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Remembering Abe Vigoda On ‘Barney Miller’ Saturday

Abe Vigoda as Det. Phil Fish on "Barney Miller" in 1975.
Abe Vigoda as Det. Phil Fish on "Barney Miller" in 1975.
Abe Vigoda as Det. Phil Fish on "Barney Miller" in 1975.
Credit Wikipedia
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Abe Vigoda as Det. Phil Fish on "Barney Miller" in 1975.

Loveable character actor Abe Vigoda, who died Tuesday at age 94, will be saluted with a 12-episode marathon of his best episodes on “Barney Miller” Saturday (4-10 p.m., Antenna TV, Channel 64.2).

After his memorable role on “The Godfather” in 1972, as double crosser Tessio, he was hired by ABC to play dour Det. Phil Fish on ABC’s “Barney Miller.” The ensemble comedy starring Hal Linden premiered Jan. 23, 1975.

His character was so popular that Fish and wife Bernice (Florence Stanley) were spun-off into its own “Fish” sitcom in 1977-78. However, he continued to appear on “Barney Miller” too.

ABC publicity photo of Hal Linden (left) and Abe Vigoda for "Barney Miller" premiere January 1975.
Credit Wikipedia
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ABC publicity photo of Hal Linden (left) and Abe Vigoda for "Barney Miller" premiere January 1975.

NPR’s Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish saluted Vigoda by replaying some audio clips on “All Things Considered” Tuesday.

Here’s how you can spend Saturday night with Fish on over-the-air Channel 64.2 or Time Warner Channel 996 in Cincinnati and southwestern Ohio (it is not available on TWC in Northern Kentucky). Plot information comes from the International Movie Database.

4 p.m.:  “Experience” Fish considers retirement (second episode of series, Jan. 30 1975)

4:30 p.m.:  “Hair” Fish goes to a massage parlor (1975)

5 p.m.: “Discovery” Police computers list Fish as deceased (1975)

5:30 p.m. “Fish” Fish’s home life (1975)

6 p.m.: “The Kid”  Fish is attracted to a mugger’s mother (1976).

6:30 p.m.: “The Mole” Fish considers an operation, while officers track a burglar through the city sewers (1976)

7 p.m.: “Evacuation” Fish meets Jilly (Denise Miller), a young thief who will appear in the “Fish” spin-off (1977)

7:30 p.m.: “Smog Alert” A smog alert (1977)

8 p.m. “Group Home” Fish goes on a mugging detail (1977)

8:30 p.m.: “Burial” Retired Fish helps Barney find a missing corpse (1977)

9 & 9:30 p.m. “Goodbye, Mr. Fish” (Parts 1 & 2) Fish reaches mandatory retirement age (1977)

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