LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Reinhold Weege, the creator of the hit NBC sitcom “Night Court,” has died, a spokeswoman for the family told TheWrap. He was 63 years old.
He also wrote for other notable television shows, including “Barney Miller” and “M*A*S*H.”
However, it was “Night Court,” a show that poked gentle fun at bureaucratic absurdity, that would become his signature work. The series centered on a young judge (Harry Anderson) saddled with handling the bottom of the barrel cases that come into Manhattan’s night court and featured a breakout performance by John Larroquette as a skirt-chasing lawyer.
The show started out tackling serious legal issues, but over the course of its nine seasons, slowly expunged commentary in favor of broad humor.
Weege might never have entered show business had he not been fired from a job in journalism. In a 1994 piece in the Chicago Tribune, he wrote that he was working as a reporter and editor of a tiny suburban paper when he reported on a secret meeting, between the town and the Pritzker hotel chain about a proposal to build a monorail, hotels and a 60-story office building.
After his paper was less than thrilled with the piece he copyrighted it and had it picked up by a larger paper — the result was he got canned.
“Shortly after that, I sold our couch, the only asset my wife and I had, got in the car and headed toward Hollywood,” Weege wrote.
The rest is history.
Weege is survived by his ex-wife Shelley, two daughters and a granddaughter.