Homicide: Life on the Street : Season 1

  • Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 31, 1993
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jun 25, 2013
    The best ensemble cop drama since Hill Street Blues.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 10, 2013
    It has the best tough-guy dialogue around and an acting ensemble that's ferociously effective. Face it: Homicide is a killer.
  3. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    May 12, 2013
    A cops-and-crime hour reeking of atmosphere, wit and intelligence, an invigorating, essentially nonviolent series about homicide detectives that could be the "Hill Street Blues" of the '90s. [29 Jan 1993, p.F1]
  4. Chicago Sun-Times
    Reviewed by: Lon Grahnke
    May 12, 2013
    The quality of talent in front of the camera matches the high standards behind the scenes. As a cop ensemble, the Homicide squad has the spice, dry wit and ethnic diversity of the "Hill Street Blues" crew, with even more eccentricities and a heightened sense of realism. Like the New York partners in "Law & Order," the Baltimore detectives grind it out with street-tested police procedures. [29 Jan 1993, p.55]
  5. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Ed Siegel
    May 12, 2013
    The best new network dramatic series since "Shannon's Deal" and "Twin Peaks" in 1990. [29 Jan 1993, p.21]
  6. May 12, 2013
    Homicide isn't only riveting drama; it's really about something, and it says what it's about in credible and haunting ways, sometimes with a dramatic jolt, sometimes with a painfully funny jab, almost always with compelling command. It is, in short, a killer. It's murder. That is meant as a compliment.
  7. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    May 12, 2013
    Among the most stimulating and entertaining series of the last 10 years and far and away the best new network show of the 1992-93 season.
  8. Houston Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Ann Hodges
    May 12, 2013
    Homicide is a cop show of a different kind, a rare TV combination of writing to die for, brought to life from the pages of a bestseller, by a knockout ensemble cast, and the production smarts of one of Hollywood's hottest Oscar-winning filmmakers. [31 Jan 1993, p.3]
  9. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Monica Collins
    May 12, 2013
    Homicide is the best new television drama of the season. That's particularly surprising, considering it's yet another cop show. And even more surprising in that it's NBC - the loser network - which has come up with a winner teeming with unique characters, steaming with atmosphere and featuring writing as sharp as a stiletto. [31 Jan 1993, p.30]
  10. Dallas Morning News
    Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    May 12, 2013
    Much of this is likely to go to waste, though. Homicide, possibly the best police series ever, may prove to be the biggest turnoff since Cop Rock. Imagine a series in which a cop walks up to a potential mugger and tells him, "Hey, we're police. Go rob somebody else." [31 Jan 1993, p.5C]
  11. Reviewed by: John J. O'Connor
    May 12, 2013
    For all of its fashionably jittery surfaces, Homicide establishes its own special mark with incisive character portraits. This particular squad of detectives is an inspired collection of types, many sounding like escapees from a play by David Mamet. And why not? Buffs will remember that Mr. Mamet wrote one of the final episodes of "Hill Street Blues." In any event, the protective cynicism and sarcastic repartee of these Baltimore cops are brilliantly on target. A dynamite cast gets it just right.
  12. The Hollywood Reporter
    Reviewed by: Miles Beller
    May 12, 2013
    It isn't as groundbreaking as it would have itself taken. However, in terms of presenting a strong portrayal of cop work out on the urban landscape, the project (inspired by David Simon's "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets") hits with compelling conviction. [29 Jan 1993]
  13. Variety
    Reviewed by: John Goff
    May 12, 2013
    There's lots of good stuff to recommend Homicide. Performances are uniformly strong, above normal level of series work. It's a class act; all techs are superior, including excellent photography by Wayne Ewing and editing by Jay Rabinowitz. [29 Jan 1993]
  14. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    May 12, 2013
    The thrill of Homicide comes in listening to some of the snappiest dialogue on television. David Mamet should admire Attanasio's lines. The show -- filmed in Baltimore -- looks good, but it sounds better. [30 Jan 1993, p.E1]
  15. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Reviewed by: Eric Mink
    May 12, 2013
    Homicide is fast-paced but reasonably easy to follow. It is fragmentary at times, but somehow cohesive. It's impressionistic in style, yet driven by plot, enlivened by gallows humor and inhabited by intriguing, amusing, startlingly natural characters...You can think of Homicide as "Hill Street Blues" with more grit and less econo-socio-poli-psycho babble; "Law & Order" without the "order" half; "Twin Peaks" with intelligence and discipline as well as style. "Diner" with cops. [31 Jan 1993, p.7C]
  16. Newsday
    Reviewed by: Marvin Kitman
    May 12, 2013
    I love the characters, the actors, the spell they weave, the way of telling a story. By the second episode, I didn't want them to solve the case so it would go on and on. Homicide: Life on the Street is another stroll down heartbreak alley. [31 Jan 1993, p.21]
  17. Orlando Sentinel
    Reviewed by: Greg Dawson
    May 12, 2013
    Even viewers who feel they've been copped and robbered to death by TV will find this highly juiced blend of bright writing and dark motif hard to turn off.[31 Jan 1993, p.D1]
  18. Reviewed by: Richard Zoglin
    Jul 2, 2013
    In the end, however, Homicide doesn't stand out in bold enough relief from TV's background clutter. The characters are too pat, their conflicts too predictable.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 20, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I watched this after seeing 'The Wire' as this was the first major Baltimore based tv serial, if your going to attempt it stick with it through the first few episodes as it now looks seriously dated. However the characters are great, Pembleton will stick with you forever; when the guy has a stroke I was devastated. The stories engage and surprise you right till the end. Some major stars also make frequent appearances, a few cross ever episodes with 'Law and Order' which pissed me off as I haven't seen it but generally a good cop programme. Full Review »
  2. Jul 6, 2014
    Back in the day, networks stood behind the shows they picked up. They believed in them, they advertised them, they pushed them to do whateverBack in the day, networks stood behind the shows they picked up. They believed in them, they advertised them, they pushed them to do whatever they could to get ratings. Unfortunately, things are much different today, as a new show is given 13 episodes to crack the top 50 on the Nielsen charts, and if they fail, they're gone before they even got started. If this had always been the policy, shows like Cheers, The X-Files, Law & Order, & Homicide: Life On The Street never would have gotten started.

    NBC took a real chance on this show, the cast was all unknowns, except for Ned Beatty, and the rating for the first season were in the toilet. NBC saw the potential though, they realized they had a special cast full of future award winners, and a terrific writing staff, so they made the show more intense. Regular characters could be killed off or added every week, they got big name guest stars, and even had crossover episodes with highly successful shows like Law & Order and The X-Files. With the network behind it, the series soared, completing 7 seasons, winning 4 Emmy's, and it was even turned into a full length feature film.

    Homicide: Life On The Street, follows a unit of Homicide Detectives in one of the worst areas of Baltimore, which at the time, had one of the highest murder rates in the country. We follow the investigation, similar to the way they do in Law & Order, but what's different here, is that Homicide is more character based. The audience gets to intimately know the Detectives, their families, and their lives, but even that wasn't the real strength of the show. What made Homicide unique, an Emmy winner, and the launching point for almost a dozen big named actors was "The box" A.K.A. the interrogation room. Homicide takes us into the interrogation room in a way that has never been done before, showing all the emotion, stress, and everything that comes with the process.

    What I really love about this show is that everyone is used equally and no one is a star! Every member of the cast is important and even the opening credits are in alphabetical order, giving no one top billing. That was how the show was designed, but the truth is that Andre Braugher moved beyond that and become a legend.

    Playing the very complex Detective, Frank Pembelton, Andre Braugher made a name for himself by captivating audiences. Everything that happened was so deep and personal to him, and he put the emotion into everything he did, not only making him the best detective in the squad, but also the best character to watch.

    Homicide takes you inside the interrogation room, but also inside the lives of Homicide Detectives the way that no other show has done before or since. It's a one of a kind show that survived, only because someone important at the network actually watched it and saw how amazing it is. If you're looking for a great show to get into, there are 7 seasons and over 100 episodes, and take my word for it, this show is as addicting as anything I've ever seen!
    Full Review »