Sonny Spoon
GenreCrime drama
Created byStephen J. Cannell
StarringMario Van Peebles
Melvin Van Peebles
Jordana Capra
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes15 (list of episodes)
Running time48 minutes
Original networkNBC
Original releaseFebruary 12 (1988-02-12) –
December 16, 1988 (1988-12-16)

Sonny Spoon is an American crime drama television series that aired on NBC television network from February 12 to December 16, 1988. The series was created by Michael Daly, Dinah Prince, Stephen J. Cannell, and Randall Wallace and produced by Stephen J. Cannell Productions (the fall 1988 episodes were in association with NBC Productions).


Sonny Spoon stars Mario Van Peebles as Sonny, a hip, black private investigator who uses his street smarts and "cool" persona to solve crimes. He often assists, and is assisted by, Carolyn Gilder (Terry Donahoe), an attractive assistant district attorney. Additionally, Sonny was a master of disguises, and might spend part of any given episode dressed as a clergyman, an Arab tourist, or an old lady. He used his many connections on the streets and relationships with friends and informants (who were apparently attracted to him mostly by his vibrant personality, as he had little cash to share with them) to further his ends, and also the insights of his father, Mel, a bar owner (played by Melvin Van Peebles, Mario's real-life father).



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Season 1 (1988)

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Sam's Private Eye"February 12, 1988 (1988-02-12)
2"Wizard of Odds"February 19, 1988 (1988-02-19)
3"Crimes Below the Waist"February 26, 1988 (1988-02-26)
4"Who's Got Tonsillitis?"March 4, 1988 (1988-03-04)
5"Semper Fi"March 11, 1988 (1988-03-11)
6"Tough Habit"March 18, 1988 (1988-03-18)
7"Too Good to Be True, Too Smart to Get Caught"March 25, 1988 (1988-03-25)

Season 2 (1988)

No.TitleOriginal air date Viewers
8"Never Go to Your High School Reunion"October 7, 1988 (1988-10-07)15.7[1]11.3/21[1]
9"Cheap & Chilli"October 14, 1988 (1988-10-14)13.1[2]8.8/16[2]
10"The Final Exam"N/AN/AN/A
11"Blind Justice"October 28, 1988 (1988-10-28)11.7[3]8.3/15[3]
12"Papa Rozzi"November 4, 1988 (1988-11-04)11.8[4]8.1/14[4]
13"Ratman Can"December 2, 1988 (1988-12-02)12.8[5]9.0/15[5]
14"Deuces Wild"December 9, 1988 (1988-12-09)12.9[6]8.5/14[6]
15"Diamonds Aren't Forever"December 16, 1988 (1988-12-16)14.7[7]9.2/16[7]


Sonny Spoon began its run as a mid-season replacement in February 1988, and was renewed for a second season. It did not sustain its early momentum and was canceled in December 1988.

Broadcast history

Season Time slot (ET)
1987–88 Friday at 10:00 pm
1988–89 Friday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 1-4)
Friday at 9:00 pm (Episodes 5-7)


  1. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. October 12, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306106992.
  2. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. October 19, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306123175.
  3. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. November 2, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306129406.
  4. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. November 9, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306136856.
  5. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. December 7, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306146398.
  6. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. December 14, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306143538.
  7. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. December 21, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306159082.