After years of waiting Moonlighting, the Emmy-winning detective show that introduced the world to Bruce Willis, will finally be available for streaming on Hulu next month.
The dramedy, which ran for five seasons from 1985 to 1989, starred Wills as smart-aleck private investigator David Addison opposite Cybill Shepherd as model-turned-detective-agency-owner Maddie Hayes. Noted for taking a cinematic approach to television, Moonlighting was not afraid to try things you wouldn’t normally see on TV at the time. From a black-and-white noir-style episode, to a Shakespeare themed episode written entirely in iambic pentameter, to a nearly ten-minute musical dream sequence directed by Stanly Donen (Singing in the Rain) and set to Billy Joel, this show tried it all.
Not only did Moonlighting to test the boundaries of what could be done on television, it set the bar for what a will-they-won’t-they plotline could be. In fact, if you’ve ever watched a show and thought that it lost momentum after the will-they-won’t-they pair got together, you’ve experienced what is known as the “Moonlighting curse.” Named for the way many fans felt the show suffered after David and Maddie got together.
While it might seem like a show that introduced such a major star, won awards, and was so influential should have already been available for streaming, Moonlighting was also one of the first shows to use pop music in its soundtrack — leading to issues with music licensing. While ABC and its parent company, Disney, maintained the rights to the show itself, it was not until recently that they began to look into making deals for all of the music rights.
Fortunately TVLine has confirmed that not only will Al Jarreau’s Grammy-nominated title track be featured in the streaming version of the show, but all the songs within the show sung by Willis, Shepherd and other cast member are intact in the remastered episodes. However, not all of the original music survived. Songs that were deemed “critical” to storylines remain, but many of the songs that provided “ambiance music” throughout the series have been swapped out.
Don’t let that deter you from checking out the series when it hits Hulu October 10. Beyond the fact that it is an award winning, landmark show, Moonlighting also showcases a side of Willis that current audiences might not be familiar with. Not only does he have a full head of hair, but he is also much less action and much more humor/song-and-dance than one might expect. Add this to his wonderful onscreen chemistry with Shepherd, and Moonlighting is truly a can’t-miss for any Bruce Willis fan. Even if you’re not a diehard Willis fan, the show’s quick wit and snappy writing will draw you in, while the characters — from David and Maddie to Miss DePesto (Allyce Beasley) and Herbert Viola (Curtis Armstrong) — keep you watching to see what they are going to do next. Plus, the popularity of the show brought in celebrity guest stars, like Mark Harmon, Whoopi Goldberg, Demi Moore, and more!