NYPD Blue premiered in 1993. David Bochco insisted that ABC allow him to use minor profanities and brief nudity to create a more realistic portrayal of the lives of New York City cops. While several stations balked at the show and refused to carry it, the show was an instant success. What really made the show so interesting was not the language or nudity, but the well written shows and first rate acting. Bochco veteran Dennis Franz plays alcoholic detective Andy Sipowicz, who was only supposed to be in the first episode, whose character is gunned down and nearly dies. Mr. Franz is superb as the volcanic Sipowicz and was rewarded with the first of his four Best Actor Emmys for the season, but the real star of the season is David Caruso. Mr. Caruso is simply magnetic as Sipowicz's partner John Kelly. Whereas Sipowicz is a hot head, Kelly exudes cool and calm. He is passionate about what he does, but his anger boils beneath the surface where Sipowicz's explodes. It is this dynamic between the two that makes the pairing work as one of the best in TV cop show history. Other cast members include Sherry Stringfield as Assistant D.A. Laura Michaels who is also Kelly's ex-wife, Amy Brenneman as Janice Licalsi who is a police desk officer that is tangled up with the mob and carrying on an affair with Kelly, James McDaniel as Lt. Arthur Fancy who heads the department and is black. Sipowicz is also a racist which causes much tension between him and Fancy. Nicholas Turturro is Dt. James Martinez who is a new detective who struggles for acceptance on the job. Future series regulars, Gordon Clapp as Greg Medavoy, Sharon Lawrence as Assistant D.A. Sylvia Costas and Gail O'Grady as receptionist Donna Abandando all appear as recurring characters before all were made full time cast members in the season two. Actors like David Schwimmer, Michael Rappaport, Wendie Malik, Daniel Benzali, John Wesley Shipp and Bradley Whitford have guest roles. Season one of the show almost seems like a separate show all together due to the massive cast changes that occurred after the season. Mr. Caruso believed all the hype about him and made the mistake many actors who achieve success on a TV show, that they can become movie stars. Mr. Caruso left the show after four brief appearances in season two and never achieved the stardom that he seemed slated for. Sherry Stringfield left the show after the season to go to another show that would be even more popular, ER and Amy Brenneman also left the cast. For the one season that he was on the show though, Mr. Caruso created an indelible image, yet NYPD Blue has not just survived but thrived over a decade since Caruso's departure.
DVD Special Features Season One:
-All 22 season one episodes on 6 discs
-One-hour "Making of Season One" documentary with never-before-seen footage
-All-new "Love on NYPD Blue" and "Cast Blotter" featurettes
-Selected episode commentaries
DVD Special Features Season Two
-22 episodes on 6 discs
-Commentary by director Mark Tinker on Cop Suey' and ADA Sipowicz'
-Commentary by David Milch on Simone Says'
-Commentary by director Michael Rob on Vishy-Vashy'
-Commentary by technical advisor Bill Clark on Bombs Away' and Boxer Rebellion'
-Featurettes: Season Two: A Season of Change (57 min.), Wedding Bell Blues (7 min.),
-Script-to-screen comparisons: "Sipowicz Meets Simone," "Sylvia Meets Simone," "Simone and Sipowicz Bond"