Title card, with Adam Arkin as Lenny Markowitz at right.
|Created by||Lowell Ganz|
|Theme music composer||Mark Rothman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||25 (4 unaired)|
|Executive producer(s)||Lowell Ganz|
John Thomas Lenox
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hayadou Productions|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||January 17 –|
November 16, 1977
Busting Loose is an American sitcom starring Adam Arkin which centers on a young man in New York City who has moved out of his parents' house to live on his own for the first time. The show aired on CBS between January 17, 1977, and November 16, 1977.
Cast and characters
- Adam Arkin as Lenny Markowitz
- Barbara Rhoades as Melody Feebeck
- Jack Kruschen as Sam Markowitz
- Pat Carroll as Pearl Markowitz
- Danny Goldman as Lester Bellman
- Steve Nathan as Allan Simmonds
- Greg Antonacci as Vinnie Mordabito
- Paul Sylvan as Woody Warshaw
- Paul B. Price as Ralph Cabell
- Ralph Wilcox as Raymond St. Williams
- Louise Williams as Jackie Gleason
Lenny Markowitz is a 24-year-old Jewish American man who recently graduated from engineering school. Tired of living with his overprotective and meddling parents Sam and Pearl, he secretly moves out on his own for the first time – "busting loose" from them – into a low-rent apartment in a rundown apartment building in New York City where his neighbor is Melody Feebeck, a beautiful, voluptuous, older redheaded woman who works for an escort service. Lacking the money even to replace the duck-covered wallpaper in his new apartment and still looking for work as an engineer, he temporarily takes a menial job at the Wearwell Shoe Store, operated by Ralph Cabell, where his coworker is Raymond St. Williams, a "hip" young African American man. His childhood friends Lester Bellman, Allan Simmonds, Vinnie Mordabito, and Woody Warshaw frequently visit him; they play poker together and get involved in various escapades. In the fall of 1977, Lenny finds a regular girlfriend, Jackie Gleason, an attractive young woman unrelated – and bearing no resemblance – to the real-life television star Jackie Gleason.
Mark Rothman and Lowell Ganz created Busting Loose and served as its executive producers, and Rothman composed the show's theme music. Lawrence Kasha was the producer for the first season; John Thomas Lenox produced the second season. Lenox also directed one episode; the other episode directors were Greg Antonacci, James Burrows, Mel Ferber, Norm Gray, Asaad Kelada, Harvey Miller, Tony Mordente, Alan Myerson, Bill Persky, Howard Storm, and Joel Zwick. Antonacci, Ganz, Rothman, Chet Dowling, David W. Duclon, Howard Gewirtz, Joe Glauberg, Sandy Krinski, David Lerner, Deborah Leschin, Babaloo Mandel, and Barry Rubinowitz all wrote or co-wrote one or more episodes.
During its first season, Busting Loose aired on CBS on Monday at 8:30 p.m. from January to May 1977. The show then left the air until July 1977, when reruns of the first season began to air on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. The second season also ran at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the fall of 1977.
In "Mr. Dennis Steps Out," broadcast on October 26, 1977, as the fifth episode of the second season of Busting Loose, Melody is afraid that her boss at the escort service, Roger Dennis – played by guest star Ted Knight – is going to fire her. The episode served as the pilot for Knight's first show of his own, the short-lived 1978 sitcom The Ted Knight Show, which centered on Roger Dennis's firm, the Mr. Dennis Escort Service. However, Barbara Rhoades and her Melody Feebeck character did not appear in The Ted Knight Show.
Busting Loose was broadcast over two seasons. Thirteen episodes aired during its first season in the winter and spring of 1977. Eight more were broadcast during its second season in the fall of 1977, and four other episodes produced for that season never aired.
Season 1 (1977)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Pilot"||Bill Persky||Lowell Ganz & Mark Rothman||January 17, 1977|
|Tired of living with his meddling and overprotective parents, Lenny tells them that he is going on a trip and secretly searches for a cheap apartment.|
|2||2||"Five's a Crowd"||Howard Storm||Barry Rubinowitz||January 24, 1977|
|Lenny has a crush on a girl who is paranoid about male attention.|
|3||3||"The Harder They Come, the Bigger They Fall"||James Burrows||Greg Antonacci||February 7, 1977|
|A bullying deliveryman challenges Lenny to a fight.|
|4||4||"Still Nutsy After All These Years"||James Burrows||Deborah Leschin & David W. Duclon||February 14, 1977|
|Lenny's ex-girlfriend tries to rekindle their relationship.|
|5||5||"Grandpa Markowitz"||Harvey Miller||Mark Rothman & Lowell Ganz||February 21, 1977|
|Lenny's grandfather comes to visit. He hates his relatives and plans to shock them by dropping dead at his own 85th birthday party.|
|6||6||"Hell Hath No Fury"||Norm Gray||Barry Rubinowitz||February 28, 1977|
|Lenny refuses to live with Helene, so she has him jailed on trumped-up charges.|
|7||7||"Love's Labor Lost"||Asaad Kelada||Joe Glauberg||March 7, 1977|
|Lenny is determined to date a girl whose father disapproves of him.|
|8||8||"Kiss and Dwell"||Tony Mordente||Deborah Leschin||March 14, 1977|
|Lenny's friends goad him into asking Melody for a date.|
|9||9||"A Nut at the Opera"||Tony Mordente||Greg Antonacci||March 21, 1977|
|Working as escorts, Lenny and a friend accompany two socialites to the opera.|
|10||10||"House of Noodles"||Tony Mordente||Babaloo Mandel||March 28, 1977|
|Mr. Cabell refuses to give Raymond a raise.|
|11||11||"Together Again as Never Before"||James Burrows||Greg Antonacci||April 11, 1977|
|Sam is lonely while Pearl is away, and he makes a pest of himself trying to be Lenny's pal.|
|12||12||"The Famous Announcers School"||Tony Mordente||Chet Dowling & Sandy Krinski||April 25, 1977|
|Aspiring to be a sportscaster, Lenny enrolls in a fly-by-night broadcasting school run by a flaky disc jockey.|
|13||13||"Singles Weekend"||Tony Mordente||David W. Duclon||May 2, 1977|
|Lenny and his friends visit a resort, seeking sun, fun, and women.|
Season 2 (1977)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|14||1||"Smoke Gets in Your Face"||James Burrows||Barry Rubinowitz||September 28, 1977|
|Lenny blames his friends for a fire that damaged his apartment.|
|15||2||"Foiled Again"||Alan Myerson||Greg Antonacci||October 5, 1977|
|Vinnie is in love, but his state of bliss comes to an end when the woman he is interested in falls for Lenny.|
|16||3||"Roomies"||Mel Ferber||Babaloo Mandel||October 12, 1977|
|Vinnie and Raymond are both looking for an apartment, and they find the same one.|
|17||4||"A Knight in Tarnished Armor"||Norm Gray||Babaloo Mandel||October 19, 1977|
|Lenny is a meek man at heart, but he nonetheless tries to impress Jackie with his machismo.|
|18||5||"Mr. Dennis Steps Out"||James Burrows||Lowell Ganz & Mark Rothman||October 26, 1977|
Melody fears that her boss at the escort service, Roger Dennis, is going to fire her.
This episode was the pilot for the 1978 sitcom The Ted Knight Show.
|19||6||"The Decision: Part 1"||John Thomas Lenox||David W. Duclon||November 2, 1977|
|Lenny becomes angry when he spots Jackie out with another man.|
|20||7||"The Decision: Part 2"||John Thomas Lenox||Howard Gewirtz & David Lerner||November 9, 1977|
|Lenny tries to choose between playing around with women and settling down.|
|21||8||"All in Love's Unfair"||TBA||TBA||November 16, 1977|
|Lenny sets up Vinnie with a girl he once dated who is still sweet on him.|
|22||9||"Welcome to Fleckman's"||TBA||TBA||N/A|
|23||10||"Mordabito's Ragtime Band"||TBA||TBA||N/A|
|25||12||"Scenes from an Engagement"||TBA||TBA||N/A|
- Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 147.
- McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 128.
- ctva.com Busting Loose
- Busting Loose on IMDb[unreliable source?]
- tvguide.com Busting Loose Episodes