I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
1975-76: THE SECOND SEASON
Year-End Rating: 19.0 (38th place)
As executive producer, Danny Arnold continues to perform and supervise
a wide array of creative tasks in the second year. Arne Sultan joins
Chris Hayward as producer for the show's first full season, and Noam
Pitlik is established as the show's primary director, a distinction
he will maintain throughout most of the series's run.
A nervous human bomb threatens to blow himself up to protest the sorry
state of Western civilization; the plumbing conks out; and Wojo arrests
a bogus priest.
The guest cast is made up of friends, old and new. William Windom
had starred in Danny Arnold's 1969 comedy My World and Welcome to
It; J.J. Barry probably spent more time in the Twelfth Precinct's
cage than any other actor; and Steve Landesberg would be invited back
to play Sergeant Dietrich the following season.
The detectives book a master forger, but Barney is preoccupied with
worry after Liz begins her new job as a social worker on the streets
of the South Bronx.
New York City's cash crunch forces Barney to lay off Chano, Harris,
and Wojo; a manicurist stabs her client; and an unemployed stockbroker
Barney is offered a new job in Florida; and the men are shocked to
discover that bystanders failed to assist after Yemena was shot in an
Wojo and Wentworth go undercover to lure a rapist into the open; and
a wife reports her husband for assault and battery.
The detectives suspect arson after a rash of fires; and Chano arrests
a man for shooting a subway candy machine.
The first script by Tony Sheehan, a prolific writer whose eventual
contribution to the series would be incalculable. Sheehan was hired
on the basis of a spec script he'd written for M*A*S*H--in longhand,
on a legal pad--while still a student at UCLA. Larry Gelbart recommended
him to Danny Arnold, who hired the talented young scribe as story editor.
During his long tenure on the show, he would be a credited author on
more than sixty Barney Miller teleplays, and an uncredited contributor
to scores of others.
Wojo and Wentworth pose as a wealthy couple to flush out a burglary
ring in a luxury hotel; and a college student is arrested for registering
with his underage girlfriend.
The smoldering romance between Wojo and Wentworth was actually part
of Danny Arnold's grand plan to please ABC's insatiable appetite for
a spinoff series, preferably starring Fish. The producer refused--why
jeopardize the chemistry of Barney Miller by pulling Fish out
of the squad room for his own series? Instead, Arnold's novel solution
proposed pulling all of the detectives out of the squad room--one
at a time--for a separate anthology series that each week would examine
the private life of a different member of the squad. Wentworth and Wojo's
romance was projected as the basis for one storyline; and alternating
episodes might pick up Barney's life at home with Liz, or perhaps the
camera would follow Fish home to a house full of wayward foster kids.
Unfortunately, the producer abandoned the project as too ambitious for
Barney Miller's already overworked staff, though he did salvage
the latter storyline as the basis for the Fish spinoff, which
finally aired two years later.
The department's computers declare Fish dead; and an impostor harasses
neighborhood gays while posing as a detective from the Twelfth Precinct.
A hungry rat is the suspect when two pounds of marijuana come up missing
from the evidence locker; and a vagrant spends the night in a department
A hansom-cab driver's horse is stolen during the Bicentennial celebration;
and a canny streetwalker uses patriotic souvenirs to mask her trade.
The squad room ceiling springs a leak; and the officers are forced
to put up with a steady stream of bad jokes from an incarcerated comedian.
Fish worries about his job when a new detective is assigned to the
precinct after his doctor puts him on restricted duty.
Stand-up comic Steve Landesberg debuts as Sergeant Arthur Dietrich,
a one-shot tryout whose low-key appeal made him a natural for the squad
room ensemble. He would be added to the precinct's permanent roster
the following season.
A pair of eager lady cops makes an overzealous drug bust; and a confused
husband identifies his missing wife with a dime-store photo of Jean
A protection racket springs up amid rumors that the precinct is about
to be shuttered; and a local hood confesses to a crime that can't be
The precinct hosts a suicidal man on New Year's Eve; and Wojo delivers
a pregnant shoplifter's baby.
Edith Diaz also played the very expectant Puerto Rican mother who
gave birth in a crowded elevator on All in the Family exactly
four years earlier.
A space-age travel agent bilks a couple out of the cost of a round-trip
to Saturn; and Wojo and Luger are targets of a sniper outside the station
Wojo must overcome his fear of flying when he's chosen to accompany
an extradited bigamist to Cleveland.
Writer Reinhold Weege would become a major force in the show's middle
years, first as a prolific writer and story editor, and finally as producer
in the fifth year. He learned his lessons well: His 1984 NBC series,
Night Court, owed a considerable debt of inspiration to Barney
Wentworth stops an assassin at a block party, but is frustrated when
Chano gets all the credit.
Wentworth goes undercover in a massage parlor and gets the goods on
a bewildered midnight cowboy; and an elderly woman is arrested for mugging.
This would be Linda Lavin's last appearance as Detective Wentworth.
The actress left Barney Miller to star in Alice, the long-running
CBS series that would premiere the following season.
Wojo's aggressive tendencies come under the scrutiny of a psychiatrist
who insists that the officer is unfit to carry a gun.
A good Samaritan returns to retrieve the unclaimed cash he turned in
a month earlier; and Fish is smitten by the mother of a teenage pickpocket.
Fish agonizes over an upcoming operation; and Harris and Wojo track
a burglar through the sewers.
Ron Carey plays the subterranean thief who would return to the precinct
as the uniformed cop Officer Carl Levitt at the start of the following
season. The episode also marks the final appearance of Greg Sierra's
Chano. The actor eventually resurfaced in AES Hudson Street,
a short-lived attempt by Barney Miller's creator to duplicate
the chemistry of the Twelfth Precinct in a hospital emergency room.
The producers were confident that the series could withstand the loss of major characters like Chano--and eventually, Fish. As Danny Arnold observed, "The squad room itself is as much a personality as any of the characters. Our audience buys the situation, and change is part of it."