By Marissa Wells
“Moonlighting: An Oral History,” by Scott Ryan, spotlights the behind-the-scenes story of the television series “Moonlighting,” which aired from 1985 to 1989. In it, Ryan interviews more than 20 people who worked on the cast and crew of the Emmy Award-winning series, including Cybill Shepherd, Glenn Gordon Caron and Jay Daniels.
The book was inspired by Ryan’s enjoyment of the show as a teenager and the influence it had on his writing interests.
“The first thing I ever wrote was a fan made episode of ‘Moonlighting’ back in 1988,” Ryan said. “I was afraid this show that brought Bruce Willis to America’s attention was starting to slip away from pop culture because it doesn’t stream anywhere.”
It was important for Ryan to produce a book that highlighted the significance and quality of the television series.
“‘Moonlighting’ was a show that changed from week to week; it was so creative — one week a musical, one week a Shakespeare episode, the next a black and white episode,” Ryan said. “I wanted to know why other shows don’t do that. Why isn’t TV as creative today.”
Ryan addresses some of the obstacles that occurred behind the scenes such as the pressures and uncertainties that would arise when preparing to premier new episodes and the pursuit of quality that creators engaged in.
“I think what you get out of it in that sense is the work and the amount of people it takes to craft good television, not just television,” Ryan said.
The book will peak the interest of readers who enjoy television and also those who enjoy creating. Ryan assures readers that his book is not an episode guide of the series but rather the story of the ride that the series went on.
“It is in the words of the crew of the series. … It starts with a boom and ends with a whimper, but in between, there is a lot of creative work,” Ryan said.” There are some great lessons in this book for anyone who wants to write television.”
In addition to being an author, Ryan is the co-founder of Fayetteville Mafia Press, which publishes books about pop culture, sports and true crime. Ryan is based in Sarasota, Florida. For more information about the author and his work, visit scottryanproductions.com.
“Moonlighting: An Oral History” is available for $29.99 via FayettevilleMafiaPress.com as well as in bookstores and online websites.