Abe Vigoda's spin off series begins with a whimper
"The Really Longest Day" began the midseason trial run of Abe Vigoda's spin off FISH, alternating with BARNEY MILLER's final six broadcasts. It would be kind to admit it was underwhelming, as the young cast of juveniles made for a poor supporting cast, depending entirely on Vigoda's predictable reactions to their shenanigans. Back from her recurring role on BARNEY MILLER was Florence Stanley's Bernice, still the butt of a few jokes, but more difficult to take on a weekly basis. The only other adult was Barry Gordon's Charlie Harrison, assisting with the child care, but often clueless with his liberal theories on how to handle a crisis. John Cassisi's Victor Kreutzer and Denise Miller's Jilly Papalardo had already featured on BARNEY MILLER, joined by Lenny Bari as Mike Faroni, the oldest delinquent, Todd Bridges as Loomis, the youngest, and Sarah Natoli as Diane Polanski, whose sole interest is watching television. The one crisis that occurs in this debut episode has Loomis protesting Victor's teasing of him by locking himself in the only working bathroom, which doesn't sit well with Sgt. Fish, threatening to shoot off the lock! FISH would be renewed for a second season before quietly disappearing from the airwaves, while BARNEY MILLER continued to thrive for another four seasons.
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