And by Cagney, they mean Sharon, not Meg or Loretta

The first Cagney & Lacey DVD release is just around the corner — it hits stores May 8. But when you first unwrap the set (don’t tell me you’re not going to buy it!), you might think you’ve purchased a defective one, because the first six episodes of the series will be missing. No, it’s not a mistake or a marketing ploy: Producer Barney Rosenzweig decided to exclude the Meg Foster episodes.

I suppose that might have something to do with the fact that Rosenzweig is married to Sharon Gless, who replaced Foster when CBS pronounced her too dykey. But I can’t say I mind — not because Foster was too butch (frankly, I don’t know how you can be more butch than Gless-as-Cagney) but because Foster’s ice-blue eyes kind of creep me out.

I mean, don’t you think her freezy gaze is the reason Foster has played so many fantastical characters? Here she is as Evil-Lyn, Skeletor’s sidekick in Masters of the Universe:

And here she is as Hera on Hercules and Xena:

And as an alien called Onaya on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:

(Gosh, there must be something awfully interesting stage right.)

She was also in They Live, though she was admittedly the most normal-looking part of that awesome flick (which also starred "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and a bunch of low-budget skeleton people). Anyway, the point is, Foster spooks me. But it’s hard to see the Cagney & Lacey exclusion as anything but nepotism on Rosenzweig’s part (or, as Jack Black would say, “nepotiz”). I wonder what the original Cagney (Loretta Swit) thinks of all this? Where’s her cut?

If you happen to be anywhere near the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills on April 30, be sure to stop by "Cagney & Lacey: A Reunion." I can’t quite figure out why, but Helen Mirren will be in attendance. Maybe she’s going to play Cagney in the big-screen version that Jennifer Saunders wants to make … OK, now I’m just talking crazy.

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