Tequila and Bonetti
Created byDonald P. Bellisario
Written by
  • Donald P. Bellisario
  • Robin Bernheim
  • Richard C. Okie
  • Gerald Sanoff
  • Tommy Thompson
Directed by
Voices ofBrad Sanders
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12
Executive producers
  • Donald P. Bellisario
  • Jimmy Giritlian
Running time60 mins. (with commercials)
Production companies
Original networkCBS
Original releaseJanuary 17 (1992-01-17) –
April 17, 1992 (1992-04-17)

Tequila and Bonetti is an American crime comedy-drama television series starring Jack Scalia. The series originally aired on CBS from January 17, 1992 to April 17, 1992. It was later remade in 2000, for Italian television.


The lead character of the series, Nico ("Nick") Bonetti (Jack Scalia), is a policeman from New York City who is proud of his Italian heritage and very fond of his vintage rose-colored Cadillac convertible, which he inherited from his father. After he erroneously shoots a young girl during a gunfight, he relocates to a beachfront Los Angeles precinct on temporary assignment. Here he meets his new partners, Tequila (a large, burrito-eating French Mastiff), and Officer Angela Garcia (Mariska Hargitay), who joined the department after her policeman husband's death. Their boss is Captain Midian Knight (Charles Rocket), who is almost as interested in selling a screenplay as he is in police work. The series shows their investigations of crimes and the evolving relationships between the characters. This show has the peculiarity that television viewers are able to hear Tequila's thoughts.

Life is not easy for Bonetti, due to his remorse about the girl he shot and the strange habits of Californians whom he does not understand. His neighbors include a Puerto Rican psychic (Liz Torres), who hears Tequila's thoughts but initially believes she is hearing spirits. Bonetti develops a grudging respect for the people around him as well as for Tequila, who despite his faults is an excellent police dog. The dog is portrayed as having human-level intelligence and a street-wise, sassy attitude.

The show was developed by producer Donald P. Bellisario. His daughter, an eight year-old Troian Bellisario (eighteen years before her defining role in Pretty Little Liars), had a recurring role as Garcia's daughter, who for a time is unaware that her mother has joined the police department rather than continue a career as an art dealer.

Each episode has a montage during which Bonetti plays piano and viewers see odd, sometimes disturbing scenes featuring Bonetti's neighbors and co-workers. Some of these scenes are from later episodes, while others remain unexplained. Each montage ends with Bonetti's memory of the shooting of the girl in New York.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Street Dogs"Michael ZinbergDonald P. BellisarioJanuary 17, 1992 (1992-01-17)
2"Teach Your Children"TBATBAJanuary 24, 1992 (1992-01-24)
3"The Rose Cadillac"James Whitmore Jr.Richard C. OkieJanuary 31, 1992 (1992-01-31)
4"Language of the Heart"Christopher HiblerTBAFebruary 28, 1992 (1992-02-28)
5"Tales of the Dragon"TBATBAMarch 6, 1992 (1992-03-06)
6"A Perfect Match"TBATBAMarch 13, 1992 (1992-03-13)
7"Fetch This, Pal"TBATBAApril 3, 1992 (1992-04-03)
8"Wonderdog"TBATBAApril 10, 1992 (1992-04-10)
9"Brooklyn and the Beast"TBATBAApril 17, 1992 (1992-04-17)
10"Mama"TBATBAApril 18, 1992 (1992-04-18)
12"Runt of the Litter"TBATBAUNAIRED


The series received negative reviews from critics,[1] and was subsequently canceled by CBS four months after its premiere.

2000 series reboot

8 years later, Tequila & Bonetti was rebooted for television with Jack Scalia reprising his role as Bonetti; only this time, the show was filmed and aired in Italy. Bonetti goes to Rome to team up with a new "Tequila", a cross between a Saint Bernard and a golden retriever, and the policewoman Fabiana Sasso (Alessia Marcuzzi). Again, only the audience can hear the dog's thoughts, but this time Bonetti is the one with strange American habits, as seen by his new Italian friends.


  1. ^ Tucker, Ken (1992-02-07). "Tequila and Bonetti (1992)". ew.com. Retrieved 2009-09-10.