Kristy McNichol quit the series after the show's fifth season after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She returned in the final episode of the show.
The Golden Girls: Empty Nests (1987) was the pilot for this show. The only actor from the pilot to continue in the series was David Leisure, but his character's name changed from Oliver to Charley Dietz.
According to Park Overall, she refused to say lines that she felt were easy jokes about Southerners and fought with the writers to make sure that Laverne was not a stereotype.
Aired in a programming block with sister shows The Golden Girls (1985) and Nurses (1991). All three shows were created by Susan Harris and took place in Miami, Florida. On several occasions the shows featured interwoven story lines (such as a hurricane), in which characters from all three shows would interact.
According to Rue McClanahan, Park Overall would spend her breaks rollerskating in the parking lot of the production building.
Bea Arthur despised gum chewing and would angrily demand anyone she saw chewing gum to spit it out. The Golden Girls (1985) was taped in the adjacent studio but she would storm onto this series' set if she heard gum chewing. When she guest-starred on this series, she saw Dinah Manoff chewing gum and demanded that she spit out. Manoff refused and Arthur stormed off the set.
Bear the Dog's brother, Julio, sometimes doubled for him as Dreyfuss. Julio was more energetic than Bear and would be used whenever Dreyfuss had to perform actions. Julio was the one running around with Richard Mulligan in the opening credits of the earlier seasons.
Empty Nest's success was because it would air straight after Golden Girls, and it spent its first few seasons ranked in the top 30, after Golden Girls ended, Empty Nest aired alongside Nurses, the series' spin-off. Ratings slipped from the top 30 to number 66 and its last season was ranked at 118 and the series ended in 1995.
After the failed backdoor pilot took place, the idea was scrapped, but then they decided to revamp the cast, getting rid of the entire cast that performed in Empty Nests, and they brought in Richard Mulligan, Dinah Manoff, David Leisure etc.
Though not an official adaptation or remake, the series was partly inspired by the British sitcom Father, Dear Father, which was about a single father living with his two daughters and owning a large dog. However in the British series the father was a divorcee, not a widower, and the daughters were teenagers as opposed to grown women.
Richard Mulligan and Dinah Manoff were both on ABC's Soap, also created by Susan Harris.
Dinah Manoff and Kristy McNichol worked together as teens in the TV series Family on an episode called "The Sleeping Gypsy".
Kristy Macnicol and Dinah Manoff played friends on the Aaron Spelling show Family in 1978 before playing sisters on Empty Nest.