Moonlighting: Season 1, Episode 1

Moonlighting (Pilot) (3 Mar. 1985)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,031 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

Maddie Hayes wakes up to find her staff have quit and all her money has been stolen. One of her few remaining assets is a loss-making investigation agency run by David Addison. She sacks the staff but David is determined to keep it going.


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Title: Moonlighting (Pilot) (03 Mar 1985)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jim McKrell ...
Plastic Surgeon (as Jim MacKrell)
Rebecca Stanley ...
Frederick Coffin ...
Investigator #1 (as Henry Sanders)
Dennis Stewart ...
Joseph Whipp ...
Investigator #2 (as Joe Whipp)
Jean Adams ...
Old Lady


This is the pilot episode of the "Moonlighting" (1985) television series. Madeline 'Maddie' Hayes, a wealthy former model, discovers one morning that her business manager has stolen all the money she has in the bank. However, it turns out that she still owns some non-liquid assets -- money-losing companies which were maintained as tax write-offs -- one of which is a detective agency run by David Addison. Maddie meets with him to inform him that the company is to be shut down, but he tries to persuade her to keep it open by convincing her that the detective agency can make money. To prove it, David brings Maddie into a murder case involving a mysterious wristwatch and four million dollars worth of smuggled diamonds. Written by Brian C. Madsen <>

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Release Date:

3 March 1985 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the first shot a semi-automatic pistol is being loaded from a box labeled as revolver ammunition. See more »


David Addison: All right! You're looking great, kid! I'm right behind ya. Now, don't look back and try and see me, just know that I'm right in back of you, and -- yes, I am looking up your dress.
See more »


References Star Trek (1966) See more »


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

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User Reviews

The best television show of all time, seminal Bruce Willis
27 February 2000 | by (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

During the course of the series Moonlighting, Bruce Willis came of age as an actor. Since the series has been replayed on Bravo, I have re-watched and recorded 30 or so episodes. This series had some really good acting, but some of the best writing that has ever been done on network television. The show won Emmy awards several times over.

The funniest episode was Atomic Shakespeare. This was a parody of The Taming of The Shrew, with Dave and Mattie as Kate and Petruchio. This episode has a cooking musical number with Dave singing Good Love at their wedding. They put ninjas in for a fight scene and sunglasses on the horses to make them look cool. It had it all.

Maybe one of the great moments in TV was the episode Big Man on Mulberry Street. David flies home to NY when it comes out that he was married at one time. This is shocking news to Mattie, who did not know or suspect. The highlight is a musical number to Billy Joel's Big Man on Mulberry Street, with Dave and Mattie both dancing and an amazing dance from a Broadway dancer. There is a lot of compassion here as we see way into Dave's soul, and Mattie for flying out to NY to chase and watch over Dave. In the final scene she lays her head on his shoulder, and he invites her to leave it there for the next 20 or 30 years. It is touching and reveals the romantic intentions of the shows future.

The show took a strange turn when Cybil Sheppard got pregnant during the fourth season. She was out of the show for almost ten episodes. Bruce Willis carried it off wonderfully, with the continuation of good mysteries, occasional musical numbers, and even some wild Claymation dream scenes. But the fire between them was unattainable as there was too much physical separation between them. This also coincided with their characters sleeping together. Some thought that was the end of the good writing. Actually by the end of the fourth season and the fifth season, they had survived a writer's strike, and many slow production dates, because of the quality of the writing and film of the shows. Many of the writers were in high demand by then, with their Emmy awards and some of them began to jump ship. The show never recovered.

There has never been this kind of original quality since. This was Television at its very finest moments. There will never be another like it.

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