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Moonlighting Was Immediately Canceled After This Happened

When Moonlighting premiered on television in 1985, it quickly became one of the most successful shows of it’s time. The show made a star out of Bruce Willis and revitalized the career of actress Cybill Shepherd after a slow period earlier in the decade. Despite the success of the show, it didn’t make it to see the 1990s due to numerous complications that arose during filming. These included a growingly tumultuous relationship between Bruce and Cybill, as well as the dialogue-heavy nature of the show’s scripts and the fact that it was one of the most expensive sitcoms to produce at the time. Join Facts Verse as we explore the reasons that Moonlighting was cancelled.

Over the years, there has been much talk of a supposed feud that developed between stars Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd while they were filming their hit 1980s sitcom Moonlighting. The two costarred on the show together, and it went on to become a huge success soon after it’s 1985 premiere. Bruce Willis was a new star to audiences, while Cybill Shepherd had been a famous film actress and model during the 1970s. Cybill had apparently developed a bit of a diva mentality during her days as a film star but that mentality didn’t quite mesh well with her professional career once she became a television star. Over time, her diva persona began to rub costar Bruce Willis the wrong way. However, there is also the fact that the two were reported to have had a fling during the early days of the show’s filming that left a shadow over the remainder of it’s production.

On Moonlighting, Bruce Willis played the character of David Addison, while Cybill Shepherd played the character of Maddie Hayes. Throughout the show’s run, the two shared a good deal of romantic tension. During the early days of the show’s production, this tension was reportedly mirrored in the real-life relationship of stars Bruce and Cybill. One day during filming of the show, Cybill reportedly instigated an encounter between the two. Bruce later showed up at her home with a bottle of wine, and the two made out before deciding not to take things further.

It appears that things never progressed romantically between Bruce and Cybill after this one-off encounter. They seem to have both agreed to keep things professional for the sake of the show. However, they still grew to resent each other a great deal by the time the show came to it’s relatively early end in 1989. By the end of the series, the two were said to have barely been able to look each other in the eye. It remains unclear just how much the singular romantic encounter between the two played into this negativity.

Cybill was cast onto Moonlighting first, and she was given the task of reading with the various actors that were auditioning for the part of David. Cybill reportedly felt no chemistry whatsoever with any of the actors trying out for the part until Bruce Willis walked into the room, at which point Cybill was immediately intrigued by his looks and personality. She felt a great deal of chemistry with Bruce during the reading. This palpable chemistry between the two stars was certainly noticed by the audience, playing a huge part in the success of the show. However, this undeniable chemistry could also arguably have played a part in the show’s eventual downfall since it instigated the romantic encounter between Bruce and Cybill.

Bruce Willis wasn’t a star before the days of Moonlighting, and many were surprised when the star of the comedic show went on to become an action hero in blockbuster films like Die Hard. The creator of Moonlighting tried to talk Bruce out of taking his iconic role as John McClane in that classic late-80s action film, arguably because he knew it was going to be the beginning of the end of Bruce’s time on television. In addition to the variety of other causes that contributed to the end of Moonlighting, Bruce’s future as a blockbuster film star certainly made him not anxious to keep performing on the romantic comedy series. This was particularly true given that Cybill had begun to hate him by that point!

On the first day of filming Moonlighting, Bruce supposedly woke up with a hangover and didn’t have time to shower. Instead, he simply took a dip in his swimming pool and put his clothes on, showing up for the shoot on time despite the fact that he had woken up late. Bruce was apparently a big partier during those days, yet he was a professional when it came to his time on set. Meanwhile, Cybill had developed the habits of a diva during her time as a film star. Eventually, these contrasting personalities would clash to disastrous effect on the set of the show. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

Given that Cybill Shepherd considered herself a diva, she preferred to always get her way on the set of Moonlighting. Reportedly, she never got along with the series’ creator, Glenn Gordon Caron. After Cybill and Glenn stopped getting along, Cybill apparently used her sway on the show’s set to get him fired. However, Cybill didn’t have this same sway when it came to her costar.

Cybill’s diva antics made her receive the ire of much of the cast and crew, while Bruce Willis’ more laidback demeanor made him stand out to his coworkers as the more reasonable of the two. Because of this, people sided more with Bruce Willis when he and Cybill started feuding. However, Bruce certainly seems to have played his part in making things difficult towards Moonlighting’s end.

When things were at their worst between Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd, crewmembers were reportedly forced to measure the distance between the stars’ respective trailers and the set of the show. This was to ensure that neither Bruce nor Cybill had to walk a single inch farther than the other in order to begin filming. Tension between the two stars had further grown when Cybill took a reduced role on the show due to her pregnancy. Bruce had to work harder to make up for Cybill’s break. He also broke his collarbone during this period which made working that much harder.

It has been said that numerous scenes towards Moonlighting’s end used body doubles for either Bruce Willis or Cybill Shepherd so that the two didn’t have to be around each other quite as much. However, much of the use of doubles was also apparently so the camera crew didn’t have to deal with Cybill’s tips on how to make her look right on camera. Cybill had begun acting very self-consciously about her appearance while filming Moonlighting. Cybill was five years older than her male costar, and she was starting to worry that her age was beginning to show on the screen.

While Bruce and Cybill seem to have largely been able to keep things relatively cordial during filming despite their increasingly tumultuous on-set relationship, there was reported to have been at least one moment where the two broke out into a legitimate verbal dispute. This spat arose during a fake dispute that the two were supposed to be filming, and no one could quite put their finger on how the dispute suddenly became real. The incident supposedly ended with Cybill throwing a prop against the wall of the set that was reported to have made the set forcefully shake.

If Cybill had been the only diva on the set when Moonlighting first started filming, Bruce Willis had joined her by the end of the show’s run. The two both exhibited a great deal of over-the-top diva behavior while filming the final season of the show, and part of why the show came to an end was that it was simply growing too difficult to film them together. However, there were also numerous other reasons that led to it’s cancellation. By the end of the show, Bruce and Cybill were said to have done nothing more than come onto the set, say their lines once, and leave. They refused to rehearse or do more takes. This made it incredibly hard for the other stars on the show who required rehearsal, including the show’s guest stars.

The editors of Moonlighting supposedly had a hard time during the show’s final days finding footage wherein Bruce and Cybill managed to look each other in the eye. If stories are to be believed, they had to make do by slowing down footage of the fragmented moments wherein the two managed to make eye contact. The show was already one of the most expensive series of it’s day, and this increased trouble when it came to the show’s production didn’t prove to be very feasible.

The final season of Moonlighting was only 12 episodes long due to a strike that was going on amongst television writers. In the years since the show came to it’s end in 1989, both Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd appear to have let go of their negative feelings towards one another. Cybill even took part in 2018’s Roast of Bruce Willis, proving that both of the stars are now able to see humor in their ridiculous feud. While Cybill seems to have been humbled over the years, Bruce Willis is arguably still just as much of a diva as ever! The actor is reportedly hard to get along with on the set of his films nowadays, and still doesn’t like to have to do more than he needs to in order for a scene to be completed.

The palpable chemistry between stars Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd on the set of the 1980s television series Moonlighting made the show a success, but it also proved to be a part of it’s downfall. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd had romantic tension on the set of Moonlighting, and did you know that this romantic tension grew into a bitter feud? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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