Monday, September 21, 2015

9/21/1993 NYPD Blue

September 21, 1993.  One of TV's best cop shows, and ABC's longest running drama, premiered on this night.  NYPD Blue courted controversy at the start with nudity and bad language.  Once they got everyone's attention they settled down to some excellent character-driven drama.

One of the oddities of the show was that it was intended as a star vehicle for David Caruso, but he left at the start of the second season.  While he was replaced by Jimmy Smits and a trail of other good-looking leading men, it became clear that the soul of the show was Andy Sipowicz, the bigoted, alcoholic older detective played by Dennis Franz.  Andy survived the loss of three partners and a wife and somehow turned into a decent person along the way.

The show had behind the scene problems.  (Caruso was allegedly very hard to work with.  And in a later season a producer was supposedly making up dialog while the actors stood on the set waiting for it.)  But the show was a heck of a ride.


  1. Absolutely one of the best shows ever, and Sipowicz was easily one of the most complex characters ever in a weekly network series--possibly THE most complex.

  2. Barry, I still remember the totally unexpected scene in which Andy confronts the man responsible for his wife's death. "You've got to stop doing the things you do!"