‘Moonlighting’ Premieres on ABC On This Day in 1985

by Keeli Parkey
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Thirty-six years ago today (March 3), television audiences were treated to their very first encounters with the interesting private detectives played by Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. The show was called “Moonlighting” and it aired on ABC from 1985 until 1989.

A tweet from TVLine.com celebrated the show’s anniversary on Wednesday (March 3). The tweet also asked fans to consider where the first kiss for the characters played by Willis and Shepherd ranked in the history of first kisses in television history.

According to the article on TVLine.com, Willis’ David and Shepherd’s Maddie did not share their first kiss until the second season. In fact, that kiss didn’t take place until the 15th episode of the show’s second season. Fans had to wait through 21 episodes of “Moonlighting” before their two favorite private detectives decided to give in to their feelings.

You can watch the theme for “Moonlighting” below.

A Few Things You Might Not Know About ‘Moonlighting’

Unless you’re a fan of classic television – or over the age of 40 – you might not be familiar with “Moonlighting.”

So, thanks to the information available on IMDb.com, here’s a short primer: “The quirky cases of a former model and a smart aleck detective who manage a private detective agency.”

The private detective agency was called the Blue Moon Detective Agency.

Bruce Willis obviously plays the “smart aleck” David Addison. Cybill Shepherd plays the “former model” Maddie Hayes. They have one of the more famous love-hate relationships in the history of television.

However, according to an article on EightiesKids.com, Shepherd and Willis didn’t like each other very much at all. Part of the tension between them was that Willis reportedly did not like that he was playing second bill to Shepherd. This got worse after his 1988 film “Die Hard” became a huge hit.

The article also reports that Shepherd often caused the shooting of “Moonlighting” episodes to be delayed. This was the case during the show’s third season. The delays led the show’s producers to fill their episode quota with plots fans weren’t very interested in. And, that hurt the show.

Bruce Willis Beat Out Thousands of Actors to Play David on Moonlighting

Here’s another thing you might not know about “Moonlighting” – Bruce Willis had to beat out thousands of other actors to land the role of David. According to the article, 3,000 actors auditioned to play David before Bruce Willis could audition.

Another behind-the-scenes tidbit fans should know is that Cybill Shepherd’s look was planned and executed by the wardrobe department on the show. According to the article, Maddie was supposed to make viewers think of the actresses from the 1940s.

“Moonlighting” was also a very expensive show to make. The article reports that it cost $1.6 million on average to film one episode. This price tag was almost double what it cost to film similar shows.

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