1 9 9 7 – 1 9 9 8 (USA)
22 x 60 minute episodes
This gritty, realistic series from producer Steven Bochco (whose previous credits included Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue) followed the on-the-job lives of a group of no-nonsense officers as they dealt with the crime and corruption of a seedy area of the city.
The nominal focus of the show was on Sgt Francis Donovan (Jon Tenney) who presided over the morning shift assignments given to officers of the 74th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn, New York (called “Brooklyn South”).
He reported to Captain Jonas (James B. Sikking), who early in the season made the uneasy transition from being a hated Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) lieutenant to precinct commander.
Their relationship was complicated by the fact that Donovan had been recruited as an undercover informant for IAB when he first graduated from the police academy (to protect his retired cop father from indictment for corruption).
Each of the many officers had their own story . . .
In the series premier Anne-Marie (Yancy Butler) witnessed her policeman boyfriend killed in a shootout. The wounded madman responsible for the shooting died later from internal injuries in the station house after she kicked him in the stomach while growling, “die, you scumbag!”.
This precipitated an IAB investigation that eventually exonerated everyone. Later in the season, she and Donovan had an affair and she was promoted to Detective.
Jimmy Doyle (Dylan Walsh) was a well-liked cop whose younger brother, Terry (Patrick McGaw), left the police academy “in disgrace” in order to take an undercover assignment to infiltrate a local Irish gang.
Jimmy’s beefy partner, Phil (Michael DeLuise), was a recent transfer who was a little too quick to use his fists or open his big mouth – usually regretting his actions later.
He was attracted to Jimmy’s sister, Kathleen (A J Langer), but was awkward and uncomfortable when it came to dating.
Jake Lowery (Titus Welliever), whose wife had left him early in the season, was a tough cop coping with personal demons. He had a developing romance with his partner, Nona (Klea Scott), which did not sit well with Clement (Richard T Jones), her former lover.
Desk sergeant Richard Santoro (Gary Basaraba), a veteran who had seen it all, was the voice of reason in the station house, keeping things calm and supporting Donovan when the latter admitted his IAB activities to his fellow officers.
Donovan confessed in order to keep a crooked IAB lieutenant from ruining Santoro’s reputation with trumped-up charges of extortion. In the series finale, Santoro was promoted to Lieutenant.
Patrol Sgt Francis X Donovan
Officer Ann-Marie Kersey
Capt. Stan Jonas
James B. Sikking
Officer Phil Roussakolff
Officer Nona Valentine
Officer Jimmy Doyle
Officer Hector Villanueva
Sgt. Richard Santoro
Officer Jake Lowery
Officer Clement Johnson
Richard T Jones
A J Langer
Officer Kevin Patrick