Season 1 of Cagney & Lacey will finally be released on DVD in early May. Yes!! (Amazon still has it slated for 2010, but that’s incorrect.)
It almost didn’t happen. On his blog (which consists of, um, only two posts), producer Barney Rosenzweig (that’s Mr. Sharon Gless to me) refers to the story of “a pissed off producer and some clumsy handling of interior PR by a couple of major corporations.” Unfortunately, he has already deleted the original blog post that told the story in full; he boils it down to “I … was reminded that Cagney & Lacey has always been a good thing on which to hang one’s hat and that David & Goliath is, after all, a great yarn.”
According to the Miami Herald, the source of the trouble was the theme song — somebody forgot to secure the rights to the music. The Herald also notes that Cagney & Lacey survived more than one cancellation while it was on TV in the ’80s. One of the resurrections was thanks to a protest by gay activists and media watchdogs, after a CBS executive said the show was canceled because viewers “perceived [Cagney and Lacey] as dykes.”
(Click “read more” for more C&L.)
I’ve never understood, though, why Sharon Gless was supposedly the solution to that perception problem. Apparently she was seen as less butch than Meg Foster, the original Cagney (OK, the second Cagney; the first was Loretta Swit), but I don’t get that at all. The Gay Media Task Force even complained that Gless was “kittenish and feminine.” What? With her badass attitude, her gravelly voice, her leather jackets and her fondness for good scotch? Yeah, whatever.
I still can’t decide which detective I like best, though. They were both fascinating and gorgeous. And Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless were (are) fantastic actors. Plus, the shots of NYC were so great — I think the show was largely responsible for my early fascination with the city. Yeah, I’ll be buying the DVDs.