|Complete series cast summary:|
Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak (180 episodes, 1985-1992)
Rose Nylund (180 episodes, 1985-1992)
Blanche Devereaux (180 episodes, 1985-1992)
Sophia Petrillo (180 episodes, 1985-1992)
The Golden Girls is based on the lives and interactions of four older women whom have all been divorced/widowed, and are now roommates. Dorothy's main goal during the series is to find a companion she can relate to while her mother Sophia adds her comical outlook and frequents "Picture This" stories. Rose's St. Olaf-ness makes her a little corny but lovable. One thing that changes nearly every episode is whom Blanche is courting. Written by John W. Hale
Why did the show end when it was still getting respectable ratings?
The show ended because Bea Arthur announced that she was leaving at the end of the seventh season. The ratings had slipped (from 10th place in the 1990-1991 season to 30th in the 1991-1992 season), partly because NBC moved it from 9:00 PM to 8:00 PM, but the show was still making money.
All seven seasons are available on DVD. They are distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
There are two main reasons for the inconsistencies throughout the series. The main reason is that there were two writing teams throughout the course of the series: one for the first three seasons, and another for the final four seasons, and some of the writers had not watched the show before joining the writing team. So they simply missed something from the previous episodes. Another is that, rarely, writers would decide to ignore a piece of information for the sake of comedy. For example, if a joke that contradicted history was funny, they'd leave the joke in. In the pre-Internet days, all shows tended to have more continuity errors, but The Golden Girls was particularly prone to them, largely because of the mostly verbal nature of the humor. Many of the funny lines made reference to family members or the characters' pasts; these were often forgotten in later episodes. But with the advent of DVD and the Internet many of these mistakes are noticed and discussed at length, but it must be taken with a grain of salt due to the age of the show.
Yes and no. Bea Arthur was not the first choice to play Dorothy (although the character of Dorothy was described in the script as a "Bea Arthur type"); Lee Grant was considered for the role, but she didn't want to play someone old enough to have grandchildren. Rue McClanahan was originally intended to play Rose (a variation of the dimwitted Vivian she played on "Maude"), and Betty White was to play Blanche (a variation of the vampish Sue Ann Nivens she played on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"), but the director suggested that each one read for the other's part.