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The show aired from February 5, 1977 to May 18, 1978, lasting for two seasons and 35 episodes.
The series centered on Detective Phil Fish and his wife, Bernice, who became foster parents to five racially mixed street kids (Loomis, Jilly, Mike, Victor & Diane) known as PINS (or "Persons in Need of Supervision").
- Abe Vigoda as Detective Phil Fish
- Florence Stanley as Bernice Fish
- Todd Bridges as Loomis
- Denise Miller as Jilly Papalardo
- Leni Bari as Mike
- Jon Cassisi as Victor Kreutzer
- Sarah Natoli as Diane Pulaski
- Barry Gordon as Charlie Harrison
Creator Danny Arnold was originally against the idea of giving the character of Fish his own spin-off, believing that Fish was a character that was better suited to the precinct.
Originally, Arnold agreed to the spin-off on the condition that Abe Vigoda continued to play his Fish character on the show in half of the episodes of the third season, as well as future seasons.
However, Vigoda persisted on quitting "Barney Miller" and staying on just "Fish", wanting to be the star of his own series.
Arnold recalled: "I found myself with a very unhappy actor on my hands. Abe would walk around the set like a man in shock. Who was I to deprive an actor of this once-in-a-lifetime break? Finally I said, 'Okay, just stay through the third year of Barney Miller, and we'll go with your show, too."
ABC was publicly contemplating a "Fish" spin-off as early as October 1975. The initial premise was to show Fish's home life with "his wife, his daughter, and his daughter's suitor" with only occasional visits to the 12th Precinct.
The intention was to have a pilot air as an episode of Barney Miller in early 1976 with a series debut that fall.
The second-season episode of "Barney Miller" (titled "Fish") effectively was the pilot for that concept, with much of the episode taking place in Fish's home and featuring Fish's wife and daughter, along with the daughter's romantic drama.
"Fish" aired from February 1977 through June 1978 on ABC. According to Todd Bridges, just 12 episodes during the show's second season, it was cancelled after Abe Vigoda demanded more money for a third season than the producers were willing to pay.