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Frequently Asked Questions about NYPD Blue - Long Version


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NYPD Blue FAQ
==========================================

Welcome to the long version of the NYPD Blue FAQ (Frequently Asked
Questions) list! This document should contain answers to virtually
all your questions about the best damn show on TV. If you have a
question that's not here, send me e-mail at director@gti.net and
I'll try to find the answer and include it.

Some props before we get to the questions. This list was originally
created and maintained by Dave Chapman in the UK, who, alas, is no
longer on the Net. Alan Sepinwall then took it over and really did
a great job with it. He covered so much, I don't see myself doing
much more than maintenance work. Alan is now a TV writer for the
Star Ledger (formerly the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger) so I've stepped
up to lighten his load. We're forever in your debt, Alan. And now,
I, Jeff Knapp, am steering the FAQ as NYPDB enters its fifth
season.

As with any FAQ, it is the product of many people; I prefer the
term FAQ-keeper to FAQ-author; especially since at this moment, I
haven't written a word except for this forward.

This FAQ would be nothing without the help and suggestions of
posters to alt.tv.nypd-blue. Here's the current list I have, which
isn't quite as complete as it should be. If your name's not on this
list, and you did contribute a question or answer, let me know.
Here's the usual suspects:

     John Lavalie (fuddle@netcom.com)
     Howard M. Sklar (hmsklar@ix.netcom.com)
     Mike Craven (mpc@eee.eleceng.nottingham.ac.uk)
     SW (swooledge@hearst.com)
     Arthur L. Lortie (all@world.std.com)
     Paul Reiser (REISER@susim.nrl.navy.mil)
     Lynn Van Scoyoc (lmv@acpub.duke.edu)
     Frank Giarratana (giarrata@gdc.com)
     Pamela Pon (pon@crl.com)
     Ross Brown (ross@bnr.ca)
     Kendall Clark (kgclark@ix.netcom.com)
     Matt Messina (messina@umich.edu)
     Martin Jukovsky (martyj@yankeegroup.com)
     Ramaswamy (ramax@ultranet.com)
     Charles Corway (ccorway@calweb.com)
     (Pcwhyel@dp.net.com)
     David Lesher (wb8foz@netcom.com)
     Ray Normandeau & Rita Frazier Normandeau
          (ray.normandeau@factory.com)  
     Jennie Van Heuit (jennie@dgi.com)
     Jason DeCesare (miles@nycsubway.org)

This document is Copyright, Dave Chapman, 1994, Alan Sepinwall,
1995-97; Jeff Knapp 1997-8.  It may be freely distributed
unmodified as long as no charge is made beyond the cost of the
media it is distributed on. Please give away copies of this
document.

Contents of FAQ:
----------------

(Questions with an asterisk are modified; ones with a plus sign are
new. Questions 1.2-1.4 have multiple parts, so I'll put a plus or
asterisk next to any sub-entry I've changed/added.)


                        TABLE OF CONTENTS


1. Series/Character Information
     1.1. What exactly is NYPD Blue?
     1.2. Who are the regular characters on the show?
     1.3. Who are the recurring characters on the show?
     1.4. Who were the former characters on the show?
     1.5. What the heck does "skel" mean? How about "PAA"?
     1.6. What is Simone's ethnic background?
     1.7. Can't anyone besides Sipowicz & Simone solve a
          murder?
     1.8. Is Andy Diane's AA sponsor? Is she his?
     1.9. How come nobody ever asks for a lawyer?
     1.10. Whose hands were those in the bathroom in the
          third season finale? 
     *1.11 Who shot Joey Salvo?
     +1.12     Are Bobby and Diane engaged?  Doesn't The Job
               frown on this sort of thing?
     +1.13 What happened to Bobby/Diane's love child?

2. Other Sources of Information
     2.1. Is there a WWW site?
     2.2. Is there an Episode Guide?
     2.3. What is the name of the NYPD Blue newsgroup?
     2.4. Is there a mailing list?
     2.5. Is there a drinking game?
     2.6. Is there an ftp site?
     2.7. Are there any scanned pictures available?
     *2.8. Help! I missed an episode! How do I find out what
          happened?
     2.9. Help! I missed an episode and want to see the tape!
          What do I do?
     2.10. Are there any books about the show?

3. Actor Information
     3.1. What films/TV series has XXXX been in?
     3.2. Why did Sherry Stringfield leave the show?
     3.3. Why did Amy Brenneman leave the show?
     3.4. Why did David Caruso leave the show?
     3.5. Who is Nicholas Turturro related to?
     3.6. Who played XXXX in episode YYYY?
     3.7. How many different roles did Dennis Franz play on
          Hill Street Blues? 
     3.8. Did Ross from "Friends" used to be on NYPD Blue?
     3.9. Which actors have appeared nude on the show?
     3.10. Are Kim Delaney and Dana Delany related?
     *3.11. Why did Gail O'Grady leave the show? Why didn't
          Upstairs John replace her?
     *3.12. Why did Sharon Lawrence leave the show? 
     *3.13. Why did Justine Miceli left the show? What
          happened to Lesniak?
     +3.14 Where's Martinez go?  I'm watching the fifth
          season and then suddenly he's gone... 
     *3.15 How many PAA's has the 15th squad had?

4. Misc
     4.1. Is there a soundtrack CD?
     4.2. What other merchandise is available?
     4.3. What connections are there to other Steven Bochco
          shows?
     4.4. What connections are there to other shows?
     4.5. Where is NYPD Blue set?
     4.6. Why so many reruns/preemptions?
     4.7. How realistic is the show?
     4.8. What awards has the show won?
     4.9. Is the show filmed in NY or LA?
     *4.10. Do the cast and crew know about us?
     *4.11. What's the deal with FX? What if my cable company
          doesn't carry it?
     4.12. Why is the camera always shaking?
     4.13. I really love XX and I want to send him/her a
          letter! What's the address?
     4.14. Where do you get the episode titles?
     4.15. What's a "spoiler" and why does it upset some
          people?



1. Series/Character Information
----------------------------------

1.1. What exactly is NYPD Blue?
---------------------------------
NYPD Blue is the latest contribution to the TV police drama genre
by Emmy award-winning producer Steven Bochco and his frequent
writing partner David Milch. It focuses on the personal and
professional lives of the members of the detective's squad in the
New York Police Department's 15th Precinct. 

Before it premiered in the fall of 1993, the series got a lot of
publicity because of its daring use of nudity and profanity - men's
buttocks, women's breasts, and the word "asshole" all appeared for
the first time in an American prime-time series on NYPD Blue.
However, people who actually bothered to watch the show (and not
protest it blindly) discovered that there was a lot more to it than
just tits, ass, and swear words. It's a dark, moving series about
trying to hold onto your morals and ideals in a corrupt and evil
world. 

1.2. Who are the regular characters on the show?
--------------------------------------------------

The series currently features seven regular cast members. These
seven characters are:

DET. ANDY SIPOWICZ (Dennis Franz)

     Sipowicz is a recovering alcoholic who's just learning how to
     be a good cop and a good human being again after years of
     living in a bottle - years that cost him his marriage and
     nearly his badge. A big bear of a man, he's easily enraged by
     the horrors he sees on the job everyday, but underneath the
     coarse exterior is a kind, good-hearted man with very high
     morals and very low self-esteem. The only person who's managed
     to pierce that exterior is his wife, ADA Sylvia Costas, whom
     he loves more than life itself. Andy didn't take to new
     partner Bobby Simone at first, but after more than two years
     together, the two have moved past grudging professional
     admiration into close personal friendship (or, at least, as
     close as Andy gets). Just when Andy's life seemed close to
     perfection after the birth of his son Theo, Andy Sipowicz Jr,
     his adult son from a previous marriage, was shot and killed
     while trying to prevent a robbery. Andy fell off the wagon for
     a time, and is having to start all over in his sobriety and in
     finding happiness.

DET. BOBBY SIMONE (Jimmy Smits)

     Bobby's had a lot of pain in his life. He grew up in Brooklyn
     with a distant father, and his two best companions were an
     aged, punch-drunk boxer and a teenaged wiseguy wannabe. He
     grew up, got married, and joined the police force, and for a
     while was living a very happy life until his wife came home
     and told him that she had breast cancer. He spent a while
     chauffeuring the police commissioner around to have more time
     to spend with his wife, and later, to grieve her death. His
     assignment at the One-Five is the first detective tour he's
     had since. He and Sipowicz don't always see eye to eye on
     cases, largely because of their conflicting personalities -
     Andy's loud and coarse, while Bobby's quiet and often
     introverted - but Bobby's managed to show Andy what a dogged
     investigator he is. He's had an off-again, on-again (currently
     on) affair with fellow Det. Diane Russell, but because she's
     a recovering alcoholic, it's far from secure. In fact, the
     only truly trustworthy thing Bobby has in his life are his
     racing home pigeons, which he raises on the roof of his
     apartment building. Bobby recently inherited an apartment
     building in Brooklyn from the aunt of his late wife Maria, but
     running the place is proving more trouble than it's worth. 

LT. ARTHUR FANCY (James McDaniel)

     Fancy rose through the department ranks very rapidly, either
     (depending upon whom you ask) because or in spite of his being
     an African American. He's acutely aware of the scrutiny he's
     placed under by his superiors, and plays things close to the
     vest - though he does lose his temper on occasion. Despite the
     fact that he's younger than several of the detectives on his
     squad, Art commands everyone's respect and loyalty because he
     treats his squad the same way. The only detective he ever
     really clashes with is the bigoted Sipowicz, but Fancy
     recognizes Andy's detective skills, and is usually willing to
     overlook the unenlightened comments so long as Andy solves his
     cases. He's happily married with two daughters and a newborn
     son, Art Jr. His younger brother, Reggie, is a uniformed cop
     at another precinct, but the two don't get along very well.

DET. JAMES MARTINEZ (Nicholas Turturro)

     Originally assigned to the detective's squad as a temporary
     fill-in after Sipowicz was shot a few years ago, Martinez
     demonstrated great enthusiasm for the job and willingness to
     learn, and quickly earned his detective's gold shield. His
     tenure on the job hasn't always been fun - he witnessed the OD
     death of his junkie brother, and watched his idol John Kelly
     get driven off the force. James is neither the brightest nor
     the most charismatic detective in the 15th squad, but he makes
     up for his occasional lack of savvy with a lot of heart and
     hard work. James recently was elected to serve as the union
     delegate at the One-Five, which means the squeaky-clean
     Martinez has to help cops in trouble clean up their dirty
     laundry.

DET. GREG MEDAVOY (Gordon Clapp)

     Medavoy is a walking bundle of neuroses disguised as a police
     detective. Cursed with a sometimes uncontrollable stammer and
     an abundance of allergies, Greg used to be the butt of a lot
     of jokes among the squad. However, he's a pretty good
     investigator and good researcher who has managed to earn the
     respect of his coworkers despite all his personal problems. He
     left his shrewish wife Marie to have an affair with Donna
     Abandando, but when she broke things off for good (due mostly
     to Greg's immaturity), Greg tried going back to his loveless
     marriage for the sake of his daughters. It didn't work - he
     and Marie fought more than ever - and Greg had to crash at the
     station for a few months before finding his own apartment.

DET. DIANE RUSSELL (Kim Delaney)

     Diane comes from an extremely dysfunctional family, and that
     warped upbringing, along with too many years spent working as
     an undercover cop, led to a lot of screwed up values on her
     part and may have caused her drinking problem. While working
     a case in tandem with Simone, they realized an attraction for
     one another and became lovers - a situation that became
     complicated when she got transferred to the 15th squad. Bobby
     broke up with her after realizing the extent of her
     alcoholism. After she spent several months in AA, she and
     Bobby resumed their romance, but roadblocks keep cropping up,
     particularly the emotional wallop Diane received after her
     mother shot and killed her abusive father. She and Bobby
     conceived a child which she miscarried in "Weavers of Hate".

DET. JILL KIRKENDALL (Andrea Thompson)

     Kirkendall recently transferred into the One-Five from the
     Department of Investigations because she missed the feel of
     working real cases and locking up someone other than crooked
     building inspectors. A divorcee, she has two sons whose
     custody she shares with her ex. A bit of a mystery woman, the
     only person on the squad with whom she's bonded so far is
     Bobby, though thanks to his reconciliation with Diane, their
     relationship seems destined to remain at the just-friends
     stage. 

1.3. Who are the recurring characters on the show?
----------------------------------------------------

In addition to the regular cast members, the show features a number
of other actors who appear on a semi-regular basis. In fact, Greg
Medavoy, Sylvia Costas and Donna Abandando were all recurring
characters in the first season who got added to the main cast in
the second, just as Adrianne Lesniak and Diane Russell became
regulars after several guest shots in season two. Jill Kirkendall
made the leap from feature to regular cast as well.  Some of the
people listed below may or may not return to the show, but
considering their characters' professions and relationships with
the series regulars, the prospect is likely.

ADA SYLVIA COSTAS (Sharon Lawrence)

     An elegant, beautiful assistant District Attorney and a
     balding, overweight, slovenly cop getting married? It's not an
     obvious match, to be sure, but Sylvia saw the decent, caring
     human being underneath Andy's gruff exterior and fell in love
     with him. She's been very supportive of his attempts to stay
     sober, which probably has something to do with the fact that
     half her family members appear to be alcoholics. She's very
     confident on the job, and has been known to wield an acid
     tongue when cops' procedural errors blow her cases. Sylvia was
     raped back in law school, which makes her (and Andy, once he
     found out) especially sensitive about rape cases. She's taken
     some time off from work to care for her newborn son Theo, and
     has the added burden of making sure Andy stays on the wagon
     after Andy Jr's death.

     Sylvia moved from recurring character to regular cast member,
     back to featured player, since Sharon Lawrence is now starring
     in a sitcom ("Fired Up") on NBC.

ADA LEO COHEN (Michael Buchman Silver)

     The young-looking Cohen's not particularly popular with the
     15th squad, in part because he was in charge of the aborted
     murder prosecution of Diane's mother, and in part because he
     tends to smirk on every third word.  However, things are
     getting interesting with him, since he appears to be the
     object of Jill Kirkendall's desires...

GINA COLON (Lourdes Benedicto)

     The lovely Ms. Colon came over from Borough Command to serve
     as Police Administrative Assistant for the 15th precinct's
     Anti-Crime unit, and quickly began flirting with Det.
     Martinez. Shortly after they started dating, she was
     transferred downstairs to the detective's squad after her
     predecessor, Geri Turner, had difficulty getting along with
     Sipowicz. 

     Gina is now about four months pregnant with James' child, tho
     she has been reluctant to accept his marriage proposal, since
     she does not want to trap him into something he does not want.

ABBY SULLIVAN (Paige Turco)

     Abby was the subject of Greg Medavoy's desires ever since she
     peeked in on him while he was working out... at least she was
     until she revealed that she is gay.  After introducing Greg to
     her lover, Abby asked Greg to be a sperm donor so they could
     have a baby.  After much chestbeating, Greg agreed.  What
     resulted was possibly one of the worst storylines the show has
     ever tackled.

INTERNAL AFFAIRS SGT. MARTENS (Scott Allan Campbell)

     Martens is no dummy; he knows that most cops (including the
     ones at the 15) can't stand him and the rest of "The Rat
     Squad." But he also can't help but get frustrated when he
     tries to do his best to keep a cop from getting into trouble
     and still gets ripped for it. Though his job requires him to
     bust dirty cops, he's overlooked at least one indiscretion by
     Simone.

INSPECTOR AIELLO (Andy Romano)

     We don't know Aiello's exact title, or even his first name,
     but he's generally the representative of the upper brass who
     deals with Fancy on a regular basis. At times, he seems more
     concerned with the department's image than with justice, but
     he has his occasional moments as a stand-up guy.

DA MAURY ABRAMS (Charles Levin)

     The Manhattan District Attorney, Abrams generally only handles
     cases that he hopes will boost his would-be political career. 

MIKE ROBERTS (Michael Harney)

     Roberts was one of Fancy's detectives, but definitely not one
     of his favorites. He was forced to leave the NYPD after a
     scandal involving his informant (who later turned out to be
     his lover) dying of a drug overdose that Roberts neglected to
     report. Since quitting, Mike has started up his own private
     investigation/bodyguarding firm, occasionally doing side work
     for his ex-co-workers (and occasionally employing them), but
     is sleazier than ever - and his clients have a tendency to die
     in his care.

OFFICER REGGIE FANCY (Michael Jai White)

     Imagine Arthur Fancy without the incredible self-restraint and
     you have his kid brother Reggie, a uniformed cop with a world-
     class chip on his shoulder. He's a loudmouth who sees racism
     in every white man he works with, whether it's there or not.
     Reggie's often right (his sergeant, for example, was a major
     bigot), but his bluster and hot temper usually make him look
     like the bad guy. Though he and Art don't get along too well,
     Lt. Fancy still looks out for him.

CAPT. CLIFFORD BASS (Larry Joshua)

     Bass spent his entire career in uniform before becoming the
     Manhattan Borough Commander in charge of detectives (and
     Fancy's immediate superior). Because of that, he didn't really
     have much idea how detectives do things, and rubbed a lot of
     people the wrong way in his first few days on the job. He's
     since found his footing, and has proved to be a pretty fair
     guy -and certainly better than his predecessor, the devoutly
     racist Capt. Haverill. Bass usually only shows up to supervise
     major investigations.

MARIE MEDAVOY (Deborah Taylor)

     The shrewish, crass Marie would be hard to get along with for
     just about anyone - Greg probably only stayed with her for
     that long out of some sense of masochism. She was just as
     responsible for the break-up as him, because while Greg was
     sleeping with Donna, Marie was cheating on him herself.

SERGEANT VINNIE AGOSTINI (Vincent Guastaferro)

     The desk sergeant on the dayshift at the 15, Agostini doesn't
     particularly enjoy relaying phone messages to the detectives,
     though that's all we ever see him do.  From seeing him quite
     a bit in the early seasons to only seeing him once during the
     fourth season, it may be a safe bet that Gustaferro has moved
     on to greener pastures.

OFFICER JAMES SHANNON (James McBride)

     Shannon's been a uniformed cop in the 15th precinct for at
     least four years, and is usually handling crime scenes for
     Andy and Bobby.

DETECTIVE STU MORRISSEY (Conor O'Farrell)

     Stu, like Vince Gotelli, works the 4 to 12 shift in the 15th
     detective's squad. Though he's certainly not as slick as
     either Andy or Bobby, he's also not nearly as dumb as Vince.

DOC MONDZAC (Titus Welliver)

     A trauma surgeon at the Bellevue Hospital emergency room, Dr.
     Mondzac has treated detectives from the 15 on a number of
     occasions - he handled James' gunshot wound, for instance. 
     Welliver, the actor who plays Mondzac, can now be seen as a
     patrolman on Bochco/Milch's new police drama "Brooklyn South."

DET. NICK SAVINO (Steven Antin)

     Formerly a detective in Narcotics, Savino now works as a
     homicide cop in Brooklyn. He first crossed paths with our
     heroes when he mistakenly arrested Andy Jr. for drug dealing,
     but he and Andy managed to rectify the situation. Later, he
     got Andy's help in solving a murder case at a candy store
     where Sipowicz had worked as a kid. Most recently, he was
     placed in charge of a homicide at Simone's new apartment
     building. There is no truth to the rumor that Savino only
     works on days when acquaintances of the 15th squad are being
     arrested or killed. 

1.4. Who were the former characters on the show?
--------------------------------------------------

Three of the original six cast members have since left the series
[see questions 3.2-3.4 for more details], and Gail O'Grady and
Justine Miceli just departed the show [3.11-3.12]. Their characters
were:

DET. JOHN KELLY (David Caruso)

     John's father, John Kelly Sr., was a heavily decorated
     detective back in the days when the Irish still ran the
     department, but he was killed in the line of duty when John
     Jr. was only 11. Kelly spent much of the rest of his life
     trying to meet the approval of his late father, joining the
     force and holding himself to an almost impossibly high
     standard. Unfortunately, while John's tightly-wound nature
     made him a great detective, it also distanced himself from the
     people he loved, including his ex-wife Laura, who divorced him
     because he didn't give her enough space. Shortly after the
     divorce, John got involved with Officer Janice Licalsi, but
     his efforts to clean up after a murder she committed
     eventually led to him getting drummed off the force. When last
     mentioned, John was making a living as a professional
     bodyguard and security expert. 

DONNA ABANDANDO (Gail O'Grady)

     The first thing you needed to know about the lovely Miss
     Abandando is that she holds a special place in her heart for
     the NY Rangers, which means she loves lost causes (which the
     Rangers were until they finally won the Stanley Cup in 1994
     after a 50-year curse). That also explains why she agreed to
     take a relatively thankless job as the receptionist (or, in
     NYPD parlance, "PAA") for the 15th detective's squad, and why
     she fell for nebbishy Greg Medavoy. Their affair was
     complicated by his marriage, her trampy sister Dana, and an
     old flame of Donna's who used to play for the Rangers.
     Eventually, the stress of it all proved too much, and she
     broke things off with Greg. A year or so later, she received
     a job offer from Apple Computers that was too good to pass up,
     and the Queens gal moved out to Silicon Valley.

DET. VINCE GOTELLI (Carmine Caridi)

     Despite the 50-something Gotelli's obvious seniority, he's
     stuck on the night shift at the 15, in large part because he's
     pretty dim and likely couldn't close a case if he found O.J.
     Simpson standing over the victim wearing a bloody glove. Vince
     served as the precinct union delegate for a long term, but was
     narrowly ousted by James Martinez recently.

     At the end of Season Four, Vince got a bit drunk and took a
     city bus for a joyride.  While no charges were pressed, Vince
     was forced to take early retirement.  Chances are, we have
     seen the last of Vince.

DET. JANICE LICALSI (Amy Brenneman)

     Licalsi was a uniformed cop who had barely been at the 15th
     Precinct for a week before she was approached by Mafia kingpin
     Angelo Marino, who ordered her to murder John Kelly - or else
     he would turn in Licalsi's policeman father, who had been on
     Marino's payroll for years. Janice reluctantly agreed, but as
     she got close to John, she fell in love with him, and instead
     of killing him, she killed Marino and his chauffeur. The guilt
     of her crime ate away at her until she finally confessed to it
     months later. Kelly hired her a slick mob lawyer, and Janice
     got off with only a 2-year sentence for manslaughter. Since
     she was eligible for parole in six months, we can assume that
     she's already out, but she hasn't shown up at the One-Five
     since.

LAURA KELLY (Sherry Stringfield)

     The match between Laura, a high-powered yuppie attorney, and
     John, a blue-collar cop, didn't last very long once Laura
     realized what an incredible control freak John could be. She
     bounced around several jobs after her divorce, eventually
     settling in with the Manhattan DA's office. She worked as a
     riding DA in the 15th Precinct for a while before transferring
     out, probably to put some distance between herself and John. 

DET. ADRIANNE LESNIAK (Justine Micelli)

     A beautiful but no-nonsense detective, Lesniak was transferred
     to the 15 after an office romance in a Bronx precinct went
     public. That experience - and her ex-lover's subsequent
     descent into stalker territory - soured her on relationships
     with fellow detectives, so when Martinez expressed interest,
     she politely brushed him off. After he was shot, she expressed
     quite a bit of maternal concern, which James and Greg mistook
     for romantic interest. Eventually, their badgering of her got
     to the point where Adrianne claimed to be a lesbian - a lie
     which, on further consideration, had her questioning her own
     sexuality. She eventually realized that she isn't gay, but all
     her previous failed relationships made her unable to deal with
     the notion that James was a decent guy, and she turned into a
     bitchy, overpossessive shrew. James had to break things off
     with her, leading Adrianne to feel more depressed than ever
     over the prospect of finding happiness.

ZONE COMMANDER HAVERILL (James Handy)

     Haverill was forced to retire from the Job after getting
     caught on tape making racist remarks about Lt. Fancy to
     Fancy's snitch, Vinny Greco.  Haverill appeared to be a bad
     cop, due to his presence at a mob rubout; a tidbit that
     Sipowicz held over him the first time Haverill was gunning for
     Fancy.  After retiring, Haverill took a job as a paid
     consultant to the FBI in its dealings with organized crime
     figures, especially Joey Salvo.  He hasn't been seen on the
     show since he resigned in the 11th episode of Season Two
     ("Vishy Vashy Vinny").  He was mentioned by name only
     fleetingly since then, but most notably with regard to his
     efforts to jam up Fancy and Sipowicz during the Salvo
     investigation.


1.5. What the heck does "skel" mean? How about "PAA"?
-------------------------------------------------------

The show features a lot of police slang and terminology that may be
confusing to the average citizen. So, to make your viewing
experience easier and more informative, here's a brief glossary of
police slang. Some of it was compiled by me, but the bulk of it
(everything from "Boss" on) comes from the book "NYPD: On the
streets with the New York City Police Department's Emergency
Services Unit," by Samuel L. Katz. (ISBN 0-7603-0186-7, Motorbooks
International, Osceola, Wisconsin. $19.95) NOTE: Some of these
terms haven't showed up yet on the show, but I'm including them in
case they do.

Skel      
     Short-hand for "skeleton"; i.e., what most drug-users wind up
     looking like. A derogatory term used to describe low-life
     junkies. Also refers to homeless vagrants.

     From the book "The City in Slang, New York Life and Popular
     Speech," by Irving Lewis Allen (1993): The New York police
     today call the most vagrant of the male homeless skells.
     William Safire informs us that "it is a shortening of skellum
     meaning a rascal or thief, akin to a skelder, 'to beg on the
     streets,' first used in print by Ben Johnson in 1599, just
     after the playwright got out of jail for killing a man in a
     duel; it is possible he picked up the word from cellmate's
     argot." The word popped up about 1935 in the short form skell,
     suggesting that skellum/skell had underground oral use for
     centuries. Skell is now in popular speech to denote the
     homeless that are so visible throughout the city.

PAA
     Principal Administrative Assistant; also Police Administrative
     Assistant

IAB
     Internal Affairs Bureau, the branch of the police that
     investigates other cops

DOA
     Traditionally means "dead on arrival"; here it's used  to
     refer to just about any dead person, murdered or otherwise 

hump
     (1) your ass; "He's gotta bust my hump over this petty crap?";
     (2) a moron; "That stupid hump scratched my car!"

Juice
     Influence; i.e., veteran cops like Sipowicz and Simone have
     lots of juice at other precincts when their friends get in
     trouble

Reaching Out
     Can mean anything from just contacting someone to trying to
     convince them to help the cops to seeing if they need help

Lawyering Up
     A suspect's decision to stop answering questions and ask for
     legal counsel.

The House 
     Shorthand term for the stationhouse

Up/Catching    
     Baseball metaphors used to describe the system by which cases
     are assigned; e.g., Simone caught that murder in Chinatown
     because he was up

Riding DA 
     The Assistant District Attorney assigned to a particular
     precinct; Sylvia is usually the Riding DA at the 15, but her
     pregnancy has caused her to cut back on her work, and ADA
     Cohen has filled in on occasion.

Boss 
     Term for senior officers, from lieutenant (in certain units)
     to captain, deputy inspector, inspector and commissioner.

Bus  
     ambulance

CCRB 
     Civilian Complaint Review Board

Central   
     Central Dispatch

CSU  
     Crime Scene Unit

Dee Wee   
     Phonetic for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).

DT   
     Street slang for a Detective.

EDP  
     Emotionally Disturbed Person, the politically-correct way to
     what was once referred as a "psycho".

EMS  
     Emergency Medical Services, which technicians, often
     overworked, underpaid and unappreciated sometimes dub "Every
     Minute Sucks". 

ESU  
     Emergency Services Unit; the NYPD SWAT team.

FAT  
     NYPD's Fugitive Apprehension Team.

Five-O    
     Street slang for police (obviously influenced by a now-defunct
     TV cop show).

Flying; to fly 
     Leaving the confines of one's usual precinct  in order to fill
     in for a shortage of manpower in another precinct or location.

Go down, to    
     Getting arrested.

Good people    
     All-purpose NYPD compliment meaning 'kosher', nice, reliable,
     etc., irrespective of race, religion or sexual orientation.

Gun run   
     Search for a weapon reported sighted in the hands of a "perp".

Hit  
     Tactical assault on a criminal location.

Job  
     Service in the NYPD, as in "I've been on the job five years." 

Lou, Loo, Lieu
     Affectionate slang for 'lieutenant'

MOS  
     Member of the Service (police officer); used on the radio. 

Mope 
     Unauthorized term for "perp".

Mutt 
     Unauthorized term for "perp".

OC   
     Organized Crime

One PP    
     One Police Plaza, NYPD Headquarters in downtown Manhattan.
     Open carrier: Police officer or vehicle with an open radio. -
     Package: Escorted prisoner or VIP.

Paying the rent     
     For police officers, the handing out of a certain number of
     traffic summonses and moving violations.

Perp 
     Perpetrator, criminal

Puzzle Palace  
     Police Officer's term for One Police Plaza.

Rabbi     
     An individual's guide and guardian angel in the department. 

Rat squad 
     Officers and detectives assigned to Internal Affairs  Bureau
     (IAB).

Red Menace     
     Unofficial term for members of the Fire Department of the City
     of New York (FDNY), also known as "Rubbermen", a term of
     affection and respect for those members.

Rip  
     Loss in pay due to a disciplinary infraction, such as 
     unauthorized moonlighting.

RMP  
     Radio Mobile Patrol, the NYPD blue and white 'sector' car

Sector    
     Subdivision within a precinct, which covers several blocks. A
     sector car is assigned to patrol the area (see RMP above). 

SNAG 
     Special Narcotics and Guns Unit.

SNEU 
     Special Narcotics Enforcement Unit.

SOD  
     Special Operations Division.

Squad     
     Short for 'detective squad', attached to the specific
     precinct.

TARU 
     Technical and Research Unit

Tunnel Rats    
     NYPD Transit Bureau (the subway cops).

White Shirts   
     Term for lieutenants and above, who wear white uniform shirts.

1.6. What is Simone's ethnic background?

     French-Portuguese, revealed when he invited Sipowicz to "kiss
     my French-Portuguese ass" during the second season episode
     "Double Abandando."

1.7. Can't anyone besides Sipowicz & Simone solve a murder?

     Well, yeah. But whether we "hard-core" fans want to admit it
     or not, most of the show's viewers tune in to watch Jimmy
     Smits and Dennis Franz, and they'd be annoyed if they tuned in
     to an hour of the Gordon Clapp Show. 

     Some of Steven Bochco's series (Hill Street Blues, LA Law)
     have been ensembles; others (Doogie Howser, Civil Wars,
     Hooperman) have been vehicles for one or two performers. NYPD
     Blue happens to be the latter. You may not always like it
     (and, as a fan of James McDaniel & Co., I (and Alan, too!)
     don't), but it's a situation that's not likely to change
     anytime soon.

1.8. Is Andy Diane's AA sponsor? Is she his?

     In "Heavin' Can Wait," the episode about the fall-out from
     Diane's fall off the wagon, Andy gets upset because Diane
     called Bobby instead of him. He tells Bobby, "I'm her
     *sponsor*." 

     This has turned into a fairly hot topic for discussion among
     fans. Some claim that AA frowns in the extreme on opposite
     gender sponsors, as well as sponsoring someone that you work
     with. Others say that while sponsor/sponsee arrangements like
     this aren't the norm, they do exist, and can be very
     successful.

     As far as we've been told, Andy hasn't taken on a new sponsor
     since Dan Breen was killed in the middle of season two. But
     whether or not he does have a new sponsor, it's highly
     unlikely that Diane would be filling that role, even if she
     did act as the "voice of AA" when Andy fell off the wagon
     after Andy Jr's death.

1.9. How come nobody ever asks for a lawyer?

     This one comes up a lot, though, ironically, it's Steven
     Bochco's own fault that viewers complain so much about it. On
     Hill Street Blues, every single suspect brought into the
     station was quickly rushed into the protection of noble public
     defender Joyce Davenport, leading all TV cop show fans to
     assume that all suspects automatically made use of their
     Miranda rights to counsel. 

     According to NYPD Blue producer and former real-life NYPD
     homicide detective Bill Clark (see 2.10.), in real life,
     suspects understand their rights, but often choose not to
     exercise them out of naive optimism. They figure that if they
     ask for a lawyer, they'll be stuck in the legal system (and
     therefore in lock-up) for at least 48 hours, and if they
     weren't being looked at hard as a suspect before, the cops are
     really going to bear down on them now. If, on the other hand,
     they try to speak for themselves, they figure maybe they can
     come up with some kind of plausible excuse/alibi and get away
     scot free. 

     Whether Clark is exaggerating the truth a bit in order to make
     the show seem more plausible is unknown, but that's their
     story and they're sticking to it.

1.10. Whose hands were those in the bathroom in the third season
finale? 

     A lot of people seemed to think that there was a mysterious
     third person in the bathroom when Bobby and Diane had sex near
     the end of the fourth season finale "A Draining Experience."
     For the confused, those mystery hands peeking over the stall
     actually belonged to Diane; various folks have dissected the
     scene enough in slo-mo to assume that for her hands to be in
     that position, Bobby would have to be making a rear entry of
     some kind. I'll leave the rest up to your imaginations. :)

*1.11 Who shot Joey Salvo?

     The fifth season opener has revealed the shooter to be Lt.
     Shannon of the IAB.  

     From Alan's summary review of the season five opener:

          Having Shannon be the shooter makes perfect sense and
          explains his motivation for suspending Bobby: he realized
          that someone was on to his extracurricular activities,
          and the only way to cover his tracks was to 1)Suspend
          Simone (which any clean IAB cop would do if a cop refused
          to cooperate to the extent Bobby did), and 2)Take out
          Salvo so he couldn't cut a deal at a later date to give
          away Shannon. Shannon later tried to cover his tracks by
          trying to lure Andy alone with a phony phone tip so he
          could whack him in solitude (a cough-and-you'll-miss-it
          line during the Gerald/Frankie bust that seemed to have
          been added in postproduction), and when that didn't work,
          he panicked and made the dumb move Simone and Sipowicz
          were hoping for. 


+1.12     Are Bobby and Diane engaged?  Doesn't The Job frown on
          this sort of thing?

     Bobby and Diane are engaged, though it is a secret from
     everyone.  Bobby had initially proposed during "Moby Greg
     (4.01)" but Diane didn't finally accept until "A Wrenching
     Experience (4.17)"  

     The Job does not like intra-precinct romances, as explained
     with the introduction of Adrienne Lesniak, who was transferred
     in to the 1-5 due to a relationship with one of the detecives
     in her precinct (of course, we know how that ended).

     Fancy seems to be turning a blind eye to the situation, which
     could potentially make for some interesting plot conflicts
     when Kim Delaney's contract expires (which appears will never
     happen).

     It makes one wonder how they will handle the wedding...


+1.13 What happened to Bobby/Diane's love child?

     Sadly, Diane miscarried in "Weaver of Hate" (5.14).  Hopefully
     this will wrap up the "all gals have babies" subplots that
     have been plaguing Blue recently.


2. Other Sources of Information

2.1. Is there a WWW site?

     Yes. There are two. The more complete and up-to-date one is
     maintained by me. It's located at

     http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/nypd.html

     It features an html-ized version of this FAQ, scanned
     pictures, episode guides, cast biographies, the drinking game,
     episode summaries, and more. 

     (PLEASE NOTE: It used to be mirrored at another site, (the
     domain was bird.taponline.com), but that site is no longer
     active, so stick with the upenn address.)

     The second site was set up by Dave Chapman in England, at 

     http://src.doc.ic.ac.uk/public/media/tv/collections/tardis/us
     /drama/NYPDBlue/

     Unfortunately, Dave seemingly vanished from the Internet ether
     back in the spring of 1995, which left all the sites he
     maintained dormant; everything is way out of date.

2.2. Is there an Episode Guide?
 
     Yes. Dennis Kytasaari maintains an html-ized episode guide
     that's the most up to date (it features each new episode the
     night it airs). It's located at:

     http://www.xnet.com/~djk/NYPDBlue_1.shtml

2.3. What is the name of the NYPD Blue newsgroup?
---------------------------------------------------

     It is called alt.tv.nypd-blue and was created on Feb. 9, 1994.
     Note however, that many sites don't carry the full range of
     alt.* newsgroups, so you may be unlucky and not be able to
     receive it. If you can't access it, you could try politely
     asking the person in charge of news at your site to try and
     get it.

     There is also a small amount of NYPD Blue discussion on
     rec.arts.tv.

2.4. Is there a mailing list?
-------------------------------

     No. To my knowledge there is no mailing list devoted to NYPD
     Blue.

2.5. Is there a drinking game?
--------------------------------

     Yes. With suggestions from a lot of people on alt.tv.nypd-blue
     and rec.arts.tv, Alan Sepinwall came up with the NYPD Blue
     Drinking Game, which is now up to the relatively new version
     3.1

     To check it out and make contributions, try 

          http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/drink.html

2.6. Is there an ftp site?
----------------------------

     Yes.  But it's pretty old.. and does anyone even use FTP
     anymore?  

     Anyway, on the Tardis TV archive there is a directory devoted
     to NYPD Blue. It contains older versions of the episode
     guides, the drinking game, this FAQ, a list of other acting
     credits for the cast, and some scanned pictures. The NYPD Blue
     URL is:

     ftp://ftp.doc.ic.ac.uk/media/tv/collections/
       /us/drama/NYPDBlue/ 

     Bear in mind, however, the ftp site is maintained by the
     infamous Dave Chapman, which means it hasn't been updated
     since 1995.  Since nearly all the materials on the ftp site
     are duplicated (and, in most cases, updated) on the US web-
     site, the only really practical use for this site is for
     people without WWW access.

     The Tardis TV archive contains lots of other guides and FAQs
     for TV programs. It is located on ftp.doc.ic.ac.uk in the
     directory /public/media/tv/collections/tardis.

     For details on how to get the files using ftp, gopher, WWW
     browser or email, send an empty message to tardis-
     faq@cheers.demon.co.uk

2.7. Are there any scanned pictures available?
------------------------------------------------

     Yes. The ftp site has several, as does the England www site.
     In fact, both sites (which have the same material) carry
     certain pictures that I had to remove from my site for legal
     reasons. 

     However, the US www site has an ever-growing collection of
     screen captures from various episodes, provided by Francesca
     Wylde (fran@ahaa.demon.co.uk), as well as a number of
     publicity stills.

*2.8. Help! I missed an episode! How do I find out what happened?
-----------------------------------------------------------------

     Alan Sepinwall used to write a detailed summary/review of
     every single new episode of the show, which were posted to the
     newsgroup and archived on the website. However, due to time
     constraints brought upon by home and work, he has retired from
     that role. All the summaries he's already written (which
     includes half of season one, all of seasons two, three and
     four, and the premiere of season five) will continue to be
     available on the website.

     Update: Alan can't get rid of zat pesky summary bug.  He has
     still been doing reviews and such, tho the level of detail has
     lessened a bit since he became Alan Sepinwall, cub reporter.

     Happily, others in the group have picked up the detail slack,
     most notably Amanda Puedo.  You can catch her reviews by
     checking for posts titled "Thoughts on..."  Old reviews can be
     found by searching thru DejaNews. 

2.9. Help! I missed an episode and want to see the tape! What do I
do?
-------------------------------------------------------------------

     Post a message to the group asking if someone has the tape and
     is willing to loan it to you. Shipping costs, even with
     Priority mail, is only $3 each way.

     Please don't e-mail me; while I do have a nearly complete
     collection, I don't have the time to either loan out tapes or
     make copies of them. And neither does Alan :-)

2.10. Are there any books about the show?
------------------------------------------

     There are three books about Blue currently in print - one non-
     fiction, two fiction, with more of the latter supposedly on
     the way.

     "True Blue: the Real Stories Behind NYPD Blue" is a non-
     fiction book written by NYPD Blue co-creator David Milch. He
     shares author's credit with Bill Clark, a former NYPD
     detective who now serves as the show's technical advisor. The
     book essentially tells two different stories: 1)The history of
     the show, including the initial controversy over the nudity
     and language, the difficulty of working with David Caruso,
     etc., and 2)Bill Clark's career as a detective, including
     lengthy descriptions (told in his voice) about the cases he
     worked, most of which were turned into plotlines on NYPD Blue.

     It's a good read if you're a true crime fan or a fan of the
     show, though it helps to be both.

     The ISBN number for the hardcover edition is 0-688-14081-5.
     The recently-released paperback edition (which I don't have
     the ISBN for yet) features some extra material, including Bill
     Clark's thoughts on the O.J. Simpson case (just imagine if
     Sipowicz had been the one to interrogate the Juice) and Milch
     discussing the death of Andy Jr. arc. 

     "NYPD Blue: Blue Beginning," on the other hand, is a novel by
     noted mystery author Max Allan Collins. A prequel to the
     series, it essentially functions as "the episode *before* the
     first episode," following Kelly and Sipowicz around in the
     weeks before the first episode of the series took place. It
     also features Laura in a far more prominent role than any
     episode of the show ever did, and has brief appearances by
     Fancy, Martinez, and Medavoy.

     It's very entertaining - Collins has the characters down pat,
     so much so that you'll be able to hear Dennis Franz's voice
     everytime Sipowicz utters one of his pithy comebacks. But, let
     the buyer beware: the book assumes the reader is familiar with
     the events of the early episodes of the first season, and
     doesn't end with much closure, so if you don't know the final
     fate of Angelo Marino, Alphonse Giardello, John & Laura's
     marriage, etc., you'll probably feel rather disappointed until
     you see those episodes.

     The ISBN number for "Blue Beginning" is 0-451-18391-6

     Collins second "blue" novel, "Blue Blood" was published in
     September.  It was originally going to feature Simone and
     Kelly meeting, but is now a solely Andy and Bobby affair, set
     shortly after Andy's wedding. 

     The ISBN for "Blue Blood" (according to amazon.com) is 0-451-
     18392-4.

     Sales on "Blue Beginning" weren't all that high, so this new
     book could be the last one, so go out and buy it, okay?  

     I have not read it, and apparently, no one else on the group
     has yet either, since there haven't been any reviews.. so get
     cracking! :-)


3. Actor Information
--------------------

3.1. What films/TV series has XXXX been in?
---------------------------------------------

     There used to be a list of credits for the cast, but that
     became unwieldy. But
     http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/credits.html has a list
     of all the castmembers, with links to their bios on the
     Internet Movie Database. 

     Steven Bochco and Mike Post have separate biographies stored
     in the directory "people/" at the top-level of the Tardis
     archive. These are maintained by Arthur L. Lortie . There's a
     copy of the Bochco biography on my website. 

3.2. Why did Sherry Stringfield leave the show?
-------------------------------------------------

     According to a section of "True Blue," the writers quickly ran
     out of room for the character of Laura Kelly, especially once
     they realized the chemistry between Dennis Franz and Sharon
     Lawrence and began writing more scenes for Sylvia Costas.

     Sherry was a good sport about it, and went to Bochco and Milch
     with the suggestion that letting her out of her contract might
     be the best for everyone. They did so, and Sherry got a job as
     Dr. Susan Lewis on NBC's mega-hit "ER."

     Sherry left "Blue" because she didn't have enough to do; two
     and a half years later, she would leave "ER" because she had
     too much to do, and wanted to settle down and have a normal
     life again.

3.3. Why did Amy Brenneman leave the show?
--------------------------------------------

     A quote from an interview with Amy in the December, 1995 issue
     of GQ:

          "I'd like to say I planned [to quit], but I was fired. My
          character demanded so much attention, and without David
          Caruso what *was* I? They tried putting Janice behind a
          desk. But she's a *mob* chick. So they wrote me off the
          show."

     However, since then she's found a modest amount of success in
     films. She played Matthew Modine's ex-wife in "Bye Bye, Love,"
     Robert DeNiro's girlfriend in "Heat," and co-stars with
     Sylvester Stallone in "Daylight."

3.4. Why did David Caruso leave the show?
--------------------------------------------

     Caruso asked for a major-league raise in pay for the second
     season, asking for $100,000 an episode (as opposed to the
     $20,000 per episode he was paid in the first season). The
     producers refused to go higher than $80,000 for fear of
     upsetting the rest of the cast, and eventually, a compromise
     was worked out: Caruso agreed to appear in the first four
     episodes of the second season to allow the writers to give
     John Kelly a graceful exit, at which point he would be freed
     from his contract to do films. 

     Caruso's decision was not a particularly wise one. His first
     film as a leading man, "Kiss of Death," received good reviews
     for his performance, but did lousy at the box office. His
     second film, "Jade," didn't even get the good reviews. Add
     that to his reportedly difficult behavior, and he quickly
     found the well of leading roles dry. He was offered a role on
     a new legal drama in development for CBS, but had to plead
     with Steven Bochco to let him out of the agreement he signed
     when he quit "Blue" which said he couldn't work in television
     until his original contract ran out. 

     Jimmy Smits, who was Steven Bochco's original choice to play
     the lead in the series, was tabbed to replace Caruso. The rest
     of the cast and crew considered Smits a major improvement over
     Caruso, who was viewed as a real prima donna. Smits' presence
     apparently had a lot to do with the series jump in ratings
     last year (from the 29th show overall to the 8th).

3.5. Who is Nicholas Turturro related to?
-------------------------------------------

     His brother is John Turturro. John co-starred with John
     Goodman in "Barton Fink", and has appeared in many other
     films, including his recent turn as Herb Stempel in "Quiz
     Show." John and Nick appeared together in Spike Lee's "Mo'
     Better Blues" and "Jungle Fever", as well as "Men of Respect,"
     and the John Turturro-directed "Mac."

     Their cousin(?) Aida also acts. She recently co-starred as
     Geena Davis's best friend Tina in "Angie". She and Nicholas
     both appeared in 1994's independent film "Men Lie."

3.6. Who played XXXX in episode YYYY?
--------------------------------------

     Please refer to the episode guides [Q2.2] for full cast
     listings for each episode.

3.7. How many different roles did Dennis Franz play on Hill Street
Blues? 
-------------------------------------------------------------------

     Two. In the third season of the show, he appeared in a number
     of episodes as Sal Benedetto, a crooked, mean-spirited
     detective. Highlights of Benedetto's tenure on the Hill
     included beating up Renko for giving him a parking ticket (and
     subsequently being beaten up by Bobby Hill), attempting to
     hold up a bank, and, when Howard Hunter's EATers foiled the
     robbery, killing himself.

     Franz became a regular cast member at the start of season 6,
     playing Lt. Norman Buntz, an obnoxious, violent, but
     ultimately moral cop who clashed with everybody on the Hill
     except his snitch, Sidney Thurston. After HSB was canceled,
     Franz and Peter Jurasick (who played Sid) co-starred in a
     short-lived "dramedy" called Beverly Hills Buntz in which
     Buntz (who was kicked off the force in the HSB finale) and Sid
     moved to Beverly Hills to start a private investigation
     service.

3.8. Did Ross from "Friends" used to be on NYPD Blue?
---------------------------------------------------------

     Sort of. David Schwimmer, who plays the neurotic Ross,
     appeared on the first four episodes of NYPD Blue's first
     season as Josh "4B" Goldstein, a lawyer with a crush on Laura
     Kelly who attempted to become a vigilante after he was mugged
     in his building's laundry room. 4B was shot and killed while
     attempting to break up a mugging on the subway.

3.9. Which actors have appeared nude on the show?
--------------------------------------------------

     A better question might be, which haven't? Here's the rundown
     of regulars and semiregulars who have appeared in the buff at
     least once: David Caruso, Sherry Stringfield, Amy Brenneman,
     Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, Sharon Lawrence, Gail O'Grady, Kim
     Delaney, and Justine Miceli. The only cast members to have
     never dropped trou are James McDaniel, Nicholas Turturro, and
     Gordon Clapp. Guest stars who have appeared naked include
     Debrah Farentino, Melina Kanakeredes and John Wesley Shipp.

3.10. Are Kim Delaney and Dana Delany related?
------------------------------------------------

     Well, the fact that their last names are spelled differently
     ought to be all the answer you need. No, they are not related,
     though people occasionally confuse the two because of the
     similar last name and the fact that both appeared on TV shows
     about Vietnam at roughly the same time (Kim on "Tour of Duty"
     and Dana on "China Beach").

*3.11. Why did Gail O'Grady leave the show? Why didn't Upstairs
John replace her?
-----------------------

     There's not a lot you can write about the squad secretary, and
     once Greg and Donna broke up, Gail's role on the show shrank
     so much that sometimes weeks would go by without her saying
     anything. Fox offered her own sitcom -- she made a pilot, but
     it didn't get picked up -- and she decided it was time to move
     on. She's been working in movies lately, most recently in
     "That Old Feeling" with Bette Midler.

     As for Upstairs John, Bill Brochtrup had taken the character
     over to Steven Bochco's sitcom "Public Morals," which got
     cancelled after only one week. Whether he'll return to "Blue"
     remains to be seen, though both Brochtrup and David Milch have
     expressed interest. Don't be surprised if he turns up on
     Bochco and Milch's upcoming CBS cop drama "Brooklyn South."
     So, for now, Gina Colon is the squad PAA. 

*3.12. Why did Sharon Lawrence leave the show? Will she be coming
back?
------------------------

     In Lawrence's estimation, the show's writers lost interest in
     Sylvia once she and Andy got married. She started doing some
     extra-curricular work, including a guest turn on "Caroline in
     the City" that was so well-received that NBC decided to try to
     build a sitcom around her. Realizing that her role on "Blue"
     was going to remain limited, she decided to take the gig at
     "Fired Up," which debuted in the spring of 97 and is on NBC's
     fall schedule. 

     In order to secure her release from her "Blue" contract,
     Sharon agreed to try to make herself available whenever the
     writers need Sylvia to appear (which is why, for now, she's
     still listed as a regular), but so far, she hasn't been needed
     all that much, appearing less than half a dozen times in the
     fourth season. The writers are explaining Sylvia's absence
     from the squadroom by having her take a leave of absence from
     work to care for baby Theo.

     However, Sharon popped up briefly in the "Blue" season
     premiere and is now listed as a guest star, which means her
     appearances will be handled on a case-by-case basis. There are
     plans for her to appear several times between now and season's
     end. 


*3.13. Why did Justine Miceli left the show? What happened to
Lesniak?
-------------------------------------------------------------------

     No one knows for sure, but it's not hard to extrapolate that
     she wasn't happy with the mess that was made of her character
     in the third season. Rumor has it that she was difficult to
     work with (and therefore may not have left of her own accord),
     but who knows if this is true. Since leaving the show, she's
     popped up as a guest star on a few shows (including "The X-
     Files") and had a very small recurring role as a NY District
     Attorney on Dick Wolf's "Feds," which is not likely to be
     renewed by CBS.

     Lesniak's departure was never explained. One can assume that
     she transferred out of the precinct to avoid the discomfort of
     working with James. 

+3.14 Where's Martinez go?  I'm watching the fifth season and then
suddenly he's gone... what's the story?
------------------------------------------------------------------

     He's currently undercover in the New York mob -- sort of. :)
     Nick Turturrro has taken some time off from the show to play
     the lead in NBC's miniseries on the life of noted mob hitman
     Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, whose testimony eventually put mob
     boss John Gotti in prison. Martinez was temporarily written
     out in the episode "You're Under a Rasta," where he threw out
     his back. Nick should be back by season's end. 

*3.15 How many PAA's has the 15th squad had?
---------------------------------------------

     It seems like they've had more than Murphy Brown has had
     secretaries... it seems like there is always discussion the
     group about "the new PAA".  With the anticipated fifth season
     return of John Irvin, perhaps that is a trend that will end...

     In the beginning, there was no special PAA, just a string of
     faceless people who sat at the desk and did less than any
     other PAA since.  The PAA was not a part of the squad then...
     until Donna Abandando.

     Donna has the best track record of any PAA the squad has had,
     lasting two seasons (Starting with "Tempest in a C-Cup" (Ep.
     1.8) and ending with "A Death in the Family" (Ep 3.20)

     From there we have a bunch of people often not lasting more
     than an episode or two (brackets are their PAA tenure):

          Upstairs John (Eps. 2.17 - 2.20 ) took over for a
          romantically recovering Donna, and was the best temp PAA
          the squad had.  When Donna came back, Fancy got John a
          job upstairs in Anti-Crime which coined the nickname
          "Upstairs John"  John left anti-crime in Ep 3.22 to go
          back to 1 Police Plaza (and the abysmal Bochco-sitcom
          Public Morals), opening the door for Gina/Geri to take
          his place.

          Lucy Kinley (Eps. 3.21, 3.22) gets transferred for
          incompetence

          Geri Turner (Eps. 4.01 - 4.06) gets transferred upstairs
          after making Andy very uncomfortable (not to mention
          being a little psycho - which has nothing to do with her
          sexual proclivities)

          Gina Colon (Eps. 4.06 - 5.03) worked for Anri-Crime at
          the beginning of the season and caught James' eye. 
          Imagine James' thrill when Fancy worked out a trade for
          the not-working-out Geri.  James liked her so much, he
          married her... and put her "in a family way" so she's on
          maternity leave from the squad.  I'll be surprised if she
          ever comes back as a PAA and not as Mrs. Martinez.

          Naomi Reynolds (5.04 - 5.12) appeared to be a southern
          belle until her landlord cheesed her off and she started
          berating him in her native Australian accent.  This lead
          to problems with INS (and the kookiest subplot involving
          a PAA ever - beating Geri's "I'm into rubber" schtick,
          IMHO) and her leaving the squad.

          Dolores Mayo (5.13 - ??) is a chain smoking looker who
          spends more time downstairs than she does at her desk. 
          How she's leaving is anyone's guess.


4. Misc
-------

4.1. Is there a soundtrack CD?
---------------------------------

     Yes. The CD is entitled "Inventions from the Blue Line", it's
     by Mike Post and is published by American Gramaphone, 9130
     Mormon Bridge Road, Omaha, NE 68152. The catalog number is
     AGCD 450 for the CD, and AGC 450 for the cassette.

     It contains the NYPD Blue theme, 5 other NYPD Blue tracks and
     4 other Mike Post themes - Law & Order, Silk Stalkings,
     Renegade and Cop Files. 

     In the US it should be available at any large record store. It
     has probably now got a UK distributor as it has been spotted
     for sale in various large stores in London without an "Import"
     sticker on it.

     Any large record shop anywhere in the world should be able to
     order it for you from the US if you give them the above
     information.

4.2. What other merchandise is available?
-------------------------------------------

     HollywoodNet sells an NYPD-Blue T-Shirt for $16.95  You can
     find details at
     http://www1.viaweb.com/hollywoodnet/nypblu.html

     In addition, StefHelg@megaweb.com posted information about a
     store in Los Angeles called Script City that has "T-shirts,
     mugs, caps, and a LOT of scripts for TV shows and movies,
     including NYPD-Blue." The address is:

          Script City
          8033 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1500
          Hollywood, CA 90046
          U.S.A.

     Order telephone number is : 1-800-676-2522.

4.3. What connections are there to other Steven Bochco shows?
-------------------------------------------------------

     Steven Bochco has produced dozens of series over the years,
     and writers and performers from his previous shows often turn
     up on NYPD Blue, and several of the cast of Blue came from
     other Bochco shows.

     See question 3.7 for more info on Dennis Franz and Hill Street
     Blues. Franz also appeared in the debut episode of Bochco's
     short-lived legal series Civil Wars as a man whose Elvis
     fixation drove his wife to divorce.

     David Caruso guest starred in some early episodes of HSB
     (including the one where the President was supposed to visit
     the Hill) as Tommy Mann, the leader of the Shamrocks (the
     Irish gang).

     Jimmy Smits played attorney Victor Sifuentes on L.A. Law.

     James McDaniel guest-starred as a militant black patrolman in
     a seventh-season episode of HSB. By then, Bochco had left the
     show (David Milch was running it), but McDaniel got cast as
     one of the singing cops on Bochco's short-lived musical drama
     "Cop Rock."

     Kim Delaney appeared in several episodes of L.A. Law as a
     prospective associate at McKenzie, Brackman who seduced Arnie
     Becker to help research a book she was writing about high-
     powered attorneys.

     "Buck Naked" was a quasi-recurring character on Hill Street.
     He was an old vagrant who kept on flashing everyone while
     screaming "I'm Buck Naked!". He has appeared twice on NYPD
     Blue, but only said his trademark catchphrase the first time.

     Also, Charles Haid, who played Andy Renko on HSB, guest-
     starred on NYPD Blue as John Kelly's alcoholic rich buddy
     Charlie Lear in a first season episode. Haid also directed
     several episodes of Blue, as well as Murder One (and Cop
     Rock), before going off to run his own cop show, High
     Incident.

     Robert Clohessy, who played beefy uniformed cop Patrick
     Flaherty in HSB's final season, guest-starred in the third
     season as retarded murder suspect Frankie Wuthrich.

     Bruce Weitz, growling undercover cop Mick Belker on Hill
     Street, appeared in the fourth season as murder witness
     Lawrence Curry. 

     Barbara Bosson, Bochco's wife, has appeared on virtually all
     his series, including her regular roles on Hill Street (as
     Faye Furillo), Hooperman (as Capt. Stern), and Murder One
     (District Attorney Miriam Grasso), plus guest spots on most of
     the other shows. She appeared on Blue in the second season as
     Mrs. Davis, the wife of a man who was molesting their teenage
     daughter.

     Three other former Hooperman castmembers all turned up on Blue
     during the first season: Clarence Felder, who played a
     corrections officer filing assault charges against a friend of
     Kelly's; Felton Perry, who played the angry father of a
     murdered teen; and Debrah Farentino, who had a recurring role
     as Kelly's friend and subsequent lover Robin Wirkus.

     
     Louis Giambalvo, who appeared frequently on HSB as JD LaRue's
     sleazy used-car salesman brother-in-law, played a used-car
     salesman of a different sort in the first season of Blue:
     grief-stricken Dom Bucci, whose daughter had been missing for
     years before Andy found her..

     Dan Hedaya, who was nominated for his guest turn as Lou the
     Werewolf in a first season episode, appeared several times in
     HSB's first season as a cop on the take named Phil Macaffee.
     Hedaya appeared again in the middle of HSB's run as a homeless
     man who beat up Belker, stole his clothes, badge, and gun, and
     left him handcuffed in the basement of a condemned building.

     Markus Redmond, who played a gangmember turned orderly on
     "Doogie Howser, M.D.," appeared frequently during the first
     season as uniformed Officer Lucas.

     Larry Joshua who plays Captain Bass was on "Cop Rock"

     One connection that may or may not be intentional is that the
     two main characters on NYPD Blue are named Andy (Sipowicz) and
     Bobby (Simone), which were also the first names of two of
     HSB's more notable characters, uniformed partners Andy Renko
     and Bobby Hill.

4.4. What connections are there to other shows?
-------------------------------------------------

     See the other-credits file at the www site for other TV series
     in which individual cast members have appeared.

4.5. Where is NYPD Blue set?
------------------------------

     NYPD Blue is set (of course) in New York City, New York,
     U.S.A. The detectives work in the 15th precinct.

     Jason R. DeCesare (miles722@erols.com) was nice enough to
     forward a current list of NYC precincts.

    MANHATTAN
    PRECINCT                ADDRESS                 DIRECT LINE
     1 Pct                  16 Ericsson Place       1-212-334-0611
     4 Pct                  New York Undercover     Not actual pct.
     5 Pct                  19 Elizabeth St.        1-212-334-0711
     6 Pct                  233 West 10 St.         1-212-741-4811
     7 Pct                  19 1/2 Pitt St.         1-212-477-7311
     9 Pct                  321 East 5th St.        1-212-477-7811
    10 Pct                  230 West 20th St.       1-212-741-8211
    13 Pct                  230 East 21st St.       1-212-477-7411
    15 Pct                  NYPD Blue               Not actual pct.
    Midtown South Pct       357 West 35th St.       1-212-239-9811
    17 Pct                  167 East 51st St.       1-212-826-3211
    Midtown North Pct       306 West 54th St.       1-212-767-8400
    19 Pct                  153 East 67th St.       1-212-452-0600
    20 Pct                  120 West 82nd St.       1-212-580-6411
    Central Park Pct        86th & Transverse Rd.   1-212-570-4820
    23 Pct                  164 East 102nd St.      1-212-860-6411
    24 Pct                  151 West 100th St.      1-212-678-1811
    25 Pct                  120 East ll9th St.      1-212-860-6511
    26 Pct                  520 West 126th St.      1-212-678-1311
    27 Pct                  Law & Order             Not actual pct.
    28 Pct                  2271 8th Ave.           1-212-678-1611
    30 Pct                  451 West 151st St.      1-212-690-8811
    32 Pct                  250 West 135th St.      1-212-690-6311
    33 Pct                  Law & Order (Alternate) Not actual pct.
    34 Pct                  4295 Broadway           1-212-927-9711

    BRONX  
    PRECINCT                ADDRESS                 DIRECT LINE
    40 Pct                  257 Alexander Ave.      1-718-402-2270
    41 Pct                  1086 Simpson St.        1-718-542-4774
    42 Pct                  830 Washington Ave.     1-718-402-3887
    43 Pct                  900 Fteley Ave.         1-718-542-0888
    44 Pct                  2 East 169th St.        1-718-590-5511
    45 Pct                  2877 Barkley Ave.       1-718-822-5411
    46 Pct                  2120 Ryer Ave.          1-718-220-5211
    47 Pct                  4111 Laconia Ave.       1-718-920-1211
    48 Pct                  450 Cross Bronx Exp.    1-718-299-3900
    49 Pct                  2121 Eastchester Rd.    1-718-918-2000
    50 Pct                  3450 Kingsbridge Ave.   1-718-543-5700
    52 Pct                  3016 Webster Ave.       1-718-220-5811
    53 Pct                  Car 54 Where Are You?   Not actual pct.

    BROOKLYN
    PRECINCT                ADDRESS                 DIRECT LINE
    60 Pct                  2951 West 8th St.       1-718-946-3311
    61 Pct                  2575 Coney Island Ave.  1-718-627-6611
    62 Pct                  1925 Bath Ave.          1-718-236-2611
    63 Pct                  1844 Brooklyn Ave.      1-718-258-4411
    66 Pct                  5822 16th Ave.          1-718-851-5611
    67 Pct                  2820 Snyder Ave.        1-718-287-3211
    68 Pct                  333 65th St.            1-718-439-4211
    69 Pct                  9720 Foster Ave.        1-718-257-6211
    70 Pct                  154 Lawrence Ave.       1-718-851-5511
    71 Pct                  421 Empire Blvd.        1-718-735-0511
    72 Pct                  830 4th Ave.            1-718-965-6311
    73 Pct                  1470 East New York Ave. 1-718-495-5411
    75 Pct                  1000 Sutter Ave.        1-718-827-3511
    76 Pct                  191 Union St.           1-718-834-3211
    77 Pct                  127 Utica Ave.          1-718-735-0611
    78 Pct                  65 6th Ave.             1-718-636-6411
    79 Pct                  263 Tompkins Ave.       1-718-635-6611
    81 Pct                  30 Ralph Ave.           1-718-574-0411
    83 Pct                  480 Knickerbecker Ave.  1-718-574-1605
    84 Pct                  301 Gold St.            1-718-875-6811
    88 Pct                  298 Classon Ave.        1-718-636-6511
    90 Pct                  211 Union Ave.          1-718-963-5311

    94 Pct                  100 Meserole Ave.       1-718-383-3879

    QUEENS
    PRECINCT                ADDRESS                 DIRECT LINE
    100 Pct                 92-24 Rockaway Bch Blvd 1-718-318-4200
    101 Pct                 16-12 Mott Ave.         1-718-868-3400
    102 Pct                 87-34 118th St.         1-718-805-3200
    103 Pct                 168-02 91st Ave.        1-718-657-8181
    104 Pct                 64-02 Catapia Ave.      1-718-386-3004
    105 Pct                 92-08 222nd St.         1-718-776-9090
    106 Pct                 103-51 101st St.        1-718-845-2211
    107 Pct                 186-Ol 73rd Ave.        1-718-526-6161
    108 Pct                 5-47 50th Ave.          1-718-784-5411
    109 Pct                 37-05 Union St.         1-718-321-2250
    110 Pct                 94-41 43rd Ave.         1-718-476-9311
    111 Pct                 45-06 215th St.         1-718-279-5200
    112 Pct                 68-40 Austin St.        1-718-520-9311
    113 Pct                 167-02 Baisley Blvd.    1-718-712-7733
    114 Pct                 34-15 Astoria Blvd.     1-718-626-9311
    115 Pct                 92-15 Northern Blvd.    1-718-533-2002

    STATEN ISLAND
    PRECINCT                ADDRESS                 DIRECT LINE
    120 Pct                 78 Richmond Terrace     1-718-876-8500 
    122 Pct                 2320 Hylan Blvd.    1-718-667-2211
    123 Pct                 116 Main St.            1-718-948-9311

     The Precinct numbers increase going north, except Staten
     Island, where the 120th is northernmost. Manhattan's named
     precincts fall geographically more-or-less in the order above.
     There's no actual 15th, but if they fit in this pattern,
     they'd be in midtown to downtown, south of the park.

     Ross Brown's theory on the location of the 15:

          Judging from the locations and addresses cited in the
          show, the 15th Precinct appears to cover an area known as
          the East Village, roughly defined by East Houston Street,
          Broadway, East 14th Street, and First Avenue, with
          occasional forays into Alphabet City east of First Avenue
          (fertile territory for crime-busting). 

     The NYPD stationhouse exterior for the 15th Precinct is really
     the 9th Precinct house at 321 East 5th St. between 1st & 2nd
     Ave., which is the same one that was used on the 70s cop
     series Kojak and is a real precincthouse in New York City.
     Note that former series producer and writer Burton Armus
     worked as a producer on Kojak.

4.6. Why so many reruns/preemptions?
--------------------------------------

     "Blue" is just one of several high-profile series ("ER" and
     "Ellen" are two of the others) that will be taking an extended
     vacation in March and April to provide opportunities for
     networks to showcase promising mid-season replacements.

     There are two reasons behind ABC's decision to do this. First,
     there are only 22 episodes in a season of NYPD Blue, and,
     because of the all-important "sweeps" months in November,
     February, and May, 12 of those episodes have to be committed
     to air during those months. That leaves only 10 other episodes
     for the other five months. So, during March and April, if ABC
     aired Blue, there would only be one or two new episodes.

     And, because of the sheer volume of successful dramas and
     newsmagazines in the 10 o'clock hour on network television
     these days, there are very few timeslots available to test out
     a new show. So ABC has chosen to put "The Practice," a new
     legal drama from David E. Kelley ("Picket Fences," "Chicago
     Hope") on in the successful "Blue" slot, rather than risk it
     in a worse timeslot (like, say, the Thursday at 9 slot that's
     killing "Murder One"). 

     Complaining to ABC won't do any good. Their minds are made up
     on this. And unless you have a Nielsen box, you really can't
     vote with your remote, either. 

     But if this upsets you, keep in mind that "Blue" is a big
     success because it got a lot of publicity about the adult
     content when it launched (and was good enough to keep all
     those curious viewers week after week). Not every show is as
     lucky. At one time or another, nearly every one of us has
     started watching a show that got cancelled prematurely due to
     low ratings. Maybe some of those shows would have attracted
     more viewers if they'd been given a chance to air in a better
     timeslot for a few weeks. 

4.7. How realistic is the show?
---------------------------------

     Bill Clark, [see 2.10 for more info] a retired NYPD detective,
     serves as the show's technical advisor to make sure that Milch
     & Co. "get things right." If you ever see Clark's name in the
     "Story by" credits of a given episode, then one or more of the
     cases in that show are based on a real-life event.

     While Clark is a real stickler for detail, he also understands
     the demands of TV storytelling, which is why the events on the
     show often seem time-compressed. Cases that are solved in the
     traditional two-day span of an episode often took weeks or
     months to play out in reality, even if all the incidents
     portrayed in the show happened in real life. (For example, the
     story about James getting shot in "E.R." actually happened,
     with Clark in the Bobby role as the man who blew the whistle
     on the DA's deal with the shooter, but the whole thing took
     place over several months.)

4.8. What awards has the show won?
------------------------------------

     "Favorite Television Dramatic Series" - 20th Annual People's
     Choice Awards.

     The show was nominated for a record 26 Emmys for its first
     season, and won 6, including Best Actor for Dennis Franz, Best
     Writing (Steroid Roy) and Best Direction (Tempest in a C-Cup).
     The previous record for most nominations was 21, set by Hill
     Street Blues in 1980.

     The show's Emmy nominations fell to a mere 12 this year,
     though that was still the second best showing of any series
     (after ER). While the show did poorly in the early goings of
     the ceremony, it did pull a bit of an upset by beating strong
     favorite ER for Best Drama Series. Some have speculated that
     it was an "apology award" from the Academy to make up for Blue
     losing to Picket Fences the year before.

     The 1997 Emmy's had Dennis Franz taking home the Best Actor in
     a Dramatic Series trophy, while Kim Delaney grabbed the "Best
     Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series" trophy.  The episode
     "Where's Swaldo" Mark Tinker won Outstanding Directing for a
     Drama Series for his work on "Where's Swaldo." David Milch,
     Stephen Gaghan, Michael R. Perry took home the Outstanding
     Writing for a Drama Series for their work on "Where's Swaldo."

4.9. Is the show filmed in NY or LA?
--------------------------------------

     Both, actually. The bulk of the filming is done in Los
     Angeles, but the cast and crew fly out to the Big Apple a few
     weeks a season to shoot some exterior shots. While the
     exterior of the 15th precincthouse is actually a real building
     [4.5], last year a mock-up of it was built in LA to allow more
     outdoor scenes to be shot. Unless you see a recognizable
     landmark (the FDR Drive, Washington Square Park, the Flat-Iron
     building), assume that you're seeing footage filmed in LA.

*4.10. Do the cast and crew know about us?
-------------------------------------------

     Some do, and some don't. Alan was out in LA July 97, and met
     a number of people involved with the show. Bill Brochtrup
     (Upstairs John) knew him by name, and Sharon Lawrence has
     apparently read the newsgroup on occasion. Several of the
     show's writers (though not David Milch) apparently scan the
     net from time to time to get audience feedback.

     David Mills, a former writer on the show ("The Backboard
     Jungle", "Twilight's Last Gleaming") has delurked on occasion
     and Paris Barclay, a (male) director on the show, has also
     delurked.

*4.11. What's the deal with FX? What if my cable company doesn't
carry it?
--------------------------------------

     For those who don't know, the FX cable network has begun
     showing daily repeats of the first four seasons of the show,
     beginning with the shows from the first season (episode one
     aired August 19). These episodes are allegedly airing uncut,
     but some people who've been watching them closely report that
     every once in a while, a scene will start in mid-conversation.
     The episodes are supposed to air Monday through Friday at 9,
     and each one is then repeated the following weeknight at
     midnight (all times eastern). 

     If you've been trying to tape every episode in order, you may
     have noticed that FX skipped over a couple of the fourth
     season episodes. That's because ABC has the right to re-air
     every episode at least once, and they still haven't gotten
     around to repeating all of last year's shows ("Taillights'
     Last Gleaming," for instance, finally got rerun on Dec. 30).
     By the time the next rerun cycle (which started up on New
     Year's Day) gets to the fourth season, every episode should be
     available, but check FX's schedule (available at
     http://www.fxnetworks.com/) vs. the episode guide (available
     at http://www.xnet.com/~djk/NYPDBlue_1.shtml). 

     Since a lot of cable systems don't carry FX -- and since our
     friends in Canada can't get it at all (Blue repeats there are
     on the Canadian  channel Bravo) -- your other recourse
     (barring a decision to letterbomb your cable carrier) is to
     watch the syndicated rerun package on the weekends, which air
     on various local stations throughout the country (check your
     local listings). 

     Be warned: unlike the FX repeats, the weekend showings will be
     cut, not so much for content but to fit in room for more
     commercials. If you want uncut episodes -- or are impatient
     waiting for your favorite to show up at the much slower rate -
     - please *do not e-mail me to ask for tapes*. I don't have the
     time to make dubs. Once these repeats start airing nationwide,
     there will likely be dozens of fans who'd be more than happy
     to start dubbing episodes, so try posting to alt.tv.nypd-blue
     or rec.arts.tv with your specific requests. 

4.12. Why is the camera always shaking?
-----------------------------------------

     A lot of the show is shot with handheld cameras in an attempt
     to simulate a detective's point of view and to give episodes
     a cinema verite feel. Some people love it and some hate it,
     but it's an aspect that's not liable to change.

4.13. I really love XX and I want to send him/her a letter! What's
the address?

     If you want to send fan mail to your favorite castmember, the
     correct address is

     Cast Member's Name
     c/o Steven Bochco Productions
     10201 W. Pico Blvd.
     Los Angeles, CA 90035.

4.14. Where do you get the episode titles?
--------------------------------------------

     Every episodic television script has its own title, but only
     a few shows actually show those titles on-screen ("ER," to
     name just one). However, there are a number of other sources
     for fans who want to know what each episode is called.

     Some newspapers do print the episode titles in their TV
     listings, but a more reliable source is going on-line, either
     to ABC's official site (http://www.abc.com) or any of the
     numerous WWW TV listing sites (like, for instance,
     http://www.gist.com). Also, the NYPD Blue episode guide, at 
     http://www.xnet.com/~djk/ NYPDBlue_1.shtml has the titles of
     every single episode. 

4.15. What's a "spoiler" and why does it upset some people?
-------------------------------------------------------------

     Basically, a spoiler is any piece of information about an
     episode that would spoil a part of that episode for someone
     who hasn't seen it yet. Spoilers can be gleaned from watching
     commercials, reading TV Guide, rumors, or what have you. Some
     people like to know this stuff in advance, but a lot of other
     people like to go into an episode knowing nothing.

     At the start of the third season, ABC showed in their
     commercials for the season premiere that one of the characters
     would get shot. Not everybody on the group had seen the
     commercial, and one person started a thread entitled
     "(Character's name) gets shot!" which basically spoiled the
     surprise for everybody else. The same thing happened near the
     end of the third season, when several people found out from
     magazine articles that one of the recurring characters was
     going to be killed off, and put that information into the
     heading of their posts.

     Because some people don't mind knowing stuff in advance, it's
     okay to include spoilers in your posts, but there are a few
     basic guidelines to follow to avoid ticking people off:

     1)   Always insert the word "Spoiler" in your subject header,
          especially if you're following up to a thread that didn't
          originally have spoilers in it

     2)   NEVER put an actual spoiler ("I can't believe Medavoy is
          going to go to jail!", to make up an example) in your
          subject header. Even if you were to leave Medavoy's name
          out in that particular example, the mere knowledge that
          *any* of the characters is going to jail constitutes a
          spoiler for most people. A good example of a spoiler-safe
          header is something like "What I heard about the season
          premiere - Spoiler." And if somebody else inadvertently
          includes a spoiler in his/her header, and you want to
          follow up to that post, please delete the spoiler info
          from the subject line.

     3)   Try very hard to include a lot of blank lines in a post
          before the spoiler information, so that some unfortunate
          soul whose newsreader won't allow him/her to scan subject
          headers, won't  unwittingly stumble across a spoiler.

     So, you may be asking, do we have to do this for every episode
     in perpetuity? No. The generally accepted Usenet rule is that
     once an episode airs, spoilers don't apply to it.


--
Jeff Knapp                         director@gti.net
alt.tv.nypd-blue FAQ-keeper
alt.tv.nypd-blue website: 
    http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~sepinwal/nypd.html

Subtlety is the art of saying what you want and getting out of the
way before it is understood.

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