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Moonlighting: An Oral History

Moonlighting Oral History book cover

Once upon a time ABC-TV’s Moonlighting was among the most buzzed-about shows in the country, thanks largely to the bravado of creator Glenn Gordon Caron, who never met a television convention he didn’t want to break, and the sizzling on-screen chemistry between glamorous erstwhile film star Cybill Shepherd and a New Jersey bartender nobody had ever heard of before named Bruce Willis, who bickered and flirted ceaselessly on screen and engaged in epic off-screen battles that all these years later remain the stuff of Hollywood legend. This combustible blend of creative brilliance produced some of the most acclaimed, audacious, and innovative programming of the eighties, including a black and white tribute to film noir, with an introduction by Orson Welles; a parody of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, written in iambic pentameter; an homage to The Honeymooners; and countless metafictive episodes breaking through the fourth wall — almost unheard of at the time for hourlong comedy-dramas. 

Without a doubt, Moonlighting helped pave the way for the era of prestige television we are now all enjoying. The real story of this pioneering television series and the extraordinary behind-the-scenes challenges, battles, and rewards has never been told — until now, Author Scott Ryan (The Last Days of Letterman, thirtysomething at thirty: an oral history, The Blue Rose, Scott Luck Stories) conducted over twenty interviews with the actors, writers, directors, and producers who made Moonlighting such a dynamic, unforgettable show, delving deep into their thoughts and feelings as they relive this magical moment in pop culture history in this full color oral history.

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