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Moonlighting Is Coming to Hulu After Years of Unavailability

Rights issues had kept the beloved series off of streaming for years.
  • Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis (Photo: ABC, Courtesy of Everett Collection)
    Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis (Photo: ABC, Courtesy of Everett Collection)

    For a TV show that is so frequently remembered for the will-they/won't-they love story of its main characters, Moonlighting has been mired in a will-it/won't-it (followed by a well-WHY-won't-it??) battle when it comes to streaming online. For years, music rights issues were the culprit that had kept the romantic comedy about a quirky detective agency out of sight.

    That all changes starting October 10th, when Moonlighting's entire five-season run will be available to stream on Hulu. There's been no announcement as to whether all the music used in the series has been cleared or if it will stream with replacement tracks — as has been the custom with other music-heavy shows like Northern Exposure, Dawson's Creek, and The Real World — but at the very least the Al Jarreau-sung theme song will remain intact.

    Created by Glenn Gordon Caron, Moonlighting aired on ABC from 1985–1989 on ABC, a run that was as beloved by fans as it was by entertainment journalists, who reported on alleged backstage clashes between stars Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. On screen, the two played David Addison and Maddie Hayes, partners in the Blue Moon Detective Agency and one of TV's most celebrated will-they/won't-they couples. Willis won an Emmy for his work in 1987, and the series became a springboard for his action-star career.

    Of all the TV shows that have never been made available on streaming, Moonlighting has always been one of the most loudly advocated for. Outlets from the Los Angeles Times to Entertainment Weekly have reported on why the show wasn't streaming anywhere. Caron hinted at this possibility in October 2022, when he tweeted that "the business of getting all 5 seasons … ready for streaming has begun!" Now, fans will once again get to experience David and Maddie's crackling chemistry and the show's creatively quirky sense of humor. They'll even get to enjoy Moonlighting in HD, remastered from the original source.

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Moonlighting, Hulu, Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd