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Moonlighting (ABC 1985-1989, Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis

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Maddie Hayes was a successful fashion model back in the day (as was her portrayer, Cybill Shepherd). But when her crooked business manager embezzled her wealth and skipped town, that fickle wheel of fame and fortune dumped her right on her rear. Upon discovering that she owned a two-bit private detective agency, she flew to L.A. to inspect the property so that she could sell it for some much-needed cash. But silver-tongued resident P.I. David Addison (played by silver-tongued Bruce Willis) managed to talk her out of selling the business and into trying out investigation work herself…and thus, a famous bickering partnership was made. Moonlighting was inspired by the 1940 film His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, and certainly reminiscent of Tracy and Hepburn, and of course good old Lucy and Desi.

Maddie was prim, proper, and organized; David liked a good time in every sense of that phrase—he liked to party, he liked to banter, he liked to flirt. While these two engaged in a variety of verbal frolic (puns, rhymes, innuendo) and beautifully sustained the notorious sexual tension that floated all around them, they were also known to solve a few crimes. Solve them in their typically bumbling way, of course—sometimes the bumbling was employed to confuse or relax the players in their investigations, and sometimes it was just a result of their mutual goofiness.

Maddie and Dave weren’t the only goofy part of the show—there were also plenty of television conventions that the writers and producers goofily subverted. The characters frequently talked to the camera, for one thing, and they also poked at the traditional suspension of disbelief that’s observed in dramatic television—they would refer to the shows’ writers or the state of the show’s Emmy dry spell, for example, right in the middle of their scenes.

In addition to Dave and Maddie’s antics, there was Ms. Agnes DiPesto, the rhyming receptionist, and in the last three years of the show, Herbert Viola, the agency’s detective apprentice—and these two provided a charming romance subplot.

Moonlighting

Unfortunately, Moonlighting was plagued by in-fighting and production mayhem, especially in its later years, and often missed deadlines for episode completion. Repeats were thrown on the air whenever the work wasn’t done in time, and brand new shows seemed few and far between. But when a new show finally did go up, it was frequently great. There was the black and white episode in 1985, which found Dave and Maddie imagining themselves transported to a film noir-ish crime of decades past, and there was also the famous take-off on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew the following year. Mr. and Ms. Sexual Tension finally did kiss at the end of the 1985-86, and then rounded home base together at the close of the following season.

Some say that the culmination of all that checked passion took something away from the show, but by that time, there was already plenty of internal tumult to damper things…it just depends on who, or what, you feel like blaming. But for a firecracker show like this, a show so irreverent and unpredictable and loose, maybe a little melodrama off camera is necessary—maybe we shouldn’t blame a thing and just be grateful for the ride.

production details
USA / ABC – Picturemaker / 1×100 minute episode 66×50 minute episodes / 3 March 1985 – 14 May 1989

Creator/Executive Producer: Glenn Gordon Caron / Music: Lee Holdridge, Al Jarreau / Theme sung by Al Jarreau / Producer: Jay Daniel

cast
Cybill Shepherd as Maddie Hayes
Bruce Willis as David Addison
Allyce Beasley as Agnes DiPesto
Curtis Armstrong as Herbert Viola (1986-89)
Eva Marie Saint as Virginia Hayes (1987-88)
Robert Webber as Alex Hayes (1987-88)
Jack Blessing as MacGilicuddy (1988-89)

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Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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