Saturday, July 28, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 4-12: Barney Miller, "Werewolf"

*Barney Miller aired on ABC for 8 seasons, 1975-1982, mostly Thursday nights at 9:00 P.M.

*Werewolf is the sixth episode of the third season, premiering October 28, 1976, at 8:30 against Gemini Man (NBC) and The Waltons (CBS).

*Despite my gaffe at the beginning, this is indeed season 4, not season 5!

*The series started as an unsold pilot called The Life and Times of Captain Barney Miller, which is on Shout! Factory's complete series DVD set.

*Here is a good example of Ken Levine's posts on series creator Danny Arnold that we mentioned on the show.

*For reference: Here is our episode looking at Tom Snyder (and economist Jerome Smith), and here is our early episode in which we discussed The Most Beautiful Girls in Texas (at 38:23 after our look at The White Shadow).

*James Rhodes made his first appearance in the Iron Man comics in 1979.

*Abe Vigoda passed away in 2016. Seriously.

*In real life, an outbreak of swine flu in 1976 led to a widespread immunization program that caused controversy when some blamed the vaccine for deaths and other (less drastic side effects) and argued against being immunized. The more things change...

*The famous episode we reference is season 3's Hash, which aired about two months after Werewolf.

*Fish, the ill-fated spinoff centered on Abe Vigoda's character, lasted two seasons (1977-1978) and 35 episodes. ABC pushed for the series, though Arnold didn't think it was a good idea. The season 3 Barney Miller episode Fish is sort of a backdoor pilot for the spinoff, establishing the character's home life as would be the focus of the new series. For a while, he appeared on both shows as per Arnold's wishes. The ratings for the show were never strong, but Todd Bridges writes in his memoir that ABC planned to have a third season, then axed it when Vigoda asked for a pay increase! The first season is included on the Shout! complete Barney Miller set.

*We have no evidence of Abe Vigoda playing a vampire, but he was on Dark Shadows!

*Hal Linden's FYI segments aired weekdays on ABC.

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