Why Was ‘Happy Days’ and ‘The Love Boat’ Actor Ted McGinley Called the ‘Show-Killer?’

by Evan Reier

Was Ted McGinley’s brief time on hit shows like Happy Days a stroke of bad luck? Or was he simply a harbinger of dreaded cancellation?

It’s hard to tell. After all, McGinley’s time on several shows wasn’t just limited to the final bits. Between massive successes The Revenge of the Nerds and Married… with Children, his time was full-fledged rather than being a last-ditch effort to save a program.

However, McGinley has that reputation. This is primarily due to his knack for appearing in the late stages of classic television, like the aforementioned Happy Days. In similar veins, McGinley also appeared near the end of The Love Boat and Dynasty.

But as Decider pointed out, the “show killer” title that he has become associated with is perhaps exaggerated. The now-62-years-old actor actually clocked in quite a few episodes for both Happy Days and The Love Boat.

Before Happy Days ended, McGinley appeared 61 times over a four-year stretch. As for The Love Boat, he was on 60 episodes in four years. If he was a “show killer,” he took his sweet time doing it.

Granted, the show working against McGinley is in fact Dynasty. The other thing that is working against him is the timing in which he joined the programs.

On Dynasty, McGinley only appeared in 34 episodes as the character Clay Fallmont, although the show continued another year or so after his last appearance.

Happy Days, The Love Boat and Dynasty

The real reason why the moniker was given to McGinley is more likely due to the fact that all three shows mentioned ended within a half-decade of each other.

Happy Days came to a close in 1984, while The Love Boat ended in 1987. Just two years later, the last episode of Dynasty aired in 1989.

With three shows all ending in close proximity and McGinley being later additions in all three, it only makes sense that he was labeled a “show killer”. However, it’s also clear that the label is probably a bit dramatic considering the full array of details.