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Hot l Baltimore was a short-lived 1975 television situation comedy series adapted from the hit off-Broadway play by Lanford Wilson.

Premise and run

The show took place in the Hotel Baltimore and drew its title from the cheap establishment's neon marquis with a burned-out letter "e" that had never been replaced. The half-hour series premiered January 24, 1975 and was produced by Norman Lear for ABC. (It was, in fact the first Norman Lear property to air on ABC.) The cast included Conchata Ferrell, James Cromwell, Richard Masur, Al Freeman, Jr., Gloria LeRoy, Jeannie Linero, and Charlotte Rae. The series had several controversial elements, including two primary characters who were prostitutes (one of whom was an illegal immigrant) and one of the first gay couples to be depicted on an Americanmarker television series. Because of the story lines the show was the first network television show to have a warning at its opening, cautioning viewers about mature themes. The network supported the show and gave it a full publicity campaign, but it failed to win an audience and was canceled after thirteen episodes; its last telecast was June 6, 1975.

Significance for Norman Lear

This series is notable as the first failure for producer Norman Lear after a very successful streak of mega-hit TV series beginning with All in the Family (1971) and continuing with Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times and The Jeffersons, among others.

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