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Barney Miller
Season Eight: 1981-82


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

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Year-End Rating: 15.7 (54th place)

After seven and a half seasons, Danny Arnold decides to retire the Twelfth Precinct at the conclusion of the eighth season, marking the end of one of the longest unbroken streaks of top-flight writing, acting, and direction in the history of the situation comedy.

Producers Frank Dungan and Jeff Stein continue as story editors in the eighth season, and their considerable story contributions are augmented by memorable scripts from Nat Mauldin, Jordan Moffet, and Tony Sheehan, among others. Gary Shaw continues as co-producer; Gennaro Montanino, Danny Arnold, Lee Lochhead, and Bruce Bilson direct most of the year's episodes; and Roland Kibbee joins Danny Arnold as executive producer for the final year.

147 Paternity    First Aired: October 29, 1981
Writer: Nat Mauldin
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Rebecca Holden, Dana Gladstone, Stephan Gierasch

A beauty queen has her purse snatched; an angry moviegoer vandalizes a theater for showing snuff films; and Wojo is slapped with a paternity suit.

148 Advancement    First Aired: November 5, 1981
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Martin Garner, Anna Berger, Howard Honig, Mario Roccuzzo, Philip Simms

Luger asks for Barney's help in composing a letter to his prospective wife; Harris signs another book deal; and a lottery winner threatens the couple who lost his winning ticket.

149 The Car    First Aired: November 12, 1981
Writer: Nat Mauldin
Director:Bruce Bilson
Guest Stars: Joseph Regalbuto, Patrick McNamara, Larry Gelman, Alice Backes

An overzealous sanitation officer pulls a gun on a litterbug; Levitt performs an act of heroism; and a car thief confesses--twenty-five years after the fact.

150 Possession    First Aired: November 19, 1981
Writers: Tom Reeder, Roland Kibbee
Director:Bruce Bilson
Guest Stars: Kenneth Tigar, Susan Peretz, Allan Miller, Phil Rubenstein

A police chaplain performs an impromptu exorcism; and a full-figured wife assaults her husband for forcing her into a pair of designer jeans.

151 Stress Analyzer    First Aired: November 26, 1981
Writer: Nat Mauldin
Director:Bruce Bilson
Guest Stars: Florence Halop, Phil Leeds, James Cromwell, Ann Guilbert, James Murtaugh, Rod Colbin

A Peace Corps recruiter goes berserk at a job fair; and Barney is distraught when an electronic stress analyzer indicates that Dietrich has been shot in action.

152 Games    First Aired: December 10, 1981
Writer: Jordan Moffet
Director:Gennaro Montanino
Guest Stars: Philip Sterling, Carol Rossen, Vernon Weddle, Trinidad Silva, Warren Munson, John O'Leary, Sarah Kennedy

A WAC supplements her meager Army salary by soliciting in Greenwich Village; and a video-game chip manufacturer is accused of spying for the KGB.

153 Homeless    First Aired: December 17, 1981
Writers: Jordan Moffet, Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Lee Lochhead
Guest Stars: Stanley Brock, Don Calfa, Ben Piazza, David Clennon, Paul Stolarsky, Zane Buzby, Mari Gorman, Walter Janowitz

The homeless flock to the Twelfth Precinct at Christmas; a livid greeting-card writer loses his job; and a local merchant rousts a vagrant with a cattle prod.

154 The Tontine    First Aired: January 7, 1982
Writer: Nat Mauldin
Story: Nat Mauldin, Dick Wesson
Director:Homer Powell
Guest Stars: Ivor Francis, Ian Wolfe, Jay Robinson, Jane Dulo, Lou Cutell, Dennis Lipscomb

One of the last two survivors of an old-world tontine decides to do himself in so that his cousin can enjoy the benefits of the pact.

155 Examination Day    First Aired: January 14, 1982
Writer: Jordan Moffet
Director:Gennaro Montanino
Guest Stars: Jack Kruschen, Lyman Ward, Louis Giambalvo

The detectives are forced back into uniform while the rest of the force takes the sergeant's exam.

156 The Clown    First Aired: January 21, 1982
Writer: San Simon
Director:Alan Bergmann
Guest Stars: Walter Olkewicz, Howard Platt, Philip Bruns, J.J. Barry, Michael Tucci, Michael Alaimo, Jed Mills

A mugger singles out street clowns; and a bureaucrat alleviates jail overcrowding by quietly releasing a hundred inmates on Madison Avenue in the dead of night.

A pair of storylines that could have come straight from the screaming headlines of the New York tabloids--and probably did. "We got a lot of ideas from The New York Post and The Daily News," writer Jeff Stein confessed. "We'd look at the other papers, but we never found much we could use in The New York Times."

157 Chinatown (Part 1)    First Aired: February 4, 1982
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Chao-Li Chi, George Murdock, Fred Sadoff, Joanna Barnes, Leonard Stone

Lieutenant Scanlon falls for a wealthy mugging victim; a restaurateur breaks into his own restaurant; and a Chinese waiter is an uncooperative witness to murder.

158 Chinatown (Part 2)    First Aired: February 11, 1982
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Chao-Li Chi, Joanna Barnes, Phil Diskin, Peter Pan, George Murdock

Dietrich and Harris spend a week in a hotel room with a murder suspect.

159 Hunger Strike    First Aired: February 18, 1982
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Story: Tony Sheehan, Stephen Neigher
Director:Tony Sheehan
Guest Stars: Nora Meerbaum, Larry Gelman, Stanley Kamel, Ion Teodorescu

A prisoner stages a hunger strike to end nuclear arms; Dietrich aids a psychiatric patient; and Barney refuses his latest nomination for promotion to deputy inspector.

160 Arrival    First Aired: February 25, 1982
Writer: Jordan Moffet
Director:Lee Lochhead
Guest Stars: Carina Afable, Andrew Bloch, Alan Oppenheimer

Luger finally meets the Manilan he's been courting by mail; a genius turns to petty crime; and a man is mugged by an elderly woman.

161 Obituary    First Aired: March 11, 1982
Writer: Nat Mauldin
Director:Gennaro Montanino
Guest Stars: Barney Martin, Richard Stahl, Phil Diskin, Will Seltzer, Peggy Pope

An angry citizen complains when the newspaper prints his premature obituary; and a modern-day Robin Hood steals surplus chickens from a government warehouse.

162 Inquiry    First Aired: March 26, 1982
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Gennaro Montanino
Guest Stars: Michael Lombard, Bonnie Bartlett, Allan Rich, Barry Gordon, Sal Viscuso, Norman Bartold, Joe Mantell

An angry parent assaults the admissions director of a private kindergarten; and Wojo faces a police inquiry for using excessive force in a recent arrest.

163 Old Love    First Aired: April 2, 1982
Writer: Philip Jayson Lasker
Director:Hal Linden
Guest Stars: Sharon Spelman, Mitch Kreindel, Ben Hammer, Mario Roccuzzo, Audrey Christie

A former child star assaults his agent with a telephone; a good Samaritan is charged with assault; and Dietrich spends the afternoon with a college sweetheart.

164 Altercation    First Aired: April 9, 1982
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Alan Bergmann
Guest Stars: Alex Henteloff, Todd Susman, Miriam Byrd Netherly, Rod Colbin, Robert Pastorelli

Harris punches Arnold Ripner when the lawyer threatens another libel suit; and a mugging victim reveals that she's carried the torch for Barney since 1966.

165 Bones    First Aired: April 29, 1982
Writers: Jordan Moffet, Nat Mauldin
Story: Jordan Moffet, Nat Mauldin, Lee H. Grant
Director:Max Gail
Guest Stars: Howard Platt, Ivor Francis, Pancito Gomez, Mark Banks, Luis Avalos

The precinct's plumbing goes out again; a scoutmaster apprehends a mugger; and a militant Indian retrieves his tribe's ancestral bones from a museum exhibit.

166 Landmark (Part 1)    First Aired: May 6, 1982
Writer: Tony Sheehan
Director:Tony Sheehan
Guest Stars: Susan Tolsky, Philip Sterling, James Gallery, Al Ruscio

The Twelfth is declared a national landmark; a former political hostage decides to emigrate back to South America; and an unemployed man is robbed at an automatic teller machine.

167 Landmark (Part 2)    First Aired: May 13, 1982
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Helen Verbit, Florence Halop, James Murtaugh, Carina Afable

Dietrich arrests the head of a professional crime school, along with a pair of his unlikely graduates; Luger tries to squirm out of his marriage commitment; and the Twelfth Precinct is sold to a real estate developer.

168 Landmark (Part 3)    First Aired: May 20, 1982
Writers: Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein, Tony Sheehan
Director:Danny Arnold
Guest Stars: Carina Afable, George Murdock, Walter Janowitz, Ray Stewart, John Dullaghan, Jack DeLeon, Mari Gorman, Stanley Brock, J.J. Barry, Earl Boen, Oliver Clark, Ralph Manza, Meshach Taylor, Judson Morgan, F. William Parker

The squad room fills with familiar faces who arrive to pay last respects to the departing detectives; and Barney bids a fond farewell to the men and women--past and present--who made up the illustrious roster of the Twelfth Precinct.

Producer Danny Arnold once singled out the station house itself as the most important personality in the drama of Barney Miller. And indeed, of all the sad farewells in that final episode, no single image evoked the sense of passing as eloquently as the sight of those dingy old walls, now stripped bare and waiting for the first inevitable blow of the rehabber's hammer.

During their time together, the detectives of the Twelfth Precinct endured the ravages of fire, death, depression, and maddening bureaucracy. They were laid off, arrested, seduced, shanghaied, and even haunted; they survived bomb threats, snipers, rabid dogs, and corrupt politicians. But in the show's final--and fitting--irony, after eight years, the ol' one-two was done in by a real estate speculator.

It was a fate that could happen only in New York.

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