Sunday, October 30, 2016


Note from the Web Squad:

No, not quite.  The November 3 issue of Rolling Stone printed a heavily edited version of the response Barney Rosenzweig sent regarding the obvious sin of omission on the part of the magazine in listing the 100 Best TV Shows EVER and not including Cagney & Lacey.  We just thought the omission was so blatant that the least they could have done was to print Barney's letter in its entirety.
If you want to add your views, e-mail the publication at: or write to them at Rolling Stone  1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10104-0298.  Whatever you do keep it brief because they have a tendency to edit.  What follows here, in its entirety,  is the letter Barney wrote:
It simply is hard for me to compute: all those years of hard work and effort, all that recognition, the awards, flattery by imitation, unprecedented fan loyalty, all of that... and Rolling Stone cannot manage to come up with the title Cagney & Lacey when putting together a list of the best shows ever on television? Truth to tell, as the fella responsible for that series, I think I am more aggravated over not being in the top 50 than I am about not making the list of 100. It brings me to a real empathic sense of what it must be like to be Hillary Clinton.

My friend Stephen Bochco's two wonderful cop shows are on your list... but no recognition of the fact that the difference between his Hill Street Blues and his follow-up, NYPD Blue, is ... (wait for it)... Cagney & Lacey. My show was about two women who happened to be cops, not two cops who happened to be women. After us, NYPD Blue also took their cops home from the precinct in order to explore their lives as well as their jobs. Hill Street Blues was one of the great police procedurals of all time.  NYPD Blue was Cagney & Lacey in drag.

Without Cagney & Lacey could there have been a thirtysomething... let alone a Thelma and Louise? What show on the Rolling Stone list is, a generation later, still part of the language? How many shows on that list of 100 have had more Emmy Awards, a better title identification, or have had  more impact on our society or, for that matter, the television industry itself? How many inspired not one but four re-union movies for television, and how many stars of shows, on the air 30-plus years ago, still regularly populate television and motion picture screens as do Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless? We do know that for six consecutive years, no other actress, save for Daly or Gless, won the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama--a winning streak that is still unmatched--and we were there in the hall when Helen Mirren, the star of one of your 100 honorees (Prime Suspect) received her Emmy Award by beginning her acceptance speech with "Thank you, Cagney & Lacey."

During my career I produced hundreds of hours of prime time television before and after Cagney & Lacey, (e.g., from Daniel Boone to The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, to Christy and John Steinbeck's East of Eden). When I gave up my Hollywood post office box to move to Florida,  I never dreamed that a geography change would preclude me from being polled with so many of my contemporaries regarding the history of an industry that I have always taken so seriously and served so well. I (sort of) get that one-time competitors might fail to remember someone else's accomplishments, but (frankly) I am disappointed that Rolling Stone didn't do the necessary research to expose this obvious omission of such an iconic television series.

Years ago I was told  a rolling stone gathers no moss. It appears it doesn't do much in the realm of gathering sufficient facts either.

Barney Rosenzweig

1 comment:

Jackie said...
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