Madman of the People
Created by
  • Chris Cluess
  • Stu Kreisman
Directed by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Penny Adams
  • Stephen C. Grossman
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 22, 1994 (1994-09-22) –
June 17, 1995 (1995-06-17)

Madman of the People is an American sitcom television series created by Chris Cluess and Stu Kreisman, that aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to June 17, 1995. It was scheduled in the Thursday 9:30 timeslot, part of Must See TV.

Madman of the People was produced by Spelling Television.[1]


The series stars character actor Dabney Coleman as Jack "Madman" Buckner, an outspoken newspaper columnist who had written a popular column, Madman of the People, in Your Times magazine for 30 years. The premise of the show involves Buckner's daughter, Meg (Cynthia Gibb), being brought in by the publisher to bring Buckner's column into the 1990s.



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No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date Viewers
1"Pilot"James BurrowsChris Cluess & Stu KreismanSeptember 22, 1994 (1994-09-22)22.7[2]
2"Murder Most Fowl"John RatzenbergerSally Lapiduss & Pamela EellsSeptember 29, 1994 (1994-09-29)23.2[3]
3"All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Mad Boy"James BurrowsSteve PaymerOctober 6, 1994 (1994-10-06)21.7[4]
4"Guys Just Wanna Have Fun"John RatzenbergerBill Fuller & Jim PondOctober 13, 1994 (1994-10-13)20.9[5]
5"'Til Death Do Us Part"Jim DrakeSally Lapiduss & Pamela EellsOctober 20, 1994 (1994-10-20)18.8[6]
6"The Jack Buckner Society"Philip Charles MacKenzieAlison Rosenfeld DesmaraisOctober 27, 1994 (1994-10-27)18.9[7]
7"Birthday in the Big House"Philip Charles MacKenzieBill Fuller & Jim PondNovember 3, 1994 (1994-11-03)21.5[8]
8"Jack Has Left the Building"Philip Charles MacKenzieTom Seeley & Norm GunzenhauserDecember 1, 1994 (1994-12-01)18.1[9]
9"Life Without Father"Jim DrakeSteve PaymerDecember 8, 1994 (1994-12-08)21.4[10]
10"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Christmas"Jim DrakeDeidre Fay & Stuart WolpertDecember 15, 1994 (1994-12-15)21.9[11]
11"What a Big Mouth You Have, Grammy"John RatzenbergerTom Seeley & Norm GunzenhauserDecember 29, 1994 (1994-12-29)17.9[12]
12"Notes from the Underground"Philip Charles MacKenzieDinah KirgoJanuary 5, 1995 (1995-01-05)26.9[13]
13"Truths My Father Told"Philip Charles MacKenzieBill Fuller & Jim PondJanuary 12, 1995 (1995-01-12)24.3[14]
14"The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword"Jim DrakeTom Seeley & Norm GunzenhauserJanuary 26, 1995 (1995-01-26)24.2[15]
15"Anytime, Anywhere"Philip Charles MacKenzieStephen NeigherJune 10, 1995 (1995-06-10)6.7[16]
16"The Madman and the Showgirl"Philip Charles MacKenzieDava SavelJune 17, 1995 (1995-06-17)6.5[17]


Though the series earned good ratings, ranking 12th[18] for the season with a 14.9 average household share, it was pulled from NBC's schedule in January 1995 and cancelled before the 1994-95 season was officially over. It is one of the highest-rated 1st-year shows to ever get cancelled during its initial season, according to NBC soured on the show because it lost a considerable portion of its lead-in audience from Seinfeld and was also hindering the then-freshman hit drama ER. NBC noticed the early success of Friends and decided to re-shuffle its lineup to put that show in the 9:30 PM EST spot, leading to one of the most dominant programming blocs in TV history.[19] The last two episodes aired in June 1995, during the period that was formerly called "Burn-off Theatre", when in the pre-reality TV era networks would make more money airing new episodes of already-doomed shows than it would for repeats from most shows that would return the following fall.

When it first aired, Madman of the People was considered by critics as one of "the fall season's least likable new comedies" and not deserving of its comedy label.[20]

Inter-series continuity

Episode 7, "Birthday in the Big House", was promoted to directly tie in with the same night's episodes of both Friends and Mad About You. All three series were set in New York City and all aired on NBC on Thursday evenings. Accordingly, a continuing plot thread ran through all three shows broadcast on November 3, 1994: a city-wide blackout caused by the character of Jamie in the Mad About You episode "Pandora's Box" continued through to the Madman of the People episode "Birthday in the Big House", and concluded in the Friends episode "The One With The Blackout". None of the characters crossed over from one series to another in these episodes; only the details of the blackout situation were used to create a crossover effect. (The series Seinfeld, which also aired on Thursday evenings on NBC and was also set in New York, chose not to participate in this crossover event.)


  1. ^ "Madman of the People". Retrieved 2006-10-01.
  2. ^ "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. September 28, 1994. p. 3D.
  3. ^ "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. October 5, 1994. p. 3D.
  4. ^ Graham, Jefferson (October 12, 1994). "CBS edges into No. 1 spot, but can it stay?". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  5. ^ DeRosa, Robin (October 19, 1994). "Regular series put ABC back on top". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  6. ^ DeRosa, Robin (October 26, 1994). "'Grace' leads ABC to tie with CBS". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  7. ^ DeRosa, Robin (November 2, 1994). "ABC is 'Home' alone at the top". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  8. ^ DeRosa, Robin (November 9, 1994). "'Cagney & Lacey' makes winning return". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  9. ^ "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. December 7, 1994. p. 3D.
  10. ^ "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. December 14, 1994. p. 3D.
  11. ^ DeRosa, Robin (December 21, 1994). "ABC's winning way with comedy". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  12. ^ DeRosa, Robin (January 4, 1995). "Football kicks of '95 on top". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  13. ^ "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. January 11, 1995. p. 3D.
  14. ^ DeRosa, Robin (January 18, 1995). "'ER' rolls into the No. 1 spot". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  15. ^ DeRosa, Robin (February 1, 1995). "Super Bowl kicks ABC to the top". Life. USA Today. p. 3D.
  16. ^ "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. June 14, 1995. p. 3D.
  17. ^ "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. June 21, 1995. p. 3D.
  18. ^ Upperco, Jackson (June 6, 2018). "MSTV Flops: A Look at MADMAN OF THE PEOPLE".
  19. ^ Adalian, Josef (September 4, 2014). "The Architects of NBC's Classic Must-See Lineup Reveal How Friends and ER Became Legends". Vulture. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  20. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (September 22, 1994). "TV Reviews : NBC's Strongest Evening of the Week Has Its Weak Spot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 8, 2018.