Hooperman is an American comedy-drama series which aired on ABC from September 23, 1987 until July 26, 1989. The show centered on the professional and personal life of San Francisco police Inspector Harry Hooperman, played by John Ritter. The series was created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, who were the team responsible for creating L.A. Law. Though not the first comedy-drama — in fact, the long-running M*A*S*H, which could also be categorized as one[1], had the highest-rated TV episode of all time with its series finale just four years earlier[2]Hooperman was considered the vanguard of a new television genre when it premiered, and critics coined the term "dramedy" to describe it.[3]

Created bySteven Bochco
Terry Louise Fisher
StarringJohn Ritter
Debrah Farentino
Barbara Bosson
Felton Perry
Clarence Felder
Sydney Walsh
Joseph Gian
Alix Elias
Paul Linke (1988–1989)
Rod Gist (1988–1989)
Composer(s)Mike Post
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes42
Executive producer(s)Robert M. Myman
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Adam Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor20th Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 23, 1987 
July 26, 1989


Ritter plays San Francisco police Inspector Harry Hooperman. In the first episode, Hooperman inherits the rundown apartment building he lives in when his elderly landlady is killed in a robbery. He also inherits her temperamental pet Jack Russell terrier named Bijoux. Due to the demands of his job as a police officer, he hires Susan Smith (played by Debrah Farentino) to be the building manager, and the pair become romantically involved throughout the first season.

Also starring on the show was Alix Elias as the cheerful and bubbly police dispatcher, Betty Bushkin; Barbara Bosson was Hooperman's divorced superior, Capt. Celeste "C.Z." Stern; Felton Perry as Harry's partner, Inspector Clarence McNeil; Clarence Felder as redneck inspector Boris "Bobo" Pritzger; Joseph Gian as Rick Silardi, a gay cop, and Sydney Walsh as officer Maureen "Mo" DeMott, his patrol partner who was intent on "saving" him from being gay by making unwanted passes. Dan Lauria played Celeste's former husband, Lou Stern.

The theme music was composed by Mike Post.

Guest stars in the series' 42-episode run included: Don Cheadle, Kim Delaney, Dennis Dugan, Norman Fell (who worked with Ritter on The Stone Killer and Three's Company), Miguel Ferrer, Jack Gilford, Mark Hamill, Joanna Kerns, Richard Kind, Dan Lauria, Jane Leeves, Lorna Luft, David Paymer, Barbara Rush, and Shannon Tweed.

Except for a brief syndicated run on the FX Network in the mid 1990s, and the pilot rebroadcast on TV Land in 2003 following Ritter's death, the series has not aired since then.


Season 1 (1987–88)

Ep Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Hooperman"Gregory HoblitSteven Bochco & Terry Louise FisherSeptember 23, 1987 (1987-09-23)
22"The Answer My Friend Is Passing in the Wind"Gregory HoblitSteven Bochco & Terry Louise FisherSeptember 30, 1987 (1987-09-30)
33"Don We Now Our Gay Apparel"Rick WallaceSteven Bochco & Terry Louise FisherOctober 7, 1987 (1987-10-07)
44"Aria da Capo"John PattersonTeleplay by: Leon Tokatyan
Story by: Steven Bochco
October 14, 1987 (1987-10-14)
55"John Doe, We Hardly Knew Ye"John PattersonTeleplay by: Rick Kellard
Story by: Lydia Woodward
October 28, 1987 (1987-10-28)
66"The Shooting"Nick HavingaTeleplay by: Leon Tokatyan
Story by: Steven Bochco & Amy K. Milkovich & Ed Milkovich
November 4, 1987 (1987-11-04)
77"Hot Wired"Michael ZinbergTeleplay by: Rick Kellard
Story by: Steven Bochco & Rick Kellard
November 18, 1987 (1987-11-18)
88"Baby Talk"Anson WilliamsSteven HollanderNovember 25, 1987 (1987-11-25)
99"Blues for Danny Welles"Kim FriedmanTeleplay by: Rick Kellard
Story by: Robert Rabinowitz & Steven Bochco & Rick Kellard
December 2, 1987 (1987-12-02)
1010"I, Witness"Kim FriedmanTeleplay by: Leon Tokatyan & Rick Kellard
Story by: Ross Hirshorn
December 9, 1987 (1987-12-09)
1111"Deck the Cell with Bars of Folly"Peter WernerTeleplay by: Peter Nasco
Story by: Steven Bochco
December 23, 1987 (1987-12-23)
1212"The Naked and the Dead"Paul LynchTeleplay by: Gina Goldman
Story by: Steven Bochco & Gina Goldman
January 6, 1988 (1988-01-06)
1313"The Snitch"Rick WallaceTerry HartJanuary 13, 1988 (1988-01-13)
1414"Chariots of Fire"Michael ZinbergJames KramerJanuary 20, 1988 (1988-01-20)
1515"High Noon"Kim FriedmanSteven HollanderFebruary 3, 1988 (1988-02-03)
1616"Blaste from the Past"Anson WilliamsPhil Kellard & Tom MooreFebruary 10, 1988 (1988-02-10)
1717"Tomato Can"John PattersonJohn SchulianMarch 9, 1988 (1988-03-09)
1818"Me and Mr. Magoo"Carl GottliebRick KellardMarch 16, 1988 (1988-03-16)
1919"Baby on Board"Bethany RooneyGina WendkosApril 6, 1988 (1988-04-06)
2020"Trudy and Clyde"Michael ZinbergTeleplay by: Phil Kellard & Tom Moore
Story by: Rick Kellard & Steven Hollander
April 13, 1988 (1988-04-13)
2121"Nick Derringer, P.I."Michael ZinbergSteven Bochco & Rick KellardMay 4, 1988 (1988-05-04)
2222"Surprise Party"John PattersonTeleplay by: Gary Rosen
Story by: Steven Bochco & Phil Kellard & Tom Moore
May 18, 1988 (1988-05-18)

Season 2 (1988–89)

Ep Title Directed by Written by Original air date
231"Requiem for an S.O.B."Win PhelpsRick KellardNovember 30, 1988 (1988-11-30)
242"We'll Always Have Paris"Alan J. LeviTeleplay by: Phil Kellard & Tom Moore & Jill Gordon
Story by: Rick Kellard & Michael Wagner
December 7, 1988 (1988-12-07)
253"Who Do You Truss?"Alan J. LeviPhil Kellard & Tom MooreDecember 14, 1988 (1988-12-14)
264"In Search of Bijoux"Anson WilliamsJill GordonDecember 21, 1988 (1988-12-21)
275"Look Homeward, Dirtbag"Rob CohenTeleplay by: Douglas Steinberg & Rick Kellard & Michael Wagner
Story by: Jill Gordon & Michael Wagner
January 11, 1989 (1989-01-11)
286"Nightmare in Apartment One"Jeff MelmanPhil Kellard & Tom MooreJanuary 18, 1989 (1989-01-18)
297"Hooperman Goes to Hell in a Handcart"Ron LagomarsinoMichael WagnerJanuary 25, 1989 (1989-01-25)
308"Rashomanny"Ron LagomarsinoR.W. GoodwinFebruary 1, 1989 (1989-02-01)
319"In the Still of My Pants"Betty ThomasJill GordonFebruary 8, 1989 (1989-02-08)
3210"The Dating Game"Neema BarnetteSam GreenbaumFebruary 15, 1989 (1989-02-15)
3311"Intolerance"Eric LaneuvilleMichael WagnerFebruary 22, 1989 (1989-02-22)
3412"The Nun and I"Roy Campanella IIVic Rauseo & Linda MorrisMarch 1, 1989 (1989-03-01)
3513"The Sure Thing"Bethany RooneyTeleplay by: Jill Gordon
Story by: Phil Kellard & Tom Moore & Rick Kellard
March 15, 1989 (1989-03-15)
3614"The Long So Long"Jeffrey D. BrownBob Dolan SmithMarch 22, 1989 (1989-03-22)
3715"Stakeout"Max TashJill GordonJune 14, 1989 (1989-06-14)
3816"Dog Day Afternoon, Morning and Night"Betty ThomasJill Gordon & Phil Kellard & Tom Moore & Michael WagnerJune 21, 1989 (1989-06-21)
3917"Love Bytes"Arlene SanfordPhil Kellard & Tom MooreJune 28, 1989 (1989-06-28)
4018"Take My Building, Please"Roy Campanella IIRick KellardJuly 5, 1989 (1989-07-05)
4119"Some of That Jazz"Arlene SanfordGlen MerzerJuly 12, 1989 (1989-07-12)
4220"Goodnight, Sweet Hooperman"Betty ThomasMichael WagnerJuly 26, 1989 (1989-07-26)

Home media

On January 24, 2017, Olive Films released both seasons on DVD in Region 1.[4][5]

Awards and nominations

The pilot episode won the 1988 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.[6]


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