Following the success of her Tony-winning turn in Annie and her Tony-nominated performance in Ballroom, Dorothy Loudon struck while the iron was hot and signed on for her own sitcom vehicle. The self-titled series was about Dorothy Banks, a former Broadway star, who makes a career transition into teaching drama and music at a school for girls in Connecticut and allowing Loudon ample opportunity to sing. The sitcom pitted Loudon’s brash, vivacious persona against her stuffier colleagues, but instantly won over her students. Loudon’s co-stars were Priscilla Morrill and Kip Gilman. Two time Tony-winner Russell Nype (Call Me Madam, Goldilocks) played the antagonizing and somewhat milquetoast headmaster.
The actors were talented, but the writers showed a lack of originality. Humor was weak, situations mundane and Loudon’s singing opportunities arose from seemingly nowhere (though pleasant they be). The series was met with indifference by critics and audiences alike. It ran from August 8 to August 22, 1979 on CBS for a grand total of four episodes. (NBC had better luck with their 1979 girls school sitcom: The Facts of Life, which would last nine years).
Loudon returned to Broadway where she received more personal raves in Sweeney Todd, The West Side Waltz and Noises Off! over the next few seasons. Her only other primetime TV appearances were on the popular Murder She Wrote/Magnum P.I. crossover episodes in 1986.
This is an excerpt in which Dorothy sings “There’ll Be Some Changes Made” in that riotous, full-out manner that endeared her to audiences for thirty years.
This final clip finds Dorothy substituting for the science teacher – only to realize she’s charged with dissecting an earthworm. Hilarity ensues: