The Moonlighting Lost 3-D Episode, The Fourth Season Finale
Hint: Click on each thumbnail to learn more.February, 1986
During the teaser to the episode "In God We Strongly Suspect", Maddie Hayes and David Addison tell their viewers that the episode about to air has 3-D elements in it, but that the reason they won't be able to see the effect is because the required 3-D glasses had not been delivered in time by the post office. This was all in jest as "In God We Strongly Suspect" had no 3-D elements, but it did provide the first hint that a 3-D episode was being kicked around in the Moonlighting camp.
It was announced that using Nuoptix technology, Moonlighting was to be the first nationwide television show broadcast in 3-D. Sponsored by Coca-Cola who was also going to run a 3-D commercial during the episode, the 3-D episode was to air in May 1988 (during network sweeps) as the fourth season finale. It was reported that the last eight minutes of the "Moonlighting" episode was to be in 3-D. In preparation, Coca-Cola manufactured some 40 million cardboard 3-D glasses and planned to distribute them.
ABC and Coca-Cola put together press kits and started shooting TV commercials promoting the event. The press kit (shown to the left) was to include information on Nuoptix 3-D technology and a pair of the 3-D glasses, along with an 8 x 10 black and white photo of Bruce & Cybill. Meanwhile "Moonlighting" was in the midst of its fourth season and had finally been able to reunite the two lead characters once Cybill Shepherd had returned to set from maternity leave. They shot four episodes with Cybill and Bruce back together and things seemed to be settling down and getting back to normal on the show.
Then the infamous Writers Strike of 1988 happened, which prevented the 3-D episode from ever being produced. Production on the fourth season of "Moonlighting" shutdown after the airing of the March 22nd episode, "And the Flesh Was Made Word." The Writers' Strike lasted five months from March 7 until August 7, 1988 and seriously impacted the TV schedule for 1988. Moonlighting didn't air a new episode until December 1988. During that extended hiatus, creator Glenn Caron left the series, and after the first episode of the fifth season, "A Womb with a View," which was Caron's final credited contribution to the series, things were never quite the same at Moonlighting.January, 1989
This venture wasn't a total loss for Coca-Cola and Nuoptix, however, because in January 1989, they used the cardboard glasses manufactured for the "Moonlighting" episode for a Superbowl ad which became the first national televised 3-D event. What could have been a historic televison moment for "Moonlighting," their planned 3-D episode unfortunately never saw the light of day.Webmaster's Comments
I was totally disappointed that this episode was never produced and have always imagined how cool it would have been to see this TV first on "Moonlighting." Just think how ingenous the script and dialogue would be on such an innovative episode! Knowing that this was to be the fourth season finale and since Maddie's pregnancy was the main event of the fourth season, I have many times wondered if the season finale might very well have been the episode that Maddie gave birth in. I have never found any information concerning what exactly the show had planned, but perhaps in addition to an exciting case and fantastic 3-D chase scene, the birth of the Blue Moon baby was certainly a possibility. Sadly though, we shall never know.Credits & Kudos
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