March 30, 1987, Monday, BC cycle
ADVANCED-DATE: March 27, 1987, Friday, BC cycle
LENGTH: 664 words
HEADLINE: Moonlighting does the dirty deed
BYLINE: By MARK SCHWED, UPI TV Editor
DATELINE: NEW YORK
''No more between the lines. Tonight's between the sheets.''
This ABC promo signals the end to two and a half years of teasing, tempting, and flirting between Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd on ''Moonlighting.'' During Tuesday night's episode (March 31, 9-10 p.m. EST), their alter-egos, David Addison and Maddie Hays, finally do the dirty deed. ''The two and a half years of foreplay will be resolved,'' Willis told Bryant Gumble in an interview with NBC's ''Today.''
Mostly, it was the TV viewers who were teased, what with long delays between original episodes and those nasty rumors of bickering between Willis and Shepherd on the set. Viewers have been waiting for nearly three television seasons for the two lovebirds to stop messing around and get down to business.
The consummation episode is titled ''The Big Bang'' and concludes the three-parter that began a month ago. It was delayed because of Shepherd's bout with morning sickness (she is pregnant with twins) and Willis's broken collarbone suffered in a skiing accident.
Now that the two celebs have healed somewhat, they can mend their TV relationship which was shaken by a guest star, Mark Harmon, who seduced Hays and enraged Addison.
In the episode, David runs the risk of losing Maddie after Sam Crawford (Harmon) proposes, and Maddie has difficulty coming up with reasons why she should not marry ''Mr. Perfect.'' Who wouldn't, compared to the wise-cracking Addison?
In the interview with Gumbel, broadcast last week, Willis talked about the much rumored ''set wars'' between the two leading characters.
''We don't fight, although we do have creative differences,'' Willis said. ''It's nothing personal .... I'd love to tell you there's trouble on the set, but there's not.''
Then how come Shepherd won't call her husband by his first name, which happens to be Bruce? Instead, she calls him things like sweetie-pie, honey-dumpling, anything but Bruce. Oh, it's probably nothing. One thing we know for sure is that ''Moonlighting'' is way behind schedule. Most network series turn out 22 new shows a season. ''Moonlighting'' will be lucky to hit 17. Scripts often come in so late that the writers must invent scenes to fill the time. And that is when you see Shepherd and Willis stepping out of character to talk directly to the viewers. Even though such vamping is the result of some accident, it has served to endear the two stars to the viewing public.
Although Willis is regarded by his adoring public as a sex symbol, he prefers to be known as a man's man.
''It's encouraging to be considered a good ol' boy that every guy would like to have a couple of beers with,'' he told ''Today.''
Regardless of whether you'd like to swig a brew with Willis, Tuesday night's episode might be worth catching. The consummation will provide the writers with many possible forks in the road. Some possibilities:
-Maddie and David could love making love, and become like the yuppie couple in ABC's ''Jack and Mike,'' which airs immediately after ''Moonlighting.''
-Maddie and David could bungle the loving, and wind up fighting more than ever.
-Maddie and David could make love, at which time she points out that Mark Harmon is better and marry him instead.
So tune in and for once not be teased by ''Moonlighting.''
After that, the executive producer of ''Moonlighting,'' Glenn Gordon Caron, assures viewers that Maddie and David will be back to their normal selves despite pregnancy and collarbones.
''We are polishing a blueprint now which will allow us to work around her pregnancy, comfortably, and still get 'Moonlighting' on the air,'' he said in a press release. ''It won't be easy, but it's never been easy.''
As for Shepherd, she says she's ''thrilled to be enlarging my family, but I'm also quite committed to 'Moonlighting.' Glenn assures me that our writers are hard at work on a solution. I've no idea what they'll come up with, but I'm not going to start doubting them now.''
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