Beverly Hills Buntz
|Beverly Hills Buntz|
|Created by||David Milch
|Directed by||Barnet Kellman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (4 unaired)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||MTM Enterprises|
|Distributor||20th Century Fox Television (1998) Fox Television Studios (current)|
|Original run||November 5, 1987 – April 22, 1988|
The half-hour dramedy, that was a hybrid between light private eye fare and a sitcom. The main character, Norman Buntz, was previously seen as a morally and ethically questionable cop on Hill Street Blues. The series has the character quitting the police force, moving to Beverly Hills, and becoming a private investigator. In a programming experiment, NBC president Brandon Tartikoff announced that this show would be a "designated hitter" and was originally given prize time slots once a month following Cheers and Night Court. The other two "designated hitters" that season were Bruce Weitz and Nancy Walker sitcom, Mama's Boy and the second season of Edward Asner drama The Bronx Zoo. Eventually, Buntz was scheduled Fridays at 9:30pm between Night Court and Miami Vice in March 1988. The line-up didn't click for Night Court and Buntz but gained Miami Vice a fifth season with an improved performance having moved from 9pm back to 10pm.
Three pilots of Buntz were filmed including one by director Hal Ashby.
Thirteen episodes were filmed, of which only nine were broadcast. The first episode was broadcast November 5, 1987 and the last on April 22, 1988. The series starred Dennis Franz as Norman Buntz, and Peter Jurasik as Sid "The Snitch" Thurston. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson joined the cast and former Blues character Irwin Bernstein played by George Wyner made an appearance.
The concept of a comedic spin-off derived from a concluded dramatic parent program is a reversal of a scenario that occurred in the late 1970s when the dramatic series Lou Grant spun-off from the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show after the parent program ended its run.
- "Pilot" / 1987.11.05
- "Fit to Be Tied" / 1987.11.29
- "Sid and Randy" / 1987.12.24
- "Duck! L'Orange!" / 1988.01.27
- "Umbrella in the Water" / 1988.03.25
- "Brief Encounter" / 1988.04.01
- "El Norte by Norte West" / 1988.04.08
- "Buntz of the Desert" / 1988.04.15
- "A Christmas Carol" / 1988.04.22
- "Ad Astra Per Peoria" / *
- "A Falcone in the Hand" / *
- "Cannon-Aid" / *
- "Terry and the Pirates" / *