I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
1979-80: THE SIXTH SEASON
Year-End Rating: 20.9 (21st place)
The show moves smoothly into a sixth year, despite major behind-the-scenes
upheavals. After suffering a heart attack late in the fifth season,
executive producer Danny Arnold would strictly curtail his active involvement
for the duration of the sixth and seventh years. Director Noam Pitlik
joins Tony Sheehan as producer, and associate producer Gary Shaw takes
on the duties of co-producer for the remainder of the series's run.
The team of Frank Dungan and Jeff Stein contributes most of the year's
scripts--along with Tony Sheehan, when they sign as the new story editors.
An angry citizen takes an ax to a department-store Muzak machine; and
Scanlon starts a witch-hunt to root out an anonymous gay officer in
the Twelfth Precinct.
A charming mugger poses as a photographer to lure his victims; and
a would-be messiah scolds the Eighth Avenue pimps for debasing the harlots.
The detectives calmly accept the arrival of a streetwise Christ with
healthy skepticism--though none are prepared to dismiss the possibility
that he might actually be what he claims. It's a tacit acknowledgment
that not even miracles are outside the realm of possibilities in the
Nobody's very happy when Barney posts the annual vacation schedule;
and two brothers feud when one refuses to donate a kidney to his ailing
A monk suspects foul play when one of his novitiates vanishes during
a weekend in New York; and it's Dietrich's turn to cross-dress for mugging
The detectives are shocked to discover that a chauffeur involved in
a minor traffic accident is actually a slave indentured to a Burmese
A man is convinced that he's overdue to explode in spontaneous combustion;
and a bookseller complains that a new strip joint is ruining his business.
Harris's publisher insists that he obtain signed releases from the
detectives; Wojo's new parrot dies; and a suicide hot-line operator
decides to end it all.
A partial lobotomy turns a master thief into a mindless zombie; and
an Amish man is unable to use the telephone to call for help after he's
A judge assaults an attorney with his gavel; and a confused daytime-drama
devotee reports dastardly deeds from TV soap operas as if they really
A dangerous disease culture is missing from a research lab; and a woman
insists that her husband has been replaced by a clone.
A dentist is accused of taking advantage of his female patients; and
Wojo books a man accused of disturbing the peace by making noises with
A census taker breaks into an apartment to count the uncooperative
residents; and a burglar is kept locked in a basement cell by a vigilante
Harris mysteriously vanishes during his undercover assignment as a
vagrant; and a woman seeking a man to father her child considers candidates
Dietrich and Wojo.
Harris uncovers the secret of the shanghaied hobos; and Luger accepts
a demotion in order to stay on the force past his official retirement
A divorced father reclaims custody of his son by kidnapping him; and
the precinct is visited by a man who claims to be from the twenty-first
Luger is despondent with his new assignment in the Twelfth; a man robs
a liquor store with a duelist's pistol; and a citizen steals a TV from
the police vault.
Natty Sergeant Harris refuses to buckle under to a department edict
that requires all detectives to dress in full uniform one day a year.
A lottery winner causes a riot by tossing money from a window; and
Dietrich is arrested for participating in an antinuclear protest rally.
Harris books Dietrich for his participation in the illegal protest;
and a nuclear engineer is arrested for splashing atomic water on the
"With Dietrich, you're never quite sure just who he is or why he does
things," Tony Sheehan told TV Guide. Despite his unflappable
wit and carefully guarded irreverence, Dietrich surprised no one when
he willingly faced a jail sentence in support of his principles. The
writers merely cultivated the enigmatic quality that deadpan Steve Landesberg
brought to the role, and as a result, the precinct's resident intellectual
remained something of a paradox right to the end of the series. "We
kind of like it that way," confessed Sheehan.
An architect, unhappy with the changes carried out on a building he
designed, threatens to bomb the structure.
As the clock ticks away on the time bomb, the squad room is a pressure
cooker. And, as the producers had long since discovered, tension in
a life-or-death situation creates the perfect climate for black humor.
When a pair of hapless gunmen storm into the precinct at the height
of the bomb scare, Barney patiently explains that he's busy, and that
they'll just have to sit down and wait their turn.
Wojo tries to recall the details of a forgotten case while under hypnosis;
and an inventor is accused of stealing the plans for his own invention.
A street musician assaults a string quartet that tried to move in on
his corner; and once again, Barney is turned down for deputy inspector.
A thick fog enshrouds the station for one of the most downbeat episodes of the entire series. His optimism spent after another rejection for the deputy inspector's rank, Barney finally faces the grim futility of his job. "It's getting harder and harder to keep a sense of purpose around here," he grieves. "We bring people in, we ship 'em out. Nothing changes." After the other detectives fail to raise his bitter spirits, it's finally the mournful melody of the street musician's slow blues that draws the detective away from his gloom. As the sublime melancholy of the lonely horn fills the corners of Barney's own private dread, he rises to join his fellow detectives in the squad room. While outside his window, the fog only grows thicker.