MARILYN CHAMBERS TAKES SEX TO THE TV SCREEN
Los Angeles Times, November 26, 1982
Marilyn Chambers, the porno movie queen, is taking her act to television. She's starting in a new soap opera--playing, of all things, a sex therapist. "It is," she suggests, "a racier soap than you're used to seeing."
Indeed. In 1982, Mel Goldberg adapted his stage play Sex Surrogate, a one-woman show in which Marilyn starred, for television. Inexplicably retitled Love Ya' Florence Nightingale, the cable TV series was Marilyn's first and only foray into television. She played Kelly Carson, a sex surrogate who tries to help different male clients overcome their sexual hangups. She also has a boyfriend, played by David Winn, who is slightly embarrassed by her profession and tries not to feel jealous of her having sex with other men. Any other plot points would be pure speculation as the series has remained unavailable since it aired. Several of the episodes were edited together into a feature-length film and released to home video under the title My Therapist. If anyone has information about this series, please email me.
When it was announced in the fall of 1982 that Marilyn would be starring in a television series it made headlines in newspapers across the country. Executive producer Josef Shaftel explained to the Associated Press: "The major conflicts in most soaps and nighttime long-form serials revolve around sex. But projecting and resolving sexual conflicts in visual, dramatic terms has thus far proved far beyond the scope of network TV. Our series, Love Ya' Florence Nightingale, resolves this dramatic void by dealing openly and honestly with human sexual problems." The series went into production on September 27, 1982 as noted in the Daily Variety ad above left. Vernon Scott, a UPI Hollywood reporter, wrote in early 1983 that the syndicated series was due for release on 17 cable systems in February of that year. Later the AP reported that the series was running on the Playboy Channel. The series was reported as being 13 one-hour episodes, but was also referred to as a 26-part series. It's unclear if the series was originally scheduled for 26 hour-long episodes but was only picked up for 13, or if it was originally planned as a half-hour series.
Marilyn told the Associated Press in 1983: "I never thought I would do television. It's very exciting. We film at the old Columbia Studios and I have Rita Hayworth's dressing room. I enjoy myself because basically I play Marilyn Chambers. I usually play me, the All-American girl...The best publicity is word-of-mouth, and people like to talk about the naughty girl. I love to be naughty. I'm sexually liberated. I act out people's sexual fantasies. I've done four X-rated films and three R-rated films. The fourth, Up 'n' Coming, which hasn't been released yet, has been edited to an R for video discs. I don't think [commercial television] is ready for me yet. Besides, I make more money on cable television than most actresses do on the networks. I'm a very highly paid actress. I own a part of the series."
Love Ya' Florence Nightingale (1983)
Above: Marilyn on set of Love Ya' Florence Nightingale. Left: At the Cannes Film Festival in France promoting the series, 1983.