The Famous Teddy Z

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The Famous Teddy Z
Created byHugh Wilson
Written byRichard Dubin
Wayne Lemon
Sid O. Smith
Robert Wilcox
Hugh Wilson
Directed byFrank Bonner
Richard Dubin
Max Tash
Hugh Wilson
StarringJon Cryer
Alex Rocco
Jane Sibbett
Milton Selzer
Josh Blake
Erica Yohn
Theme music composerGuy Moon
Stephanie Tyrell
Steve Tyrell
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes20 (5 unaired)
Executive producer(s)Hugh Wilson
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Hugh Wilson Productions
Columbia Pictures Television
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1989 (1989-09-18) –
May 12, 1990 (1990-05-12)

The Famous Teddy Z is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS during the fall of 1989. The series was created by Hugh Wilson and inspired by the true story of Jay Kantor, who was a mailroom clerk at MCA and later became Marlon Brando's agent.[1]


The series starred Jon Cryer as Theodore "Teddy" Zakalokis, a young man working in a Hollywood talent agency in order to avoid being stuck in his Greek-American family's bakery. When Hollywood star Harland Keyvo (a caricature of Marlon Brando) meets Teddy Z, he is so impressed by his honesty that he makes him his new agent. The humor is derived from Teddy's innocent approach to the business, contrasted with the snake-like behavior of his fellow agents. The cast also included Jane Sibbett, Alex Rocco, Milton Selzer, Josh Blake, and Erica Yohn.


Guest Stars[edit]



The theme song was written by Guy Moon, Stephanie and Steve Tyrell and performed by Bill Champlin of the rock group Chicago.


Rocco's character, Al Floss, also made a crossover appearance on Murphy Brown, as the agent for several of that show's characters.


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"Hugh WilsonHugh WilsonSeptember 18, 1989 (1989-09-18)
2"What's an Agent to Do?"Richard DubinHugh WilsonSeptember 25, 1989 (1989-09-25)
3"Bobby the Chimp"Hugh WilsonHugh WilsonOctober 2, 1989 (1989-10-02)
4"A Day at the Beach"Max TashHugh WilsonOctober 16, 1989 (1989-10-16)
5"The Dark Closet"Richard DubinRichard DubinOctober 23, 1989 (1989-10-23)
6"Mr. Zakalokis Goes to Washington"Max TashStory by : Chuck Ross
Teleplay by : Bob Wilcox
October 30, 1989 (1989-10-30)
7"Baking with Esther Luna"Richard DubinRichard DubinNovember 13, 1989 (1989-11-13)
8"Teddy Sells His House"Max TashHugh WilsonNovember 20, 1989 (1989-11-20)
9"A Case of Murder"Frank BonnerWayne LemonNovember 27, 1989 (1989-11-27)
10"Teddy Gets a House Guest"Max TashSid O. SmithDecember 4, 1989 (1989-12-04)
11"Season's Greetings from Al Floss"Max TashHugh Wilson & Bob WilcoxDecember 11, 1989 (1989-12-11)
12"Grandma Goes to Work"Hugh WilsonCraig NelsonDecember 25, 1989 (1989-12-25)
13"Engineer Bob"Max TashRichard Sanders & Marilynn Marko-SandersJanuary 8, 1990 (1990-01-08)
14"Loyalty"Ginger GriggBob WilcoxJanuary 15, 1990 (1990-01-15)
15"Agent of the Year"Max TashCraig NelsonMay 12, 1990 (1990-05-12)
16"Teddy Goes to the Awards"Max TashSid O. SmithUnaired
17"Pitching the Net"Frank BonnerWayne LemonUnaired
18"Al Tells the Truth"Max TashBob WilcoxUnaired
19"Teddy's Big Date"Max TashWayne LemonUnaired
20"Teddy Gets a Guru"Max TashSid O. SmithUnaired


The series pilot was seen to be far stronger than subsequent episodes, but the series received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including one for the pilot, and for Alex Rocco, who won an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series,[2] but low ratings led CBS to drop it with five episodes unaired. It was later run in its entirety on Comedy Central in 1993 with episodes introduced by Rocco, and by Trio under the heading "Brilliant But Canceled."[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1990 Emmy Awards Nominated Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Hugh Wilson
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Liz Torres
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Hugh Wilson (For pilot episode)
Won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Alex Rocco


  1. ^ "Trio Launches "Brilliant But Canceled" Television Month in December". 2002-10-22. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  2. ^ "Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series Nominees / Winners 1990". Television Academy.
  3. ^ "Tuning In Shows The Networks Tuned Out". Cable World. 2002-10-28. Retrieved 2008-11-09.

External links[edit]