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New York Homicide Season 1 - Episode 3

New Amsterdam is an American television drama which aired for eight episodes in 2008 on Fox. The series starred Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as "John Amsterdam" (real name Johann van der Zee), an immortal Dutch man born in 1607, who has lived in New York City on and off since he was 14 years old, and who is a homicide detective in the present day. The series was nominated for an Emmy for Main Title Design.

New York Homicide Season 1 - Episode 3

John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is an NYPD homicide detective who is 400 years old, but has the appearance of a 35-year-old. He was a Dutch soldier in Manhattan in the year 1642, when he stepped in front of a sword to save the life of a Native American girl during the massacre of her tribe. The girl in turn rescued Amsterdam by weaving a spell that conferred immortality upon him. It was also prophesied that he would not age until he finds his one true love, and only then will he become whole and ready for mortality. Flashbacks in different episodes of the show reveal Amsterdam's centuries of life since, using many names, though usually retaining "John", marked by loss as his friends, lovers, children (63), and dogs gradually grow old and die. Amsterdam is a recovering alcoholic who regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, having remained sober since 1965. In his lifetime he has joined the Army three times, in addition to the Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. He stated that he never joined the Air Force because he "doesn't like heights". He has taught history at a university, served as a physician during the American Civil War, was a furniture maker at the turn of the 20th century, a portrait painter just before the outbreak of World War I, and by 1941 an attorney. At some point he attended Columbia University and served in the CIA. (See below for a detailed timeline.)

New Amsterdam was created by Allan Loeb and Christian Taylor, who also served as executive producers alongside David Manson, Leslie Holleran, Steven Pearl and Lasse Hallström. The latter also directed the pilot.[1] Produced by Laha Films, Regency Television, Sarabande Productions and Scarlet Fire Entertainment, the series was greenlit and given a thirteen-episode order on May 11, 2007.[2] The series was scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2007,[3] consequently airing on Tuesday nights at 8:00/7:00c on Fox, but it was held as a mid-season replacement and began airing in March 2008.[4]

The second season of Homicide: Life on the Street, an American police procedural drama television series, originally aired in the United States between January 6 and January 27, 1994. Due to low Nielsen ratings during the first season, NBC executives decided to order only a four-episode season, after which they would evaluate the ratings and decide whether to renew the show. Homicide was moved to a new timeslot of Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST, temporarily replacing the legal drama L.A. Law. NBC requested several changes from the series, including fewer episode subplots and less camera movements and jump cuts.

The second season marked the debut of Jean de Segonzac as director of photography and Chris Tergesen as music coordinator. The season premiere, "Bop Gun", was the last of the four episodes filmed, but it was the first to be broadcast due to a guest appearance by Robin Williams, which NBC hoped would lead to improved ratings. "Bop Gun" differed from other Homicide episodes because it focused entirely on one story: the murder of a tourist and its impact on her husband, played by Williams. The episodes "See No Evil" and "Black and Blue" featured a suspected police shooting, which was based on a real-life incident in David Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets.

When first shown on network television, Bop Gun aired out of order as the season premiere. The DVD present the episodes in the correct chronological order, restoring all storylines and character developments.

The producers of Homicide said the decision to evaluate the series after a four-episode season placed tremendous pressure on the staff of the show. Fontana said one-hour dramas need time to fully develop and allow audiences to become familiar with the characters.[27][28] Fontana expressed frustration with NBC in some news interviews, claiming the networks seemed to lack the courage to either cancel or renew it: "They will run it in a 10 p.m. time period for a month and then they'll kiss us goodbye ... I'm used to this kind of treatment from NBC. I'm a little surprised they'd treat Barry Levinson the same way they'd treat me."[29] In other interviews, however, Fontana said he saw the decision as a sign of support: "This is not just a casual action on NBC's part. It's a real statement to me that we have a possibility to return."[30] Levinson said he believed "four shots are better than nothing", adding:[17]

Homicide was produced by Levinson's company Baltimore Pictures, which had partnered with Reeves Entertainment during the first season. However, Reeves Entertainment went out of business after the first season concluded, so NBC bought into the show and formally became a co-producer, which gave the network more latitude to demand creative changes.[31] The second season marked the debut of Jean de Segonzac as director of photography.[32] He replaced Wayne Ewing, who Levinson felt was too inexperienced and did not trust with the responsibility of managing the show's cinematography. Among Segonzac's film credits was Laws of Gravity (1992), which was directed by Nick Gomez, who directed the Homicide first-season episode "Son of a Gun".[31]

Season premiere "Bop Gun" was directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, a feature director then best known for such films as Waterland (1992) and A Dangerous Woman (1993).[33] Chris Menaul directed the back-to-back episodes "See No Evil" and "Black and Blue",[34] while the season finale, "A Many Splendored Thing", was directed by John McNaughton, who previously directed Homicide star Belzer in the film Mad Dog and Glory (1993).[35] The second season included much of the same crew as the first: in addition to executive producers Levinson and Fontana, Jim Finnerty returned as supervising producer, Debbie Sarjeant worked as associate supervisor and screenwriter James Yoshimura became story editor starting with the second season, with Bonnie Mark as a staff writer and Chris Friel as a script supervisor. Other crew included Cindy Mollo as editor, Vincent Peranio as production designer, Susan Kessel as set decorator, Roland Berman as costume designer, Ivan Fonseca as post-production coordinator, Bruce Litkey as sound mixer and Louis DiGiaimo and Pat Moran as casting directors. Ted Zachary and Allan Chaflin worked as the executives in charge of production.[36]

Almost the entire original cast from season one returned for the second season, including Daniel Baldwin, Ned Beatty, Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto, Melissa Leo, Jon Polito and Kyle Secor. The only permanent cast member not to return was Wendy Hughes, who previously played medical examiner Carol Blythe; her absence was never explained on-screen other than a mention in the episode "A Many Splendored Thing" that Bolander and Blythe had broken up.[37][38] While the rest of the cast was contractually obliged to return, many of them had offers for other films, television shows or plays, and the logistics of arranging their schedules so all of them could return for the show was difficult.[27][39] In an interview, Fontana claimed the cast was contractually entitled to be paid for 13 episodes but they all agreed to take less money and come back for the shortened-season.[27] The uncertainty over whether Homicide would be renewed or not created a great deal of stress for some cast members.[40] Polito said of the feeling, "Where is limbo? It's in Baltimore."[41] Baldwin in particular expressed frustration with NBC for failing to renew the show for a full season and said he feared the uncertainty could hurt his film career:[40]

Likewise, Beatty said he enjoyed the actual filming of the episodes but hated the television business end of it, claiming, "I can't think of anything I would less rather do than television at this moment." He said the process left him "pretty much burnt" and said his enthusiasm for the show had "eroded as time goes on".[30] It was initially reported that Beatty would not return for the second Homicide season at all because he had accepted a starring role in The Boys, a CBS comedy series also featuring Christopher Meloni.[42][43] Polito said he did not believe Beatty's departure would hurt the show because of the ensemble nature of the cast: "I love Ned's work, but the show won't fall apart because of one character."[42] Beatty ended up appearing in both shows, and The Boys was canceled after six episodes.[44]

Several notable actors made guest appearances throughout the second season of Homicide. Robin Williams appeared in "Bop Gun" as Robert Ellison, the husband of a slain woman tourist. Levinson previously directed Williams in the films Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) and Toys (1992).[47][48][49] Although Williams was primarily known for his comedic work, the Homicide producers and Williams himself consciously decided to remain true to the original script, rejecting the idea of adding humor or jokes to the episode.[50] "Bop Gun" also featured a 13-year-old Jake Gyllenhaal, son of the episode's director Stephen, in one of his earliest acting performances; he played Matt, the young son of Robert Ellison.[51] Wilford Brimley portrayed the bed-ridden and suicidal Harry Prentice in "See No Evil",[18] Isaiah Washington played murder suspect Lane Staily in "Black and Blue",[52] and Adrienne Shelly portrayed S&M fashion store owner Tanya Quinn in "A Many Splendored Thing".[53] Julianna Margulies appeared in the last two episodes of the season as Linda, a waitress who starts dating Bolander. Fontana was so impressed with Margulies that he offered her a recurring role on Homicide, but she turned it down in favor of the medical drama series ER.[52] 041b061a72

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