Uppermost in all of our minds was how long we could conceal Tyne’s girth.
Corday felt we were kidding ourselves, in that she believed Tyne was going to
begin showing very fast. Just how realistic was it to think we could photograph
her behind desks or sofas and not have the audience be distracted by this obvious
device? “Obvious,” in that by airtime our fans would already know of the pregnancy,
courtesy of the tabloid press.
We debated over the so-called obligatory scenes that we had all seen hundreds of
times before: The telling of “the news” to the husband, to the adolescent children.
We discussed when Cagney would find out (before Harvey or after?). Even if we
had these scenes play as early in the season as possible (say, October 1), how could
she deliver as early as February? Wouldn’t Lacey therefore have to remain pregnant
throughout the entire season? (That’s Tyne Daly carrying around pounds of bird
seed for nearly seven months!) Even if we wanted to have her pregnant throughout
the better part of the year, it was quickly conceded that this was a fantasy. There was
no way Tyne would not be showing by the earliest date we could start filming.
“You know,” I said to the assemblage of writers gathered around the dining room
of Barbara’s and my Hancock Park home, located in the heart of one of the oldest
residential neighborhoods in Los Angeles, “if I really had the courage of my convictions,
we wouldn’t do any of this obvious stuff.”
All heads were turned toward me. “Let’s stay with Lacey giving birth in February,”
I began. “That means at season’s start Lacey is four to five months pregnant.
Harvey already knows; the kids know; Cagney knows; so does the whole damn
precinct. We shoot Tyne as she is, with no attempt to hide anything.” I went on:
“The first episode of the season opens with Coleman” (our desk sergeant who
was known to “make book” on almost anything). “He is preparing the Lacey
Baby Quinella—odds on boy, girl, weight, color of hair, eyes. Lacey doesn’t like
it, but it’s the talk of the precinct. That’s how we open; that’s how we tell everyone
Lacey’s pregnant. All the so-called obligatory scenes will have been played
during the summer—off-stage. All those familiar scenes are missed ’cause we’re
not gonna tell ’em. America would quickly get it and say, ‘Ain’t that just perfect
Cagney & Lacey?’”
From Cagney & Lacey... and Me by Barney Rosenzweig