Night Court

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Night Court
Night Court title screen.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Reinhold Weege
Opening theme Jack Elliott
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes193 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time23–24 minutes
Production companies
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Picture format NTSC (480i)
Audio format Stereo
Original releaseJanuary 4, 1984 (1984-01-04) 
May 31, 1992 (1992-05-31)

Night Court is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from January 4, 1984, to May 31, 1992. The setting was the night shift of a Manhattan municipal court presided over by a young, unorthodox judge, Harold "Harry" T. Stone (portrayed by Harry Anderson). The series was created by comedy writer Reinhold Weege, who had previously worked on Barney Miller in the 1970s and early 1980s.





The only actors to appear consistently throughout the show's run were Anderson, Larroquette, and Moll.

Theme music

Every episode of Night Court opens and closes with a jazz-influenced, bass-heavy theme tune composed by Jack Elliott, featuring Ernie Watts on saxophone while featuring video footage of prominent New York City landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York County Courthouse.

Night Court's theme was used in the season-5 Family Guy episode "Bill & Peter's Bogus Journey", featuring animations of former US President Bill Clinton playing saxophone along with Secret Service musicians playing backup.

Night Court's theme was sampled for the remix to Cam'Ron's 1998 single "Horse & Carriage". It was produced by Darrell "Digga" Branch and featured Big Pun, Charli Baltimore, Wyclef Jean, and Silkk the Shocker.

Following the end credits theme music, a distinctive laugh can be heard dubbed over the vanity logo displaying producer Reinhold Weege's "Starry Night Productions". [2] This same laugh can be heard coming from the studio audience throughout numerous seasons of Night Court. At first it was thought to be the canned laugh of voice actor Mel Blanc or even star Harry Anderson; but in fact, it was the laugh of Chuck Weege, Reinhold's father, who attended nearly all of the tapings in person. [3]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
1 13January 4, 1984 (1984-01-04)May 31, 1984 (1984-05-31)4112.7
2 22September 27, 1984 (1984-09-27)May 9, 1985 (1985-05-09)2017.6
3 22September 26, 1985 (1985-09-26)May 8, 1986 (1986-05-08)1120.9
4 22October 2, 1986 (1986-10-02)May 6, 1987 (1987-05-06)723.2
5 22September 17, 1987 (1987-09-17)May 12, 1988 (1988-05-12)720.8
6 22October 26, 1988 (1988-10-26)May 3, 1989 (1989-05-03)2116.9
7 24September 27, 1989 (1989-09-27)May 2, 1990 (1990-05-02)2814.5 [lower-alpha 1]
8 24September 28, 1990 (1990-09-28)May 8, 1991 (1991-05-08)5011.5
9 22September 18, 1991 (1991-09-18)May 31, 1992 (1992-05-31)4612.0

Awards and honors

Night Court received a number of awards and nominations. Both Selma Diamond (in 1985) and John Larroquette (in 1988) earned Golden Globe nominations, but lost to Faye Dunaway and Rutger Hauer, respectively. Paula Kelly was nominated for an Emmy after the first season. Larroquette won four consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from 1985 to 1988, before he withdrew his name from the ballot in 1989. Selma Diamond was nominated in 1985, and Anderson received three nominations in 1985, 1986, and 1987. The series received three nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1985, 1987, and 1988. The series also received many awards and nominations in the areas of lighting, editing, sound mixing, and technical direction. The show was nominated for 31 Emmys, winning seven.

American Comedy Awards
YearCategory / EpisodeRecipient / NomineeResultsRef
1990 Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a Television Series John Larroquette Nominated [4]
Casting Society of America
YearCategory / EpisodeRecipient / NomineeResultsRef
1985 Best Casting for TV, Comedy Episodic Eileen Mack KnightNominated [5]
1986Gilda StrattonWon [6]
1987Harriet B. HelbergNominated [7]
Creative Arts Emmy Awards
1984 Outstanding Costumes in a Series ("Welcome Back, Mam")Barbara MurphyNominated [8]
Outstanding Lighting for a Series ("Bull's Baby")John ApplerothNominated
1985Outstanding Light for a Series ("Billie's Valentine")John ApplerothNominated
Outstanding Light for a Series ("Bull Gets a Kid")Mark BuxbaumNominated
Outstanding Videotape Editing for a Series ("The Blizzard")Jerry DavisNominated
1986 Outstanding Costumes in a Series ("Halloween, Too")Dan Frank,
Molly Harris Campbell
Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series ("Hurricane")Jerry DavisNominated
Outstanding Lighting for a Series ("Leon We Hardly Knew Ye")George Spiro DibieNominated
1987 Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series ("Her Honor – Part 1")Jerry DavisWon
Outstanding Costumes in a Series ("A Day in the Life")Dan Frank,
Molly Harris Campbell
1988Outstanding Lighting in a Comedy Series ("Constitution – Part 2")George Spiro DibieNominated
1989 Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special ("The Last Temptation of Mac")Klaus LandsbergWon
Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series ("Yet Another Day in the Life")Robert G. HolmesWon
Outstanding Lighting for a Comedy Series ("Danny Got His Gun – Part 3")Robert BerryNominated
1990 Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series ("Come Back To the Five and Dime, Stephen King")Robert G. HolmesNominated
1991Outstanding Lighting for a Comedy Series ("Hey Harry", "F' Cryin' Out Loud", "It's A Wonderful Like..Sorta")Charles L. BarbeeNominated
1992Outstanding Lighting for a Comedy Series ("A Guy Named Phantom – Part 1")Charles L. BarbeeNominated
Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series ("A Guy Named Phantom – Part 2")Robert G. HolmesNominated
Golden Globe Awards
1985 Best Supporting Actress — Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Selma Diamond Nominated [9]
1988 Best Supporting Actor — Series, Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television John LarroquetteNominated
Online Film & Television Association
2013Television Programs — Hall of FameNight CourtWon [10]
Primetime Emmy Awards
1984 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Paula Kelly Nominated [8]
1985 Outstanding Comedy Series Night CourtNominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Harry Anderson Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("Dan's Parents or Married Alive")John LarroquetteWon
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Selma DiamondNominated
1986 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("Best of Friends")John LarroquetteWon
1987 Outstanding Comedy Series Night CourtNominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Harry AndersonNominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("Dan's Operation")John LarroquetteWon
1988 Outstanding Comedy Series Night CourtNominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("No Hard Feelings")John LarroquetteWon
Television Critics Association
1985 Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Night CourtNominated
Writers Guild of America
1985 Episodic Comedy ("Once in Love with Harry")Reinhold WeegeNominated [11]
1987 Episodic Comedy ("Best of Friends")Howard OstroffNominated [12]
1988 Episodic Comedy ("Contempt of Courting")Tom StrawNominated [13]
1989 Episodic Comedy ("No Hart Feelings")Tom StrawNominated [14]


United States

After its primary run in broadcast syndication, the series aired on cable's A&E Network for many years. It then aired on TV Land from 2005 to 2008, then began airing on Encore Classic on December 2, 2013. Beginning at the end of 2015, the show airs nationally on the Laff digital multicast subchannel.


Aired weekdays on both Comedy Gold and JoyTV.


Network Ten first broadcast the series in the 1980s and 1990s. 7TWO began showing reruns in June 2011.

New Zealand

The show screened weekly on TVNZ 1 in the 1980s and 1990s, and was rerun in the late 1990s.

Home media

Warner Home Video released the first three seasons on DVD in Region 1. Seasons 4–9 were released as Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) DVDs as part of the Warner Archive Collection. [15]

DVD NameEp. #Release Date
The Complete First Season [16] 13February 8, 2005
The Complete Second Season [17] 22February 3, 2009
The Complete Third Season [18] 22February 23, 2010
The Complete Fourth Season [19] 22March 1, 2011 (
September 1, 2011 (
The Complete Fifth Season [20] 22October 25, 2011
The Complete Sixth Season [21] 22June 26, 2012
The Complete Seventh Season [22] 22November 6, 2012
The Complete Eighth Season [23] 24January 29, 2013
The Complete Ninth Season [24] 22June 11, 2013

Special releases

DVD NameRelease DateEp. #
Television FavoritesFebruary 28, 20066

The Television Favorites compilation DVD included the pilot episode, "All You Need Is Love"; both parts of the fourth-season finale, "Her Honor"; the fifth-season episodes "Death of a Bailiff" and "Who Was That Mashed Man?"; and the sixth-season episode "Fire", which marked the beginning of Harry's relationship with Christine.

Harry Anderson, Markie Post, and Charles Robinson appeared in the 30 Rock episode, "The One with the Cast of Night Court". John Larroquette is also mentioned; Harry says he had just spoken to John, which annoys Markie (who has not had recent contact with her absent former co-star) and begins an argument between them that lasts for most of the story.

Sequel series

In December 2020, NBC announced it was working on a sequel series to Night Court. The show will be executive produced by Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch, with Dan Rubin to write. Larroquette is set to return as Fielding, while the show's central character will be Abby Stone, a judge and the daughter of Harry Stone. The show is expected to broadcast on NBC for Warner Bros. Television. [25] In April 2021, it was reported that Rauch will also lead the series as Abby Stone. [26] In May 2021, it was announced that NBC had given a pilot order to a sequel series. [27] In June 2021, Ana Villafañe joined the cast for the pilot, portraying an Assistant District Attorney and Lacretta will play bailiff Donna "Gurgs" Gurganous. [28] [29] In July 2021, Kapil Talwalkar joined the cast for the pilot. [30]


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  30. Andreeva, Nellie (July 7, 2021). "'Night Court': Kapil Talwalkar Joins NBC Sequel Pilot". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved July 7, 2021.