Site visitor Ryan asks on 17 July 2009:
I thought I might ask you what episodes are featured in the introduction sequence for Cagney and Lacey season 2, especially the scenes where the two are chasing a suspect on the subway (where C&L are seen running through a subway car, then later exiting with the suspect from the station). I believe it might be the same episode where the two are flashed on leaving the staion. I have tried to find it online, but with no luck!
Cagney & Lacey Producer Barney Rosenzweig answers:
Most (but not all) of the shots in the Cagney & Lacey main title sequence are not from any episode, but rather were filmed specifically for the titles. That includes what I call "a typical day," the run through the park, the purchase of the hot dog, the chase through the subway system (where I can be seen, "doing a Hitchcock," drinking coffee as the dynamic duo run by), the flasher at the Subway exit, and the final moment of Lacey in her bowling shirt and Cagney in her Coyote fur thinking they are done for the day only to be ordered back to work by Lt. Samuels. When we put it together it was just a bit short so we augmented our "special" material with a few shots from early episodes (mostly to feature other cast members).
Under the heading of "now it can be told" there are a couple of personal things that always annoy me .... even to this day... as I watch these titles.
A) for what its worth (nothing in this case), I wrote the "typical day" sequence, but never put in for any sort of pay or credit only to learn too late that this is something on which the Writers Guild would have insisted I get a royalty... in perpetuity (and payment everytime it played)!
B) As most fans know, my credit as Producer of the series, appears by my choice at the freeze frame at the end of every episode. My name comes on instead of "The End" and this is how I have received my credit since my earliest days as a producer. I did it as a reaction to the Directors Guild insistence that the director be the last credit on the main title, as if their members were the most important on the production. As everyone knows who has anything to do with television, and episodic TV in particular, this is a fiction. Television is a Producer's medium just as theatre is a literary (writer's) medium. Today one could easily argue that motion pictures are a director's medium, but that is not true for Television where the directors are usually hired hands... transients moving from TV series to TV series. It is the Producer who, at least in my day, was the constant and creative force behind every episode. That is why I countered this Directors Guild hubris by placing my credit on the last frame of the stories we told.
Credit is an important thing in the entertainment business. People trade it for money and sue for even more money when they are cheated by not getting what they had negotiated for. Credits should say who did what.... truth in packaging... "and it says so right on the label." My proposed credit on the Cagney & Lacey main title was to come adjacent to the Barbara Avendon/Barbara Corday "created by" credit and was to have read "Developed for Television By Barney Rosenzweig." I didn't get it. Barbara Avedon was pissed at me at the time... truth to tell a not uncommon phenomenon for Ms Avedon with almost everyone in the business at one time or another... and she protested the credit to the Writers Guild which was well within its right to support their member. Now, I'm the guy who conceived of doing a buddy movie (series) featuring two women. I thought that they should be cops, I hired Avedon & Corday to do the script and I supervised the writing of that through production and release. The Writers Guild long ago preempted the word "created" so that only a writer can have that credit and so by that standard there is no question that Avedon & Corday have that credit. There is also no question that either member of the writing team in this case could protest any credit that implied some writing (or creative input). Avedon objected... her erstwhile partner at the time (Ms Corday, who was also then Mrs. Rosenzweig) had a clear conflict of interest and so did not enter the fray. As a result there is no "Developed for Television By" credit on Cagney & Lacey. There is, however, a longer than usual sans title moment where it should have gone .... Avedon could not stop me from doing that, so it is there as a method of assuaging my hurt feelings (with now obvious mixed results). When I see the titles at least I am reminded by the space of what might have been.
One last "title" story. My friend Sidney Clute, who played LaGuardia, passed away while we were making the series, but LaGuardia lived on... retired from the force and living in New Jersey with a much younger woman. Sid's credit ran on every episode both before and after his death.
Y'see.... sometimes simple questions have complicated answers. Thanks for asking.
Site visitor Ryan responds on 4 August 2009:
Dear Barney Rosenzweig
Thank you very much for your reply! It was really satisfying to learn that they weren't really episodes at all because I felt I was missing out on a peek into the old New York Subway filled with commuters in fabby 80's outfits. I also found your information about royalties and credit interesting.
I've been watching this series ever since they played reruns on BBC2 about 8 years ago, so you can maybe imagine how long that question had been bothering me.
One last thing though: while I was looking I came across a posting where someone claimed they knew what Mary Beth was saying to the flasher as they pass by. Finding that persuaded me to look. If you want to check it out, it's about 2/3 down the page on this forum (link follows):
Once again, thank you for getting in touch!
Ryan: You should know at the outset of our relationship that it is very hard to stump me on authentic C&L material. Hence... no scrolling for this dude.