MOVIE NEWS – Moonlighting will soon be ready for streaming, but first there are some tricky music rights issues to be sorted out.
Fans of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd’s series Moonlighting received a surprise this week when Glenn Caron, the creator of the series, revealed that all five seasons of the series would soon be streaming for the first time. The 1980s series has not been featured on any streaming platform until now, despite fans hoping that Moonlighting would arrive on some platform, and now it looks like work has begun to make it happen, according to a recent tweet from Caron.
The Moonlighting is a comedy series that debuted in 1985 on ABC. In one of their greatest early roles, Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis played a pair of private investigators. Moonlighting not only made Willis a star and gave Shepherd’s career a much-needed boost, but it was also one of the first successful TV productions in the comedy-drama genre. The series ran for five seasons before ending in 1989 after 67 episodes.
While Moonlighting have had various home media releases, the series has never made it to streaming, but that is about to change. In a tweet, Caron wrote: “CAT’S OUTTA THE BAG. I can’t keep it under my hat any longer – – the venture to stream all 5 seasons of ‘Moonlighting’ starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd has begun. It’s an ambitious project. There are a lot of moving parts. And it can take quite a while. But I wanted you to be the first to know.”
Moonlighting fans have been questioning why the series hasn’t been released online until now, and Caron recently explained that rights issues are preventing the series from being released on a streaming platform. As with everything these days, when a TV series or movie includes music, everyone wants a little more money from the streaming rights, which wasn’t even there when Moonlighting first hit screens. Caron told EW:
“When we did Moonlighting, TV shows typically didn’t use pop music. At the time, it was really just us and Miami Vice. So when they signed the music deal, no one was expecting streaming. To get the show [on streaming] to be stopped, the owners of the shows, the Walt Disney Company, have to go back and contract all the music – and they’ve been resisting that for six or seven years now. The amount of attention that Bruce has gotten is hopefully one of the good things that this could lead to re-opening the conversation with Disney about releasing the streaming rights. It’s hard for me to see why we can’t find a way to make it work. The Peacock is now streaming Miami Vice, so obviously someone figured this out. “
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Disney has had to spend some time securing the music rights to bring an older series online, as they had similar issues with many of the Muppet Show’s tracks, which led to some episodes being added later , and others were omitted entirely. As Caron says, it’s not a quick process, which means Moonlighting streaming isn’t imminent, but it’s definitely on the horizon now.