I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
Season Five: 1982-83
THE FIFTH SEASON
Year-End Rating: 13.2 (73rd place)
As the show moves to NBC for a fifth season, producers Ken Estin,
Sam Simon, and Richard Sakai attempt to rejuvenate the series by introducing
new romantic interests for Louie, Tony, and Elaine. But despite their
efforts, the show is canceled at the close of the fifth year.
David Lloyd is executive script consultant in the final season, and
Katharine Green serves as the season's executive story editor. Harvey
Miller signs on as executive consultant, and James L. Brooks continues
as executive creative consultant and executive producer, along with
Stan Daniels and Ed. Weinberger.
Latka and Simka attempt to match each of the cabbies with their ideal
partner when they stage a massive blind date at Mario's.
Jim finally meets Marcia Wallace--his TV idol since her days as a
co-star of The Bob Newhart Show. The actress played herself in
the producers' sly homage to that classic comedy.
Three of the cabbies' blind dates resurfaced in later episodes of
the season. Anne DeSalvo would return as Tony's streetwise girlfriend,
Vicki; Elaine later introduced bookish Arnie--played by Wallace Shawn--to
the kids; and Murphy Cross played Louie's date, Judy, the irrepressible
blind girl whose sight would be restored by the end of the season.
Jim stands to inherit millions from his father's estate, but only if
he can legally prove his sanity.
Alex falls prey to his old gambling addiction after a lucky night in
Atlantic City, and Jim is the only one who can help.
After spending the night snowbound with a woman cabbie, Latka lands
in hot water when Simka discovers how the pair managed to stay warm.
To even the score with her wayward husband, old-world tradition dictates
that Simka must choose a lover from among Latka's workmates.
Louie persuades Jeff to cover for him after the boss discovers his
petty thievery, a favor that costs the hapless junior dispatcher his
Alex is thrilled to land a job in show business, even though he winds
up as no more than an errand boy for a pair of arrogant young producers.
Louie plans to extract revenge on Emily--the unbalanced woman who turned
on him after their ill-fated fling--but ends up falling for her all
Tony's seafaring father returns from his travels to offer his son a
job on a Chinese freighter.
Elaine falls for a guy who's fun-loving, sensitive, and bright--and
also due back at the monastery in exactly one week.
As he prepares to renew his vows of silence, Elaine and her beau share
a last dance--choreographed by Debbie Allen, one of the stars of TV's
Louie is broken-hearted to hear that Zena is getting married, especially
since he always hoped she'd come crawling back to him.
Zena Sherman's exit from Taxi was inevitable after Rhea Perlman
moved to a neighboring Paramount soundstage to begin her new life as
irascible waitress Carla Tortelli on Cheers.
Alex's ex-wife attempts a holiday reconciliation to dispel her Yuletide
Louie plans to move into an exclusive Manhattan co-op apartment, if
he can win the approval of a panel of pompous tenants.
Laverne and Shirley star Penny Marshall plays herself in a
delightful cameo where she tries to convince the co-op board that acting
in a situation comedy is a legitimate profession.
Alex comes to terms with the imminent death of his oldest friend--his
aged family dog, Buddy.
Elaine is upset when her son abandons his oboe lessons to study boxing
A retrospective of highlights from the first four seasons of Taxi.
Alex falls for a lady lawyer who still carries the torch for Jim.
Louie's blind girlfriend has her sight restored, but the dispatcher
worries that she may have second thoughts about him once she sees what
he looks like.
Over five seasons, it became necessary to soften Louie's rough edges
from time to time. It's too horrible to imagine what might have happened
if the leering, slobbering Louie from the show's first year had been
left at the bedside of a blind girl! But even at his sweetest, Louie
oozed a palpably disreputable charm--there was always that sly twinkle
in Danny DeVito's eyes that warned you not to trust him.
Elaine's new beau tries to win her kids' affection by bribing them
with cash and gifts.
On the eve of a big match, Tony is shocked to learn that his girlfriend
is expecting a baby.
The cabbies pitch in to make a success of Mario's after Jim buys the
restaurant against his family's better judgment.
Jim concocts a novel plan to share the wealth when he offers each of
the cabbies a thousand-dollar bill to be given away to whomever he or
she sees fit.
Latka worries when Simka's behavior suddenly grows erratic on the eve
of her final meeting at the Bureau of Immigration.
This would be the last first-run episode of Taxi.
Despite the protests of Judd Hirsch and other cast members, the series
quietly expired in the late spring of 1983--a tragic victim of audience
indifference. "The show still had a lot of life in it," producer Ed.
Weinberger maintains. "We probably could have gone another two years."
Maybe so. But times were changing.
By the early 1980s, the progressive era that spawned Archie Bunker,
Hawkeye, and Mary Richards had already faded from the public consciousness.
Given the country's shifting tastes, perhaps it's best that Taxi
ran out of gas when it did--before the free-spirited misfits of the
Sunshine garage fell completely out of step with the times. At least
this way, Jim Ignatowski would never have to face the indignity of mandatory
In any event, there was very little chance of another revival for
a show that had already been canceled by two networks. In the end, diehard
fans would find their only consolation in syndicated reruns--where,
freed from the pressures of network ratings battles, the show would
flourish. And now that everyone's stopped paying so much attention to
the meter, Taxi might just run forever.