Series / New York Undercover

New York Undercover is a Dramatic Hour Long Detective Drama created by Dick Wolf and Kevin Arkadie that ran from 1994 to 1998 (four seasons). Two undercover detectives in New York City's Fourth Precinct, Julius Clarence "J.C." Williams and Eduardo "Eddie" Torres are assigned to investigate various crimes and gang-related cases by their superior, Lt. Virginia Cooper. Tehy are joined by Det. Nina Moreno in season two and Det. Tommy McNamara in season three.

Along with dealing with the cases themselves, there are sub-plots dealing with the personal lives of Williams and Torres: Williams dealing with his ex-girlfriend Chantel and visiting their son, Gregory (just usually called G), and Torres usually interacting with his father Mike, a recovering heroin addict. Many episodes feature an R&B cafe called Natalie's, which is just an easy way for musical guest stars to get on the show (Natalie herself being played by Gladys Knight).

By the end of the season three finale however, McNamara and Torres (the latter married to Nina and transferring to a new precinct) are killed off. At the start of the fourth season, everything changes. Williams and Moreno transfer to New York's Special Investigations Division answering to Lt. Malcolm Barker (and ultimately writing Cooper out of the show). They also work with Det. Nell Delaney and Det. Alec Stone. Natalie's and the musical guests that appeared were written out entirely as were any living reoccurring character from the past three seasons except for G. As a result of all these changes, ratings for the show dramatically dropped forcing Fox to cancel the series.

This show provides examples of:

  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Lt. Barker in the final season.
  • Buddy Cop Show: Notable for being the first police drama on American television to feature two people of color in the starring roles.
  • Celebrity Star: The musical guests from the first three seasons.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Said to an ex-con sex offender on the run by one of the cops.
  • Crossover: When Nina seeks counseling for her PTSD after being shot, her therapist is none other than Elizabeth Olivet of Law & Order (which was also created by Dick Wolf), meaning the two exist in a Shared Universe. Dr. Emil Skoda showed up occasionally as well.
  • Da Chief: Lt. Cooper from seasons 1-3 and Lt. Barker in season 4.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Torres in the season 3 finale.
  • Fair Cop: To varying degrees and more realistic than the model-types frequently seen on other police shows, but overall, a very good-looking collection of officers.
  • Fake American: Australian Johnathan LaPaglia does a very convincing New York accent as Tommy McNamara.
  • Flatline: This happened to Moreno in the season 2 finale and season 3 premiere.
  • Five-Token Band: Season 3 had Williams (a black man), Torres (a latino man), Lt. Cooper (a white woman), Moreno (a latino woman) and McNamara (a white man).
  • Like Goes with Like: Played straight. Despite the multiracial cast, there was hardly anyone dating outside of their race.
  • The Infiltration: The team's undercover assignments.
  • Malcolm Xerox: Minister Malik in the episode "The Reckoning".
  • Mama Bear: When Lt. Cooper finally catches up to the man who kidnapped and sexually abused her teenage daughter, she shoots him before he can run her down in his car.
  • The Rival: Williams and Danny Cort, oh so much and for very good reasons: Williams killed Danny's kid brother in self-defense and Danny killed Williams' pregnant fiancée to even the score.
  • Stuffed In The Fridge:
    • Tommy McNamara.
    • Sandy Gill, Williams' fiancee would count as well.
  • Teaser-Only Character: Most of the characters that are killed during the teaser.
  • True Companions: All of them, specifically J.C. and Eddie.
  • Undercover Model: In a change of pace, it was one of the guys who was a model, not Moreno.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: J.C. and G's relationship.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Danny Cort's mother felt this way about her elder son before and after his younger brother was murdered (as it was him who brought his brother into the world of drug dealing in the first place.)