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The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
Barney Miller
Season Seven: 1980-81




THE PILOT EPISODE: 1974
SEASON ONE: 1975

SEASON TWO: 1975-76
SEASON THREE: 1976-77
SEASON FOUR: 1977-78
SEASON FIVE: 1978-79
SEASON SIX: 1979-80
SEASON SEVEN: 1980-81
SEASON EIGHT: 1981-82
CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

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"Barney Miller" on DVD

1980-81: THE SEVENTH SEASON

Year-End Rating: 18.4 (33rd place)

The sixth-season creative team--producers Noam Pitlik and Tony Sheehan and story editors Frank Dungan and Jeff Stein--reprise their roles in the seventh year, with an able assist in the script department from newcomers Jordan Moffett and Nat Mauldin.


125 Homicide (Part 1)    First Aired: October 30, 1980
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Harold J. Stone, Jack Dodson, Marjorie Bennett, Jack Somack, Allyn Ann McLerie, Al Ruscio, Tricia O'Neill, Johnny Silver

The detectives book a man who admits that he killed his barber after a bad haircut; and a woman decides to cancel the murder contract she put out on her husband.


126 Homicide (Part 2)    First Aired: November 6, 1980
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Ben Piazza, Tricia O'Neill, Harold J. Stone, Jack Dodson, Allyn Ann McLerie, Michael Alaimo, Jack Somack

The detectives attempt to find the hapless husband before the hit man does; and Harris makes a pass at the station's new crime photographer.

The Twelfth Precinct's temporary reassignment as a homicide-only squad created a near-panic among the show's most vocal fans. "Boy, did we get letters on that," writer Frank Dungan recalls. "People were so scared it was going to be permanent."


127 The Delegate    First Aired: November 13, 1980
Writer: Jim Tisdale
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Phil Leeds, Bob Dishy, Bonnie Bartlett, Don Sherman, Tom Henschel

The precinct discovers an impostor in their ranks; and a vagrant claims he came to town as a delegate to the 1976 Democratic Convention and never left.


128 Dorsey    First Aired: November 27, 1980
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Paul Lieber, Michael Lombard, Darrell Zwerling, Cal Gibson, Andrew Bloch

The squad's new member insinuates that the detectives are all on the take; and a refugee from a no-smoking clinic complains that their methods are hazardous to his health.

Paul Lieber--previously seen as one of the gunmen in "The Architect" episode--arrives as Dorsey, yet another short-lived addition to the squad's roster.


129 Agent Orange    First Aired: December 11, 1980
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Paul Lieber, Peter Hobbs, Doris Roberts, Michael Currie, Joe Regalbuto, Louis Giambalvo, Lyman Ward, Robert Phalen

A woman complains when her apartment building goes nudist; and a confused vet blames his condition on exposure to the residue of germ warfare in Vietnam.


130 Call Girl    First Aired: December 18, 1980
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Paul Lieber, Arthur Malet, Paul Kent, Tasha Zemrus, Sarina C. Grant, Nancy Bleier

Dorsey plays big brother to a young prostitute; Harris solicits stock tips from a well-heeled call girl; and Dietrich explores the new celibacy.


131 Resignation    First Aired: January 8, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Allan Rich, Steve Franken, Peter Elbling, Mario Roccuzzo

Dietrich is plagued by guilt after he's forced to use his gun to stop a robbery; and a playwright assaults an incompetent actor.

Unlike most TV supercops, the very human detectives of the Twelfth often came up short in their struggle against the unrelenting stress of police work. And yet, law enforcement agencies everywhere applauded the series as the most realistic cop show on television. The New York Police Department even conferred honorary membership on Barney's squad, prompting the unintended irony of Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates's quip, "We view Barney Miller as a comedy, but my colleagues in New York think of it as a documentary."


132 Field Associate    First Aired: January 15, 1981
Writer: Jordan Moffet
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Jeffrey Tambor, Ned Glass, Florence Halop

Someone in the precinct has been leaking incriminating information to Internal Affairs; and a burglar celebrates his fiftieth year in crime.


133 Movie (Part 1)    First Aired: January 22, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Arny Freeman, Dino Natali, George Murdock, Dennis Howard

A veteran radio journalist roughs up an insipid TV news anchor; and Harris scripts a porno-movie spectacular as part of an undercover vice operation.


134 Movie (Part 2)    First Aired: January 29, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Jay Gerber, Ralph Manza, J.J. Barry, Norman Bartold

Harris proudly screens his overbudget hard-core spectacular; a blind man is mugged; and a overzealous charity collector stages a holdup.


135 The Psychic    First Aired: February 5, 1981
Writers: Tony Sheehan, Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Kenneth Tigar, Fred Sadoff, Rod Colbin, Larry Hankin, Robert Burgos

A linguist vandalizes a billboard to protest improper grammar in advertising; and a psychic foils a purse snatcher--before the crime is committed.


136 Stormy Weather    First Aired: February 12, 1981
Writer: Nat Mauldin
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Phyllis Frelich, Robert Costanzo, Seymour Bernstein, Peter Wolf

Wojo plunges into the Hudson in pursuit of a looter; and Barney confronts a deaf woman with an unusual occupation--she's a hooker.


137 The Librarian    First Aired: February 19, 1981
Writers: Tony Sheehan, Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Allan Miller, Titos Vandis, Miriam Byrd Netherly, Zachary Berger, James Gallery

A librarian employs artillery to enforce order in her reading room; and a Gypsy is arrested for continually harassing the owner of a novelty store.

In one of the series's most chilling images, the kindly old man who sells whoopee cushions and dribble glasses is identified as a Nazi war criminal--even as a set of windup teeth chatter away on the desk. As always, the bizarre juxtaposition is not without humor--but when Harris finally reaches down to snap the toy teeth shut, there is no laugh track to break the eerie pall of silence that blankets the squad room.

On Barney Miller, even canned laughter was used as a creative element in the producers' palette. The series hadn't been taped before a live studio audience since the third year, when the show's creators decided that they could more carefully orchestrate their curious blend of comedy and drama without the wild card of audience reaction--as this particular episode certainly bears out.


138 Rachel    First Aired: February 26, 1981
Writers: Tony Sheehan, Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Homer Powell
Guest Stars: Anne Wyndham, Stanley Brock, Alex Henteloff, Chu Chu Malave

The owner of a sports store rigs a lethal trap to catch a burglar; shyster Arnold Ripner sues Harris for libel; and Wojo asks Barney's daughter for a date.


139 Contempt (Part 1)    First Aired: March 12, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Dale Robinette, Larry Gelman, William Windom, Maggie Brown, John Dullaghan, Jack Murdock, Roy Andrews

Barney is charged with contempt of court when he refuses to name an informant; and a man complains that he was refused service at a restaurant because he's ugly.


140 Contempt (Part 2)    First Aired: March 19, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Jack Murdock, Maggie Brown, J.J. Barry, John Dullaghan, William Windom

Harris assumes command of the precinct after Barney is jailed for his contempt citation.


141 The Doll    First Aired: March 26, 1981
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Story: Jordan Moffet, Nat Mauldin
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: A. Martinez, Philip Bruns, Oliver Clark, Dee Croxton

An expensive antique doll is kidnapped for ransom; a naive optician buys a bogus ticket to ride the NASA space shuttle; and Luger puts Barney in his will.


142 Lady and the Bomb    First Aired: April 9, 1981
Writer: Lee H. Grant
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Abe Vigoda, Peggy Pope, Howard Mann, Judson Morgan, James Murtaugh, Ben Freedman

Sergeant Fish drops in for a visit; Arnold Ripner wins his libel suit against Harris; and a woman threatens to blow up the precinct with a homemade bomb.


143 Riot    First Aired: April 30, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Story: Greg Giangregorio
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Nehemiah Persoff, Howard Platt, Susan Tolsky, Victor Brant, Pat McNamara

A group of Hasidic Jews rally to protest the department's ineffectiveness; and a pair of urban survivalists are found living in steam tunnels beneath the city.


144 The Vests    First Aired: May 7, 1981
Writer: Nat Mauldin
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Don Calfa, Alice Hirson, Warren Munson

The detectives are issued bulletproof vests; and Luger collects background information for the detectives' official obituaries.


145 The Rainmaker    First Aired: May 14, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Story: Paul Hunter, Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: J. Pat O'Malley, Beatrice Colen, Leonard Stone

An eccentric stages a rainmaking ceremony in Washington Square; and Wojo, Harris, and Dietrich all eye an opening in the vice squad.


146 Liquidation    First Aired: May 21, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Walter Olkewicz, Martin Garner, James Cromwell

Harris liquidates everything he owns to pay off the $320,000 judgment Arnold Ripner was awarded in his libel suit against the detective.

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