Home Television Comedy Moonlighting


1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 9 (USA)
1 x 60 minute pilot
65 x 60 minute episodes

An unusual comedy/drama where the characters all knew that they were in a television series and many times made witty asides direct to the camera and the audience.

moonlighting01Maddie (Cybil Shepherd) was a successful and glamorous top fashion model who had been defrauded by her manager.

Her only remaining assets were the house, the BMW and the City of Angels Detective Agency.

The agency had no cases but lots of staff and had been set up as a tax dodge.

When she visited the business to close and liquidate its assets, she met David Addison, its main employee, whose motto was “Live fast, die young, leave clean underwear”.

To save his job, cocky Addison cunningly conned Maddie out of closing the business. He then managed to persuade her to become involved in the business – At which stage the agency was renamed “Blue Moon” after the shampoo that she had previously modelled for.

The wisecracking David and the strong-willed, reserved Maddie became a detective team. David also lusted for her, but Maddie resisted his overtures.

This courtship became the underlying theme of the show. David finally won a kiss (when Maddie thought he was leaving for good) but not until the end of the 1987 season did they make love.

moonlighting04In a parody of the film Body Heat (1981), he broke into her home and made love to her on her living room floor. In the meantime, their rocky relationship survived many break-ups, including a visit by Maddie’s college boyfriend Sam (Mark Harmon).

Sam was an astronaut, also strong-willed and reserved. Dave and Maddie each got counselling – her from Dr. Joyce Brothers, him from Ray Charles.

Moonlighting‘s constant and widely publicised production problems resulted in numerous repeat episodes. The 1986 take-off of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew featured Cybill as Kate and David as Petruchio.

It was a dream sequence where the characters looked at the camera and commented on their real-life problems.

In 1988 Maddie found out she was pregnant (timed to coincide with Cybill Shepherd’s real-life pregnancy). The baby could have been David’s or Sam’s. Maddie ran home to Chicago and then married a near-stranger on the train trip back to LA.

The baby was stillborn and Maddie had her marriage annulled. The series never recovered from this ill-received storyline.

Maddie Hayes 
Cybill Shepherd
David Addison 

Bruce Willis
Agnes DiPesto 

Allyce Beasley
Herbert Viola 

Curtis Armstrong

Jack Blessing
Richard Addison 

Charles Rocket
Virginia “Ginny” Hayes 

Eva Marie Saint
Alexander Hayes 

Robert Webber
David Addison Sr 

Paul Sorvino