Night Court
GenreSitcom
Created byReinhold Weege
Starring
Opening themeJack Elliott
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes193 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time23–24 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkNBC
ReleaseJanuary 4, 1984 (1984-01-04) –
May 31, 1992 (1992-05-31)
Related
Night Court (2023 TV series)

Night Court is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC for nine seasons and 193 episodes, from January 4, 1984, to May 31, 1992. Set in the night shift of a Manhattan Criminal Court presided over by a young, unorthodox judge, Harold "Harry" T. Stone (portrayed by Harry Anderson), it was created by comedy writer Reinhold Weege, who had previously worked on Barney Miller in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Cast

Main article: List of Night Court characters

Main

Recurring

Theme music

Every episode of Night Court opens (after a cold open) and closes with a jazz-influenced, bass-heavy theme tune composed by Jack Elliott, featuring Ernie Watts on saxophone while featuring video footage of prominent New York City landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York County Courthouse.

Night Court's theme was used in the season-5 Family Guy episode "Bill & Peter's Bogus Journey", featuring animations of former US President Bill Clinton playing saxophone along with Secret Service musicians playing backup.

Night Court's theme was sampled for the remix to Cam'Ron's 1998 single "Horse & Carriage". It was produced by Darrell "Digga" Branch and featured Big Pun, Charli Baltimore, Wyclef Jean, and Silkk the Shocker.

Following the end credits theme music, a distinctive laugh can be heard dubbed over the vanity logo displaying producer Reinhold Weege's "Starry Night Productions".[1] This same laugh can be heard coming from the studio audience throughout numerous seasons of Night Court. At first it was thought to be the canned laugh of voice actor Mel Blanc or even star Harry Anderson; but in fact, it was the laugh of Chuck Weege, Reinhold's father, who attended nearly all of the tapings in person (until Reinhold left the show after the sixth season).[citation needed]

Episodes

Main article: List of Night Court episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
113January 4, 1984 (1984-01-04)May 31, 1984 (1984-05-31)4112.7
222September 27, 1984 (1984-09-27)May 9, 1985 (1985-05-09)2017.6
322September 26, 1985 (1985-09-26)May 8, 1986 (1986-05-08)1120.9
422October 2, 1986 (1986-10-02)May 6, 1987 (1987-05-06)723.2
522September 17, 1987 (1987-09-17)May 12, 1988 (1988-05-12)720.8
622October 26, 1988 (1988-10-26)May 3, 1989 (1989-05-03)2116.9
724September 27, 1989 (1989-09-27)May 2, 1990 (1990-05-02)2814.5[a]
824September 28, 1990 (1990-09-28)May 8, 1991 (1991-05-08)5011.5
922September 18, 1991 (1991-09-18)May 31, 1992 (1992-05-31)4612.0

Awards and honors

Night Court received a number of awards and nominations. Both Selma Diamond (in 1985) and John Larroquette (in 1988) earned Golden Globe nominations, but lost to Faye Dunaway and Rutger Hauer, respectively. Paula Kelly was nominated for an Emmy after the first season. Larroquette won four consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from 1985 to 1988, before he withdrew his name from the ballot in 1989. Selma Diamond was nominated in 1985, and Anderson received three nominations in 1985, 1986, and 1987. The series received three nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1985, 1987, and 1988. The series also received many awards and nominations in the areas of lighting, editing, sound mixing, and technical direction. The show was nominated for 31 Emmys, winning seven.

American Comedy Awards
Year Category / Episode Recipient / Nominee Results Ref
1990 Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a Television Series John Larroquette Nominated [2]
Casting Society of America
Year Category / Episode Recipient / Nominee Results Ref
1985 Best Casting for TV, Comedy Episodic Eileen Mack Knight Nominated [3]
1986 Gilda Stratton Won [4]
1987 Harriet B. Helberg Nominated [5]
Creative Arts Emmy Awards
Year Category Recipient Result Ref
1984 Outstanding Costumes in a Series ("Welcome Back, Mam") Barbara Murphy Nominated [6]
Outstanding Lighting for a Series ("Bull's Baby") John Appleroth Nominated
1985 Outstanding Light for a Series ("Billie's Valentine") John Appleroth Nominated
Outstanding Light for a Series ("Bull Gets a Kid") Mark Buxbaum Nominated
Outstanding Videotape Editing for a Series ("The Blizzard") Jerry Davis Nominated
1986 Outstanding Costumes in a Series ("Halloween, Too") Dan Frank,
Molly Harris Campbell
Nominated
Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series ("Hurricane") Jerry Davis Nominated
Outstanding Lighting for a Series ("Leon We Hardly Knew Ye") George Spiro Dibie Nominated
1987 Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series ("Her Honor – Part 1") Jerry Davis Won
Outstanding Costumes in a Series ("A Day in the Life") Dan Frank,
Molly Harris Campbell
Nominated
1988 Outstanding Lighting in a Comedy Series ("Constitution – Part 2") George Spiro Dibie Nominated
1989 Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special ("The Last Temptation of Mac") Klaus Landsberg Won
Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series ("Yet Another Day in the Life") Robert G. Holmes Won
Outstanding Lighting for a Comedy Series ("Danny Got His Gun – Part 3") Robert Berry Nominated
1990 Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series ("Come Back To the Five and Dime, Stephen King") Robert G. Holmes Nominated
1991 Outstanding Lighting for a Comedy Series ("Hey Harry", "F' Cryin' Out Loud", "It's A Wonderful Like..Sorta") Charles L. Barbee Nominated
1992 Outstanding Lighting for a Comedy Series ("A Guy Named Phantom – Part 1") Charles L. Barbee Nominated
Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series ("A Guy Named Phantom – Part 2") Robert G. Holmes Nominated
Golden Globe Awards
Year Category Recipient Result Ref
1985 Best Supporting Actress — Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Selma Diamond Nominated [7]
1988 Best Supporting Actor — Series, Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television John Larroquette Nominated
Online Film & Television Association
Year Category Recipient Result Ref
2013 Television Programs — Hall of Fame Night Court Won [8]
Primetime Emmy Awards
Year Category Recipient Result Ref
1984 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Paula Kelly Nominated [6]
1985 Outstanding Comedy Series Night Court Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Harry Anderson Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("Dan's Parents or Married Alive") John Larroquette Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Selma Diamond Nominated
1986 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Harry Anderson Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("Best of Friends") John Larroquette Won
1987 Outstanding Comedy Series Night Court Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Harry Anderson Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("Dan's Operation") John Larroquette Won
1988 Outstanding Comedy Series Night Court Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("No Hard Feelings") John Larroquette Won
Television Critics Association
Year Category Recipient Result Ref
1985 Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Night Court Nominated
Writers Guild of America
Year Category Recipient Result Ref
1985 Episodic Comedy ("Once in Love with Harry") Reinhold Weege Nominated [9]
1987 Episodic Comedy ("Best of Friends") Howard Ostroff Nominated [10]
1988 Episodic Comedy ("Contempt of Courting") Tom Straw Nominated [11]
1989 Episodic Comedy ("No Hard Feelings") Tom Straw Nominated [12]

Syndication

United States

After its primary run in broadcast syndication, the series aired on A&E Network for many years. It then aired on TV Land from 2005 to 2008, then began airing on Encore Classic on December 2, 2013. From 2016 to 2022, the show aired on Laff.[13]

As of March 2023, the series airs on the Weigel Broadcasting owned Catchy Comedy network weeknights.[14] The series was also the subject of Catchy Comedy's inaugural weekend "Catchy Binge" on April 1–2, 2023.

Australia

Network Ten first broadcast the series in the 1980s and 1990s. 7TWO began showing reruns in June 2011.[citation needed]

Canada

Aired weekdays on both Comedy Gold and JoyTV.[citation needed]

Germany

Sat.1 aired the series as Harry's wundersames Strafgericht (Harry's Miraculous Criminal Court) in 1988.[citation needed]

Italy

Italia 1 aired the show as Giudice di notte (Night Judge) from 1986 until 1988.[citation needed]

Spain

TVE aired the show as Juzgado de Guardia (Court on Duty/Call).[citation needed]

New Zealand

The show screened weekly on TVNZ 1 in the 1980s and 1990s, and was rerun in the late 1990s.[citation needed]

Home media

Warner Home Video released the first three seasons on DVD in Region 1. Seasons 4–9 were released as Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) DVDs as part of the Warner Archive Collection.[15]

On June 13, 2023, Warner Bros released Night Court: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[16]

DVD Name Ep. # Release Date
The Complete First Season[17] 13 February 8, 2005
The Complete Second Season[18] 22 February 3, 2009
The Complete Third Season[19] 22 February 23, 2010
The Complete Fourth Season[20] 22 March 1, 2011 (Amazon.com)
September 1, 2011 (WBShop.com)
The Complete Fifth Season[21] 22 October 25, 2011
The Complete Sixth Season[22] 22 June 26, 2012
The Complete Seventh Season[23] 24 November 6, 2012
The Complete Eighth Season[24] 24 January 29, 2013
The Complete Ninth Season[25] 22 June 11, 2013
The Complete Series[26] 193 June 13, 2023

Special releases

DVD Name Release Date Ep. #
Television Favorites February 28, 2006 6

The Television Favorites compilation DVD included the pilot episode, "All You Need Is Love"; both parts of the fourth-season finale, "Her Honor"; the fifth-season episodes "Death of a Bailiff" and "Who Was That Mashed Man?"; and the sixth-season episode "Fire", which marked the beginning of Harry's relationship with Christine.

Harry Anderson, Markie Post, and Charles Robinson appeared in the 30 Rock episode, "The One with the Cast of Night Court". John Larroquette is also mentioned; Harry says he had just spoken to John, which annoys Markie (who has not had recent contact with her absent former co-star) and begins an argument between them that lasts for most of the story.

Sequel series

Main article: Night Court (2023 TV series)

In December 2020, NBC announced it was working on a sequel series to Night Court. The show will be executive produced by Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch, with Dan Rubin to write. Larroquette is set to return as Fielding, while the show's central character will be Abby Stone, a judge and the daughter of Harry Stone. The show is expected to be produced by Warner Bros. Television for NBC.[27] In April 2021, it was reported that Rauch will also lead the series as Abby Stone.[28] In May 2021, it was announced that NBC had given a pilot order to a sequel series.[29] In June 2021, Ana Villafañe joined the cast for the pilot, portraying an Assistant District Attorney and Lacretta will play a bailiff Donna "Gurgs" Gurganous.[30][31] In July 2021, Kapil Talwalkar joined the cast for the pilot, will play a court's clerk Neil.[32] In September 2021, it was announced that NBC had given the production a series order.[33] In February 2023, it was announced that following the strong reception of the first four episodes, NBC had ordered a full second season of the show.[34]

Notes

References

  1. ^ Night Court. End Credit Theme. TRshow. "Starry Night Productions".
  2. ^ "American Comedy Awards, USA (1990)". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "1985 Artios Awards". www.castingsociety.com. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "1986 Artios Awards". www.castingsociety.com. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "1987 Artios Awards". www.castingsociety.com. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "NIGHT COURT". Television Academy. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "Night Court". www.goldenglobes.com. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  8. ^ "Online Film & Television Association (2013)". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1985)". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1987)". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1988)". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1989)". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  13. ^ Night Court is Back in Session: LAFF - The Nation's First Comedy-Driven Broadcast Television Network - To Add Popular Series on Jan 4, 2016 - PR Newswire.com
  14. ^ Weigel Broadcasting‘s Decades Network Will Flip to Sitcom-Centric ‘Catchy Comedy’ in March, Led by Original ‘Night Court’ - Variety.com
  15. ^ "Night Court DVD news: Announcement for Night Court – The Complete 9th Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013.
  16. ^ Night Court: The Complete Series
  17. ^ "Night Court: The Complete First Season". DVDEmpire.
  18. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Second Season". DVDEmpire.
  19. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Third Season". DVDEmpire.
  20. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Fourth Season". www.WBShop.com.
  21. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Fifth Season". www.WBShop.com.
  22. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Sixth Season". www.WBShop.com.
  23. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Seventh Season". www.WBShop.com.
  24. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Eighth Season (MOD) |". www.WBShop.com. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  25. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Ninth Season (MOD) |". www.WBShop.com. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  26. ^ "Night Court: The Complete Ninth Season (MOD) |". www.amazon.com. Retrieved June 11, 2023.
  27. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 16, 2020). "'Night Court' Sequel In Works At NBC With John Larroquette As Dan Fielding, Harry Stone's Daughter As Focus & Melissa Rauch As EP". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 30, 2021). "'Night Court': EP Melissa Rauch Set To Star With John Larroquette In Sequel At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 3, 2021). "'Night Court' Sequel Starring Melissa Rauch & John Larroquette Gets NBC Pilot Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  30. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 8, 2021). "'Night Court': Ana Villafañe Joins NBC Sequel Pilot". Deadline Hollywood.
  31. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 16, 2021). "'Night Court': Lacretta Joins NBC Sequel Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  32. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 7, 2021). "'Night Court': Kapil Talwalkar Joins NBC Sequel Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  33. ^ White, Peter (September 24, 2021). "'Night Court' Sequel Starring Melissa Rauch & John Larroquette Lands Series Order At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  34. ^ Cordero, Rosy (February 2, 2023). "'Night Court' Renewed For Season 2 At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2023.