This is the first of many episodes during the opening season where Andy Sipowicz and Alfonse Giardella are at each other's throats. The irony is that the two characters are played by Dennis Franz and Robert Costanzo, who played brothers on the D.C. Airport Police Force in the 1990 Bruce Willis action film Die Hard 2.
The famous opening scene (before the title credits) has a unique history to it. According to the DVD extras on Season One, Sharon Lawrence reveals that her role was originally written for a man, listed only as "A.D.A." In the original pilot script, Andy was to say "Ipsa this you pissy little bastard."
During the casting process, according to Lawrence, they opened the part up to women. When Lawrence was hired for the role, the insult in Andy's line was changed from "bastard" to "bitch".
For those wondering about Lawrence's line before Andy's, where she states, "I'd say 'res ipsa loquitur' if I thought you knew what that meant," the term 'res ipsa loquitur' translates from Latin as 'the thing speaks for itself'.
Kelly: I'm gonna bleed Marino till he gives up Giardella.
Fancy: And what if he gives him up dead?
Kelly: That's okay, too.
Costas: I'd say res ipsa loquitur if I thought you knew what it meant.
Sipowicz: Ipsa this, you pissy little bitch!
This episode originally aired in the UK on Saturday, January 15, 1994 at 9:00 PM on Channel 4.
The much talked about controversial nude scene with David Caruso and Amy Brenneman in this pilot episode was #75 on "TV Guide / TV Land's 100 Most Memorable TV Moments" in December of 2004.
Amy Brenneman and David Caruso were the first actors to appear nude on NYPD Blue.