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Barney Miller
Season Four: 1977-78


SEASON TWO: 1975-76
SEASON FOUR: 1977-78
SEASON FIVE: 1978-79
SEASON SIX: 1979-80

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"Barney Miller" on DVD


Year-End Rating: 21.4 (17th place)

Abe Vigoda's Detective Fish retires from active duty at the top of the fourth season, as the series moves into its fertile middle period, with no creative drop-off in sight. Tony Sheehan is promoted to producer, and Reinhold Weege assumes the duties of story editor, though both will continue to write most of the show's scripts. Other memorable fourth-year stories are contributed by Dennis Koenig, Larry Balmagia, Tom Reeder, and executive producer Danny Arnold.

58 Good-Bye, Mr. Fish (Part 1)    First Aired: September 15, 1977
Writers: Reinhold Weege, Danny Arnold
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Stanley Brock, Arny Freeman, Jack Somack, Gregory V. Karliss

Barney tries to quell a neighborhood vigilante group; and Fish fails to arrive for work on his retirement day.

59 Good-Bye, Mr. Fish (Part 2)    First Aired: September 22, 1977
Writer: Reinhold Weege
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Larry Gelman, Timothy Jerome, Florence Stanley

Fish arrives for work as usual, refusing to acknowledge his forced retirement from the department.

The long-suffering detective had been dividing his time between the squad room and Fish, the spinoff that began the previous February, despite resistance from Danny Arnold, who preferred to keep Abe Vigoda's blues bottled up as a potent source of laughter in the squad room. It was a decision Vigoda protested with vigor. "I found myself with a very unhappy actor on my hands," Arnold remembers. "Abe would walk around the set like a man in shock. Who was I to deprive an actor of this once-in-a-lifetime break? Finally I said, 'Okay--just stay through the third year of Barney Miller, and we'll go with your show, too.'" With this episode, the senior detective retires to pursue his fortunes full-time in the spinoff that, ironically, lasted only thirty-four episodes.

60 Bugs    First Aired: September 29, 1977
Writers: Dennis Koenig, Larry Balmagia, Tony Sheehan
Director:David Swift
Guest Stars: Sammy Smith, Mari Gorman, Paula Shaw, Robert Costanzo, Lavell Roby

The detectives discover that someone has planted electronic bugs throughout the squad room.

61 Corporation    First Aired: October 6, 1977
Writers: Lee H. Grant, Tony Sheehan, Danny Arnold
Story: Lee H. Grant
Director:Hal Linden
Guest Stars: David Dukes, Fran Ryan, Vernon Weddle

A vigilante environmentalist who's been sabotaging a chemical plant faces the corporation's high-powered lawyer.

62 Burial    First Aired: October 20, 1977
Writer: Michael Russnow
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Sy Kramer, Jack Kruschen, Abe Vigoda

After a suspect steals his best friend's corpse and refuses to tell anyone where he's hidden it, Fish returns to help Barney find the body.

63 Copy Cat    First Aired: October 27, 1977
Writers: Douglas Wyman, Tony Sheehan
Director:Jeremiah Morris
Guest Stars: Don Calfa, Norman Bartold, Don Sherman, John Dullaghan

Prime time's cops and robbers provide inspiration for a criminal who mimics the felonies of TV police shows; and a drunk attempts armed robbery without a gun.

64 Blizzard    First Aired: November 3, 1977
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Alex Henteloff, Lou Cutell, Lewis Charles, Tom Henschell

The officers are unable to remove a corpse from the station house during a blizzard; and an eccentric swears that the snow is the start of a new ice age.

65 Chase    First Aired: November 17, 1977
Writers: Tom Reeder, Danny Arnold, Reinhold Weege
Director:Jeremiah Morris
Guest Stars: Luis Avalos, George Murdock, Marya Small, Joey Aresco, George Loros

Wojo wrecks a taxi that he borrows to chase a robbery suspect; and Lieutenant Scanlon enlists the help of a drug pusher to test the detectives' honesty.

66 Thanksgiving Story    First Aired: November 24, 1977
Writer: Reinhold Weege
Director:David Swift
Guest Stars: Ian Wolfe, George Skaff, Tom Lacy, Susan Davis, Anita Dangler, Kip King

The automat is the scene of a chaotic dinner when three mental patients sit down to a Thanksgiving feast.

67 Tunnel    First Aired: December 1, 1977
Writers: Tony Sheehan, Michael Russnow
Story: Michael Russnow
Director:David Swift
Guest Stars: Leonard Stone, J.J. Barry, Jay Gerber

Wojo gets buried underground on the trail of a burglar who's digging into the diamond exchange; and Harris desperately looks for a new apartment in Manhattan.

68 Atomic Bomb    First Aired: December 15, 1977
Writers: Tom Reeder, Reinhold Weege
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Phil Leeds, Karl Bruck, Stephen Pearlman, Al Ruscio, Will Seltzer, John Getz

The FBI arrives to investigate a college student who built a working nuclear bomb for his physics class project.

69 The Bank    First Aired: January 5, 1978
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Sandy Sprung, Peter Jurasik, Jodie Mann

A man with a vasectomy wreaks havoc when he accuses the owner of a sperm bank of destroying his only remaining sperm sample.

70 The Ghost    First Aired: January 12, 1978
Writer: Reinhold Weege
Director:Lee Bernhardi
Guest Stars: Nehemiah Persoff, Titos Vandis, Kenneth Tigar, Caroline McWilliams

The detectives are skeptical of a man's claim that he's being pestered by a poltergeist, until a string of unexplainable occurrences gives them pause.

71 Appendicitis    First Aired: January 19, 1978
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Jack Bernardi, Michael Durrell

An aging bounty hunter and a sugar addict are the precinct's latest guests; and Yemena is rushed to the hospital after an appendicitis attack.

72 Rape    First Aired: January 26, 1978
Writer: Dennis Koenig
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Michael Pataki, Joyce Jameson, William Bogert, Dick Balduzzi, Linda Dano

A woman accuses her husband of raping her; Yemena is thrilled that New York has legalized off-track betting; and a master of disguise embarks on a crime spree.

73 Eviction (Part 1)    First Aired: February 2, 1978
Writers: Tom Reeder, Reinhold Weege
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Dave Madden, Rosana Soto, Felipe Turich

Barney refuses to comply with the court-ordered eviction of the impoverished residents of a condemned hotel.

74 Eviction (Part 2)    First Aired: February 9, 1978
Writers: Tom Reeder, Reinhold Weege
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Dave Madden, George Kirby, John Clavin, Donna Bacalia

Barney intermediates when a SWAT team is dispatched to remove the stubborn occupants of a condemned hotel.

75 Wojo's Problem    First Aired: February 23, 1978
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Max Gail
Guest Stars: Ray Girardin, Henry Slate, Mari Gorman, Stanley Brock

Wojo's problem is a case of temporary impotence; the squad faces the jealous husband of their new female detective; and a wheelchair-bound shoplifter escapes.

Mari Gorman debuts as Detective Roslyn Licori. Like those of her predecessors, her assignment to the precinct would be temporary.

76 "Quo Vadis?"    First Aired: March 2, 1978
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Story: Douglas Wyman, Tony Sheehan
Director:Alex March
Guest Stars: Ivy Bethune, Barbara Barrie

An irate woman demands the closing of an art gallery's nude-painting exhibit; and marital problems between Barney and Liz reach a standoff.

77 Hostage    First Aired: March 23, 1978
Writer: Reinhold Weege
Story: Reinhold Weege, Chris Hayward
Director:Hal Linden
Guest Stars: Earle Towne, Oliver Clark, Don Calfa

A prisoner holds the precinct hostage; Harris finds an apartment in the Village; and a ventriloquist is held responsible for his dummy's lewd remarks.

78 Evaluation    First Aired: May 4, 1978
Writer: Larry Balmagia
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Richard Libertini, Kay Medford, Eugene Elman

Barney must file an evaluation on each of the men; a mom-and-pop porno store is vandalized; and Dietrich books a kook who insists he has no name, only a number.

79 The Sighting    First Aired: May 11, 1978
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Story: Reinhold Weege, Carol Gary
Director:Alex March
Guest Stars: Doris Roberts, Peter Hobbs, Jack Bannon

Wojo's excuse for tardiness is that he was up late the night before tracking a UFO; and a woman reports her husband for turning all their possessions into gold.

80 Inauguration    First Aired: May 18, 1978
Writers: Reinhold Weege, Carol Gary
Director:Alex March
Guest Stars: Philip Sterling, Basil Hoffman, Florence Hallop

Harris has to decide whether to leave the squad after he's offered a job in the mayor's office.

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