Open main menu

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 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) Hugh Wilson Productions
Columbia Pictures Television
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network CBS
Original release September 18, 1989 (1989-09-18) – May 12, 1990 (1990-05-12)



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 StarsEdit

Production notesEdit

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


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"Hugh WilsonHugh WilsonSeptember 18, 1989 (1989-09-18)
2"What's an Agent to Do?"TBATBASeptember 25, 1989 (1989-09-25)
3"Bobby the Chimp"TBATBAOctober 2, 1989 (1989-10-02)
4"Teddy Goes to Malibu"TBATBAOctober 16, 1989 (1989-10-16)
5"Teddy Makes $50, One Day"TBATBAOctober 23, 1989 (1989-10-23)
6"Teddy Gets Fired"TBATBAOctober 30, 1989 (1989-10-30)
7"Teddy Falls in Love"TBATBANovember 13, 1989 (1989-11-13)
8"Teddy Sells His House"TBATBANovember 20, 1989 (1989-11-20)
9"A Case of Murder"TBATBANovember 27, 1989 (1989-11-27)
9"A Case of Murder"TBATBANovember 27, 1989 (1989-11-27)
10"Teddy Gets a House Guest"TBATBADecember 4, 1989 (1989-12-04)
11"Season's Greetings from Al Floss"TBATBADecember 11, 1989 (1989-12-11)
12"Grandma Goes to Work"TBATBADecember 25, 1989 (1989-12-25)
13"Teddy Meets His Hero"TBATBAJanuary 8, 1990 (1990-01-08)
14"Teddy Gets a Better Offer"TBATBAJanuary 15, 1990 (1990-01-15)
15"Agent of the Year"TBATBAMay 12, 1990 (1990-05-12)
16"Teddy Goes to the Awards"TBATBAUnaired
17"How to Make a Television Show"TBATBAUnaired
18"Al Tells the Truth"TBATBAUnaired
19"Teddy's Big Date"TBATBAUnaired
20"Teddy Gets a Guru"TBATBAUnaired

Awards and nominationsEdit

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


External linksEdit