Barney Miller (1975–1982)
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Escape Artist 

Barney holds a resourceful escaped prisoner for the FBI. A self-declared "bird-man" drops in. Harris decides to write a novel.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Elizabeth Miller (credit only)
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Det. Phil Fish
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Det. Stan 'Wojo' Wojciehowicz
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Det. Sgt. Chano Amenguale
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Det. Sgt. Nick Yemana
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Det. Ron Harris
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Harry
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Charlie Evans Jeffers
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Roland Gusik
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Lt. Faraday
Reid Cruickshanks ...
Bellevue Attendant
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Barney holds a resourceful escaped prisoner for the FBI. A self-declared "bird-man" drops in. Harris decides to write a novel.

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Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

10 April 1975 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Harris starts writing his book
16 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

"Escape Artist" is yet another notable early entry, the first to feature a crack about Yemana's coffee, and the one where Harris begins writing his book about the 12th Precinct, eventually published under the title "Blood on the Badge" (the consequences of which continued through the very end of the series). The most prominent guest star is Roscoe Lee Browne, distinguished even when portraying a convict, first arrested for stealing a car, eventually adding on three more decades due to his habit of escaping from each maximum security prison he's assigned (his erudite borrowings from Aldous Huxley have Harris writing fast to keep up). His excuse for starting a novel: "there are eight million stories out there in that naked city and I'm gonna sell one of 'em!" Harris asks Yemana to give him the Japanese term for 'get me a cup of coffee'; when he does, Fish replies, "get it yourself, what am I, your maid?" A phone caller reports an annoying rooftop bird, the ever encouraging Barney asking Fish for a description: "it weighs about 180 pounds, and it's wearing a wool hat!" (Leonard Frey, first of two). Everybody chimes in about Harris' book when Barney arrives, inquiring about any crimes going on, when Yemana answers "coffee?" Barney: "I would hesitate to call our coffee a crime, a shame maybe." One swallow later: "oh, that's a crime!" Barney's wife Liz is absent from this episode, while Reid Cruickshanks repeats his role from "Snow Job" as a Bellevue attendant.


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