Following Bruce Willis‘ family announcing that the iconic star is retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, there was an outpouring of love celebrating his numerous memorable performances over the years. One such performance is Willis’ breakout role as David Addison on the ABC series Moonlighting. However, when fans went to stream the TV classic that paired Willis’ wise-cracking private investigator with Cybill Shepherd, it was nowhere to be found.
Considering almost every show can be found somewhere, Moonlighting is an odd exclusion given the show’s popularity and the fact that it put Willis on the map. Naturally, the culprit turned out to be the number one killer of streaming availability: music rights.
Via Entertainment Weekly:
Series creator Glenn Gordon Caron tells EW that it’s largely the issue of music licensing that has prevented any streamer from picking up the rights. “When we made Moonlighting, television shows didn’t typically use pop music,” he says. “It was really just us and Miami Vice at that time. So when deals were made for the music, no one anticipated streaming. In order to exhibit the show [on streaming], the owner of the shows, which is the Walt Disney Company, has to go back and make deals for all that music — and they’ve resisted doing that for six or seven years now.”
However, as Caron notes, Miami Vice had a similar issue, and that ’80s classic is currently available on Peacock. There is a way to make it work if Disney is willing, and now couldn’t be a better time to get Moonlighting out there.
“With all the attention that Bruce has been getting, hopefully one good thing that might come out of it is we can reinitiate the conversation with Disney about releasing the streaming rights,” Caron said.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)