The Famous Teddy Z

The Famous Teddy Z
Genre Sitcom
Created by Hugh Wilson
Written by Richard Dubin
Wayne Lemon
Sid O. Smith
Robert Wilcox
Hugh Wilson
Directed by Frank Bonner
Richard Dubin
Max Tash
Hugh Wilson
Starring Jon Cryer
Alex Rocco
Jane Sibbett
Milton Selzer
Josh Blake
Erica Yohn
Theme music composer Guy Moon
Stephanie Tyrell
Steve Tyrell
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 20 (5 unaired)
Executive producer(s) Hugh Wilson
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) ELP Communications
Hugh Wilson Productions
Columbia Pictures Television
Distributor Columbia TriStar Television
Sony Pictures Television
Original network CBS
Original release September 18, 1989 (1989-09-18) – May 12, 1990 (1990-05-12)

The Famous Teddy Z is an American sitcom that aired on CBS during the fall of 1989. The series was created by Hugh Wilson and inspired by the true story of Jay Kantor, who was a mailroom clerk at MCA and later became Marlon Brando's agent.[1]


The series starred Jon Cryer as Theodore "Teddy" Zakalokis, a young man working in a Hollywood talent agency in order to avoid being stuck in his Greek-American family's bakery. When Hollywood star Harland Keyvo (a caricature of Marlon Brando) meets Teddy Z, he is so impressed by his honesty that he makes him his new agent. The humor is derived from Teddy's innocent approach to the business, contrasted with the snake-like behavior of his fellow agents. The cast also included Jane Sibbett, Alex Rocco, Milton Selzer, Josh Blake, and Erica Yohn. Rocco's character, Al Floss, also made a crossover appearance on Murphy Brown, as the agent for several of that show's characters.

The series pilot was seen to be far stronger than subsequent episodes, but the series received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including one for the pilot, and for Alex Rocco, who won an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series,[2] but low ratings led CBS to drop it with five episodes unaired. It was later run in its entirety on Comedy Central in 1993 with episodes introduced by Rocco, and by Trio under the heading "Brilliant But Canceled."[3]


Guest Stars

Production notes

The theme song was written by Guy Moon, Stephanie and Steve Tyrell and performed by Bill Champlin of the rock group, Chicago.

Episode list

Season 1

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1 Pilot September 18, 1989
2 "What's an Agent to Do?" September 25, 1989
3 "Bobby the Chimp" October 2, 1989
4 "Teddy Goes to Malibu" October 16, 1989
5 "Teddy Makes $50,000 ... in One Day" October 23, 1989
6 "Teddy Gets Fired" October 30, 1989
7 "Teddy Falls in Love" November 13, 1989
8 "Teddy Sells His House" November 20, 1989
9 "A Case of Murder" November 27, 1989
10 "Teddy Gets a House Guest" December 4, 1989
11 "Season's Greetings from Al Floss" December 11, 1989
12 "Grandma Goes to Work" December 25, 1989
13 "Teddy Meets His Hero" January 8, 1990
14 "Teddy Gets a Better Offer" January 22, 1990
15 "Agent of the Year" May 12, 1990
16 "Teddy Goes to the Awards" Never aired
17 "How to Make a Television Show" Never aired
18 "Al Tells the Truth" Never aired
19 "Teddy's Big Date" Never aired
20 "Teddy Gets a Guru" Never aired

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1990 Emmy Awards Nominated Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Hugh Wilson
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Liz Torres
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Hugh Wilson (For pilot episode)
Won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Alex Rocco


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