Tuesday, June 13, 2017

HAIL AND FAREWELL


A year of minor shocks and mini disappointments.  I have hit the midway point in my 80th year and am having to come to terms with some minor truths. This is not profound stuff. This is not me coming up with the meaning of life or some other impressive epiphany. What I am coming to terms with is that just as Charles Atlas is no longer one of America's most admired males, so Cagney & Lacey just may not be one of America's top 20 (or 30, or 50 or....) television shows of all time. Read any work published near the end of the 20th century about Television and we were right there.... but now, 17.5 years into the 21st century, and one has to make room for Game of Thrones, Deadwood, Justified, The Good Wife, Homeland, VEEP, The Americans, Saving Grace, LOST, Downton Abbey, Fargo, The Affair, or even late 20th century entries such as The West Wing, The Sopranos, Alias, to name only those that leap to mind. Truth is, I never was one for heavy research and, besides, I believe my point is made.

A lot of good to great work has been pouring into homes all over America by way of Cable and premium channels (note how few of the above came to you via Network TV) and the natural order of things is that as these new shows take their place in the pantheon, those of us older providers are bound to be diminished, downgraded, or totally forgotten.

Cagney & Lacey is rarely forgotten, but it does happen. Those TV Editors around the country are getting younger and younger and something close to a majority were barely out of diapers when Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly were winning every award there was to be had.

Back in the day, Women in Film, a then fledgling group of women in the film and television industry, took Cagney & Lacey out of competition for their awards (we had won them all... multiple times). The organization created a one-time Governor's Award, declaring our series "unbeatable" in the arena of shows by/for/about women.  That was then. Just a few weeks back, for the Paley Center in New York,  Women in Film produced a whole flock of TV clips honoring shows about women. If you blinked during the 15 minute presentation on TV dramas you would have missed any reference to Cagney & Lacey. (Side note: and there was NONE ... zero reference ... to The Trials of Rosie O'Neill or Christy. But I digress.) If Julianna Margulies, the fabulous star of The Good Wife, hadn't ad-libbed a bit about Sharon and the series, inserting them into her Keynote remarks, that blink-able moment would have been all that was there for the entire evening.

We are less relevant in the grand scheme of things. Why we are so diminished by the Paley Center and Women in Film I do not understand at all, but I am betting the President of Princeton isn't altogether sure how his rating slips every now and then in the top 10 Universities list either. Whatever it is, I am trying (honest, I am) to cope with it. It was my decision over 20 years ago to walk away from Hollywood and TV production at/near the peak of my career (literally humming the country/ western lyric "Walkin' away a winner, walking away from a losing game..."). I don't miss the town. Don't miss the work and don't miss (too much) the celebrity. It does tend to get me down when some young, would-be historian makes out one of those lists and I find my show and my work demoted or, worse yet, deleted.

It is not nearly as bad as the slight by the too-young-to-know-better gals at today's Women in Film, but it is a disappointment that so few of the old Cagney & Lacey audience members have failed to connect with this particular site.

That brings about the reason for this blog... It is a long way to get to the point that we are shutting down the Cagney & Lacey website.  . I am not altogether sure where Websites go to be buried.... and Carole Smith or my daughter, Allyn, or someone may, from time to time, get me to write a blog or two for the C&L Facebook page (which I have never seen and do not know how to access), but as to this C&L website it is hail and farewell.  It is set to run through the next month or two and then it is done.   It is one of (thankfully only a few) of my true failures in life. Morituri te Salutant.



Barney Rosenzweig

June 13, 2017

17 comments:

Manuel said...

Not a failure, just the passing of time. Thanks for a wonderful show

Patti said...

Thank you Barney (and Sharon...and Tyne...and all). Simply, thank you. Salute and good health and happiness as life carries on. However, this blog did make me sad. But...thanks for being you! I too will carry on...just on the FB C&L page.

Kevin James said...

Can the site by maintained on your behalf by someone like myself who can create a new version with all the information on it? It would be a terrible shame not to have a resource out there to reflect the importance of your work.

Leese said...

Ah, and I opened the link hoping for news of the Rosie DVDs :(

This is so sad to read. Nothing about Cagney and Lacey was a failure. Absolutely nothing. It has never been bettered in over 30 years.

Please don't disappear altogether. In fact, come to the UK, where C&L is still *very* much revered. Thank you, and Sharon and Tyne, for your incredible body of work.

Anonymous said...

Barney as a fan thay would have been termed obsessed at the age of 13 when I started watching it faithfully, I woild respectfully ask that you NOT close down the website. While times have changed and even technology "seems" to be all about social media, Cagney and Lacey deserve to keep their website even if for all the historical and "once was" reasons that you have listed. In fact, I feel that ALL THE MORE the website should be kept for the reasons that you yourself pointed out. Cagney and Lacey may be pushed out of many people's memory because of the direction of television today and this young generations lack of knowledge about the value of this series, but PLEASE do not play a part in burying the footprint of this great series. Cagney and Lacey still deserve their place on that World Wide Web. They deserve THAT and MORE. I hope you reconsider and work to preserve as much history that you can BECAUSE of all the reasons you gave. Preserve...not bury. - Karen from Massachusetts

Jackie said...

Age cannot wither you, nor custom stale
Your infinite variety.

(Adapted from) Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra

Carol Miller White said...


I was a Cagney and Lacey fan from the beginning and still watch your DVDs. You and Sharon and Tyne are all wonderful. I hope you will reconsider and keep the site going.

Carol from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

wendy said...

OH, NO, PLEASE DON'T! You made me cry! You may know this but here in Chicago on THIS TV, we get 4 episodes every Sunday night from 11 pm to 3 am and I look forward to watching every single one! I think that might be part of the reason Sharon got such a huge ovation when she was here for Concert 4 America! CAGNEY AND LACEY WAS AND IS THE BEST SERIES ON TV!!! And does it matter what it has "placed" or won, or does it matter what we, the people think???

I have already planned to post to Sharon that at 68, I am a better person today for having experienced so much through Christine Cagney. I don't think there's a better compliment to an actress than that!

I have now read your book 3 times and keep it handy to check off the episodes as THIS TV airs them! I still can't believe what you had to go through to get that series on the air, and still managed to produce such high quality shows! I love you, I love Sharon, I love everyone in the cast, and I love the Cagney and Lacey website!

PLEASE KEEP THE WEBSITE UP!!! I IMPLORE YOU!

Love,
Wendy Hutchins

wendy said...

CAGNEY AND LACEY WAS THE BEST SERIES EVER ON TV!!! PLEASE LEAVE THE WEBSITE UP!!!

John Fuller said...

PLEASE PLEASE don't shut this down. I have been a MALE fan of the show (yes there are those of us out there that LOVE the show and this site. We NEED this to keep up with everything CAGNEY and LACEY. I have watched EVERY episode and bought the DVD collection as a birthday present to me... please don't forget the influence you and Sharon, and Tyne have had on so many people's lives.

Leese said...

The more I think about it the more I agree with a couple of previous posters; while I do understand the desire to close everything down in the face of such a disappointing and misguided lack of acknowledgement from the industry, I'd love to see something official stay online somewhere, for posterity at least, to celebrate this incredible body of work and to introduce it to new viewers. Perhaps a fan could take over or set something up. I'd be happy to help.

By the way, on the subject of new and younger viewers: I introduced my best friend, who is 20 years my junior, to Cagney and Lacey - she was hooked after seeing Turn, Turn, Turn. She's now a confirmed fan too and we spend many a happy hour debating and analysing the characters and show overall. So, you're still reaching new audiences, even 30 years after the end of the show. Bravo.

LopesA Margo said...

Rebel Without a Cause being popular doesn't mean that The Maltese Falcon became irrelevant. If you're tired of maintaining the page then it's your choice and right to discontinue it but know that it was a very good series and still watched on Hulu and in DVD form by people of all ages. My 25 year old niece loves it and I still enjoy revisiting the episodes. Thank you and the cast for them!

Anonymous said...

I write from germany...gold old europe��
I' ve been growing up with Cagney&Lacey and it means ( still after all these years) so much to me.
It was a wonderful time and I enjoyed it very much.
Thanks to you all and best wishes, Annette

Anonymous said...

Please don't Stress..Broker the right Choices..We are Partners. Turn,turn, turn!!
Carrie McIntosh.

Frank Florie Jr. said...

Dear Mr. Rosenzweig,

I was so happy to finally come to the site and see that after 8 months, you posted a new blog! However, i am saddened by your announcement that you are shutting down the site. I am also saddened that you feel your ¨baby¨, Cagney and Lacey isn´t appreciated by the industry of today. Please know that their are MANY fans like me around the world who have and still cherish this series and it´s stars Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly. I´ve been a fan for over 30 years and have enjoyed corresponding with you , Sharon and Tyne throughout the years through letters etc. I also had the honor of meeting the three of you in New York back in 2007. I know how hard you all worked during the run of the series and i thank you you so much for delivering such a quality product that i STILL enjoy to this day by watching it on DVD! The times may have changed, but please remember that since Cagney and Lacey ended in 1988 there has been NO series with two female leads of the caliber of Gless and Daly! None, in my opinion. Those two were magic together and no two female leads in any series since gets even close to their acting abilities. No one even copied the format of the series since it went off the air in 1988 because the THREE of you set the bar too high for anyone to even attempt to do it. Please take pride in that. I hope you change your mind about this site but if you must go, can you at least give us ONE more bit of information? Will The Trials of Rosie O´Neill ever be released on DVD like you promised? I want that series to be included in my DVD library to enjoy. Thanks for reading and thanks again for so many years of pleasure. Cagney and Lacey will always be one of my all time favorite series and you, Sharon and Tyne will always feel like extended family to me. Best of health to you!!

Pauline said...

I am not big on posting on any site on the internet but HAD to add my voice here regarding both C&L show and this site. PLEASE DO NOT SHUT THIS DOWN!!!! I agree with so many of the previous comments re not allowing Cagney and Lacey to be buried - you and the show and your ardent fans do not deserve this. I have rewatched every single episode and post - series movies twice since the DVD's came out and have read and treasure your book as well. In summary, thank you and Tyne and Sharon for the timeless integrity and emotional honesty that makes C&L so special. I too can say that am a better person for having experienced both the show's storylines and especially Sharon and Tyne's onscreen friendship. BTW I have followed and have continued to love both Sharon and Tyne's respective work since C&L.

Anonymous said...

Dear Barney,

I absolutely love this show. I watch every Sunday for 4 hours on L.A. Ch. 5.3 KTLA.
Please call up the fb page. The fans would love to keep it alive, by discussing with each other. If it is established as a closed fan site, there will be no trolls.
C&L is a great show. I am a big fan.

Never going to forget Cagney and Lacy,

<3