NYPD Blue (ABC)
1996 | ABC, Steven Bochco Productions
The police drama has long been a staple of prime time television entertainment. At its worst, the form gives rise to stinging and often deserved criticism for its presentations of graphic violence, racial and ethnic stereotyping, and rampant sensationalism. But, as is the case with NYPD Blue, at its best the genre can provide gritty and realistic insight into the dilemmas and tragedies which daily confront those who spend their lives in law enforcement. Co-creators Steven Bochco and David Milch, along with executive producers Mark Tinker and Michael Robin, and an unmatched cast led by Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, James McDaniel, Nicholas Turturro, Sharon Lawrence, Gordon Clapp, and Kim Delaney, NYPD Blue attains true excellence. The core of NYPD Blue is Mr. Franz’s depiction of Detective Andy Sipowicz, a recovering alcoholic who must frequently confront his frailties and limitations, including racial prejudice, and in so doing, forces viewers to do the same. While many television police dramas through the years have taken the low road of formulaic car chases and predictable shoot-outs, NYPD Blue aims higher, and in the view of the Peabody Board, consistently hits its target. For so doing, a Peabody to NYPD Blue.