role in the show.
- Gloria (Linda Purl): Richie's occasional girlfriend in the second season.
- Ashley Pfister (Linda Purl) Divorced mother who becomes Fonzie's steady girlfriend, but later broke up with him (offscreen) (1982–1983).
- Heather Pfister (Heather O'Rourke): Ashley Pfister's daughter (1982–1983).
- Jim the Student (Kurt Krakowian): Played a student at the graduation (1977).
- Danny Fonzarelli (Danny Ponce): Fonzie's adopted son in the series finale.
- Police Officer Kirk / Army Reserve Major Kirk (Ed Peck): Fonzie's nemesis and antagonist, who's eager to demonstrate his inflated sense of authority, and on the watch for delinquents and "pinkos" (communists).
- Carla (Dana Kimmell): only appeared 10th Season and episode 206, "Tell-Tale Tart" (1982)
- Richie Cunningham Jr. (Bo Sharon): Richie and Lori Beth's son.
- Buffalo Bob Smith and Clarabell the Clown appeared in Season 2 Episode 35. They came to town looking for Howdy-Doody look-alikes. The episode was so popular Smith launched The New Howdy Doody Show a year later.
- Robin Williams appeared in two episodes, #108 ("My Favorite Orkan") and #136 ("Mork Returns") as Mork from Ork. In "My Favorite Orkan", Mork wants to take Richie back to Ork with him to study earthlings. The episode was so popular that it led to Happy Days ' second series spin-off (the first being Laverne and Shirley) called Mork & Mindy. Williams returned as Mork in "Mork Returns", during the height of Mork and Mindy's popularity
- Tom Hanks appeared in an episode as a character seeking revenge on Fonzie for pushing him off a swing when the two of them were in the 3rd grade. The confrontation occurs just as Fonzie was about to be given a community leader award. Years later in 1987, Hanks asked Winkler to direct his comedy Turner & Hooch, but creative differences between the two stars led to Winkler being fired from the job.
- Herbie Faye appeared as "Pop" in the 1974 episode "Knock Around the Block."
- John Hart (television's "The Lone Ranger" from 1952–54) made a guest appearance in an episode where Fonzie meets his childhood idol. In 1981, a new Lone Ranger movie was being filmed. Controversy arose when television's original Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore, was banned, by Jack Wrather Productions, from wearing the Lone Ranger mask. Therefore, Moore was scratched and Hart was hired.
- Milwaukee Braves home run king Hank Aaron appeared in one episode.
- Lorne Greene made a brief walk-on cameo during the first episode of Season 5, which took place in Hollywood.
- Maureen McCormick, otherwise known as Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, was "Hildie" in episode number 32 during Season 2.
- Christopher Knight, otherwise known as Peter Brady on The Brady Bunch, played Joanie's boyfriend on a Valentine's Day episode.
- Former teen idol Frankie Avalon played himself (as Al's cousin), singing his signature song "Venus" to a swooning Jenny Piccolo at the Leopard Lodge's annual "Poo Bah Doodah" musical.
- Cheryl Ladd made a guest appearance in Season 2, Episode 32 "Wish Upon a Star". She plays the part of a Hollywood starlet Richie wins a date with.
- Charlene Tilton appears in Season 3 Episode 70 as Joanies cheerleading rival, prompting a "dance off".
- Morgan Fairchild appears in Season 5 Episode 96 as a snooty rich socialite who tries to humiliate Fonzie.
- Dr. Joyce Brothers appears in Episode 105 as herself, trying to help Fonzie's dog out of a depression.
- Janine Turner, later Maggie O'Connell of Northern Exposure, appeared in the 1983 episode, "Where The Guys Are"
- James Millhollin, a character actor, made the last television appearance of his career as Mr. Rudi in the 1979 episode "Potsie Quits School."
Seasons 4 and 5
With Season 4, Al Molinaro was added as Al Delvecchio, the new owner of Arnold's, after Pat Morita's character of Arnold moved on after his character got married. (Morita had left the program to star in a short-lived sitcom of his own, Mr. T and Tina, which was actually a spin-off of Welcome Back, Kotter. Morita also starred in a subsequent short lived Happy Days spin-off series entitled Blansky's Beauties.) Al Molinaro also played Al's twin brother Father Anthony Delvecchio, a Catholic priest. Al eventually married Chachi's mother (played by Ellen Travolta) and Father Delvecchio served in the wedding of Joanie to Chachi in the series finale.
The most major character changes occurred after Season 5 with the addition of Scott Baio as Fonzie's cousin, Charles "Chachi" Arcola. Originally, the character Spike (mentioned as Fonzie's nephew in the episode "Not With My Sister You Don't," but also claimed to be his cousin, as was stated in one episode) was supposed to be the character who became Chachi.
Seasons 8 onward
Lynda Goodfriend joined the cast as semi-regular character Lori-Beth Allen, Richie's steady girlfriend, in Season 5, and became a permanent member of the cast between Seasons 8 and 10, after Lori-Beth married Richie.
After Ron Howard (Richie) left the series, Ted McGinley joined the cast as Roger Phillips, the new physical education teacher at Jefferson High and nephew to Howard and Marion. He took over from the departed Richie Cunningham character, acting as counterpoint to Fonzie. Also joining the cast was Cathy Silvers as Jenny Piccolo, Joanie's best friend who was previously referenced in various episodes from earlier seasons and remained as a main cast member until the final season. Both actors were originally credited as guest stars but were promoted to the main cast during the tenth season after several series regulars left the show. The real focus of the series was now on the Joanie and Chachi characters, and often finding ways to incorporate Fonzie into them as a shoulder to cry on, advice-giver, and savior as needed. The Potsie character, who had already been spun off from the devious best friend of Richie to Ralph's best friend and confidante, held little grist for the writers in this new age, and was now most often used as the occasional "dumb" foil for punchlines (most often from Mr. C. or Fonzie).
Billy Warlock joined the cast in Season 10 as Roger's brother Flip, along with Crystal Bernard as Howard's and Marion's niece K.C. They were intended as replacements for Erin Moran and Scott Baio (who departed for their own show, Joanie Loves Chachi) and were credited as part of the semi-regular cast. Both characters left with the return of Moran and Baio, following the cancellation of Joanie Loves Chachi. Also leaving Happy Days in Season 10 for Joanie Loves Chachi was Al Delvecchio; Pat Morita returned to the cast as Arnold in his absence.
Gail Edwards, who previously guest starred in the episode "A Potsie Is Born," was offered the role that Crystal Bernard would fill but was never told so by her managers, as they knew she would take the role and they did not want her to be a "new character on an old show." Later, Edwards would appear with Bernard in 93 episodes of It's a Living.
Happy Days originated during a time of 1950s nostalgic interest as evident in 1970s film, television, and music. Beginning as an unsold pilot filmed in late 1971 called New Family in Town, with Harold Gould in the role of Howard Cunningham, Marion Ross as Marion, Ron Howard as Richie, Anson Williams as Potsie, Ric Carrott as Charles "Chuck" Cunningham, and Susan Neher as Joanie, Paramount passed on making it into a weekly series, and the pilot was recycled with the title Love and the Happy Days, for presentation on the television anthology series Love, American Style. In 1972, George Lucas asked to view the pilot to determine if Ron Howard would be suitable to play a teenager in American Graffiti, then in preproduction. Lucas immediately cast Howard in the film, which became one of the top-grossing films of 1973. Show creator Garry Marshall and ABC recast the unsold pilot to turn Happy Days into a series. According to Marshall on an interview, executive producer Tom Miller said while developing the sitcom, "If we do a TV series that takes place in another era, and when it goes into reruns, then it won't look old." This made sense to Marshall while on the set of the show.
Gould had originally been tapped to reprise the role of Howard Cunningham for the TV series, but went abroad to perform in a play during a delay before production. Midway through the play's run he was notified that the show was ready to begin shooting, but he decided to honor his commitment to the stage production and passed on the part, which led to Tom Bosley being cast as the family patriarch. Gould would later state that a requirement to shave his beard was also a factor in his declining the role.
Happy Days premiered in January 1974 in the Tuesday night time slot that had been occupied by Temperatures Rising, which had been put on hiatus for a second retooling.
Production and scheduling
- Jerry Paris, who played next-door neighbor Jerry Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show and directed several episodes of that series, directed every episode of Happy Days from the third season on, except for three episodes in Season 3 ("Jailhouse Rock", "Dance Contest" and "Arnold's Wedding").
- Until the show went out of production, reruns of the show were syndicated under the title Happy Days Again.
- Happy Days was produced by Miller-Milkis Productions, a teaming of Thomas L. Miller with former film editor Edward K. Milkis, which became Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions when Robert L. Boyett joined the company in 1980, and was the first ever show to be produced by the company's most recent incarnation, Miller-Boyett Productions, which followed Milkis's resignation from the partnership. It was also produced by Henderson Productions and was one of the popular shows produced in association with Paramount Television.
- In its 11 seasons on the air, Happy Days is the second-longest running sitcom in ABC's history (behind The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which ran 14 seasons, from 1952 to 1966), and one of the longest-running primetime programs in the network's history. It is also unique in that it remained in the Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. time slot for the series' first ten seasons. The network has not had an entertainment series that has run consistently in the same slot since.
- Happy Days also proved to be quite popular in daytime reruns; they joined the ABC daytime schedule in 1975, airing reruns at 11:30 a.m. (ET), being moved to 11 a.m. in 1977, paired with Family Feud following at 11:30 a.m. It was replaced on the daytime schedule by reruns of its spin-off, Laverne & Shirley, in April 1979.
- Happy Days also reruns on Five USA in the UK between 16:00 and 17:00, it was shown on Channel 4 between the early 1990s to the early 2000s.
- ABC produced and aired a 30th-anniversary reunion special in 2005.
- Happy Days began running on FamilyNet Television in January 2009 as part of a "Families on FamilyNet" evening programming block that also featured My Three Sons and Family Ties. This block was cancelled on February 26, 2010. Since October 2010, Happy Days airs on The Hub.
- CBS programming head Fred Silverman scheduled Good Times directly against Happy Days during their respective second seasons in an attempt to kill the ABC show's growing popularity. However, he was named president of ABC in 1975, and so was given the task of saving Happy Days during its third season (which saw a rapid increase in ratings).
The first two seasons of Happy Days were filmed using a single-camera setup and laugh track. One episode of Season 2 ("Fonzie Gets Married") was filmed in front of a studio audience with three cameras as a test run. From the third season on, the show was a three-camera production in front of a live audience (with a cast member, usually Tom Bosley, announcing that "Happy Days is filmed before a live audience" at the start of most episodes), giving these later seasons a markedly different style.
The show had two main sets: the Cunningham home and Arnold's Drive-In.
In Seasons 1 and 2, the Cunningham house was arranged with the front door on the left and the kitchen on the right of screen, in a triangular arrangement. Beginning with Season 3, the house was radically rearranged to accommodate multiple cameras and a studio audience.
The Cunninghams' official address is 565 North Clinton Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The house that served as the exterior of the Cunningham residence is actually located at 565 North Cahuenga Boulevard (south of Melrose Avenue) in Los Angeles, just a few blocks from the Paramount lot on Melrose Avenue.
The Milky Way Drive-In, located on Port Washington Road in the North Shore suburb of Glendale, Wisconsin, now Kopp's Frozen Custard Stand, was the inspiration for the original Arnold's Drive-In; it has since been demolished. The exterior of Arnold's was a "dressed" area on the Paramount Studios lot, that has since been demolished, very close to Stage 19, where the rest of the show's sets were located.
The set of the diner in the first season was a room with the same vague details of the later set, such as the paneling, and the college pennants. When the show changed to a studio production, the set was redesigned. The set was made wider and the entrance was hidden, but allowed an upstage, central entrance for cast members. The barely seen kitchen was also upstage and seen only through a pass-through window. The diner had orange booths, downstage center for closeup conversation, as well as camera left. There were two restroom doors camera right, labeled "Guys" and "Dolls". A 1953 Seeburg Model G jukebox (with replaced metal pilasters from Wico Corp.) was positioned camera right, and an anachronistic "Nip-It" pinball machine (actually produced in 1972) was positioned far camera right.
College pennants adorned the walls, including Purdue and University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, along with a blue and white sign reading "Jefferson High School". Milwaukee's Washington High School provided the inspiration for the exteriors of the fictional Jefferson.
Storylines dictated that the set would be destroyed by fire, so in later seasons, a different Arnold's Drive-in emerged and lasted through the later years of the show. The new set featured wood paneling and stained glass.
In 2004, two decades after the first set was destroyed, the Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion requested that the reunion take place in Arnold's. The set was rebuilt by Production Designer James Yarnell based on the original floor plan.
Seasons 1 and 2 of the series used a newly recorded version of "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets (recorded in the fall of 1973) as the opening theme song. This recording was not commercially released at the time, although the original 1954 recording returned to the American Billboard charts in 1974 as a result of its use on the show. The "Happy Days" recording had its first commercial release in 2005 by the German label Hydra Records. (When Happy Days entered syndication in 1979, the series was retitled Happy Days Again and used an edited version of the 1954 recording instead of the 1973 version).
The show's closing theme song in Season 1 was a fragment from "Happy Days," whose music was composed by Charles Fox and whose lyrics were written by Norman Gimbel. According to SAG, this version was performed by Jimmy Haas on lead vocals, Ron Hicklin of the Ron Hicklin Singers, Stan Farber, Jerry Whitman, and Gary Garrett on backing vocals, and studio musicians.
From Seasons 3–10 inclusive, a longer version of "Happy Days" replaced "Rock Around the Clock" at the beginning of the show. Released as a single in 1976 by Pratt & McClain, "Happy Days" cracked the Top 5. The show itself finished the 1976–77 television season #1, ending the five-year Nielsen reign of All in the Family. On the released DVD set of Season 2, the song "Rock Around the Clock" was replaced with a reconstructed version of "Happy Days." This was done because of music rights issues.
For the show's 11th and final season (1983–84), the theme was rerecorded in a more modern style. It featured Bobby Arvon on lead vocals, with several back-up vocalists. To accompany this new version, new opening credits were filmed, and the flashing Happy Days logo was reanimated to create an overall "new" feel which incorporated 1980s sensibilities with 1950s nostalgia (although by this time the show was set in 1965).
- Season 1 (1974): #16  (21.5 rating)
- Season 2 (1974–1975): Not in Top 30
- Season 3 (1975–1976): #11  (23.9 rating)
- Season 4 (1976–1977): #1  (31.5 rating)
- Season 5 (1977–1978): #2  (31.4 rating)
- Season 6 (1978–1979): #4  (28.6 rating)
- Season 7 (1979–1980): #17  (21.7 rating)
- Season 8 (1980–1981): #15  (20.8 rating)
- Season 9 (1981–1982): #18  (20.6 rating)
- Season 10 (1982–1983): #28  (17.4 rating)
- Season 11 (1983–1984): #55
As a Top 30 series, Happy Days has an average 24.2 rating.
The first ten seasons aired Tuesdays at 8:00 and the final season aired Tuesdays at 8:30 and Thursdays at 8:00.
"Jumping the shark"
The term "jumping the shark" arose from a fifth season episode that aired on September 20, 1977. Fonzie (clad in swim trunks and leather jacket) jumps over a shark on waterskis. "Jumping the shark" describes an outrageous stunt designed to boost the ratings of a dying show, which has the opposite effect, essentially killing the show.
Happy Days has been syndicated by many different networks. It aired in the United States on Nick at Nite in the 1990s, TV Land from 2002–2007, and WGN America from 2002 until 2008. FamilyNet broadcasted the show from 2009-2010. The Hub began showing it in October 2010. It started airing on Me-TV on December 21, 2010.
When reruns first went into syndication on local stations while the series was still producing new episodes, the reruns were re-titled Happy Days Again.
Paramount Home Entertainment and CBS DVD have released the first four seasons of Happy Days on DVD in Region 1. Each release features music replacements due to copyright issues, including the theme song "Rock Around the Clock" for Season 2 (Season 1 retained the original opening, as it was released before CBS was involved).
Seasons 1-3 have also been released on DVD in the UK, while in region 4 the first four seasons have been released.
DVD Name Ep # Release Dates Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 The Complete First Season 16 August 17, 2004 August 27, 2007 September 19, 2007 The Second Season 23 April 17, 2007 November 12, 2007 March 6, 2008 The Third Season 24 November 27, 2007 April 7, 2008 September 4, 2008 The Fourth Season 25 December 9, 2008 January 9, 2011 February 5, 2009
Happy Days, itself a spin-off from Love, American Style, spun off five different series, not including two animated spin-offs: Laverne & Shirley, Blansky's Beauties, Mork & Mindy, Out of the Blue, and Joanie Loves Chachi.
- The most successful of these spin-offs, Laverne & Shirley (starring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams, respectively), also took place in early/mid 1960s Milwaukee. As Shotz Brewery workers, modeled after the Miller, Schlitz, and Pabst Breweries once located in Milwaukee, Laverne and Shirley find themselves in adventures with The Fonz, Lenny and Squiggy and even the Cunninghams also living in the midwestern city. The two starring characters eventually moved to Los Angeles in the show's later years. Penny Marshall is the sister of producer Garry Marshall.
- Robin Williams made his first appearance as "Mork" on Happy Days. In his own sitcom, Mork & Mindy, his character of Mork, the alien from the planet Ork, landed in 1970s Boulder, Colorado, to study humans and took up residence with Pam Dawber's character of Mindy McConnell.
- Joanie Loves Chachi was a short-lived show about Richie's younger sister Joanie and Fonzie's younger cousin Chachi's relationship during their years as musicians in Chicago. A rumor suggests that the show was canceled due to low ratings. Actually, the program finished in the Top 20 its first season, but ABC determined that the show was losing too much of its lead-in, suggesting low appeal if the show were moved (a suggestion that came to be realized, as the show's ratings dropped dramatically after a move to another time slot in its second season). This type of cancellation seemed strange in the early 1980s, but soon became a commonplace part of TV audience research.
- Out of the Blue is a spin-off of Happy Days, though a scheduling error had the series airing prior to the main character's introduction on Happy Days.
- Blansky's Beauties (1977) starred Nancy Walker as former Las Vegas showgirl Nancy Blansky. One week before the show's premiere, the Blansky character appeared on Happy Days as a cousin of Howard Cunningham.
There are two animated series. Each were produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions in association with Paramount Television (now known as CBS Television Distribution). The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang ran from 1980–1982. There are also animated spin-offs of Laverne & Shirley (Laverne & Shirley Joins the Army) and Mork and Mindy (centering on a young Mork and Mindy in high School). The next season they were connected together as The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour (1982).
In the late 1990s, a touring arena show called Happy Days, The Arena Spectacular toured Australia's major cities. The story featured a property developer, and former girlfriend of Fonzie called Miss Frost (Rebecca Gibney) wanting to buy the diner and redevelop it. It starred Craig McLachlan as Fonzie, Max Gillies and Wendy Hughes as Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham, Doug Parkinson as Al and Jo Beth Taylor as Richie's love interest Laura. Tom Bosley presented an introduction before each performance live on stage, and pop group Human Nature played a '50s-style rock group.
Merchandising revenue lawsuit
In interviews with CNN, Marion Ross, Erin Moran, Anson Williams, Don Most and the estate of the late Tom Bosley claimed that CBS has not paid them their share of the revenues from merchandising and have filed a breach of contract suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Their contracts specified that they were owed 2.5 to 5% of the net proceeds. Ron Howard and Henry Winkler are not involved in the $10 million lawsuit, which also named Paramount Pictures as a defendant, along with CBS. The lawsuit stemmed from 2002, when Moran called Paramount Pictures to determine how much merchandising royalties was owed to her, only to be told there was no money owed; only later on, she noticed that the likeness of the Happy Days characters were being used on slot machines.
- ^ "Happy Days — The Third Season". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/31528/happy-days-the-third-season/. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
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- ^ a b c "'Happy Days' actors claim fraud, money owed for merchandising". CNN. April 19, 2011. http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/19/news/companies/happy_days_fraud_claim/index.htm?hpt=C2. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
- ^ a b The Hollywood Reporter: "'Happy Days' Cast Sues CBS, Paramount for $10 Million", April 19, 2011.
Happy Days Characters Cast Spin-offs Music Related Television series and films produced by Thomas L. Miller, Edward K. Milkis and Robert L. Boyett Miller-Milkis
ProductionsMeego (1997) · Two of a Kind (1998–99)1 This series became produced under the Miller-Milkis-Boyett banner beginning with the 1980-81 television season.
See also Nielsen Media Research top-rated United States network television show 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
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