Cagney & Lacey
is legendary for not only being a great cop show (regardless of the gender of the lead characters), but also for its rough television broadcast history. Tyne Daly (Judging Amy
"Dirty Harry" film The Enforcer
) has always played Mary Beth Lacey, but the role of Christine Cagney was originated in the 1981 pilot telefilm by Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H
), then picked up in the show's short (6 episodes!) first season by actress Meg Foster (best known for her film work, but seen in TV guest shots on The Six Million Dollar Man, Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, Mannix, The Cosby Show, Miami Vice, ER, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Xena
and many more). The show was cancelled by CBS after poor reaction to the Daly-Foster team, but the network brought the show back when Sharon Gless (who later married show creator Barney Rosenzweig) took over the role of Cagney. A second cancellation after the second season resulted in a letter-writing campaign, which led to increased interest in the show during reruns, and the show returned again for a very short but well-received third season. It lasted through Season 7, then had four post-series reunion telefilms. Whew!
The show has had a rather rough DVD history as well, with both the Swit and Foster installments skipped and the only release from MGM being the initial Gless season, but labeled "Season 1
" despite being the show's actual second season (but mentioned on the front box cover as being "The True Beginning"). That was in 2007, and in 2009 S'More Entertainment released the four post-series telefilms together, reuniting Daly and Gless, in a box set humorously labeled The Menopause Years
(two of them were also made available individually). No other word has been made for the remainder of the show, despite being very high on the "wanted" list.
Today we got a tip from one of our most loyal readers, Alexander Ricci (thanks as always, Alex!) that Visual Entertainment Inc. of Canada (VEI) has re-launched their studio website (it had been a "work-in-process" for ages!), and in the "community" section was found a posting by the studio themselves
, saying "Cagney And Lacey Coming To DVD
." The body of the message was short, but to the point:
"Cagney And Lacey will be available on DVD in 2012 be on the look out for this release"
Well, it doesn't get any plainer than that! What great news, right? However, it leaves us with a number of questions. First of all, some background: VEI's retail distributor in Canada has been Vivendi Entertainment, and in early November eOne Entertainment purchased Vivendi of Canada
(this only applies to north of the border, we're told). That means VEI must re-sign their Canadian retail distribution, either with eOne (it's not automatic, we're informed) or else with somebody else. While USA releases by VEI through State-side distributor Millennium Media Services are still on, the schedule in Canada may be delayed as a result of the Vivendi buy-out by eOne. Now, on to the questions: is Cagney & Lacey
for USA and Canada, or for just one country or the other? Is the timing for those DVDs affected by the Canadian distribution situation? Will the original pilot telefilm or the original short first season be released on DVD by VEI, or no? If "yes," will that be done in order, or will they release all the Gless seasons first, then go back and fill in the blanks? How will the 7-episode Season 3
be released on DVD...by itself, or included with the second or fourth seasons (22 episodes each)?
This afternoon we asked VEI if they had any additional information about Cagney & Lacey
on DVD beyond what was posted at their new website, and we are waiting for more details on this release. We'll update you further, of course, as additional info becomes available. Stay tuned!