Busting Loose (TV series)

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Busting Loose
Title card for Busting Loose, 1977
Title card, with Adam Arkin as Lenny Markowitz at right.
Genre Sitcom
Starring Adam Arkin[1]
Theme music composer Mark Rothman
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 21, plus 4 unaired
Executive producer(s) Lowell Ganz
Mark Rothman[3]
Producer(s) Lawrence Kasha (Season One)[2]
John Thomas Lenox[3] (Season Two)[2]
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hayadou Productions
Paramount Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Original release January 17 (1977-01-17) – November 16, 1977 (1977-11-16)

Busting Loose is an American sitcom starring Adam Arkin which centers on a young man in New York City who has moved out of his parents' house to live on his own for the first time. The show aired on CBS between January 17, 1977, and November 16, 1977.[1][3]



Lenny Markowitz is a 24-year-old Jewish American man who recently graduated from engineering school. Tired of living with his overprotective and meddling parents Sam and Pearl, he secretly moves out on his own for the first time – "busting loose" from them – into a low-rent apartment in a rundown apartment building in New York City where his neighbor is Melody Feebeck, a beautiful, voluptuous, older redheaded woman who works for an escort service. Lacking the money even to replace the duck-covered wallpaper in his new apartment and still looking for work as an engineer, he temporarily takes a menial job at the Wearwell Shoe Store, operated by Ralph Cabell, where his coworker is Raymond St. Williams, a "hip" young African American man. His childhood friends Lester Bellman, Allan Simmonds, Vinnie Mordabito, and Woody Warshaw frequently visit him; they play poker together and get involved in various escapades. In the fall of 1977, Lenny finds a regular girlfriend, Jackie Gleason, an attractive young woman unrelated – and bearing no resemblance – to the real-life television star Jackie Gleason.[1][3][4]

Production notes[edit]

Mark Rothman and Lowell Ganz created Busting Loose and served as its executive producers, and Rothman composed the show's theme music. Lawrence Kasha was the producer for the first season; John Thomas Lenox produced the second season. Lenox also directed one episode; the other episode directors were Greg Antonacci, James Burrows, Mel Ferber, Norm Gray, Asaad Kelada, Harvey Miller, Tony Mordente, Alan Myerson, Bill Persky, Howard Storm, and Joel Zwick. Antonacci, Ganz, Rothman, Chet Dowling, David W. Duclon, Howell Gewirtz, Joe Glauberg, Sandy Krinski, David Lerner, Deborah Leschin, Babaloo Mandel, and Barry Rubinowitz all wrote or co-wrote one or more episodes.[2]

During its first season, Busting Loose aired on CBS on Monday at 8:30 p.m. from January to May 1977. The show then left the air until July 1977, when reruns of the first season began to air on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. The second season also ran at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the fall of 1977.[1]

In "Mr. Dennis Steps Out," broadcast on October 26, 1977, as the fifth episode of the second season of Busting Loose, Melody is afraid that her boss at the escort service, Roger Dennis – played by guest star Ted Knight – is going to fire her. The episode served as the pilot for Knight's first show of his own, the short-lived 1978 sitcom The Ted Knight Show, which centered on Roger Dennis's firm, the Mr. Dennis Escort Service. However, Barbara Rhoades and her Melody Feebeck character did not appear in The Ted Knight Show.[2]



Busting Loose was broadcast over two seasons. Thirteen episodes aired during its first season in the winter and spring of 1977. Eight more were broadcast during its second season in the fall of 1977, and four other episodes produced for that season never aired.

Season # Episode # Title Plot/Notes Original air date
Season One
1 1 Pilot Tired of living with his meddling and overprotective parents, Lenny tells them that he is going on a trip and secretly searches for a cheap apartment. January 17, 1977
1 2 "Five's a Crowd" Lenny has a crush on a girl who is paranoid about male attention. Annie Potts and Deborah White guest-star. January 24, 1977
1 3 "The Harder They Come, the Bigger They Fall" A bullying deliveryman challenges Lenny to a fight. February 7, 1977
1 4 "Still Nutsy After All These Years" Lenny's ex-girlfriend tries to rekindle their relationship. February 14, 1977
1 5 "Grandpa Markowitz" Lenny's grandfather comes to visit. He hates his relatives and plans to shock them by dropping dead at his own 85th birthday party. February 21, 1977
1 6 "Hell Hath No Fury" Lenny refuses to live with Helene, so she has him jailed on trumped-up charges. Annie Potts guest-stars. February 28, 1977
1 7 "Love's Labor Lost" Lenny is determined to date a girl whose father disapproves of him. March 7, 1977
1 8 "Kiss and Dwell" Lenny's friends goad him into asking Melody for a date. Annie Potts guest-stars. March 14, 1977
1 9 "A Nut at the Opera" Working as escorts, Lenny and a friend accompany two socialites to the opera. Mavis Neal Potter and Peggy Rea guest-star. March 21, 1977
1 10 "House of Noodles" Mr. Cabell refuses to give Raymond a raise. Jack Soo guest-stars. March 28, 1977
1 11 "Together Again As Never Before" Sam is lonely while Pearl is away, and he makes a pest of himself trying to be Lenny's pal. April 11, 1977
1 12 "The Famous Announcers School" Aspiring to be a sportscaster, Lenny enrolls in a fly-by-night broadcasting school run by a flaky disc jockey. Eddie Bracken guest-stars. April 25, 1977
1 13 "Singles' Weekend" Lenny and his friends visit a resort, seeking sun, fun, and women. Stephanie Silver guest-stars. May 2, 1977
Season Two
2 1 "Smoke Gets In Your Face" Lenny blames his friends for a fire that damaged his apartment. September 28, 1977
2 2 "Foiled Again" Vinnie is in love, but his state of bliss comes to an end when the woman he is interested in falls for Lenny. October 5, 1977
2 3 "Roomies" Vinnie and Raymond are both looking for an apartment – and they find the same one. Dorothy Butts guest-stars. October 12, 1977
2 4 "A Knight in Tarnished Armor" Lenny is a meek man at heart, but he nonetheless tries to impress Jackie with his machismo. October 19, 1977
2 5 "Mr. Dennis Steps Out" Melody fears that her boss at the escort service, Roger Dennis, is going to fire her. Ted Knight guest-stars as Roger Dennis. This episode was the pilot for the 1978 sitcom The Ted Knight Show. October 26, 1977
2 6 "The Decision: Part 1" Lenny becomes angry when he spots Jackie out with another man. Christine Baranski, Kim Lankford, Colleen Minahan, and Rick Podell guest-star. November 2, 1977
2 7 "The Decision: Part 2" Lenny tries to choose between playing around with women and settling down. Kim Lankford guest-stars. November 9, 1977
2 8 "All in Love's Unfair" Lenny sets up Vinnie with a girl he once dated who is still sweet on him. Annie Potts guest-stars. November 16, 1977
2 9 "Welcome to Fleckman's"  ? Never
2 10 "Mordabito's Ragtime Band"  ? Never
2 11 "Camp Sha-Man-Ga"  ? Never
2 12 "Scenes From An Engagement"  ? Never


  1. ^ a b c d Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 147.
  2. ^ a b c d e ctva.com Busting Loose
  3. ^ a b c d McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 128.
  4. ^ imdb.com Busting Loose (TV series 1977)
  5. ^ tvguide.com Busting Loose Episodes

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