NEW YORK -- A gritty documentary series about police that has filled the usual time slot for "NYPD Blue" has some viewers seeing red.
After only three episodes, the ABC News series "NYPD 24-7" has infuriated a firefighters' union and annoyed New York Police Department officials. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg has panned one officer's performance.
Publicly, police officials have taken no position on the show, which was distilled from 16 months of footage shot by film crews who shadowed detectives and other officers with the nation's largest police department as they investigated murders and fought urban crime.
But one high-ranking commander said Thursday that the brass has been "less than thrilled" with the bleep-happy series, which shows detectives cursing and smoking cigars while investigating a nonfatal stabbing.
Firefighters have focused their ire on a former police lieutenant, Venton "Vic" Hollifield. With the cameras rolling at the scene of a car crash two years ago, the now-retired Hollifield referred to firefighters there as "amateurs." Once the show aired, the union paid more than $100,000 for full-page ads in newspapers alleging that the comment "demeaned, slandered, and belittled" firefighters before a national audience, and demanded an apology from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly for sanctioning the show.
A spokesman for Kelly, Paul Browne, called Hollifield's comments "regrettable." But he added that the department had no say in what ABC aired.
At City Hall, Bloomberg called Hollifield's comments about firefighters "wrong," and suggested Hollifield -- not Kelly -- needed to apologize. Hollifield hasn't.
Nor has ABC, which considers the show a commercial and critical success. The show had 6.9 million viewers last week, No. 27 in
The series' point "was to go in and explore a closed culture, the NYPD police culture, and see life as it happens," said producer Terrence Wrong. "If you have faith in your institution, you have no problem with that."
Reality show on Amish proceedsLOS ANGELES -- A reality-TV series about Amish teenagers exploring the world beyond their community and faith will debut this month despite protests by members of Congress.
"Amish in the City" begins with a special two-hour episode July 28, the UPN network has announced. The series will offer a "unique look at the Amish journey of discovery" in which young adults leave their devout rural communities to sample urban life, UPN said.
The network's foremost concern was to treat the teenagers "with the highest respect," UPN entertainment's president, Dawn Ostroff, said in a statement.
When the series was first announced earlier this year, 51 Republican lawmakers -- some representing districts with Amish communities -- deemed it exploitive and called on CBS (which oversees UPN for parent company
According to UPN, the series will chronicle the experiences of five young Amish men and women living in a Hollywood Hills home with six other roommates. Among the landmarks: Visits to the beach, a resort island, and a Hollywood movie premiere. The city roommates include "a fashion-forward party girl, a swim teacher, and a club promoter," according to the network.
Members of the Amish sect, which is concentrated in rural Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio, are known for dressing simply and avoiding most technology. But at age 16 they're allowed to break free of their strict code before deciding whether they want to be baptized as adults.
During the period of "rumspringa," a Pennsylvania Dutch term that means "running around," the teens often date, drink, drive cars, and move away. Most then return to the faith.
Talk of the dial
10 a.m. WBIX-AM (1060) -- "Stu Taylor on Business." Guests: Bill Barnett, CEO, Inside Entertainment Ventures; Michael Panzner, author, "The New Laws of the Stock Market Jungle"; Chuck Hill, former director of research, Thomson Financial.
Other radio highlights
11 a.m. WUMB-FM (91.9) -- "Mountain Stage." Guests: Robin and Linda Williams, the Gibson Brothers.
7 p.m. WPLM-FM (99.1) -- "Strictly Sinatra." Frank Sinatra; Sammy Davis Jr.
8:30 p.m. WCRB-FM (102.5) -- Boston Symphony live from Tanglewood: Ravel's Piano Concerto in D, with Leon Fleisher.
9 p.m. WGBH-FM (89.7) -- "Blues on WGBH." With Bruce Iglauer.