While the show suffered a slide in the latter part of its eight-year run, the antics of the Honorable Harold T. Stone and his compatriots on the night shift in a Manhattan courtroom were enough to land the show in the top ten for two years in a row.

Magician Harry Anderson was intended to be the central focus, but it wasn’t long before John Larroquette’s lecherous prosecutor Dan Fielding took center stage. In fact Larroquette would win four Emmy awards for his work on Night Court before declining to be considered again in 1989. Fans also remember Richard Moll’s bailiff Bull Shannon, a gentle giant, who shares the distinction (with Anderson and Larroquette) of being with the show for its entire run.

The show’s portrayal of the non-violent, non-glamorous world of petty crime garnered accolades from critics, though scripts did get much more slapstick (and a touch bizarre – a group of Star Trek fans did beam out of the courtroom) as the seasons went on. The show also was noted for acknowledging in the script the real-life deaths of not one, but two characters. Bailiffs Flo and Selma, rest in peace… to the velvet voice of Mel Tourmé.

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