Tequila and Bonetti

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Tequila and Bonetti
Tequila and Bonetti.jpg
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Donald P. Bellisario
Written by Donald P. Bellisario
Robin Bernheim
Richard C. Okie
Gerald Sanoff
Tommy Thompson
Directed by Rob Bowman
James Whitmore, Jr.
Starring Jack Scalia
Mariska Hargitay
Charles Rocket
Voices of Brad Sanders
Composer(s) Mike Post (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5)
Greg Edmonson (1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11, 1.12)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12
Executive producer(s) Donald P. Bellisario
Jimmy Giritlian
Producer(s) Robin Bernheim
Jeff Gourson
James Whitmore, Jr.
Running time 60 mins. (with commercials)
Production company(s) Belisarius Productions
MCA Television
Original network CBS
Original release January 17 – April 17, 1992

Tequila and Bonetti is an American comedy-drama crime series starring Jack Scalia. The series originally aired on CBS from January 17, 1992 to April 17, 1992. It was later rebooted in 2000 for Italian television.


The lead character of the series, Nico ("Nick") Bonetti (Jack Scalia), is a policeman from New York City who is proud of his Italian heritage and very fond of his vintage rose-colored Cadillac convertible, which he inherited from his father. After he erroneously shoots a young girl during a gunfight, he relocates to a beachfront Los Angeles precinct on temporary assignment. Here he meets his new partners, Tequila (a large, burrito-eating French Mastiff), and Officer Angela Garcia (Mariska Hargitay), who joined the department after her policeman husband's death. Their boss is Captain Midian Knight (Charles Rocket), who is almost as interested in selling a screenplay as he is in police work. The series shows their investigations of crimes and the evolving relationships between the characters. This show has the peculiarity that television viewers are able to hear Tequila's thoughts.

Life is not easy for Bonetti, due to his remorse about the girl he shot and the strange habits of Californians whom he does not understand. His neighbors include a Puerto Rican psychic (Liz Torres), who hears Tequila's thoughts but initially believes she is hearing spirits. Bonetti develops a grudging respect for the people around him as well as for Tequila, who despite his faults is an excellent police dog. The dog is portrayed as having human-level intelligence and a street-wise, sassy attitude.

The show was developed by producer Donald P. Bellisario. His daughter, Troian Bellisario, had a recurring role as Garcia's daughter, who for a time is unaware that her mother has joined the police department rather than continue a career as an art dealer.

Each episode has a montage during which Bonetti plays piano and viewers see odd, sometimes disturbing scenes featuring Bonetti's neighbors and co-workers. Some of these scenes are from later episodes, while others remain unexplained. Each montage ends with Bonetti's memory of the shooting of the girl in New York.


The series was panned by critics[1] and was subsequently canceled by CBS four months after its premiere. Despite the initial negative reception of the series, some modern viewers find it to be a quirky, though flawed, product of the early 1990s.[2]

2000 series reboot[edit]

8 years later, Tequila & Bonetti was rebooted for television with Jack Scalia reprising his role as Bonetti; only this time, the show was filmed and aired in Italy. Bonetti goes to Rome to team up with a new "Tequila", a cross between a Saint Bernard and a golden retriever, and the policewoman Fabiana Sasso (Alessia Marcuzzi). Again, only the audience can hear the dog's thoughts, but this time Bonetti is the one with strange American habits, as seen by his new Italian friends.


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