Moonlighting TV Series

Moonlighting TV Series
Moonlighting TV Show starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

Overview of the Moonlighting TV Series

Moonlighting” is an American television series that aired from 1985 to 1989. Created by Glenn Gordon Caron, the show combined drama, comedy, romance, and mystery, making it a unique and popular series of its time. Bruce Willis stars as David Addison, a charming and witty private detective. Also, Cybill Shepherd plays the role of Maddie Hayes, a former model-turned-detective agency owner.

The series revolves around the lives and cases of the main characters. After losing her fortune, Maddie Hayes inherits the Blue Moon Detective Agency. Initially, she wants to sell the agency. However, David convinces her to keep it running, forming an unlikely partnership. Maddie is more cautious and practical, while David is impulsive and often uses humor to defuse tense situations.

As the series progresses, romantic tension builds between Maddie and David. As a result, this leads to an on-again, off-again relationship that becomes a central theme of the show. Their banter, chemistry, and constant bickering became one of the show’s defining elements.

The duo’s cases are varied and often quirky, ranging from simple missing-person investigations to more complex mysteries. The show frequently played with genre conventions, incorporating film noir, comedy, and fantasy elements. Also, it included self-awareness and frequently broke the fourth wall, with characters addressing the audience directly.

Public Appeal and Critical Acclaim

The Moonlighting series was known for its innovative and imaginative storytelling techniques. For example, it featured unique narrative devices, such as dream sequences, musical numbers, and homages to classic films. The show was famous for its witty dialogue, clever wordplay, and rapid-fire banter between the main characters.

While Moonlighting garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base, it faced challenges behind the scenes. Challenges included production delays, budget constraints, and conflicts between the cast and crew, affecting the show’s consistency and declining ratings.

Despite its relatively short run, “Moonlighting” left a lasting impact on television. It popularized the idea of incorporating humor into detective shows and influenced subsequent series that blended genres and utilized meta-commentary. The dynamic between Maddie and David became an archetype for will-they-won’t-they relationships in television.

Overall, “Moonlighting” is remembered as a groundbreaking series that combines mystery, comedy, and romance freshly and entertainingly. It showcased the talents of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd and introduced innovative storytelling techniques that continue to influence television today.

Production Company and Executive Producers

Glenn Gordon Caron created the Moonlighting series. Glenn is also the Executive Producer. Picturemaker Productions and ABC Circle Films produce the series. Disney distributes the series via ABC Domestic Television.

List of Moonlighting TV Series Cast Members

Cybill Shepherd played detective Maddie Hayes, a former model who also ran a detective agency. After several unsuccessful acting projects, the show gave Cybill Shepherd a critical shot in the arm. Bruce Willis plays detective David Allison Jr. Moonlighting is credited with helping to make Bruce Willis a significant star. He became a massive action star in films like the Die Hard Series, Armageddon, and The Expendables.

Bruce Willis gained early fame in the 1980s through his role as David Addison Jr. on the popular TV series “Moonlighting.” Airing from 1985 to 1989, the show centered around the witty and dynamic partnership between Willis’ character and Cybill Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes. Willis brought his signature charm and comedic timing to the role, playing a wisecracking detective who solves cases while engaging in playful banter and a romantic subplot with Maddie. His portrayal helped establish him as a versatile actor in both comedy and drama.

Other characters include Allyce Beasley as Agnes DiPesto, Curtis Armstrong as Herbert Viola, and Jack Blessing as MacGillicudy.

In addition, the show was known for its many guest appearances and cameos. Examples include well-known actors and actresses such as Tim Robbins, Whoopi Goldberg, Ray Charles, John Goodman, and Demi Moore. Also, Pierce Brosnan joined an episode in Season 3 as Remington Steele.

Critical Response, Ratings, and Awards

The show was a hit with audiences and critics alike. It was nominated for and won Emmys, Golden Globes, and People’s Choice Awards. It received a total of 40 Emmy nominations and won seven. It received nominations for 10 Golden Globe Awards and won three. In 2007, Time magazine included the show as one of the “100 Best TV Shows of All Time.”

  • The series received a rating of 7.6 out of 10 stars on IMDB
  • gives the series 8.3 out of 10 stars
  • 88% of Google Users indicate they like the show

Theme Song

The Moonlighting TV show’s theme song, “Moonlighting,” was performed by jazz singer Al Jarreau, which became a top 40 hit.

Moonlighting TV Series Season Episodes on DVD

The Moonlighting TV series ran for five seasons with 66 episodes. Each episode is approximately 45 to 49 minutes long.

Moonlighting – Seasons 1 & 2
  • “Not Just a Day Job, the Story of Moonlighting, Part 1”
  • “Inside the Blue Moon Detective Agency, the Story of Moonlighting, Part 2”
  • Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley (Actors)
  • Allan Arkush (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
  • Season 1 (1985-1986) – The first season of Moonlighting introduces us to Maddie Hayes, a former model who loses most of her financial assets due to her accountant’s embezzlement. She owns a detective agency, City of Angels, which the carefree David Addison runs. Maddie and David are forced to work together and soon develop a strong but complicated relationship.
  • Season 2 (1986-1987) – In the second season, Maddie and David’s relationship develops, and they fall in love. However, their relationship is complicated because they are both very independent and strong-willed. They also have to deal with being partners in a business, which can sometimes lead to conflict.
  • Season 3 (1987-1988) – The third season of Moonlighting is when the show hit its stride. The writing was sharp, the dialogue was witty, and the chemistry between Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis was undeniable. The season also featured memorable episodes like “The Dream Sequence” and “A Touch of Madness.”
  • Season 4 (1988-1989) – The fourth and final season disappointed many fans. The show had lost some of its original sparks, and the chemistry between Shepherd and Willis was not as strong as in previous seasons. The season also featured some controversial storylines, such as an episode in which Maddie was raped. Despite its flaws, Moonlighting remains one of the most popular and beloved television shows ever. It was a groundbreaking show that broke new ground regarding its writing, dialogue, and portrayal of relationships.

Get the complete series on DVD at

Great for private detectives and those considering pursuing a career in the field.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions or comments about the Moonlighting TV Series, please post a message below. Also, check out other Police Crime Drama Series on DVD.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at
moonlighting-tv-series Overview of the Moonlighting TV Series Moonlighting" is an American television series that aired from 1985 to 1989. Created by Glenn Gordon Caron, the show combined drama, comedy, romance, and mystery, making it a unique and popular series of its time. Bruce Willis stars as...


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