Beverly Hills Buntz

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Beverly Hills Buntz
Created by
Directed byBarnet Kellman
Composer(s)Mike Post
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (4 unaired)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)MTM Enterprises
Distributor20th Television
Original networkNBC
Original releaseNovember 5, 1987 (1987-11-05) –
April 22, 1988 (1988-04-22)

Beverly Hills Buntz is an American comedy series and a spin-off of Hill Street Blues that aired on NBC from November 5, 1987, to April 22, 1988.[1]


The show was a half-hour dramedy, 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, which was a dramatic series (this series is one of a handful of examples of a series in one genre (drama) spinning off a series in another (comedy)). 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 the Bruce Weitz and Nancy Walker sitcom, Mama's Boy and the second season of the Edward Asner drama The Bronx Zoo. Eventually, Buntz was scheduled Fridays at 9:30pm between Night Court and Miami Vice in March 1988. Night Court and Buntz were unsuccessful, but Miami Vice gained 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.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Pilot"Hal AshbyJeffrey Lewis & David MilchNovember 5, 1987 (1987-11-05)
2"Fit to Be Tied"TBATBANovember 29, 1987 (1987-11-29)
3"Sid and Randy"John PattersonJeffrey LewisDecember 24, 1987 (1987-12-24)
4"Duck! L'Orange!"Eric LaneuvilleJim KaplanJanuary 27, 1988 (1988-01-27)
5"Umbrella in the Water"TBATBAMarch 25, 1988 (1988-03-25)
6"Brief Encounter"Michael VittesStory : Jody Taylor Worth
Teleplay : Christian Williams
April 1, 1988 (1988-04-01)
7"El Norte by Norte West"Eric LaneuvilleStory : Christian Williams & John Eisendrath
Teleplay : Christian Williams
April 8, 1988 (1988-04-08)
8"Buntz of the Desert"Paul LynchMark St. GermainApril 15, 1988 (1988-04-15)
9"A Christmas Carol"Gabrielle BeaumontJeffrey LewisApril 22, 1988 (1988-04-22)
10"Ad Astra Per Peoria"TBATBAUnaired
11"A Falcone in the Hand"TBATBAUnaired
13"Terry and the Pirates"TBATBAUnaired


  1. ^ Meisler, Andy (May 24, 1992). "TELEVISION; Is There Life After Death For Failed Series?".

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