Moonlighting (1985–1989)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery
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The quirky cases of a former model and a smart aleck detective who manage a private detective agency.

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5   4   3   2   1  
1989   1988   1987   1986   1985  
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 15 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes / ... (66 episodes, 1985-1989)
 David Addison Jr. / ... (66 episodes, 1985-1989)
 Agnes DiPesto / ... (66 episodes, 1985-1989)
 Herbert Quentin Viola / ... (37 episodes, 1986-1989)


The top model Maddie Hayes was betrayed by her investment adviser who flew with all her money to South-America and began the hard life of a Casino owner. All the unfaithful manager has left Maddie is her house, her unbelievable beauty and intelligence and the run-down detective-agency "City Angels" (renamed by Maddie into "Blue Moon"). Because of her lack of money, she wants to sell the agency, but the houses only detective David Addison tries to convince her to join the agency as the new boss. So Maddie Hayes becomes involved in the work of a real private detective, which means so hard work as to spy upon unfaithful husbands, find missing people or murderers, foil attempts on VIP's lives, stop killers, help lovers and by the way save the world's peace and existence. While doing this Maddie and David try to get used to each other and this way they recognize their complete difference in life-style, humour, amusement and of course in the way how to run a detective agency. Maybe this is ... Written by Adrian Schuster & Oliver Philipp <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

5 March 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Model und der Schnüffler  »

Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(66 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Glenn Gordon Caron was hired away from Remington Steele (1982), another series about a pair of bickering detectives, to create and produce this show. He left after the third season due to the chaotic production and disagreements with Cybill Shepherd. See more »


David: Does Spock beam up?
See more »

Crazy Credits

A few minutes of bloopers from previous episodes are shown between the closing credits of episode 5.5, "Shirts and Skins". See more »


Featured in Britain's Favourite Detectives (2014) See more »


Music by Lee Holdridge
Lyrics by Al Jarreau
Sung by Al Jarreau
See more »

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User Reviews

If you agree that"birds bird and bees bee" you'll love this!
15 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

In the finest tradition of Gable&Lombard and Tracey&Hepburn, Cybil Sheppard and Bruce Willis bring drama, comedy, and wit to TV together with a sexual tension that underscores their partnership in the Blue Moon Detective Agency.

Shepard, who plays Maddie Hayes, wakes up one morning to find out her accountant has absconded with the fortune she made as a high fashion model. Obviously it was not a stretch for Cybil to adapt to this role! In the course of finding out that she needs to sell everything, she happens in on this little detective agency(Blue Moon), she owns only because it was a great tax writeoff. The staff is morabund, and the head sleuth is a wise cracking obnoxious male chauvenist named David Addison, played by an unknown(at the time) Bruce Willis. The immediate rapport between the two brought viewers back for more. The endless stream of double entendre's, malaprops, and overall office antics made the show lovable and audiences craved for more.

Glenn Gordon Caron's writing and vision had the writers, actors, and directors take license with certain rules in primetime that were never questioned. E.G. In one particular episode Maddie asks David to get more explicit with an explanation and David responds by telling her if they get any more explicit they'll have to move the show to cable. It is precisely these departures from the norm, along with the genius idea to have the two main characters talk to each other AT THE SAME TIME, that made critics and fans follow their every move.

It's probably best to say that this show's run was cut short due to the emergence of Willis as a bonafide star. Once he made his mark on the big screen, in Die Hard, Bruce was looking for ways to exit TV. In interviews he talked of the brutal schedules for TV primetime and the difficulty in exploring the boundaries of his talents and appetite for acting. As the show fragmented the practice of in season repeat episodes was probably accepted more , if not born out of necessity. Expanded roles were given in onscreen time and plots to Allyce Beasley(who played a great Agnes DiPesto) and her Blue Moon boyfriend Herbert Viola, played by Curtis Armstrong. These shows were often almost difficult to watch, through no fault of Beasley and Armstrong, but rather the desire to see Maddie and David cavort as usual.

Reruns have been syndicated and you can find them sometimes, most recently on cable channel BRAVO. If you do see the shows, and they are regularly scheduled, it would be well worth it to look for four of my favorites...the first episode of Moonlighting's second season entitled "Brother Can You Spare A Blond", a later episode when Maddie and David have had one of their innumerable fights and they are both interviewed by Rona Barrett in an attempt to reconcile their differences, the episode that co-stars Dana Delaney as the ex-fiance that jilted David, and a classic show guest hosted by Orson Welles shot just before Welles' death. The show signifies the great love/hate relationship between the two main characters and is brilliantly shot in both color and black and white. I think you'll get the spirit and essence of this show if you see any of these.

32 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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