Remembering the Iconic TV Show Moonlighting

While reminiscing the charms of the ’80s, how can one miss out on the most iconic TV show of the era? We are talking about Moonlighting. Being a mixture of drama, comedy, mystery, and romance, this show won our hearts in a beat.

But the main reason for the popularity of this show other than the witty repartee between Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd was the rule of quondam serious crime dramas that promulgated for a decade in the ’70s.

At that time, people were in a dire need of a lighthearted comedy-drama to attenuate the repercussions of the previous decade. Although that was Bruce Willis’s start in acting he proved to be worthy of the role!

Today, when we think of this show, it just seems to be a product of its time, but this does not make it any less than the contemporary shows we are hooked to. So, let’s explore it a bit more to understand what was so epic about this show?

Moonlighting: The Origin


Moonlighting came into being on 3rd March 1985 on American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and remained on-air till May 14, 1989. It was considered as the first-ever mixture of comedy and drama that became successful and gained popularity in no time.

This show was produced by Glenn Gordon Caron with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd as the cast for the main role of Maddie (Madelyn) Hayes and David Addison. While Allyce Beasley played the role of a freakish receptionist.

Whereas, the theme song of this iconic show that also became a hit on its own was co-written and performed by Al Jarreau and Lee Holdridge.

Moonlighting has a total of 5 seasons and 66 episodes.Now that we are done with the introduction let’s move to the storyline of our favourite TV show.


It is a story of a former model named Maddie (Madelyn) Hayes who goes bankrupt due to the embezzlement of her investment advisor, leaving her broke and heartbroken as all of her managers left her alone in her house and she is forced to make a living by opening a detective agency renamed by her as ‘’Blue Moon’’.

Having a past modelling career she had a plenitude of admirers, which helped her to attract clients and run her agency. On the other hand, David Addison is also a detective who convinces Maddie to join the company as the new boss.

Together they both solve many cases such as spying on unfaithful husbands, finding missing persons, fail murder attempts or help lovers while getting accustomed to each other. But they soon realise that there is a huge wall of differences between them. Will they become lovers or does fate hold something different for them?

I am sure till now you would have reminisced all the thrill, confusion and excitement that you experienced while watching this show. But wait a minute, we have more to explore!

Main Cast of the Show

Bruce Willis as David Addison

Bruce Willis as David Addison

Although it was  Bruce Willis’ start in acting, his acting skills left a huge impact on everyone, as he played the role of a wise detective who knew what to do and when to do, he tackled every situation so effortlessly as David Addison that it made him a heartthrob of the era.

His role and skills soon made the show to be recognised as Bruce Willis show Moonlighting, while giving a kickstart to his acting career. His role starts when he convinces Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) to join the company as a boss and gets interesting due to the exchange of witty repartee between the two of them throughout the show.

Cybill Shepherd as Maddie (Madelyn) Hayes

Cybill Shepherd as Maddie (Madelyn) Hayes

The next main cast of this big show is Cybill Shepherd who played the role of a charismatic model who gets embezzled by her investment advisor and is forced to run a detective agency to make a living.

During her journey, she comes across David Addison (Bruce Willis) and they both share a love-hate relationship throughout the show, making them a perfect couple and getting us even more hooked to the show than we were at that time.

Now that we are done with the main cast of Moonlighting show, let’s recollect some memories of its seasons.

Season one and two

The first two seasons of this show kept mingling with our feelings as Maddie constantly played hard to get and David tried hard to get her between the series of missions they did together.

But the thing we all loved was their bittersweet relationship and sarcasm for each other. And you got to admit that you watched the show to see if they both would get together or not, right? We got you!

Season Three

In this season we got what we expected! But we also lost interest as the sarcasm and sexual tension between the two vanished. Due to the on-screen romance and off-screen fights between Cybill and Bruce, the show started to lose its charm, while marking the date when this series ran off the rails.

Waves of curiosity and sadness are hitting you again, right? Wait until you jump onto the next season.

Season Four

Because of the cast of Moonlighting show, this show went astray of the real spirit that made us so hooked to it. Our Maddie and David were too busy having kids and working for another show (not together!) that the production had to incorporate a love story between Agnes DiPesto (Allyce Beasley); the freakish receptionist and Herbert Viola (Curtis Armstrong).

They both did not have a love-chemistry as they were not fit for the main roles or maybe we were not expecting the show to go off track.

Season Five

Of course, this show had a 5th season!

In this season, Maddie was back miscarrying a child, Yes! You heard it right. I also felt the same way! This show was supposed to be a detective show having an element of drama-comedy and not a family show having seriousness in it. And this led this season to be the final season of the show.

Do not fret! Because we are here to ward off any ambiguities that are left in your mind.

How did Moonlighting End?

There are various reasons for the downfall of this show and we have listed them down for you to read:

The first and foremost reason was the diminishing interest and enthusiasm of the main cast as Cybill was having twins and Bruce also had new projects to work on. Their priorities changed and so did the storyline of the show.

But that was not the only reason. Another reason was the departure of the producer Glenn Gordon Caron from the show, which later on raised several issues and caused fights between the cast and production for payments etc.

The third reason that can be counted is the blunder of the writer, who took the show off track by putting the scene of a miscarriage. The last two seasons of this show could have been a success only if its main cast and producer had been loyal to it.

Final Word

Despite the downfall it had, Moonlighting show is still considered as a show that had a tremendous influence over people, owing to the exchange of witty remarks and sarcastic repartee between Maddie and David it had its charm. And being the first of its kind, it will always be remembered.