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Subject: Frequently Asked Questions about NYPD Blue - Long Version

This article was archived around: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 21:37:22 GMT

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All FAQs posted in: alt.tv.nypd-blue, rec.arts.tv
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NYPD Blue FAQ ========================================== Welcome to the long version of the NYPD Blue FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list! This document should contain answers to virtually all your questions about the best damn show on TV. If you have a question that's not here, send me e-mail at director@gti.net and I'll try to find the answer and include it. Some props before we get to the questions. This list was originally created and maintained by Dave Chapman in the UK, who, alas, is no longer on the Net. Alan Sepinwall then took it over and really did a great job with it. He covered so much, I don't see myself doing much more than maintenance work. Alan is now a TV writer for the Star Ledger (formerly the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger) so I've stepped up to lighten his load. We're forever in your debt, Alan. And now, I, Jeff Knapp, am steering the FAQ as NYPDB enters its fifth season. As with any FAQ, it is the product of many people; I prefer the term FAQ-keeper to FAQ-author; especially since at this moment, I haven't written a word except for this forward. This FAQ would be nothing without the help and suggestions of posters to alt.tv.nypd-blue. Here's the current list I have, which isn't quite as complete as it should be. If your name's not on this list, and you did contribute a question or answer, let me know. Here's the usual suspects: John Lavalie (fuddle@netcom.com) Howard M. Sklar (hmsklar@ix.netcom.com) Mike Craven (mpc@eee.eleceng.nottingham.ac.uk) SW (swooledge@hearst.com) Arthur L. Lortie (all@world.std.com) Paul Reiser (REISER@susim.nrl.navy.mil) Lynn Van Scoyoc (lmv@acpub.duke.edu) Frank Giarratana (giarrata@gdc.com) Pamela Pon (pon@crl.com) Ross Brown (ross@bnr.ca) Kendall Clark (kgclark@ix.netcom.com) Matt Messina (messina@umich.edu) Martin Jukovsky (martyj@yankeegroup.com) Ramaswamy (ramax@ultranet.com) Charles Corway (ccorway@calweb.com) (Pcwhyel@dp.net.com) David Lesher (wb8foz@netcom.com) Ray Normandeau & Rita Frazier Normandeau (ray.normandeau@factory.com) Jennie Van Heuit (jennie@dgi.com) Jason DeCesare (miles@nycsubway.org) This document is Copyright, Dave Chapman, 1994, Alan Sepinwall, 1995-97; Jeff Knapp 1997-8. It may be freely distributed unmodified as long as no charge is made beyond the cost of the media it is distributed on. Please give away copies of this document. Contents of FAQ: ---------------- (Questions with an asterisk are modified; ones with a plus sign are new. Questions 1.2-1.4 have multiple parts, so I'll put a plus or asterisk next to any sub-entry I've changed/added.) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Series/Character Information 1.1. What exactly is NYPD Blue? 1.2. Who are the regular characters on the show? 1.3. Who are the recurring characters on the show? 1.4. Who were the former characters on the show? 1.5. What the heck does "skel" mean? How about "PAA"? 1.6. What is Simone's ethnic background? 1.7. Can't anyone besides Sipowicz & Simone solve a murder? 1.8. Is Andy Diane's AA sponsor? Is she his? 1.9. How come nobody ever asks for a lawyer? 1.10. Whose hands were those in the bathroom in the third season finale? *1.11 Who shot Joey Salvo? +1.12 Are Bobby and Diane engaged? Doesn't The Job frown on this sort of thing? +1.13 What happened to Bobby/Diane's love child? 2. Other Sources of Information 2.1. Is there a WWW site? 2.2. Is there an Episode Guide? 2.3. What is the name of the NYPD Blue newsgroup? 2.4. Is there a mailing list? 2.5. Is there a drinking game? 2.6. Is there an ftp site? 2.7. Are there any scanned pictures available? *2.8. Help! I missed an episode! How do I find out what happened? 2.9. Help! I missed an episode and want to see the tape! What do I do? 2.10. Are there any books about the show? 3. Actor Information 3.1. What films/TV series has XXXX been in? 3.2. Why did Sherry Stringfield leave the show? 3.3. Why did Amy Brenneman leave the show? 3.4. Why did David Caruso leave the show? 3.5. Who is Nicholas Turturro related to? 3.6. Who played XXXX in episode YYYY? 3.7. How many different roles did Dennis Franz play on Hill Street Blues? 3.8. Did Ross from "Friends" used to be on NYPD Blue? 3.9. Which actors have appeared nude on the show? 3.10. Are Kim Delaney and Dana Delany related? *3.11. Why did Gail O'Grady leave the show? Why didn't Upstairs John replace her? *3.12. Why did Sharon Lawrence leave the show? *3.13. Why did Justine Miceli left the show? What happened to Lesniak? +3.14 Where's Martinez go? I'm watching the fifth season and then suddenly he's gone... *3.15 How many PAA's has the 15th squad had? 4. Misc 4.1. Is there a soundtrack CD? 4.2. What other merchandise is available? 4.3. What connections are there to other Steven Bochco shows? 4.4. What connections are there to other shows? 4.5. Where is NYPD Blue set? 4.6. Why so many reruns/preemptions? 4.7. How realistic is the show? 4.8. What awards has the show won? 4.9. Is the show filmed in NY or LA? *4.10. Do the cast and crew know about us? *4.11. What's the deal with FX? What if my cable company doesn't carry it? 4.12. Why is the camera always shaking? 4.13. I really love XX and I want to send him/her a letter! What's the address? 4.14. Where do you get the episode titles? 4.15. What's a "spoiler" and why does it upset some people? 1. Series/Character Information ---------------------------------- 1.1. What exactly is NYPD Blue? --------------------------------- NYPD Blue is the latest contribution to the TV police drama genre by Emmy award-winning producer Steven Bochco and his frequent writing partner David Milch. It focuses on the personal and professional lives of the members of the detective's squad in the New York Police Department's 15th Precinct. Before it premiered in the fall of 1993, the series got a lot of publicity because of its daring use of nudity and profanity - men's buttocks, women's breasts, and the word "asshole" all appeared for the first time in an American prime-time series on NYPD Blue. However, people who actually bothered to watch the show (and not protest it blindly) discovered that there was a lot more to it than just tits, ass, and swear words. It's a dark, moving series about trying to hold onto your morals and ideals in a corrupt and evil world. 1.2. Who are the regular characters on the show? -------------------------------------------------- The series currently features seven regular cast members. These seven characters are: DET. ANDY SIPOWICZ (Dennis Franz) Sipowicz is a recovering alcoholic who's just learning how to be a good cop and a good human being again after years of living in a bottle - years that cost him his marriage and nearly his badge. A big bear of a man, he's easily enraged by the horrors he sees on the job everyday, but underneath the coarse exterior is a kind, good-hearted man with very high morals and very low self-esteem. The only person who's managed to pierce that exterior is his wife, ADA Sylvia Costas, whom he loves more than life itself. Andy didn't take to new partner Bobby Simone at first, but after more than two years together, the two have moved past grudging professional admiration into close personal friendship (or, at least, as close as Andy gets). Just when Andy's life seemed close to perfection after the birth of his son Theo, Andy Sipowicz Jr, his adult son from a previous marriage, was shot and killed while trying to prevent a robbery. Andy fell off the wagon for a time, and is having to start all over in his sobriety and in finding happiness. DET. BOBBY SIMONE (Jimmy Smits) Bobby's had a lot of pain in his life. He grew up in Brooklyn with a distant father, and his two best companions were an aged, punch-drunk boxer and a teenaged wiseguy wannabe. He grew up, got married, and joined the police force, and for a while was living a very happy life until his wife came home and told him that she had breast cancer. He spent a while chauffeuring the police commissioner around to have more time to spend with his wife, and later, to grieve her death. His assignment at the One-Five is the first detective tour he's had since. He and Sipowicz don't always see eye to eye on cases, largely because of their conflicting personalities - Andy's loud and coarse, while Bobby's quiet and often introverted - but Bobby's managed to show Andy what a dogged investigator he is. He's had an off-again, on-again (currently on) affair with fellow Det. Diane Russell, but because she's a recovering alcoholic, it's far from secure. In fact, the only truly trustworthy thing Bobby has in his life are his racing home pigeons, which he raises on the roof of his apartment building. Bobby recently inherited an apartment building in Brooklyn from the aunt of his late wife Maria, but running the place is proving more trouble than it's worth. LT. ARTHUR FANCY (James McDaniel) Fancy rose through the department ranks very rapidly, either (depending upon whom you ask) because or in spite of his being an African American. He's acutely aware of the scrutiny he's placed under by his superiors, and plays things close to the vest - though he does lose his temper on occasion. Despite the fact that he's younger than several of the detectives on his squad, Art commands everyone's respect and loyalty because he treats his squad the same way. The only detective he ever really clashes with is the bigoted Sipowicz, but Fancy recognizes Andy's detective skills, and is usually willing to overlook the unenlightened comments so long as Andy solves his cases. He's happily married with two daughters and a newborn son, Art Jr. His younger brother, Reggie, is a uniformed cop at another precinct, but the two don't get along very well. DET. JAMES MARTINEZ (Nicholas Turturro) Originally assigned to the detective's squad as a temporary fill-in after Sipowicz was shot a few years ago, Martinez demonstrated great enthusiasm for the job and willingness to learn, and quickly earned his detective's gold shield. His tenure on the job hasn't always been fun - he witnessed the OD death of his junkie brother, and watched his idol John Kelly get driven off the force. James is neither the brightest nor the most charismatic detective in the 15th squad, but he makes up for his occasional lack of savvy with a lot of heart and hard work. James recently was elected to serve as the union delegate at the One-Five, which means the squeaky-clean Martinez has to help cops in trouble clean up their dirty laundry. DET. GREG MEDAVOY (Gordon Clapp) Medavoy is a walking bundle of neuroses disguised as a police detective. Cursed with a sometimes uncontrollable stammer and an abundance of allergies, Greg used to be the butt of a lot of jokes among the squad. However, he's a pretty good investigator and good researcher who has managed to earn the respect of his coworkers despite all his personal problems. He left his shrewish wife Marie to have an affair with Donna Abandando, but when she broke things off for good (due mostly to Greg's immaturity), Greg tried going back to his loveless marriage for the sake of his daughters. It didn't work - he and Marie fought more than ever - and Greg had to crash at the station for a few months before finding his own apartment. DET. DIANE RUSSELL (Kim Delaney) Diane comes from an extremely dysfunctional family, and that warped upbringing, along with too many years spent working as an undercover cop, led to a lot of screwed up values on her part and may have caused her drinking problem. While working a case in tandem with Simone, they realized an attraction for one another and became lovers - a situation that became complicated when she got transferred to the 15th squad. Bobby broke up with her after realizing the extent of her alcoholism. After she spent several months in AA, she and Bobby resumed their romance, but roadblocks keep cropping up, particularly the emotional wallop Diane received after her mother shot and killed her abusive father. She and Bobby conceived a child which she miscarried in "Weavers of Hate". DET. JILL KIRKENDALL (Andrea Thompson) Kirkendall recently transferred into the One-Five from the Department of Investigations because she missed the feel of working real cases and locking up someone other than crooked building inspectors. A divorcee, she has two sons whose custody she shares with her ex. A bit of a mystery woman, the only person on the squad with whom she's bonded so far is Bobby, though thanks to his reconciliation with Diane, their relationship seems destined to remain at the just-friends stage. 1.3. Who are the recurring characters on the show? ---------------------------------------------------- In addition to the regular cast members, the show features a number of other actors who appear on a semi-regular basis. In fact, Greg Medavoy, Sylvia Costas and Donna Abandando were all recurring characters in the first season who got added to the main cast in the second, just as Adrianne Lesniak and Diane Russell became regulars after several guest shots in season two. Jill Kirkendall made the leap from feature to regular cast as well. Some of the people listed below may or may not return to the show, but considering their characters' professions and relationships with the series regulars, the prospect is likely. ADA SYLVIA COSTAS (Sharon Lawrence) An elegant, beautiful assistant District Attorney and a balding, overweight, slovenly cop getting married? It's not an obvious match, to be sure, but Sylvia saw the decent, caring human being underneath Andy's gruff exterior and fell in love with him. She's been very supportive of his attempts to stay sober, which probably has something to do with the fact that half her family members appear to be alcoholics. She's very confident on the job, and has been known to wield an acid tongue when cops' procedural errors blow her cases. Sylvia was raped back in law school, which makes her (and Andy, once he found out) especially sensitive about rape cases. She's taken some time off from work to care for her newborn son Theo, and has the added burden of making sure Andy stays on the wagon after Andy Jr's death. Sylvia moved from recurring character to regular cast member, back to featured player, since Sharon Lawrence is now starring in a sitcom ("Fired Up") on NBC. ADA LEO COHEN (Michael Buchman Silver) The young-looking Cohen's not particularly popular with the 15th squad, in part because he was in charge of the aborted murder prosecution of Diane's mother, and in part because he tends to smirk on every third word. However, things are getting interesting with him, since he appears to be the object of Jill Kirkendall's desires... GINA COLON (Lourdes Benedicto) The lovely Ms. Colon came over from Borough Command to serve as Police Administrative Assistant for the 15th precinct's Anti-Crime unit, and quickly began flirting with Det. Martinez. Shortly after they started dating, she was transferred downstairs to the detective's squad after her predecessor, Geri Turner, had difficulty getting along with Sipowicz. Gina is now about four months pregnant with James' child, tho she has been reluctant to accept his marriage proposal, since she does not want to trap him into something he does not want. ABBY SULLIVAN (Paige Turco) Abby was the subject of Greg Medavoy's desires ever since she peeked in on him while he was working out... at least she was until she revealed that she is gay. After introducing Greg to her lover, Abby asked Greg to be a sperm donor so they could have a baby. After much chestbeating, Greg agreed. What resulted was possibly one of the worst storylines the show has ever tackled. INTERNAL AFFAIRS SGT. MARTENS (Scott Allan Campbell) Martens is no dummy; he knows that most cops (including the ones at the 15) can't stand him and the rest of "The Rat Squad." But he also can't help but get frustrated when he tries to do his best to keep a cop from getting into trouble and still gets ripped for it. Though his job requires him to bust dirty cops, he's overlooked at least one indiscretion by Simone. INSPECTOR AIELLO (Andy Romano) We don't know Aiello's exact title, or even his first name, but he's generally the representative of the upper brass who deals with Fancy on a regular basis. At times, he seems more concerned with the department's image than with justice, but he has his occasional moments as a stand-up guy. DA MAURY ABRAMS (Charles Levin) The Manhattan District Attorney, Abrams generally only handles cases that he hopes will boost his would-be political career. MIKE ROBERTS (Michael Harney) Roberts was one of Fancy's detectives, but definitely not one of his favorites. He was forced to leave the NYPD after a scandal involving his informant (who later turned out to be his lover) dying of a drug overdose that Roberts neglected to report. Since quitting, Mike has started up his own private investigation/bodyguarding firm, occasionally doing side work for his ex-co-workers (and occasionally employing them), but is sleazier than ever - and his clients have a tendency to die in his care. OFFICER REGGIE FANCY (Michael Jai White) Imagine Arthur Fancy without the incredible self-restraint and you have his kid brother Reggie, a uniformed cop with a world- class chip on his shoulder. He's a loudmouth who sees racism in every white man he works with, whether it's there or not. Reggie's often right (his sergeant, for example, was a major bigot), but his bluster and hot temper usually make him look like the bad guy. Though he and Art don't get along too well, Lt. Fancy still looks out for him. CAPT. CLIFFORD BASS (Larry Joshua) Bass spent his entire career in uniform before becoming the Manhattan Borough Commander in charge of detectives (and Fancy's immediate superior). Because of that, he didn't really have much idea how detectives do things, and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in his first few days on the job. He's since found his footing, and has proved to be a pretty fair guy -and certainly better than his predecessor, the devoutly racist Capt. Haverill. Bass usually only shows up to supervise major investigations. MARIE MEDAVOY (Deborah Taylor) The shrewish, crass Marie would be hard to get along with for just about anyone - Greg probably only stayed with her for that long out of some sense of masochism. She was just as responsible for the break-up as him, because while Greg was sleeping with Donna, Marie was cheating on him herself. SERGEANT VINNIE AGOSTINI (Vincent Guastaferro) The desk sergeant on the dayshift at the 15, Agostini doesn't particularly enjoy relaying phone messages to the detectives, though that's all we ever see him do. From seeing him quite a bit in the early seasons to only seeing him once during the fourth season, it may be a safe bet that Gustaferro has moved on to greener pastures. OFFICER JAMES SHANNON (James McBride) Shannon's been a uniformed cop in the 15th precinct for at least four years, and is usually handling crime scenes for Andy and Bobby. DETECTIVE STU MORRISSEY (Conor O'Farrell) Stu, like Vince Gotelli, works the 4 to 12 shift in the 15th detective's squad. Though he's certainly not as slick as either Andy or Bobby, he's also not nearly as dumb as Vince. DOC MONDZAC (Titus Welliver) A trauma surgeon at the Bellevue Hospital emergency room, Dr. Mondzac has treated detectives from the 15 on a number of occasions - he handled James' gunshot wound, for instance. Welliver, the actor who plays Mondzac, can now be seen as a patrolman on Bochco/Milch's new police drama "Brooklyn South." DET. NICK SAVINO (Steven Antin) Formerly a detective in Narcotics, Savino now works as a homicide cop in Brooklyn. He first crossed paths with our heroes when he mistakenly arrested Andy Jr. for drug dealing, but he and Andy managed to rectify the situation. Later, he got Andy's help in solving a murder case at a candy store where Sipowicz had worked as a kid. Most recently, he was placed in charge of a homicide at Simone's new apartment building. There is no truth to the rumor that Savino only works on days when acquaintances of the 15th squad are being arrested or killed. 1.4. Who were the former characters on the show? -------------------------------------------------- Three of the original six cast members have since left the series [see questions 3.2-3.4 for more details], and Gail O'Grady and Justine Miceli just departed the show [3.11-3.12]. Their characters were: DET. JOHN KELLY (David Caruso) John's father, John Kelly Sr., was a heavily decorated detective back in the days when the Irish still ran the department, but he was killed in the line of duty when John Jr. was only 11. Kelly spent much of the rest of his life trying to meet the approval of his late father, joining the force and holding himself to an almost impossibly high standard. Unfortunately, while John's tightly-wound nature made him a great detective, it also distanced himself from the people he loved, including his ex-wife Laura, who divorced him because he didn't give her enough space. Shortly after the divorce, John got involved with Officer Janice Licalsi, but his efforts to clean up after a murder she committed eventually led to him getting drummed off the force. When last mentioned, John was making a living as a professional bodyguard and security expert. DONNA ABANDANDO (Gail O'Grady) The first thing you needed to know about the lovely Miss Abandando is that she holds a special place in her heart for the NY Rangers, which means she loves lost causes (which the Rangers were until they finally won the Stanley Cup in 1994 after a 50-year curse). That also explains why she agreed to take a relatively thankless job as the receptionist (or, in NYPD parlance, "PAA") for the 15th detective's squad, and why she fell for nebbishy Greg Medavoy. Their affair was complicated by his marriage, her trampy sister Dana, and an old flame of Donna's who used to play for the Rangers. Eventually, the stress of it all proved too much, and she broke things off with Greg. A year or so later, she received a job offer from Apple Computers that was too good to pass up, and the Queens gal moved out to Silicon Valley. DET. VINCE GOTELLI (Carmine Caridi) Despite the 50-something Gotelli's obvious seniority, he's stuck on the night shift at the 15, in large part because he's pretty dim and likely couldn't close a case if he found O.J. Simpson standing over the victim wearing a bloody glove. Vince served as the precinct union delegate for a long term, but was narrowly ousted by James Martinez recently. At the end of Season Four, Vince got a bit drunk and took a city bus for a joyride. While no charges were pressed, Vince was forced to take early retirement. Chances are, we have seen the last of Vince. DET. JANICE LICALSI (Amy Brenneman) Licalsi was a uniformed cop who had barely been at the 15th Precinct for a week before she was approached by Mafia kingpin Angelo Marino, who ordered her to murder John Kelly - or else he would turn in Licalsi's policeman father, who had been on Marino's payroll for years. Janice reluctantly agreed, but as she got close to John, she fell in love with him, and instead of killing him, she killed Marino and his chauffeur. The guilt of her crime ate away at her until she finally confessed to it months later. Kelly hired her a slick mob lawyer, and Janice got off with only a 2-year sentence for manslaughter. Since she was eligible for parole in six months, we can assume that she's already out, but she hasn't shown up at the One-Five since. LAURA KELLY (Sherry Stringfield) The match between Laura, a high-powered yuppie attorney, and John, a blue-collar cop, didn't last very long once Laura realized what an incredible control freak John could be. She bounced around several jobs after her divorce, eventually settling in with the Manhattan DA's office. She worked as a riding DA in the 15th Precinct for a while before transferring out, probably to put some distance between herself and John. DET. ADRIANNE LESNIAK (Justine Micelli) A beautiful but no-nonsense detective, Lesniak was transferred to the 15 after an office romance in a Bronx precinct went public. That experience - and her ex-lover's subsequent descent into stalker territory - soured her on relationships with fellow detectives, so when Martinez expressed interest, she politely brushed him off. After he was shot, she expressed quite a bit of maternal concern, which James and Greg mistook for romantic interest. Eventually, their badgering of her got to the point where Adrianne claimed to be a lesbian - a lie which, on further consideration, had her questioning her own sexuality. She eventually realized that she isn't gay, but all her previous failed relationships made her unable to deal with the notion that James was a decent guy, and she turned into a bitchy, overpossessive shrew. James had to break things off with her, leading Adrianne to feel more depressed than ever over the prospect of finding happiness. ZONE COMMANDER HAVERILL (James Handy) Haverill was forced to retire from the Job after getting caught on tape making racist remarks about Lt. Fancy to Fancy's snitch, Vinny Greco. Haverill appeared to be a bad cop, due to his presence at a mob rubout; a tidbit that Sipowicz held over him the first time Haverill was gunning for Fancy. After retiring, Haverill took a job as a paid consultant to the FBI in its dealings with organized crime figures, especially Joey Salvo. He hasn't been seen on the show since he resigned in the 11th episode of Season Two ("Vishy Vashy Vinny"). He was mentioned by name only fleetingly since then, but most notably with regard to his efforts to jam up Fancy and Sipowicz during the Salvo investigation. 1.5. What the heck does "skel" mean? How about "PAA"? ------------------------------------------------------- The show features a lot of police slang and terminology that may be confusing to the average citizen. So, to make your viewing experience easier and more informative, here's a brief glossary of police slang. Some of it was compiled by me, but the bulk of it (everything from "Boss" on) comes from the book "NYPD: On the streets with the New York City Police Department's Emergency Services Unit," by Samuel L. Katz. (ISBN 0-7603-0186-7, Motorbooks International, Osceola, Wisconsin. $19.95) NOTE: Some of these terms haven't showed up yet on the show, but I'm including them in case they do. Skel Short-hand for "skeleton"; i.e., what most drug-users wind up looking like. A derogatory term used to describe low-life junkies. Also refers to homeless vagrants. From the book "The City in Slang, New York Life and Popular Speech," by Irving Lewis Allen (1993): The New York police today call the most vagrant of the male homeless skells. William Safire informs us that "it is a shortening of skellum meaning a rascal or thief, akin to a skelder, 'to beg on the streets,' first used in print by Ben Johnson in 1599, just after the playwright got out of jail for killing a man in a duel; it is possible he picked up the word from cellmate's argot." The word popped up about 1935 in the short form skell, suggesting that skellum/skell had underground oral use for centuries. Skell is now in popular speech to denote the homeless that are so visible throughout the city. PAA Principal Administrative Assistant; also Police Administrative Assistant IAB Internal Affairs Bureau, the branch of the police that investigates other cops DOA Traditionally means "dead on arrival"; here it's used to refer to just about any dead person, murdered or otherwise hump (1) your ass; "He's gotta bust my hump over this petty crap?"; (2) a moron; "That stupid hump scratched my car!" Juice Influence; i.e., veteran cops like Sipowicz and Simone have lots of juice at other precincts when their friends get in trouble Reaching Out Can mean anything from just contacting someone to trying to convince them to help the cops to seeing if they need help Lawyering Up A suspect's decision to stop answering questions and ask for legal counsel. The House Shorthand term for the stationhouse Up/Catching Baseball metaphors used to describe the system by which cases are assigned; e.g., Simone caught that murder in Chinatown because he was up Riding DA The Assistant District Attorney assigned to a particular precinct; Sylvia is usually the Riding DA at the 15, but her pregnancy has caused her to cut back on her work, and ADA Cohen has filled in on occasion. Boss Term for senior officers, from lieutenant (in certain units) to captain, deputy inspector, inspector and commissioner. Bus ambulance CCRB Civilian Complaint Review Board Central Central Dispatch CSU Crime Scene Unit Dee Wee Phonetic for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). DT Street slang for a Detective. EDP Emotionally Disturbed Person, the politically-correct way to what was once referred as a "psycho". EMS Emergency Medical Services, which technicians, often overworked, underpaid and unappreciated sometimes dub "Every Minute Sucks". ESU Emergency Services Unit; the NYPD SWAT team. FAT NYPD's Fugitive Apprehension Team. Five-O Street slang for police (obviously influenced by a now-defunct TV cop show). Flying; to fly Leaving the confines of one's usual precinct in order to fill in for a shortage of manpower in another precinct or location. Go down, to Getting arrested. Good people All-purpose NYPD compliment meaning 'kosher', nice, reliable, etc., irrespective of race, religion or sexual orientation. Gun run Search for a weapon reported sighted in the hands of a "perp". Hit Tactical assault on a criminal location. Job Service in the NYPD, as in "I've been on the job five years." Lou, Loo, Lieu Affectionate slang for 'lieutenant' MOS Member of the Service (police officer); used on the radio. Mope Unauthorized term for "perp". Mutt Unauthorized term for "perp". OC Organized Crime One PP One Police Plaza, NYPD Headquarters in downtown Manhattan. Open carrier: Police officer or vehicle with an open radio. - Package: Escorted prisoner or VIP. Paying the rent For police officers, the handing out of a certain number of traffic summonses and moving violations. Perp Perpetrator, criminal Puzzle Palace Police Officer's term for One Police Plaza. Rabbi An individual's guide and guardian angel in the department. Rat squad Officers and detectives assigned to Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB). Red Menace Unofficial term for members of the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), also known as "Rubbermen", a term of affection and respect for those members. Rip Loss in pay due to a disciplinary infraction, such as unauthorized moonlighting. RMP Radio Mobile Patrol, the NYPD blue and white 'sector' car Sector Subdivision within a precinct, which covers several blocks. A sector car is assigned to patrol the area (see RMP above). SNAG Special Narcotics and Guns Unit. SNEU Special Narcotics Enforcement Unit. SOD Special Operations Division. Squad Short for 'detective squad', attached to the specific precinct. TARU Technical and Research Unit Tunnel Rats NYPD Transit Bureau (the subway cops). White Shirts Term for lieutenants and above, who wear white uniform shirts. 1.6. What is Simone's ethnic background? French-Portuguese, revealed when he invited Sipowicz to "kiss my French-Portuguese ass" during the second season episode "Double Abandando." 1.7. Can't anyone besides Sipowicz & Simone solve a murder? Well, yeah. But whether we "hard-core" fans want to admit it or not, most of the show's viewers tune in to watch Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz, and they'd be annoyed if they tuned in to an hour of the Gordon Clapp Show. Some of Steven Bochco's series (Hill Street Blues, LA Law) have been ensembles; others (Doogie Howser, Civil Wars, Hooperman) have been vehicles for one or two performers. NYPD Blue happens to be the latter. You may not always like it (and, as a fan of James McDaniel & Co., I (and Alan, too!) don't), but it's a situation that's not likely to change anytime soon. 1.8. Is Andy Diane's AA sponsor? Is she his? In "Heavin' Can Wait," the episode about the fall-out from Diane's fall off the wagon, Andy gets upset because Diane called Bobby instead of him. He tells Bobby, "I'm her *sponsor*." This has turned into a fairly hot topic for discussion among fans. Some claim that AA frowns in the extreme on opposite gender sponsors, as well as sponsoring someone that you work with. Others say that while sponsor/sponsee arrangements like this aren't the norm, they do exist, and can be very successful. As far as we've been told, Andy hasn't taken on a new sponsor since Dan Breen was killed in the middle of season two. But whether or not he does have a new sponsor, it's highly unlikely that Diane would be filling that role, even if she did act as the "voice of AA" when Andy fell off the wagon after Andy Jr's death. 1.9. How come nobody ever asks for a lawyer? This one comes up a lot, though, ironically, it's Steven Bochco's own fault that viewers complain so much about it. On Hill Street Blues, every single suspect brought into the station was quickly rushed into the protection of noble public defender Joyce Davenport, leading all TV cop show fans to assume that all suspects automatically made use of their Miranda rights to counsel. According to NYPD Blue producer and former real-life NYPD homicide detective Bill Clark (see 2.10.), in real life, suspects understand their rights, but often choose not to exercise them out of naive optimism. They figure that if they ask for a lawyer, they'll be stuck in the legal system (and therefore in lock-up) for at least 48 hours, and if they weren't being looked at hard as a suspect before, the cops are really going to bear down on them now. If, on the other hand, they try to speak for themselves, they figure maybe they can come up with some kind of plausible excuse/alibi and get away scot free. Whether Clark is exaggerating the truth a bit in order to make the show seem more plausible is unknown, but that's their story and they're sticking to it. 1.10. Whose hands were those in the bathroom in the third season finale? A lot of people seemed to think that there was a mysterious third person in the bathroom when Bobby and Diane had sex near the end of the fourth season finale "A Draining Experience." For the confused, those mystery hands peeking over the stall actually belonged to Diane; various folks have dissected the scene enough in slo-mo to assume that for her hands to be in that position, Bobby would have to be making a rear entry of some kind. I'll leave the rest up to your imaginations. :) *1.11 Who shot Joey Salvo? The fifth season opener has revealed the shooter to be Lt. Shannon of the IAB. From Alan's summary review of the season five opener: Having Shannon be the shooter makes perfect sense and explains his motivation for suspending Bobby: he realized that someone was on to his extracurricular activities, and the only way to cover his tracks was to 1)Suspend Simone (which any clean IAB cop would do if a cop refused to cooperate to the extent Bobby did), and 2)Take out Salvo so he couldn't cut a deal at a later date to give away Shannon. Shannon later tried to cover his tracks by trying to lure Andy alone with a phony phone tip so he could whack him in solitude (a cough-and-you'll-miss-it line during the Gerald/Frankie bust that seemed to have been added in postproduction), and when that didn't work, he panicked and made the dumb move Simone and Sipowicz were hoping for. +1.12 Are Bobby and Diane engaged? Doesn't The Job frown on this sort of thing? Bobby and Diane are engaged, though it is a secret from everyone. Bobby had initially proposed during "Moby Greg (4.01)" but Diane didn't finally accept until "A Wrenching Experience (4.17)" The Job does not like intra-precinct romances, as explained with the introduction of Adrienne Lesniak, who was transferred in to the 1-5 due to a relationship with one of the detecives in her precinct (of course, we know how that ended). Fancy seems to be turning a blind eye to the situation, which could potentially make for some interesting plot conflicts when Kim Delaney's contract expires (which appears will never happen). It makes one wonder how they will handle the wedding... +1.13 What happened to Bobby/Diane's love child? Sadly, Diane miscarried in "Weaver of Hate" (5.14). Hopefully this will wrap up the "all gals have babies" subplots that have been plaguing Blue recently. 2. Other Sources of Information 2.1. Is there a WWW site? Yes. There are two. The more complete and up-to-date one is maintained by me. It's located at http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/nypd.html It features an html-ized version of this FAQ, scanned pictures, episode guides, cast biographies, the drinking game, episode summaries, and more. (PLEASE NOTE: It used to be mirrored at another site, (the domain was bird.taponline.com), but that site is no longer active, so stick with the upenn address.) The second site was set up by Dave Chapman in England, at http://src.doc.ic.ac.uk/public/media/tv/collections/tardis/us /drama/NYPDBlue/ Unfortunately, Dave seemingly vanished from the Internet ether back in the spring of 1995, which left all the sites he maintained dormant; everything is way out of date. 2.2. Is there an Episode Guide? Yes. Dennis Kytasaari maintains an html-ized episode guide that's the most up to date (it features each new episode the night it airs). It's located at: http://www.xnet.com/~djk/NYPDBlue_1.shtml 2.3. What is the name of the NYPD Blue newsgroup? --------------------------------------------------- It is called alt.tv.nypd-blue and was created on Feb. 9, 1994. Note however, that many sites don't carry the full range of alt.* newsgroups, so you may be unlucky and not be able to receive it. If you can't access it, you could try politely asking the person in charge of news at your site to try and get it. There is also a small amount of NYPD Blue discussion on rec.arts.tv. 2.4. Is there a mailing list? ------------------------------- No. To my knowledge there is no mailing list devoted to NYPD Blue. 2.5. Is there a drinking game? -------------------------------- Yes. With suggestions from a lot of people on alt.tv.nypd-blue and rec.arts.tv, Alan Sepinwall came up with the NYPD Blue Drinking Game, which is now up to the relatively new version 3.1 To check it out and make contributions, try http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/drink.html 2.6. Is there an ftp site? ---------------------------- Yes. But it's pretty old.. and does anyone even use FTP anymore? Anyway, on the Tardis TV archive there is a directory devoted to NYPD Blue. It contains older versions of the episode guides, the drinking game, this FAQ, a list of other acting credits for the cast, and some scanned pictures. The NYPD Blue URL is: ftp://ftp.doc.ic.ac.uk/media/tv/collections/tardis /us/drama/NYPDBlue/ Bear in mind, however, the ftp site is maintained by the infamous Dave Chapman, which means it hasn't been updated since 1995. Since nearly all the materials on the ftp site are duplicated (and, in most cases, updated) on the US web- site, the only really practical use for this site is for people without WWW access. The Tardis TV archive contains lots of other guides and FAQs for TV programs. It is located on ftp.doc.ic.ac.uk in the directory /public/media/tv/collections/tardis. For details on how to get the files using ftp, gopher, WWW browser or email, send an empty message to tardis- faq@cheers.demon.co.uk 2.7. Are there any scanned pictures available? ------------------------------------------------ Yes. The ftp site has several, as does the England www site. In fact, both sites (which have the same material) carry certain pictures that I had to remove from my site for legal reasons. However, the US www site has an ever-growing collection of screen captures from various episodes, provided by Francesca Wylde (fran@ahaa.demon.co.uk), as well as a number of publicity stills. *2.8. Help! I missed an episode! How do I find out what happened? ----------------------------------------------------------------- Alan Sepinwall used to write a detailed summary/review of every single new episode of the show, which were posted to the newsgroup and archived on the website. However, due to time constraints brought upon by home and work, he has retired from that role. All the summaries he's already written (which includes half of season one, all of seasons two, three and four, and the premiere of season five) will continue to be available on the website. Update: Alan can't get rid of zat pesky summary bug. He has still been doing reviews and such, tho the level of detail has lessened a bit since he became Alan Sepinwall, cub reporter. Happily, others in the group have picked up the detail slack, most notably Amanda Puedo. You can catch her reviews by checking for posts titled "Thoughts on..." Old reviews can be found by searching thru DejaNews. 2.9. Help! I missed an episode and want to see the tape! What do I do? ------------------------------------------------------------------- Post a message to the group asking if someone has the tape and is willing to loan it to you. Shipping costs, even with Priority mail, is only $3 each way. Please don't e-mail me; while I do have a nearly complete collection, I don't have the time to either loan out tapes or make copies of them. And neither does Alan :-) 2.10. Are there any books about the show? ------------------------------------------ There are three books about Blue currently in print - one non- fiction, two fiction, with more of the latter supposedly on the way. "True Blue: the Real Stories Behind NYPD Blue" is a non- fiction book written by NYPD Blue co-creator David Milch. He shares author's credit with Bill Clark, a former NYPD detective who now serves as the show's technical advisor. The book essentially tells two different stories: 1)The history of the show, including the initial controversy over the nudity and language, the difficulty of working with David Caruso, etc., and 2)Bill Clark's career as a detective, including lengthy descriptions (told in his voice) about the cases he worked, most of which were turned into plotlines on NYPD Blue. It's a good read if you're a true crime fan or a fan of the show, though it helps to be both. The ISBN number for the hardcover edition is 0-688-14081-5. The recently-released paperback edition (which I don't have the ISBN for yet) features some extra material, including Bill Clark's thoughts on the O.J. Simpson case (just imagine if Sipowicz had been the one to interrogate the Juice) and Milch discussing the death of Andy Jr. arc. "NYPD Blue: Blue Beginning," on the other hand, is a novel by noted mystery author Max Allan Collins. A prequel to the series, it essentially functions as "the episode *before* the first episode," following Kelly and Sipowicz around in the weeks before the first episode of the series took place. It also features Laura in a far more prominent role than any episode of the show ever did, and has brief appearances by Fancy, Martinez, and Medavoy. It's very entertaining - Collins has the characters down pat, so much so that you'll be able to hear Dennis Franz's voice everytime Sipowicz utters one of his pithy comebacks. But, let the buyer beware: the book assumes the reader is familiar with the events of the early episodes of the first season, and doesn't end with much closure, so if you don't know the final fate of Angelo Marino, Alphonse Giardello, John & Laura's marriage, etc., you'll probably feel rather disappointed until you see those episodes. The ISBN number for "Blue Beginning" is 0-451-18391-6 Collins second "blue" novel, "Blue Blood" was published in September. It was originally going to feature Simone and Kelly meeting, but is now a solely Andy and Bobby affair, set shortly after Andy's wedding. The ISBN for "Blue Blood" (according to amazon.com) is 0-451- 18392-4. Sales on "Blue Beginning" weren't all that high, so this new book could be the last one, so go out and buy it, okay? I have not read it, and apparently, no one else on the group has yet either, since there haven't been any reviews.. so get cracking! :-) 3. Actor Information -------------------- 3.1. What films/TV series has XXXX been in? --------------------------------------------- There used to be a list of credits for the cast, but that became unwieldy. But http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/credits.html has a list of all the castmembers, with links to their bios on the Internet Movie Database. Steven Bochco and Mike Post have separate biographies stored in the directory "people/" at the top-level of the Tardis archive. These are maintained by Arthur L. Lortie . There's a copy of the Bochco biography on my website. 3.2. Why did Sherry Stringfield leave the show? ------------------------------------------------- According to a section of "True Blue," the writers quickly ran out of room for the character of Laura Kelly, especially once they realized the chemistry between Dennis Franz and Sharon Lawrence and began writing more scenes for Sylvia Costas. Sherry was a good sport about it, and went to Bochco and Milch with the suggestion that letting her out of her contract might be the best for everyone. They did so, and Sherry got a job as Dr. Susan Lewis on NBC's mega-hit "ER." Sherry left "Blue" because she didn't have enough to do; two and a half years later, she would leave "ER" because she had too much to do, and wanted to settle down and have a normal life again. 3.3. Why did Amy Brenneman leave the show? -------------------------------------------- A quote from an interview with Amy in the December, 1995 issue of GQ: "I'd like to say I planned [to quit], but I was fired. My character demanded so much attention, and without David Caruso what *was* I? They tried putting Janice behind a desk. But she's a *mob* chick. So they wrote me off the show." However, since then she's found a modest amount of success in films. She played Matthew Modine's ex-wife in "Bye Bye, Love," Robert DeNiro's girlfriend in "Heat," and co-stars with Sylvester Stallone in "Daylight." 3.4. Why did David Caruso leave the show? -------------------------------------------- Caruso asked for a major-league raise in pay for the second season, asking for $100,000 an episode (as opposed to the $20,000 per episode he was paid in the first season). The producers refused to go higher than $80,000 for fear of upsetting the rest of the cast, and eventually, a compromise was worked out: Caruso agreed to appear in the first four episodes of the second season to allow the writers to give John Kelly a graceful exit, at which point he would be freed from his contract to do films. Caruso's decision was not a particularly wise one. His first film as a leading man, "Kiss of Death," received good reviews for his performance, but did lousy at the box office. His second film, "Jade," didn't even get the good reviews. Add that to his reportedly difficult behavior, and he quickly found the well of leading roles dry. He was offered a role on a new legal drama in development for CBS, but had to plead with Steven Bochco to let him out of the agreement he signed when he quit "Blue" which said he couldn't work in television until his original contract ran out. Jimmy Smits, who was Steven Bochco's original choice to play the lead in the series, was tabbed to replace Caruso. The rest of the cast and crew considered Smits a major improvement over Caruso, who was viewed as a real prima donna. Smits' presence apparently had a lot to do with the series jump in ratings last year (from the 29th show overall to the 8th). 3.5. Who is Nicholas Turturro related to? ------------------------------------------- His brother is John Turturro. John co-starred with John Goodman in "Barton Fink", and has appeared in many other films, including his recent turn as Herb Stempel in "Quiz Show." John and Nick appeared together in Spike Lee's "Mo' Better Blues" and "Jungle Fever", as well as "Men of Respect," and the John Turturro-directed "Mac." Their cousin(?) Aida also acts. She recently co-starred as Geena Davis's best friend Tina in "Angie". She and Nicholas both appeared in 1994's independent film "Men Lie." 3.6. Who played XXXX in episode YYYY? -------------------------------------- Please refer to the episode guides [Q2.2] for full cast listings for each episode. 3.7. How many different roles did Dennis Franz play on Hill Street Blues? ------------------------------------------------------------------- Two. In the third season of the show, he appeared in a number of episodes as Sal Benedetto, a crooked, mean-spirited detective. Highlights of Benedetto's tenure on the Hill included beating up Renko for giving him a parking ticket (and subsequently being beaten up by Bobby Hill), attempting to hold up a bank, and, when Howard Hunter's EATers foiled the robbery, killing himself. Franz became a regular cast member at the start of season 6, playing Lt. Norman Buntz, an obnoxious, violent, but ultimately moral cop who clashed with everybody on the Hill except his snitch, Sidney Thurston. After HSB was canceled, Franz and Peter Jurasick (who played Sid) co-starred in a short-lived "dramedy" called Beverly Hills Buntz in which Buntz (who was kicked off the force in the HSB finale) and Sid moved to Beverly Hills to start a private investigation service. 3.8. Did Ross from "Friends" used to be on NYPD Blue? --------------------------------------------------------- Sort of. David Schwimmer, who plays the neurotic Ross, appeared on the first four episodes of NYPD Blue's first season as Josh "4B" Goldstein, a lawyer with a crush on Laura Kelly who attempted to become a vigilante after he was mugged in his building's laundry room. 4B was shot and killed while attempting to break up a mugging on the subway. 3.9. Which actors have appeared nude on the show? -------------------------------------------------- A better question might be, which haven't? Here's the rundown of regulars and semiregulars who have appeared in the buff at least once: David Caruso, Sherry Stringfield, Amy Brenneman, Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, Sharon Lawrence, Gail O'Grady, Kim Delaney, and Justine Miceli. The only cast members to have never dropped trou are James McDaniel, Nicholas Turturro, and Gordon Clapp. Guest stars who have appeared naked include Debrah Farentino, Melina Kanakeredes and John Wesley Shipp. 3.10. Are Kim Delaney and Dana Delany related? ------------------------------------------------ Well, the fact that their last names are spelled differently ought to be all the answer you need. No, they are not related, though people occasionally confuse the two because of the similar last name and the fact that both appeared on TV shows about Vietnam at roughly the same time (Kim on "Tour of Duty" and Dana on "China Beach"). *3.11. Why did Gail O'Grady leave the show? Why didn't Upstairs John replace her? ----------------------- There's not a lot you can write about the squad secretary, and once Greg and Donna broke up, Gail's role on the show shrank so much that sometimes weeks would go by without her saying anything. Fox offered her own sitcom -- she made a pilot, but it didn't get picked up -- and she decided it was time to move on. She's been working in movies lately, most recently in "That Old Feeling" with Bette Midler. As for Upstairs John, Bill Brochtrup had taken the character over to Steven Bochco's sitcom "Public Morals," which got cancelled after only one week. Whether he'll return to "Blue" remains to be seen, though both Brochtrup and David Milch have expressed interest. Don't be surprised if he turns up on Bochco and Milch's upcoming CBS cop drama "Brooklyn South." So, for now, Gina Colon is the squad PAA. *3.12. Why did Sharon Lawrence leave the show? Will she be coming back? ------------------------ In Lawrence's estimation, the show's writers lost interest in Sylvia once she and Andy got married. She started doing some extra-curricular work, including a guest turn on "Caroline in the City" that was so well-received that NBC decided to try to build a sitcom around her. Realizing that her role on "Blue" was going to remain limited, she decided to take the gig at "Fired Up," which debuted in the spring of 97 and is on NBC's fall schedule. In order to secure her release from her "Blue" contract, Sharon agreed to try to make herself available whenever the writers need Sylvia to appear (which is why, for now, she's still listed as a regular), but so far, she hasn't been needed all that much, appearing less than half a dozen times in the fourth season. The writers are explaining Sylvia's absence from the squadroom by having her take a leave of absence from work to care for baby Theo. However, Sharon popped up briefly in the "Blue" season premiere and is now listed as a guest star, which means her appearances will be handled on a case-by-case basis. There are plans for her to appear several times between now and season's end. *3.13. Why did Justine Miceli left the show? What happened to Lesniak? ------------------------------------------------------------------- No one knows for sure, but it's not hard to extrapolate that she wasn't happy with the mess that was made of her character in the third season. Rumor has it that she was difficult to work with (and therefore may not have left of her own accord), but who knows if this is true. Since leaving the show, she's popped up as a guest star on a few shows (including "The X- Files") and had a very small recurring role as a NY District Attorney on Dick Wolf's "Feds," which is not likely to be renewed by CBS. Lesniak's departure was never explained. One can assume that she transferred out of the precinct to avoid the discomfort of working with James. +3.14 Where's Martinez go? I'm watching the fifth season and then suddenly he's gone... what's the story? ------------------------------------------------------------------ He's currently undercover in the New York mob -- sort of. :) Nick Turturrro has taken some time off from the show to play the lead in NBC's miniseries on the life of noted mob hitman Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, whose testimony eventually put mob boss John Gotti in prison. Martinez was temporarily written out in the episode "You're Under a Rasta," where he threw out his back. Nick should be back by season's end. *3.15 How many PAA's has the 15th squad had? --------------------------------------------- It seems like they've had more than Murphy Brown has had secretaries... it seems like there is always discussion the group about "the new PAA". With the anticipated fifth season return of John Irvin, perhaps that is a trend that will end... In the beginning, there was no special PAA, just a string of faceless people who sat at the desk and did less than any other PAA since. The PAA was not a part of the squad then... until Donna Abandando. Donna has the best track record of any PAA the squad has had, lasting two seasons (Starting with "Tempest in a C-Cup" (Ep. 1.8) and ending with "A Death in the Family" (Ep 3.20) From there we have a bunch of people often not lasting more than an episode or two (brackets are their PAA tenure): Upstairs John (Eps. 2.17 - 2.20 ) took over for a romantically recovering Donna, and was the best temp PAA the squad had. When Donna came back, Fancy got John a job upstairs in Anti-Crime which coined the nickname "Upstairs John" John left anti-crime in Ep 3.22 to go back to 1 Police Plaza (and the abysmal Bochco-sitcom Public Morals), opening the door for Gina/Geri to take his place. Lucy Kinley (Eps. 3.21, 3.22) gets transferred for incompetence Geri Turner (Eps. 4.01 - 4.06) gets transferred upstairs after making Andy very uncomfortable (not to mention being a little psycho - which has nothing to do with her sexual proclivities) Gina Colon (Eps. 4.06 - 5.03) worked for Anri-Crime at the beginning of the season and caught James' eye. Imagine James' thrill when Fancy worked out a trade for the not-working-out Geri. James liked her so much, he married her... and put her "in a family way" so she's on maternity leave from the squad. I'll be surprised if she ever comes back as a PAA and not as Mrs. Martinez. Naomi Reynolds (5.04 - 5.12) appeared to be a southern belle until her landlord cheesed her off and she started berating him in her native Australian accent. This lead to problems with INS (and the kookiest subplot involving a PAA ever - beating Geri's "I'm into rubber" schtick, IMHO) and her leaving the squad. Dolores Mayo (5.13 - ??) is a chain smoking looker who spends more time downstairs than she does at her desk. How she's leaving is anyone's guess. 4. Misc ------- 4.1. Is there a soundtrack CD? --------------------------------- Yes. The CD is entitled "Inventions from the Blue Line", it's by Mike Post and is published by American Gramaphone, 9130 Mormon Bridge Road, Omaha, NE 68152. The catalog number is AGCD 450 for the CD, and AGC 450 for the cassette. It contains the NYPD Blue theme, 5 other NYPD Blue tracks and 4 other Mike Post themes - Law & Order, Silk Stalkings, Renegade and Cop Files. In the US it should be available at any large record store. It has probably now got a UK distributor as it has been spotted for sale in various large stores in London without an "Import" sticker on it. Any large record shop anywhere in the world should be able to order it for you from the US if you give them the above information. 4.2. What other merchandise is available? ------------------------------------------- HollywoodNet sells an NYPD-Blue T-Shirt for $16.95 You can find details at http://www1.viaweb.com/hollywoodnet/nypblu.html In addition, StefHelg@megaweb.com posted information about a store in Los Angeles called Script City that has "T-shirts, mugs, caps, and a LOT of scripts for TV shows and movies, including NYPD-Blue." The address is: Script City 8033 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1500 Hollywood, CA 90046 U.S.A. Order telephone number is : 1-800-676-2522. 4.3. What connections are there to other Steven Bochco shows? ------------------------------------------------------- Steven Bochco has produced dozens of series over the years, and writers and performers from his previous shows often turn up on NYPD Blue, and several of the cast of Blue came from other Bochco shows. See question 3.7 for more info on Dennis Franz and Hill Street Blues. Franz also appeared in the debut episode of Bochco's short-lived legal series Civil Wars as a man whose Elvis fixation drove his wife to divorce. David Caruso guest starred in some early episodes of HSB (including the one where the President was supposed to visit the Hill) as Tommy Mann, the leader of the Shamrocks (the Irish gang). Jimmy Smits played attorney Victor Sifuentes on L.A. Law. James McDaniel guest-starred as a militant black patrolman in a seventh-season episode of HSB. By then, Bochco had left the show (David Milch was running it), but McDaniel got cast as one of the singing cops on Bochco's short-lived musical drama "Cop Rock." Kim Delaney appeared in several episodes of L.A. Law as a prospective associate at McKenzie, Brackman who seduced Arnie Becker to help research a book she was writing about high- powered attorneys. "Buck Naked" was a quasi-recurring character on Hill Street. He was an old vagrant who kept on flashing everyone while screaming "I'm Buck Naked!". He has appeared twice on NYPD Blue, but only said his trademark catchphrase the first time. Also, Charles Haid, who played Andy Renko on HSB, guest- starred on NYPD Blue as John Kelly's alcoholic rich buddy Charlie Lear in a first season episode. Haid also directed several episodes of Blue, as well as Murder One (and Cop Rock), before going off to run his own cop show, High Incident. Robert Clohessy, who played beefy uniformed cop Patrick Flaherty in HSB's final season, guest-starred in the third season as retarded murder suspect Frankie Wuthrich. Bruce Weitz, growling undercover cop Mick Belker on Hill Street, appeared in the fourth season as murder witness Lawrence Curry. Barbara Bosson, Bochco's wife, has appeared on virtually all his series, including her regular roles on Hill Street (as Faye Furillo), Hooperman (as Capt. Stern), and Murder One (District Attorney Miriam Grasso), plus guest spots on most of the other shows. She appeared on Blue in the second season as Mrs. Davis, the wife of a man who was molesting their teenage daughter. Three other former Hooperman castmembers all turned up on Blue during the first season: Clarence Felder, who played a corrections officer filing assault charges against a friend of Kelly's; Felton Perry, who played the angry father of a murdered teen; and Debrah Farentino, who had a recurring role as Kelly's friend and subsequent lover Robin Wirkus. Louis Giambalvo, who appeared frequently on HSB as JD LaRue's sleazy used-car salesman brother-in-law, played a used-car salesman of a different sort in the first season of Blue: grief-stricken Dom Bucci, whose daughter had been missing for years before Andy found her.. Dan Hedaya, who was nominated for his guest turn as Lou the Werewolf in a first season episode, appeared several times in HSB's first season as a cop on the take named Phil Macaffee. Hedaya appeared again in the middle of HSB's run as a homeless man who beat up Belker, stole his clothes, badge, and gun, and left him handcuffed in the basement of a condemned building. Markus Redmond, who played a gangmember turned orderly on "Doogie Howser, M.D.," appeared frequently during the first season as uniformed Officer Lucas. Larry Joshua who plays Captain Bass was on "Cop Rock" One connection that may or may not be intentional is that the two main characters on NYPD Blue are named Andy (Sipowicz) and Bobby (Simone), which were also the first names of two of HSB's more notable characters, uniformed partners Andy Renko and Bobby Hill. 4.4. What connections are there to other shows? ------------------------------------------------- See the other-credits file at the www site for other TV series in which individual cast members have appeared. 4.5. Where is NYPD Blue set? ------------------------------ NYPD Blue is set (of course) in New York City, New York, U.S.A. The detectives work in the 15th precinct. Jason R. DeCesare (miles722@erols.com) was nice enough to forward a current list of NYC precincts. MANHATTAN PRECINCT ADDRESS DIRECT LINE 1 Pct 16 Ericsson Place 1-212-334-0611 4 Pct New York Undercover Not actual pct. 5 Pct 19 Elizabeth St. 1-212-334-0711 6 Pct 233 West 10 St. 1-212-741-4811 7 Pct 19 1/2 Pitt St. 1-212-477-7311 9 Pct 321 East 5th St. 1-212-477-7811 10 Pct 230 West 20th St. 1-212-741-8211 13 Pct 230 East 21st St. 1-212-477-7411 15 Pct NYPD Blue Not actual pct. Midtown South Pct 357 West 35th St. 1-212-239-9811 17 Pct 167 East 51st St. 1-212-826-3211 Midtown North Pct 306 West 54th St. 1-212-767-8400 19 Pct 153 East 67th St. 1-212-452-0600 20 Pct 120 West 82nd St. 1-212-580-6411 Central Park Pct 86th & Transverse Rd. 1-212-570-4820 23 Pct 164 East 102nd St. 1-212-860-6411 24 Pct 151 West 100th St. 1-212-678-1811 25 Pct 120 East ll9th St. 1-212-860-6511 26 Pct 520 West 126th St. 1-212-678-1311 27 Pct Law & Order Not actual pct. 28 Pct 2271 8th Ave. 1-212-678-1611 30 Pct 451 West 151st St. 1-212-690-8811 32 Pct 250 West 135th St. 1-212-690-6311 33 Pct Law & Order (Alternate) Not actual pct. 34 Pct 4295 Broadway 1-212-927-9711 BRONX PRECINCT ADDRESS DIRECT LINE 40 Pct 257 Alexander Ave. 1-718-402-2270 41 Pct 1086 Simpson St. 1-718-542-4774 42 Pct 830 Washington Ave. 1-718-402-3887 43 Pct 900 Fteley Ave. 1-718-542-0888 44 Pct 2 East 169th St. 1-718-590-5511 45 Pct 2877 Barkley Ave. 1-718-822-5411 46 Pct 2120 Ryer Ave. 1-718-220-5211 47 Pct 4111 Laconia Ave. 1-718-920-1211 48 Pct 450 Cross Bronx Exp. 1-718-299-3900 49 Pct 2121 Eastchester Rd. 1-718-918-2000 50 Pct 3450 Kingsbridge Ave. 1-718-543-5700 52 Pct 3016 Webster Ave. 1-718-220-5811 53 Pct Car 54 Where Are You? Not actual pct. BROOKLYN PRECINCT ADDRESS DIRECT LINE 60 Pct 2951 West 8th St. 1-718-946-3311 61 Pct 2575 Coney Island Ave. 1-718-627-6611 62 Pct 1925 Bath Ave. 1-718-236-2611 63 Pct 1844 Brooklyn Ave. 1-718-258-4411 66 Pct 5822 16th Ave. 1-718-851-5611 67 Pct 2820 Snyder Ave. 1-718-287-3211 68 Pct 333 65th St. 1-718-439-4211 69 Pct 9720 Foster Ave. 1-718-257-6211 70 Pct 154 Lawrence Ave. 1-718-851-5511 71 Pct 421 Empire Blvd. 1-718-735-0511 72 Pct 830 4th Ave. 1-718-965-6311 73 Pct 1470 East New York Ave. 1-718-495-5411 75 Pct 1000 Sutter Ave. 1-718-827-3511 76 Pct 191 Union St. 1-718-834-3211 77 Pct 127 Utica Ave. 1-718-735-0611 78 Pct 65 6th Ave. 1-718-636-6411 79 Pct 263 Tompkins Ave. 1-718-635-6611 81 Pct 30 Ralph Ave. 1-718-574-0411 83 Pct 480 Knickerbecker Ave. 1-718-574-1605 84 Pct 301 Gold St. 1-718-875-6811 88 Pct 298 Classon Ave. 1-718-636-6511 90 Pct 211 Union Ave. 1-718-963-5311 94 Pct 100 Meserole Ave. 1-718-383-3879 QUEENS PRECINCT ADDRESS DIRECT LINE 100 Pct 92-24 Rockaway Bch Blvd 1-718-318-4200 101 Pct 16-12 Mott Ave. 1-718-868-3400 102 Pct 87-34 118th St. 1-718-805-3200 103 Pct 168-02 91st Ave. 1-718-657-8181 104 Pct 64-02 Catapia Ave. 1-718-386-3004 105 Pct 92-08 222nd St. 1-718-776-9090 106 Pct 103-51 101st St. 1-718-845-2211 107 Pct 186-Ol 73rd Ave. 1-718-526-6161 108 Pct 5-47 50th Ave. 1-718-784-5411 109 Pct 37-05 Union St. 1-718-321-2250 110 Pct 94-41 43rd Ave. 1-718-476-9311 111 Pct 45-06 215th St. 1-718-279-5200 112 Pct 68-40 Austin St. 1-718-520-9311 113 Pct 167-02 Baisley Blvd. 1-718-712-7733 114 Pct 34-15 Astoria Blvd. 1-718-626-9311 115 Pct 92-15 Northern Blvd. 1-718-533-2002 STATEN ISLAND PRECINCT ADDRESS DIRECT LINE 120 Pct 78 Richmond Terrace 1-718-876-8500 122 Pct 2320 Hylan Blvd. 1-718-667-2211 123 Pct 116 Main St. 1-718-948-9311 The Precinct numbers increase going north, except Staten Island, where the 120th is northernmost. Manhattan's named precincts fall geographically more-or-less in the order above. There's no actual 15th, but if they fit in this pattern, they'd be in midtown to downtown, south of the park. Ross Brown's theory on the location of the 15: Judging from the locations and addresses cited in the show, the 15th Precinct appears to cover an area known as the East Village, roughly defined by East Houston Street, Broadway, East 14th Street, and First Avenue, with occasional forays into Alphabet City east of First Avenue (fertile territory for crime-busting). The NYPD stationhouse exterior for the 15th Precinct is really the 9th Precinct house at 321 East 5th St. between 1st & 2nd Ave., which is the same one that was used on the 70s cop series Kojak and is a real precincthouse in New York City. Note that former series producer and writer Burton Armus worked as a producer on Kojak. 4.6. Why so many reruns/preemptions? -------------------------------------- "Blue" is just one of several high-profile series ("ER" and "Ellen" are two of the others) that will be taking an extended vacation in March and April to provide opportunities for networks to showcase promising mid-season replacements. There are two reasons behind ABC's decision to do this. First, there are only 22 episodes in a season of NYPD Blue, and, because of the all-important "sweeps" months in November, February, and May, 12 of those episodes have to be committed to air during those months. That leaves only 10 other episodes for the other five months. So, during March and April, if ABC aired Blue, there would only be one or two new episodes. And, because of the sheer volume of successful dramas and newsmagazines in the 10 o'clock hour on network television these days, there are very few timeslots available to test out a new show. So ABC has chosen to put "The Practice," a new legal drama from David E. Kelley ("Picket Fences," "Chicago Hope") on in the successful "Blue" slot, rather than risk it in a worse timeslot (like, say, the Thursday at 9 slot that's killing "Murder One"). Complaining to ABC won't do any good. Their minds are made up on this. And unless you have a Nielsen box, you really can't vote with your remote, either. But if this upsets you, keep in mind that "Blue" is a big success because it got a lot of publicity about the adult content when it launched (and was good enough to keep all those curious viewers week after week). Not every show is as lucky. At one time or another, nearly every one of us has started watching a show that got cancelled prematurely due to low ratings. Maybe some of those shows would have attracted more viewers if they'd been given a chance to air in a better timeslot for a few weeks. 4.7. How realistic is the show? --------------------------------- Bill Clark, [see 2.10 for more info] a retired NYPD detective, serves as the show's technical advisor to make sure that Milch & Co. "get things right." If you ever see Clark's name in the "Story by" credits of a given episode, then one or more of the cases in that show are based on a real-life event. While Clark is a real stickler for detail, he also understands the demands of TV storytelling, which is why the events on the show often seem time-compressed. Cases that are solved in the traditional two-day span of an episode often took weeks or months to play out in reality, even if all the incidents portrayed in the show happened in real life. (For example, the story about James getting shot in "E.R." actually happened, with Clark in the Bobby role as the man who blew the whistle on the DA's deal with the shooter, but the whole thing took place over several months.) 4.8. What awards has the show won? ------------------------------------ "Favorite Television Dramatic Series" - 20th Annual People's Choice Awards. The show was nominated for a record 26 Emmys for its first season, and won 6, including Best Actor for Dennis Franz, Best Writing (Steroid Roy) and Best Direction (Tempest in a C-Cup). The previous record for most nominations was 21, set by Hill Street Blues in 1980. The show's Emmy nominations fell to a mere 12 this year, though that was still the second best showing of any series (after ER). While the show did poorly in the early goings of the ceremony, it did pull a bit of an upset by beating strong favorite ER for Best Drama Series. Some have speculated that it was an "apology award" from the Academy to make up for Blue losing to Picket Fences the year before. The 1997 Emmy's had Dennis Franz taking home the Best Actor in a Dramatic Series trophy, while Kim Delaney grabbed the "Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series" trophy. The episode "Where's Swaldo" Mark Tinker won Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for his work on "Where's Swaldo." David Milch, Stephen Gaghan, Michael R. Perry took home the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for their work on "Where's Swaldo." 4.9. Is the show filmed in NY or LA? -------------------------------------- Both, actually. The bulk of the filming is done in Los Angeles, but the cast and crew fly out to the Big Apple a few weeks a season to shoot some exterior shots. While the exterior of the 15th precincthouse is actually a real building [4.5], last year a mock-up of it was built in LA to allow more outdoor scenes to be shot. Unless you see a recognizable landmark (the FDR Drive, Washington Square Park, the Flat-Iron building), assume that you're seeing footage filmed in LA. *4.10. Do the cast and crew know about us? ------------------------------------------- Some do, and some don't. Alan was out in LA July 97, and met a number of people involved with the show. Bill Brochtrup (Upstairs John) knew him by name, and Sharon Lawrence has apparently read the newsgroup on occasion. Several of the show's writers (though not David Milch) apparently scan the net from time to time to get audience feedback. David Mills, a former writer on the show ("The Backboard Jungle", "Twilight's Last Gleaming") has delurked on occasion and Paris Barclay, a (male) director on the show, has also delurked. *4.11. What's the deal with FX? What if my cable company doesn't carry it? -------------------------------------- For those who don't know, the FX cable network has begun showing daily repeats of the first four seasons of the show, beginning with the shows from the first season (episode one aired August 19). These episodes are allegedly airing uncut, but some people who've been watching them closely report that every once in a while, a scene will start in mid-conversation. The episodes are supposed to air Monday through Friday at 9, and each one is then repeated the following weeknight at midnight (all times eastern). If you've been trying to tape every episode in order, you may have noticed that FX skipped over a couple of the fourth season episodes. That's because ABC has the right to re-air every episode at least once, and they still haven't gotten around to repeating all of last year's shows ("Taillights' Last Gleaming," for instance, finally got rerun on Dec. 30). By the time the next rerun cycle (which started up on New Year's Day) gets to the fourth season, every episode should be available, but check FX's schedule (available at http://www.fxnetworks.com/) vs. the episode guide (available at http://www.xnet.com/~djk/NYPDBlue_1.shtml). Since a lot of cable systems don't carry FX -- and since our friends in Canada can't get it at all (Blue repeats there are on the Canadian channel Bravo) -- your other recourse (barring a decision to letterbomb your cable carrier) is to watch the syndicated rerun package on the weekends, which air on various local stations throughout the country (check your local listings). Be warned: unlike the FX repeats, the weekend showings will be cut, not so much for content but to fit in room for more commercials. If you want uncut episodes -- or are impatient waiting for your favorite to show up at the much slower rate - - please *do not e-mail me to ask for tapes*. I don't have the time to make dubs. Once these repeats start airing nationwide, there will likely be dozens of fans who'd be more than happy to start dubbing episodes, so try posting to alt.tv.nypd-blue or rec.arts.tv with your specific requests. 4.12. Why is the camera always shaking? ----------------------------------------- A lot of the show is shot with handheld cameras in an attempt to simulate a detective's point of view and to give episodes a cinema verite feel. Some people love it and some hate it, but it's an aspect that's not liable to change. 4.13. I really love XX and I want to send him/her a letter! What's the address? If you want to send fan mail to your favorite castmember, the correct address is Cast Member's Name c/o Steven Bochco Productions 10201 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035. 4.14. Where do you get the episode titles? -------------------------------------------- Every episodic television script has its own title, but only a few shows actually show those titles on-screen ("ER," to name just one). However, there are a number of other sources for fans who want to know what each episode is called. Some newspapers do print the episode titles in their TV listings, but a more reliable source is going on-line, either to ABC's official site (http://www.abc.com) or any of the numerous WWW TV listing sites (like, for instance, http://www.gist.com). Also, the NYPD Blue episode guide, at http://www.xnet.com/~djk/ NYPDBlue_1.shtml has the titles of every single episode. 4.15. What's a "spoiler" and why does it upset some people? ------------------------------------------------------------- Basically, a spoiler is any piece of information about an episode that would spoil a part of that episode for someone who hasn't seen it yet. Spoilers can be gleaned from watching commercials, reading TV Guide, rumors, or what have you. Some people like to know this stuff in advance, but a lot of other people like to go into an episode knowing nothing. At the start of the third season, ABC showed in their commercials for the season premiere that one of the characters would get shot. Not everybody on the group had seen the commercial, and one person started a thread entitled "(Character's name) gets shot!" which basically spoiled the surprise for everybody else. The same thing happened near the end of the third season, when several people found out from magazine articles that one of the recurring characters was going to be killed off, and put that information into the heading of their posts. Because some people don't mind knowing stuff in advance, it's okay to include spoilers in your posts, but there are a few basic guidelines to follow to avoid ticking people off: 1) Always insert the word "Spoiler" in your subject header, especially if you're following up to a thread that didn't originally have spoilers in it 2) NEVER put an actual spoiler ("I can't believe Medavoy is going to go to jail!", to make up an example) in your subject header. Even if you were to leave Medavoy's name out in that particular example, the mere knowledge that *any* of the characters is going to jail constitutes a spoiler for most people. A good example of a spoiler-safe header is something like "What I heard about the season premiere - Spoiler." And if somebody else inadvertently includes a spoiler in his/her header, and you want to follow up to that post, please delete the spoiler info from the subject line. 3) Try very hard to include a lot of blank lines in a post before the spoiler information, so that some unfortunate soul whose newsreader won't allow him/her to scan subject headers, won't unwittingly stumble across a spoiler. So, you may be asking, do we have to do this for every episode in perpetuity? No. The generally accepted Usenet rule is that once an episode airs, spoilers don't apply to it. -- Jeff Knapp director@gti.net alt.tv.nypd-blue FAQ-keeper alt.tv.nypd-blue website: http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/nypd.html Subtlety is the art of saying what you want and getting out of the way before it is understood.