Whatever the classic TV equivalent of Hell has frozen over: Moonlighting is finally coming to streaming. The acclaimed, genre-breaking series will be made available to stream in its entirety on Hulu beginning on October 10. All 67 episodes of the series have been remastered from the original film source, meaning even Moonlighting superfans have never seen the series like this before.
For the uninitiated, Moonlighting aired on ABC from 1985 to 1989 and teamed movie star Cybill Shepherd with an up-and-comer named Bruce Willis, thus launching Willis to superstardom. The pair, widely considered one of the best on-screen pairings in TV history, play private investigators whose cases are anything but normal. The series was unique for being a rare example of an hourlong comedy, especially one airing on a major network. The series frequently defied expectations by mixing mystery, romance, comedy, and drama. During the course of its run, Moonlighting was nominated for 40 Emmy awards and won 6 — including one for Willis in 1987.
Despite having two megastars as leads, Moonlighting has mostly been M.I.A. from the pop culture conversation due to a complicated mix of syndication traditions and tangled music rights. Even as Bruce Willis ascended from Emmy-winning TV star to one of the most bankable movie stars of all time, Moonlighting has remained the answer to a trivia question. That’s probably due to the show only lasting 67 episodes as opposed to the normal 100 required to be sold into syndication. That kept Moonlighting off of local network affiliates and Nick at Nite, the means through which later generations were introduced to classic shows in the 1990s. The series was released on DVD in the mid-’00s — but every single season has long been out of print and difficult to track down.
As for streaming, the series’ frequent use of pop music has largely been responsible for its absence as other classic TV shows have popped up on Hulu (and Netflix, Max, Peacock, etc.). Series creator Glenn Gordon Caron has long cited the complicated music rights as the primary reason why the show wasn’t available to stream. And instead of swapping out the music, Caron frequently fought for the original songs to stay in place. While the Hulu announcement doesn’t mention if the remastered series is retaining its original soundtrack, it would be surprising if Caron caved on this issue after fighting for it for so long. Decider has reached out to Hulu to see if Moonlighting’s original soundtrack is still intact.
With Moonlighting on Hulu, though, new generations of Bruce Willis fans (as well as fans of classic TV or episodic mystery shows) will be introduced to one of the most influential — yet seldom seen — shows of all time.
All 67 episodes of Moonlighting will be available to stream on Hulu beginning on October 10.