6 thoughts on “When Did Night Court Jump the Shark?

  1. I have no idea what season it was, but the defendant was an animated (obviously) Wile E. Coyote. Even if it didn’t jump the shark, it was extremely cringey.

  2. Never. The show had Santa Claus actually appear in a flying sled in it’s peak years. It was always bizarre. It may have gotten stale but it didn’t just start pandering.

  3. As a casual viewer of the show, it seemed to me like some signposts for a bit of a decline were when John Larroquette started dying his hair (he looks better grey); and when the wardrobe of the cast started to get a bit too trendy (which seemed to happen in a lot of long-running popular sitcoms at some point).

  4. Night Court was too self-consciously and joyfully weird to jump. The only times it came close were when it tried a little too hard to be “serious” for me. I prefer my Dan Fielding to be unapologetic, personally. (Which means I’m going to have to watch this reboot with fresh perspective–sensitive Dan is what we’re getting, I think, though I hope there’s still some acerbic wit there too…)

  5. It is amazing that the original run of NIGHT COURT lasted 9 seasons considering how unstable the cast was for much of it. The most memorable cast the show had, pictured above, didn’t properly evolve until the 4th season. Many shows that can’t ground down the entire cast pretty soon don’t last, even in 1984 when the show debuted. Perhaps part of it is that the court system is one which routinely has various people come and go (career options, retirement, death, etc.) so the audience bought it and it felt more genuine. I do think the show became a parody of itself around seasons 5-6, but as others commented it was always pretty zany. That was the point; “night court” was when all the weirdos came out.

    And of course, one of Brent Spiner’s breakout roles was as a reoccurring defendant, Bob Wheeler, a stereotypical “yokel.”

  6. Night Court maybe that rarest of shows that jumped back over the shark! The first season was a complete disaster and no one would have been shocked or displeased if it had not been renewed. But it came back (mostly because NBC had few even semi hits to renew) and in the second season managed to right the ship instantly. A true TV miracle! Aside: I might be the only one but I preferred Ellen Foley to Markie Post.

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