Cop Rock is an Emmy Award winning American television series that aired on ABC from September 26, 1990 through December 26, 1990. The show, a police drama presented as a musical, was created by Steven Bochco, who also served as executive producer.
Inspired by Dennis Potter's 1986 BBC drama serial The Singing Detective, Cop Rock combined musical theater with police drama, the latter a genre in which Bochco had already been very successful with Hill Street Blues. The series featured an ensemble cast that mixed musical numbers and choreography throughout storylines. For example, one scene in a courtroom had the jury break into song, proclaiming "He's Guilty" in Gospel form. Another episode had a lineup of Hispanic suspects proclaim in song "We're the local color with the coppertone skin / And you treat us like we're guilty of some terrible sin." Its theme, "Under the Gun", was sung by Randy Newman, who opened each episode performing it in a music video credit sequence. The show also featured crossover appearances from other Bochco series. In one episode, James B. Sikking reprises the role of Lt. Howard Hunter from Hill Street Blues, while another episode featured cameos by LA Law stars Jimmy Smits and Michele Greene. Sheryl Crow appears as a back-up singer in the final episode.
The show on ABC ended after 11 episodes. The high-powered production talent became infamous as one of the biggest television risks of the 1990s. The final episode concludes with the cast breaking character and joining crew-members in performing a closing song.
Despite its short run, the series still has been rebroadcast three times, in the 1990s on VH1, on A&E Network, and in the 2000s on Trio.
Mike Post was the music supervisor on Cop Rock. Post appeared in the Cop Rock opening sequence as the musician in the dark glasses sitting next to Randy Newman and playing the keyboard.
Teri Austin, Anne Bobby, Barbara Bosson, Ronny Cox, Vondie Curtis-Hall, David Gianopoulos, Larry Joshua, Dennis Lipscomb, Paul McCrane, James McDaniel, Ron McLarty, Mick Murray, Peter Onorati, William Thomas, Jr., Kathleen Wilhoite
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