Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BARNEY ROSENZWEIG

Welcome to our web site and the Silver Anniversary celebration of our television series, CAGNEY & LACEY. Where, you might ask, have we been all this time and why are we coming back ‘atcha now?

It all started a couple of years ago when Torrie Rosenzweig, my youngest daughter and a film maker in her own right, became pregnant with the newest Rosenzweig on the planet, Zoey B. Torrie mentioned she was beginning to look for a job (something not too difficult in order to put aside a few bucks to tide her over during the then about to be baby’s first year). My kid’s specialty is the documentary form, for which she has won many awards, but when she needs a payday she goes to work on those film biography shows one sees so much of on various cable channels.

“Why not do one of the film bio shows you do so well on two fictional individuals?”

I am ever the helpful father and none too adverse to self-promotion as some of you might remember. I went on, “You could treat Cagney and Lacey as if they were real people…I could help line up all the clips you would need and I am sure Sharon and Tyne would cooperate.”

Torrie is an imaginative film maker, but she is also a daughter and so I was not too surprised to see her eyes roll when she answered, “Dad, that is your thing.… It’s not for me.” My shrug was not fully executed when she added, “How many years has it been, anyway?”

I used up all my fingers and toes and then realized…not as fast as she…that we were then approaching our 25th year. We both agreed I should do something about the anniversary.

So here we are, all those years later. Sharon Gless and I are in the 16th year of our marriage, Tyne Daly is still one of our closest friends, the memories are clear, if somewhat selective, and we have stuff to share; this website being only the beginning.

This Spring MGM and Fox Home Entertainment will release the first 22 episodes starring Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly on DVD. If that is a successful venture more will be coming from them. They are timing their release for Mother’s Day so now you can go somewhere other than a See’s Candy store for dear old Mom.

My book, Cagney & Lacey…and Me will be out and available from IUniverse, Amazon.com and other venues, with collector’s editions through this website. Oh yes, the subtitle of the tome is “An inside Hollywood Story OR how I learned to stop worrying and love the blonde.” Depending on how you all react to all of this pent up nostalgia there will be more on the way, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless will be regular visitor/contributors to all of this as…we hope…will be some of the writers, other cast members and creative contributors to the show. We have lost many in the last couple of decades. Al Waxman (Lt. Samuels) and Sidney Clute (La Guardia) are no longer with us, nor are recurring directors Ray Danton and John Patterson. They have passed away as has Barbara Corday’s erstwhile partner, and co-creator of the show, Barbara Avedon. Shelly List succumbed to cancer a few years back and Jack Guss, my close friend and first season story editor (when many of the pages were truly blank) has been gone longer than I care to remember. We will, on this site, often take time to remember these folks fondly.

As to our creative troika of Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly and yours truly…I have been, for the most part, happily inactive. Since C&L there was the TV series “Christy” which I produced, along with C&L alumni Tyne Daly (she won an EMMY on this show too), Pat Green, Kathy Ford, Chris Abbott and Ken Wales. I helmed the Sharon Gless series, “The Trials of Rosie O’Neil” (for which La Gless got her second Golden Globe) and umpteenth EMMY nomination and where C&L alums Reza Badiyi, Ray Danton, Joel Rosenzweig and Tyne Daly all came to play. I also did the quartet of “Cagney & Lacey” reunion films, which we lovingly call “The Menopause Years,” and there was a series for Jeff Sagansky at the then PAX Network, “Twice in a Lifetime,” on which C&L grads, Liz Coe and Al Waxman, did some great work.

Tyne stayed busy, winning a TONY for starring on Broadway in “Gypsy” and garnering another Broadway nomination for her sterling work in the dramatic award winning play, “Rabbit Hole.” Besides the stuff in the preceding paragraph she was (of course) brilliant for six seasons in the CBS drama “Judging Amy” which got her another EMMY to add to her “Christy” and “Cagney & Lacey” collection. On “Amy” she worked for Executive Producer Joe Stern, another C&L alumnus.

After “The Trials of Rosie O’Neill," Sharon did several TV movies, starred in two different plays in London’s famed West End (creating on stage the role of Annie Wilkes in Stephen King’s “Misery” and then opposite Tom Conti in Neil Simon’s “Chapter II”) and won over those very tough English drama critics in the process; was featured for five seasons on the ground-breaking SHOWTIME series “Queer As Folk,” and the soon-to-be released BBC mini-series, “The State Within.” She is now doing a pilot for the USA Network.

More to come…but only if you want.

Be sure to let us know your level of interest by filling out our survey and, as we used to say in the pre-cyber space era, “Stay Tuned.”

All the Best,

Barney Rosenzweig

29 comments:

Jackie said...

Dear Barney et al --

Congratulations on C&L's 25th anniversary, and this blog. I am sure it will be enthusiastically received by your many fans everywhere, and am sending best wishes from the UK for an enthusiastic take-up of the long- and eagerly- awaited DVDs, and your book.

Do we want more than one book and the first series?

Is the Pope a Catholic, the Chief Rabbi a Jew?

My vote's for persuading Torrie to change her mind, too: sounds like a fun idea, maybe for extra features on the DVDs.

Love to you all,

Jackie. xxx

Rosemary said...

Dear Barney

I'm so pleased to read that at last we're going to see Cangey and Lacey on DVD and have a book to accompany this. This is my dream come true. I do hope they come out in the UK as the same time as the USA. Please don't make us wait any longer. I'm sure there are a huge number of fans out there who will be jumping up and down with glee at the thought of this.

Love to all concerned with this great venture.

Rosemary xxxx

Cathy said...

Dear Barney, Sharon and Tyne,

Delighted to see your blog. My congrats on the 25th anniversary of Cagney & Lacey and the upcoming DVD release. C&L captured me from the get-go and has stayed with me
all these years. No other show has ever commanded my affection in quite the same way.

I look forward to browsing your blog from time to time and wish you great success with the book and DVD. Thanks for making Cagney & Lacey the indelible pleasure it was for fans.

All the best,
Cathy

Melissa said...

Dear Barney, Sharon, and Tyne...

It is fantastic to see this website finally get developed and to know that the first 22 episodes will be released on dvd in a matter of a few short months. I'm hoping that the "menopausal" tv movies will be released on their own very soon also. If the 1,110 total signatures on our online petition is any indication, the dvd sales will be a highly successful venture!

Barney, believe it or not, you and I have been corresponding for the past four years via email and I want to thank you again for always being so kind, for patiently keeping me up to date on the latest developments, and just for generally putting up with the rantings of a huge fan. I'd love to get an autographed copy of your book...any chance of a book tour that would bring you down south?

Sharon and Tyne, you were two of the most gifted actresses in entertainment 25 years ago and age has only aided in fine tuning your craft. The Emmys and Golden Globes were so very well deserved...and let's not forget that the show was also the recipient of many awards from the Viewers for Quality Television whose members (including yours truly) fought so hard to keep the show on the air.

I remember when I first saw an episode. I was working full time and going to college at night to earn my BS in Criminal Justice. I was 29 and had moved back in with my parents to support my mom who had cervical cancer. Two of my classes were on Monday nights and when I would return home, my mom would be waiting up and would always be watching C&L. She would tell me how much she enjoyed the show and that the acting was exceptional. She would laugh at Mary Beth's New York "accent," saying that sometimes she couldn't understand her (we were from the south after all) but that Tyne Daly was unparalleled as an actress. I would usually just say "uh huh" and go about my business, studying in my room. One night, though, my late class was cancelled...I watched an entire episode with mom and it was "The Bounty Hunter," guest starring Brian Dennehy. I laughed at Cagney's reactions to him and thought how unique it was to blend comedy and drama so effectively in a television program. Then I remembered how much I loved Sharon Gless in "Switch" and knew that her comedic talents were just as incomparable as her dramatic ones. I was hooked. I never missed an episode from that moment on and I was able to watch the earlier ones on Lifetime when they aired there. I know if my mom were here she would want to thank everyone involved for many hours of remarkable televison.

C&L was indeed a groundbreaking series, tackling such social issues as pornography, abortion, breast cancer, date rape, and alcoholism; topics that were basically taboo or rarely done on television in the mid 80s. The fierce struggle of these women to balance their demanding professional lives with their equally as demanding personal ones is played out with such sensitivity and realism...so much so that one feels like they are real people, women that we all would love to get to know and to become friends with. And I think it was that realism that kept us all hanging on, forever unwavering, for these 25 years.

Horray for the highly anticipated release of the dvd and may there be many many more to come!

Best Wishes to You All,

Melissa

alex from france said...

thanks you for this blog

bisous

alex

Pip said...

Hi Barney

I just wanted to drop you a short note to say thank you for bringing us Cagney and Lacey. It has always remained my favourite TV show and I eagerly await the release of the DVD's! Also looking forward to purchasing your book!

I've been a fan of Sharon and Tyne's since the show began (I was 11!) and it will be great to be able to keep in touch with them via this website. I loved The Trials of Rosie O'Neill and haven't seen them since their original run here in the UK. Any chance of that being released on DVD? Or am I just pushing my luck ;-)

Anyway.. many thanks again

Love Pip x

K said...

Ciao Barney.
Please remember about all the fans in Europe (I am from Italy) and release Region 2 Dvds too...
Thanks a lot.
All the best
Ciao

Karen_From_MA said...

Hey Barney,

The moment I have been waiting for!I can finally get my C&L fix on a regular basis-- I was beginning to have withdrwal symptoms, but I'm sure I can hold out a bit longer.

Thanks for all the work you and countless others are puting into the DVDs. I look forward to your memoirs-- I'm sure it'll be filed with insight and humor.

Karen
Milford, MA

DianeLS said...

Finally! I will be able to watch a different episode than the season finale which I have saved all these years. I had also taped the cannoli episode, but it was accidently taped over with a sesame street episode. I can't wait! One of my favorite tv series!

June said...

Hi Barney, cant wait for the release of Cagney and Lacey on DVD and also the book. Thanx for the best series on tv EVER just magic. June fae Scotland

June M. said...

Hi, Barney, Sharon, and Tyne--

First of all, congrats on your 25th anniversary! I started watching Cagney and Lacey later, but it quickly became my favorite show. My mom has been watching it for some time, and I got started watching it through her.

Secondly, a question: I have heard of two release dates for the show--1) the whole series (125 episodes) will be out by winter (according to a comment placed on amazon.com who got the news from USA Today) 2) Season 1 will be out on DVD on May 8. Can you tell me which is correct so that I can get the appropriate set? If the whole series comes out at once, may as well wait until winter, if not, I'll purchase in May. Thanks, and again, CONGRATS!

June (from CA, USA)

Susan said...

Dear Barney, Sharon & Tyne,

This website and the upcoming DVD & book release is great news for fans everywhere. It cetainly seems a long time coming but very well worth the wait.

I've been a fan of the show & all of you for years and recall joining the campaign to keep Cagney & Lacey on the air.

I'm looking forward to website updates and messages sent by all of those people that helped to make Cagney & Lacey a milestone in television history.

Warm Regards to you all,
Susan

wendy said...

Barney:

The site looks fantastic. Congratulations on the anniversary. I love the pictures. The one of you on your couch in your old office is fantastic.

Love: Wendy (from Chicago)

Zandra LaPoI said...

Barney,

If you put ALL the Seasons out on DVD tomorrow I would buy the lot!!

Do not underestimate just how popular C&L was and still is. Check out some of the Forums in Yahoo Groups!

Good luck to you all and stay healthy! Thanks so much for the DVDS and this website!

Love,

Zandra LaPoI
UK

Steve in Oxford, England said...
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Steve in Oxford, England said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve in Oxford, England said...

Congratulations on a wonderful site.

It was watching C&L which made me want to work in the TV industry myself. I'm happy to say that I have been doing that now for almost 15 years. But I doff my cap to you sir, for being a genius with the medium and long may you continue to be so.

Do me a favour though...give Ms Daley a nudge for us into posting something!

Oh...you'll know this...will the C&L DVDs be released in the UK?

Many thanks and very best wishes from Blighty.

Cheryl & Tina said...

I agree with everyone else, it is about time, and I am so happy, it is a dream come true finally getting the series on dvd.

I totally agree with one of the above comments: I would gladly pay whatever I had to in order to get the entire series all at once.

I know I am demanding but I want it all, all the movies and all the seasons, and I want it all now.

The thought of buying one season at a time and then having to wait for the next is just saddening. It won't take me long at all to go through one season.

I would love to hear your response to the question about release dates. I have heard August this year and then at amazon it states the release is 2010. I have not heard aobut a complete box set, but that would be my very favorite if I had to choose.

Anyways, thanks so much for getting this going and making so many of us fans absolutely giddy with joy.

Keep up the good work and keep those seasons coming out along with all the movies.

Thanks again.
Cheryl

Anne said...

Dear Barney et al,

How wonderful to hear that we may be able to buy the best programme ever on dvd! And a book to boot! I grew up watching Cagney and Lacey. I loved the characters so much. The programme really had an affect on me growing up. Now I can watch the odd re run and selected episodes from the dvd released, but I, like others would gladly pay any amount of money to own the full collection.I would love to hear from Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly themselves via dvd extras, and gain insight into the show. Well I can dream can't I? Yes we still care about Cagney and Lacey, sad to read about the loss of those associated with the show too. Thank you for the website and the prospect of books and dvds. More more more...please. x

Robbie said...

Dear Mr. Rosenzweig:

Great to hear the C&L DVD is moving forward!

Any chance that "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" will be released on DVD? That was a beautifully orchestrated show. And, with the erratic scheduling of that show by the network, I haven't had as many opportunities to see all the episodes of that one as I have of C&L...

Robbie

no1lulufan said...

hey barney its ashleigh german from rainy old england here!! thank you soooooooo much for bringing cagney and lacey!! i 1st came across it about 7 years ago in school summer holiday when i then recruited ma friend gary to play mary-beth and we legged it round our road pretending to be the crime fighting duo!! i LOVE the show and im just so pleased youve managed to get this all together!!! the 1 thing i really wanna know is though when are you and the fab girls coming to england?? i would love to see you here and who knows i maybe lucky enough to meet you (ahh man i hope so that would be so cool!!) keep well, lots of lulu love, ash xxxx

Trish said...

Hi, Barney,
Thank you so much for Cagney and Lacey, and for fighting for the dvd release! I have been a huge fan since day one, and C & L will always remain my favorite show for many reasons. Monday nights - ah yes, everyone in '80's land knew better than to bother me then! LOL Keep bringing us new C&L "treats" and tell your daughter to reconsider that documentary! Just ordered your book, btw - will be reading it all the way to Boston on Friday.
Trish

Trish said...

Hi, Barney,
Thank you so much for Cagney and Lacey, and for fighting for the dvd release! I have been a huge fan since day one, and C & L will always remain my favorite show for many reasons. Monday nights - ah yes, everyone in '80's land knew better than to bother me then! LOL Keep bringing us new C&L "treats" and tell your daughter to reconsider that documentary! Just ordered your book, btw - will be reading it all the way to Boston on Friday.
Trish

jenn said...

hi barney, please could you get the rest of the c & l series on dvd i think it is a fantastic show and it brings back lots of nastalga from my growing up years.

Violetpvt said...

I have the first DVD set of season 1 of Cagney and Lacey. I miss this show and love this show. They don't make actors today like they use to or shows either. I love this show and I'm only 28. This show is real and wonderful! I even watch what I can of other seasons (even though short clips)from youtube, but I don't care that they are short, I'm just happy to get to see what I can. Please make available the rest of the seasons of this show! You will make so many people happy!Thnak you very much!

Philippa said...

Any chance of getting "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" on DVD in UK-friendly format?

Joe Jenckes said...

Dear Barney: I just read your book. Wonderful. I remember your kindness in giving me those acting roles in Daniel Boone. I have told the story often that I started out as an English Lieutenant then a Welsh Sargent and finally a Cockney Private. I thought you were going to demote me out of the show. I assume you now live on Fisher Island in Florida. My wife and I live in McLean,Virginia and have a condo south of Palm Beach. Is Vicki still alive. Wish you the very best. Joe Jenckes

Smudge said...

Hi Barney,
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed watching Trial of Rosie O'Neil. I especially loved the theme song. Can you confirm who sang it? I thought it was Carol King but when I was on the IMDB website they said it was Carly Simon. Also is it possible to purchase the song anywhere?

Jackie said...

I bought the episodes that were available on IPad. I want more! Please! The Trials of Rosie, was an excellent series, shoulda stayed on longer, whatever jerk cancelled it was dumb. I would love, love to get all of the episodes. Love and God bless you all.