Role: David Addison Jr.
Episodes: 66 episodes
Moonlighting is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on ABC from March 3, 1985, to May 14, 1989. The network aired a total of 66 episodes (67 in syndication as the pilot is split into two episodes). Starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis as private detectives, the show was a mixture of drama, comedy, mystery, and romance, and was considered to be one of the first successful and influential examples of comedy-drama, or “dramedy”, emerging as a distinct television genre.
The show’s theme song was co-written and performed by jazz singer Al Jarreau and became a hit. The show is also credited with making Willis a star, while re-launching the career of Shepherd after a string of lackluster projects. In 1997, the episode “The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice” was ranked #34 on (the 1997) TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 2007, the series was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-Time”. The relationship between David and Maddie was included in TV Guide’s list of the best TV couples of all time.
The series revolved around cases investigated by the Blue Moon Detective Agency and its two partners, Madelyn “Maddie” Hayes (Shepherd) and David Addison Jr. (Willis). The show, with a mix of mystery, sharp dialogue, and sexual tension between its two leads, introduced Bruce Willis to the world and brought Cybill Shepherd back into the spotlight after a nearly decade-long absence. The characters were introduced in a two-hour pilot episode that preceded the series proper.
The show’s storyline begins with the reversal of fortune of Maddie Hayes, a former model who finds herself bankrupt after her accountant embezzles all of her liquid assets. She is left saddled with several failing businesses formerly maintained as tax write-offs, one of which is the City of Angels Detective Agency, helmed by the carefree David Addison played by Willis. Between the pilot and the first one-hour episode, David persuades Maddie to keep the business and run it as a partnership. The agency is renamed Blue Moon Investigations because Maddie was most famous for being the spokesmodel for the (fictitious) Blue Moon Shampoo Company. In many episodes, she was recognized as “the Blue Moon shampoo girl,” if not by name.
In his audio commentary for the Season 3 DVD, creator Glenn Gordon Caron says that the inspiration for the series was a production of The Taming of the Shrew he saw in Central Park starring Meryl Streep and Raúl Juliá. The show would parody this Shakespeare play in the Season 3 episode Atomic Shakespeare.
David Addison Jr.
David Addison is a wisecracking detective running the City of Angels Detective Agency. Faced with the prospect of being put out of business, he convinces Maddie that they have always lost money because they were supposed to and talks her into rebranding the agency and going into business with him as her partner. Glenn Gordon Caron had to fight with ABC to put Willis in the lead role having already signed Shepherd for both the pilot and series. Caron claims he tested Willis about a third of the way through testing over 2,000 actors, knew “this was the guy” immediately, and had to fight through twice as many more acting tests and readings while arguing with ABC executives before receiving (initial) conditional authorization to cast Willis in the pilot. ABC, according to Caron, did not feel that anyone viewing would think there could possibly be any “believable” sexual tension between Shepherd and Willis.