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"If you want real police brutaity, wait until I tell you what they served me for lunch!"
April 6, 2012 11:38 AM   Subscribe

It ran for 8 seasons, from 1975 to 1982. Took home three Emmys out of 32 nominations. The Captain's badge (#233451) is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Dennis Farina, who worked as a Chicago policeman before turning to acting, reportedly once called it the most realistic cop show ever seen on television. But unlike other cop shows, there were no car chases or shootouts, and the show rarely left the precinct. Out of the 170 episodes of Barney Miller that were produced, 68 from the first four seasons can be seen in their entirety on Crackle's YouTube channel*. Take a seat, have a brownie and check out some classic television.

* Crackle episodes of Barney Miller are available only to folks in the UK, US and Canada, thanks to Sony Pictures' restrictions. Sorry, folks. :(

The complete series was released on DVD at the end of last year. iTunes: Seasons 1 and 2. Amazon Instant: Seasons 1 and 2

Background on the show: Wikipedia / Television Heaven / Barney Miller Fan Site

Other artifacts from the show in the Smithsonian's collection: the cell door and the chalkboard duty roster.

20 episodes from Seasons one and two are also on Hulu.
posted by zarq (85 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite

 
And let's not forget the awesome bass intro on the theme song.
posted by briank at 11:41 AM on April 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


And Abe Vigoda is still alive!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:41 AM on April 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


Sadly, Jack Soo is not.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:43 AM on April 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Barney Miller is of course really the time-warp spinoff prequel to Firefly detailing Book's secret past.
posted by kmz at 11:44 AM on April 6, 2012 [26 favorites]


Show creator Danny Arnold cancelled the show himself, by the way. He was a complete workaholic who had an on-set heart attack in 1979. The show's Wikipedia page says in an unsourced note that he was concerned that he wouldn't be able to come up with new storylines. I suspect his heart attack was probably a factor, too.
posted by zarq at 11:45 AM on April 6, 2012


Smart Dalek: "Sadly, Jack Soo is not."

And Steve Landesberg. :(
posted by zarq at 11:47 AM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


zarq, have I mentioned recently how much I love you?
posted by rtha at 11:47 AM on April 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm glad you linked to the brownie episode, that was classic. The other classic bit was the crazy guy who in one episode thought he was a werewolf. He was on the show a few times as I recall.
posted by Catblack at 11:48 AM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


*blushes*

*scuffs feet*

:D
posted by zarq at 11:48 AM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just now realized that all these years I've been conflating Barney Miller and Barney Fife.
posted by DU at 11:51 AM on April 6, 2012


"Sadly, Jack Soo is not."

And Steve Landesberg. :(


And Ron Carey.

Officer Levitt should've gotten promoted to full Detective before the series ended.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:52 AM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


When I was a young kid I spent some time living with my grandmother (instead of my parents), and she got me hooked on this. When I was about 7 or 8. I still have a crush on Hal Linden. I actually saw him at an event about 10 years ago and I had a hard time keeping my fandom under control.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:52 AM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]




Catblack:

* Werewolf: 1, 2
* Hash: 1, 2

I haven't watched them yet, but I think they're full episodes.
posted by zarq at 11:54 AM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still have a crush on Hal Linden.

AKA Harold Lipshitz.
posted by Naberius at 11:55 AM on April 6, 2012


One of the best sitcoms of all time. Let's compare that era of sitcoms to now:

THEN
Barney Miller
All In The Family
The Jeffersons
M*A*S*H
Good Times
Soap (although I guess maybe that's not a sitcom??)


NOW
How I Met Your Mother????????


Yeah....

posted by spicynuts at 11:55 AM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


NOW
Louis
Archer
Community
Parks & Rec
30 Rock

...I can keep going.
posted by griphus at 11:59 AM on April 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


"Louie," rather.
posted by griphus at 11:59 AM on April 6, 2012


You mean Stefan Kapekne? I can't believe I remember his name - I was 10 years old. I loved this show, though.
posted by Flashman at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2012


Now:

The Office
30 Rock
Community
Cougar Town
Modern Family
The Big Bang Theory
posted by Bonzai at 12:01 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


And let's not forget the awesome bass intro on the theme song.

Many a night I sat with my bass poised on my lap, waiting at the ready for the theme song to start so I could learn it. Greatest theme song ever, except maybe for Hawaii Five-O.

What a great cast, too. Fish was the man.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:02 PM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


New Girl
Happy Endings
posted by Bonzai at 12:04 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this was my 9-years-old watch-with-Mom show. Just loved it. Dietrich was my favorite - such a dry wit. And later, when I started learning to play bass, you know I had to nail the opener to the theme.
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:05 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wojo's still alive and working by the looks of his IMDB entry.
posted by jquinby at 12:09 PM on April 6, 2012


I loved the episode with the guy who claimed to be a time traveller, who when asked to give his birth date (and said something ridiculous like 1995) only shrugged and said "Post-war baby boom."
posted by jokeefe at 12:09 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


What what but there is no doink doink, how can it be the best cop show ever without the ubiquitous doink doink?

Just kidding. I actually really liked Barny Miller and still do (and frankly don't give a rats ass for the L&O franchise, except perhaps very very early episodes, the less smooth the better in my book). Seemed like the human interactions, on Barny Miller where a bit more real than most shows
posted by edgeways at 12:10 PM on April 6, 2012


schoolgirl report: "Dietrich was my favorite - such a dry wit."

Mine too.

There's a moment in an episode that I remember and have been trying to find... the cast is standing around a desk staring at a device they can't identify, speculating on what it is. Dietrich comes in and as he's walking by looks down and says, "Hey, who brought the bomb?"

His humor was simultaneously subtle and overt. And his timing and delivery were brilliant.
posted by zarq at 12:12 PM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Raise your hand if you can only explain how a heat pump works by doing the inhale/exhale bit from Steve Landesberg's TV PSA.
posted by jquinby at 12:14 PM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


When I was little, I used to go over to my grandfather's house, when he was still alive, and he would always be watching this and we would watch together, I think in reruns at the time. Also, Welcome Back Kotter. Good shows in their own right, but for me, they are primarily nostalgia regarding a person that I didn't know that well (he had a pretty serious drinking problem), except for the shows we'd watch together.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:15 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


His humor was simultaneously subtle and overt. And his timing and delivery were brilliant.

Now that you mention that, it occurs to me there's a direct line from Dietrich to Munch.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:17 PM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Office
30 Rock
Community
Cougar Town
Modern Family
The Big Bang Theory


Do ANY of those shows deal with the racial and social issues of the age tackled openly and honestly in every single one of the shows I mentioned?
posted by spicynuts at 12:18 PM on April 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Take a seat, have a brownie and check out some classic television.

Skip the coffee. Trust me.
posted by tommasz at 12:18 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite scene was one where Fish goes to the bathroom and a few minutes later Barney gets a call that some sort of emergency is happening nearby. There is a frantic scene as he directs everyone to their tasks and the room quickly empties out. A few seconds later Fish emerges from the bathroom and looks around confused.

He walks to his desk picks up the phone and dials his wife then says, "Bernice, I think I fell asleep on the toilet again."
posted by Bonzai at 12:19 PM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


spicynuts: "Do ANY of those shows deal with the racial and social issues of the age tackled openly and honestly in every single one of the shows I mentioned?"

They are funny, isn't that good enough?
posted by Bonzai at 12:21 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do ANY of those shows deal with the racial and social issues of the age tackled openly and honestly in every single one of the shows I mentioned?

But do any of the shows you list exist in a self-referential metaverse?
posted by Flashman at 12:21 PM on April 6, 2012


Fantastic post--I love me some Barney Miller!

Favorite episode: 'The Harris Incident'. Det. Harris is shot at by two uniformed police cops while on his way to work. Harris was black, you see, and the cops automatically assumed that he was the perp. The cops are eventually allowed to resume their jobs as if nothing had happened. I love how this episode tackled racial injustics and the attitudes of cops towards African Americans.

Everyone remembers 'Hash; and 'Werewolf' but I also love 'Identity'. Dietrich saves Harris' life during a call, and for the rest of the episode Harris tries to repay him because he can't STAND to be in Dietrich's debt.
posted by magstheaxe at 12:23 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is a setup. . .I do not remember the details, but Steve Landesburg delivers the line, "I'm for telling him."

It killed me, and I regularly use this line when a third person is appearing to the dense at something. . .

Loved that show. . .the thread in whch Harris produces a porn movie, which goes way over budget, in order to infiltrate the industry. It gets pulled, and becomes the custody of the upper brass. . .

I could go on.
posted by Danf at 12:28 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Wojciehowicz. Spelled just the way it sounds: 'Wojciehowicz'."
posted by steef at 12:28 PM on April 6, 2012 [7 favorites]



They are funny, isn't that good enough?


No.
posted by spicynuts at 12:29 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Discovered Barney Miller for the first time a year or two ago and was amazed at how great it was. The TV eps I'd been watching quickly cycled back around (first season or something, maybe) and there wasn't much on Hulu at the time. Thanks for the links.
posted by curious nu at 12:33 PM on April 6, 2012


"Hey Barn? Let's go down to the beach and shoot some clams!"
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do ANY of those shows deal with the racial and social issues of the age tackled openly and honestly in every single one of the shows I mentioned?

The Office, Community, 30 Rock and Modern Family deal with the racial and social issues of the age, tackled openly and honestly in every single one of the shows mentioned.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:38 PM on April 6, 2012


Gothe-fest!
posted by shothotbot at 12:45 PM on April 6, 2012


zarq, thank you - just what I needed as incentive to slack off for the rest of the afternoon. I love this show - how can you not? Always wondered why it never seemed to be picked up in reruns. Great character development.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:54 PM on April 6, 2012


Parks & Rec and 30 Rock don't make me laugh, but Archer. Oh, Archer.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:58 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do ANY of those shows deal with the racial and social issues of the age tackled openly and honestly in every single one of the shows I mentioned?

One of Modern Family's central plotlines is about a gay married couple who adopt an Asian girl.

They don't make them like the used to, but they still make them, and they are often quite good for reasons that are totally different than what made Barney Miller good.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:03 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I sometimes miss the days when there was a National Conversation. When All in the Family could do a plot line about sexual assault, for example, and you could count on nearly everyone you knew having an opinion about it the next day, and when you made sure not to phone people at certain times because that's when Carol Burnett was on. On the other hand, there are things I don't necessarily miss, like monolithic culture and every serious TV character being a white male.
posted by jokeefe at 1:19 PM on April 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


I remember Barney Miller being on in both Prime Time and reruns when I was a little kid, but most of the humor was over my head... I can't wait to check these out!

Some years back I triumphantly gave my brother a sealed, new-in-box copy of the Barney Miller Boardgame for his birthday.
posted by usonian at 1:19 PM on April 6, 2012


The 12th Precinct has arrested an association of nudists who went on a local beach sans clothes. Barney and Yemana are interviewing a woman member as they look at photos of the "crime scene".

WOMAN: That's [Joseph] - he's the outgoing president.

YEMANA (peering at the photo): I'll say.

- - - - -

Quoted from memory so I'm probably way off and yes that's a very corny pun but I still loved it, and that show. Thanks for this post.

I have Season 1 on DVD, though I actually like the later seasons with Steve Landesburg better.
posted by Eyebeams at 1:21 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Barney Miller was a well-written, thought-provoking show. Likewise for M*A*S*H, which, if you watch the DVDs with the laugh track turned off, is a completely different show and depressing as fuck, but you still can't help but watch episode after episode.

Archer is childish and crass and the characters are really quite horrible to each other, but it still leaves me in stitches. All good shows, but for very different reasons.
posted by xedrik at 1:29 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


God I loved Barney Miller as a kid. There aren't words. I discovered that I couldn't articulated when I met Ron Glass at ComicCon a few years ago. He was sitting there signing pictures and chatting with folks about Firefly and Serenity. I stood in line, getting more and more giddy as the minutes went by and finally I was in front, standing before him and I just grinned. Like a moron. I'm sure he'd dealt with enough Firefly fangirls that he was used to it, but the change on his face when I finally got out the words, "I LOOOOVED Barney Miller!" was priceless.

He broke out into this huge grin, and started talking about the show. I told him how I would watch it every week with my folks and how much my dad loved the show. He told me that it was one of the works he was most proud of, that his time at the old One-Two was some of the best he'd ever had. He signed my picture and gave me a hug and said, "As much as I love the new stuff, and as much as I think Firefly was a good show, you don't know how much this makes my day." And then hugged me again.

The man made my whole ComicCon.
posted by teleri025 at 1:37 PM on April 6, 2012 [36 favorites]


Barney Miller, M*A*S*H, WKRP and Night Court were fundamental in my comedy upbringing. Just too good.
posted by me3dia at 1:38 PM on April 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Oh god, I loves me some Barney Miller. If only I could convince my SO and her boys that a comedy that old was worth watching... I just wanted to come in here and mention that it was the way the show treated them being cops as almost secondary to the show - that it was just a mechanic to get them all in the same room together - that ironically such a great cop show. It's the same mechanic that made The Job work as well as it did much later on.
posted by MarchHare at 1:46 PM on April 6, 2012


"Ironically *made it* such a great cop show", even. My iPhone might wake instantly from sleep mode without problems, but I apparently don't.
posted by MarchHare at 1:51 PM on April 6, 2012


I loved Barney Miller growing up and am glad to see so many other fans with fond memories.

Zarq, I remember that scene as well. It wasn't just any bomb, it was a mock-up of an atomic bomb that a high school kid had made for a science project. If I remember correctly, this was about the time The Progressive was in a lawsuit over its publication of plans for a hydrogen bomb, so the episode was quite topical. Ever since then I have been waiting for an opportunity to use the line "Hey, where'd you guys get the atom bomb?", but sadly that has never happened.

For some reason, when the show first came out I conflated Hal Linden and Hal Lindsey, but even in those pre-internet day I was eventually able to figure it out.
posted by TedW at 2:02 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bought the whole series on disc for my husband for Christmas. We sit and watch it and reminisce. It is very much about the way New York--and the world--was back then, and when I visit the city these days I can't help feeling that the current city is a glossy Disney simulacrum.
posted by Peach at 2:03 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here you go, zarq
posted by TedW at 2:06 PM on April 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tracking Abe Vigoda.
posted by annsunny at 2:50 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I recall well an early Dietrich episode, which I will now slightly misquote. He is talking to a witness who asks him, "How did you become a cop?"

Dietrich says something to the effect of, "Actually I wanted to be an actor. In college we were doing this play called 'The Time of Your Life.' You know it?"

"Yeah, William Saroyan play."

"That's right. Anyway, it was opening night but it was really rainy and almost no one showed up. Somewhere in the second act we were all getting really bored. A couple years later I became a cop. You want some water?"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:06 PM on April 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Barney Miller is of course really the time-warp spinoff prequel to Firefly detailing Book's secret past.

Well, shit.

I was a huge Barney Miller fan as a child TV junkie and love Firefly as an adult scifi junkie and right this moment just now is the fucking very first time I connected Shepherd Book with Detective Ron Harris.

*That's* why he was so vaguely familiar. Well, shit.
posted by mediareport at 4:34 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Barney Miller on Mefi did give me a lift on a difficult (long story) day. Now all we need is a good Kojak thread.
posted by jonmc at 4:40 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whenever I try to tell the kids these days about how great of a show Barney Miller was, I always end up sounding like Inspector Luger reminiscing...
posted by ovvl at 5:06 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


James Gregory (the guy who played Inspector Luger) did one of the greatest guest star turns ever on M*A*S*H in the episode 'Iron Guts Kelly.' (Go hunt it down)
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


My little brother played the bass and he would sit around doing the Barney Miller bass intro over and over and over again to be annoying until I screamed STOP IT but he would say, "I have to practice." It's the only thing he knew how to play.

I did love the show though.
posted by shoesietart at 5:13 PM on April 6, 2012


when the show first came out I conflated Hal Linden and Hal Lindsey,

Me too! It seemed like a stretch, but you never know with grownups.
posted by shothotbot at 5:15 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the overlooked highlights of Barney Miller is the depiction of the various neckties of the age. Those things weren't just silken accessories, they were full-on garments. Look at the size of the knots! They don't hang down from the neck, they project outward like plumage.

Now all we need is a good Kojak thread.

Great show, but the best part about it is how cheaply it was produced. Scenes on different kinds of film stock, constant re-use of "Kojak drives quickly through neighborhood" b-roll. They also had a fairly predictable Star Trek Red Shirt thing going. A detective you've never seen before, but who they all knew, was sure to be turned out by the mob at about 17 minutes in.
posted by gjc at 5:44 PM on April 6, 2012


There was a lot of bad television out there, ever since its inception in the '40s. It's hard to remember just how... terrible... most of it was, especially in the '70s and '80s. Insipid, brain-destroying, life-burning dreck.

Barney Miller and Welcome Back Carter and WKRP, while shackled by laugh-tracks and "live studio audiences" and the attendant flow-destroying direction to accommodate the "audience reaction", these were and are undeniably good television shows. Take the scripts and the acting and give them modern production values and direction, and they would be runaway hits today. Considering the morass of mediocrity they were wallowing in, that is saying one whole hell of a lot.

When you add in their frank and sincere efforts to adress social issues - while still being funny - these shows are a cut above. Yes, Arrested Development has "Let's laugh at the racist" bits, but apart from Marta, non-whites were mostly just comedy props.

Barney Miller had a black and Chinese cop who acted like real African American and Asian New Yorkers, and were just... there. No big deal, only cops like the other cops. The normalization of integration - fantastic, wonderful, amazing, and often very very funny.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:27 PM on April 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Welcome Back Carter

Kotter. Unless you mean the President.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Kotter, and add Carl Weathers to the non-prop list on AD.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:32 PM on April 6, 2012


Welcome Back Carter

Kotter. Unless you mean the President.


Or perhaps Carter Country.
posted by TedW at 6:40 PM on April 6, 2012


Barney Miller had a black and Chinese cop

Jack Soo's character (and Jack Soo himself) were of Japanese extraction.
posted by jonmc at 6:54 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Growing up in NYC while that show was on means that watching it now makes me both nostalgic and homesick. I seem to remember that the precinct was located in the West Village, and the cast of characters brought in under arrest or as victims/witnesses was pretty close to what you'd see at the time.

And I had a bass and would play along every week.
posted by ltracey at 7:27 PM on April 6, 2012


Barney Miller had a black and Chinese cop

Jack Soo's character (and Jack Soo himself) were of Japanese extraction.


Jack Soo as Yemana had one of my favourite lines of dialogue ever. When a suspect (who has been brought in by Harris) says something about having been arrested by "the colored guy," Yemana gestures to Harris and says, "Colored? No, he is black. I am colored. Those guys [gestures to Wojo and Captain Miller] are blank."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:05 PM on April 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am now going to go out and find someone who can photoshop me a Reservoir Dogs poster with the Barney Miller cast. Who wants one?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:23 PM on April 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Know what would be amazing? Staging local/community theater productions of old Barney Miller scripts.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:31 PM on April 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


TedW: "Here you go, zarq "

"Captain I got a make on that source and he's got an office over at the... where the hell'd you get the atomic bomb?"

Damn, that's hilarious. Even better than I remembered. Thank you, TedW. :)
posted by zarq at 8:59 PM on April 6, 2012


jonmc: "Now all we need is a good Kojak thread."

The good news is, five seasons of Kojak are on Youtube. The bad news is, they're in German. Einsatz in Manhattan.
posted by zarq at 9:09 PM on April 6, 2012


Even just in the first couple of episodes, striking how contemporary (with the opening radio news about terrorists etc) and how ancient-history it seems (second episode has running joke of queeny gay guy who says he applied for a job on the police force but was rejected because he's gay - pause for laughs and applause).
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:16 PM on April 6, 2012


Ken Levine: "Writing for Barney Miller."
posted by mwhybark at 9:22 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember learning the Barney Miller theme on bass from a recording made from the TV, and then realized that they made a few different versions of the theme throughout the years (different ordering of sections). The original is in E, and a version we did in high school jazz band was in Eb to accommodate the horn section) which didn't sound right on a 4 string bass. We did the musical "Anything Goes" my senior year, and our reference recording was the 1962 Broadway revival with Hal Linden as Billy Crocker. I just realized that Hal won a Tony in 1971 for "The Rothschilds". I get a kick that actors playing TV cops won Tony awards (see also Jerry Orbach in Guys and Dolls). Barney Miller was a great show, and I'll nth Abe Vigoda is stil Alive
posted by dr. fresh at 11:00 PM on April 6, 2012


My best friend loves Barney Miller so much he pretty well became Barney Miller – he's a Sergeant Supervisor of Detectives in the NYPD, running a precinct's detective squad from a shabby office, with as colorful a bunch of detectives as you'd hope. And he still says - often! - that Barney Miller is the most realistic cop show TV ever produced.
posted by Now I'm Prune Tracy! at 7:59 AM on April 7, 2012


Dennis Farina, who worked as a Chicago policeman before turning to acting, reportedly once called [Barney Miller] the most realistic cop show ever seen on television.

I read somewhere that cops viewed Barney Miller as the most realistic cop show because so much of the show revolved around paperwork, filling out paperwork, or dealing with wack jobs in incidents that require you to fill out even more paperwork.
posted by jonp72 at 11:17 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite things about the show is that there's essentially just one set, with people talking in that one set—the hallmark of a writer's show. The drama, comedy, and entertainment come from the writing, the ensemble chemistry, and the qualities of the particular actors at work. It's a bit like theater, a bit of its own thing, but sadly, there's really nothing like it on TV anymore, because we're so hung up on visual glitz and constant constant constant jump cuts from scene to scene.
posted by sonascope at 9:26 AM on April 10, 2012


there's essentially just one set, with people talking in that one set

Bunch of good shows had the same set up, either one or a very limited number of basic sets... thinking Taxi, Cheers, MASH, WKRP, All In The Family, The Jefferson, Sanford and Son, Cosby, Night Court... I'm sure there are others
posted by edgeways at 9:54 AM on April 10, 2012


I was thinking of those, particularly Cheers, which is about as close to Barney Miller as you get in that regard, though there are a fair number of occasional other locations (i.e the pool room, Sam's office, etc). In Barney Miller, it seemed like they almost never left the main set. Of course, all of these are writer-heavy shows, unlike some of the more disposable fare that came before and since, which may as well be written by an algorithm.
posted by sonascope at 10:07 AM on April 10, 2012


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