• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 21, 1993
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jun 26, 2013
    100
    Strikingly shot, wonderfully cast, this tough, taut, atmospheric show is the season's best new series.
  2. Reviewed by: Ron Weiskind
    Apr 3, 2013
    100
    Yet another explosively compelling police drama -- not to mention a controversy that seems certain to guarantee a big audience for the program. [21 Sept 1993, p.D1]
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Apr 3, 2013
    100
    A compelling and sometimes harrowing hour of high-tension urban trauma, different from Bochco's "Hill Street Blues" and at least as good as any other drama series now on the air. It delivers a good, stiff shock now and then, and what's wrong with that? It's surely preferable to shows that lull you into numbness. [21 Sept 1993, p.D1]
  4. Reviewed by: John J. O'Connor
    Apr 3, 2013
    100
    Even the smaller parts are skillfully sculptured. James McDaniel, trailing outstanding stage performances in "Six Degrees of Separation" and "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me," is quietly controlled as the police lieutenant who must cope with Sipowicz's racist outbursts, among other things. And Nicholas Turturro, John's kid brother, is engaging as a young and eager policeman named Martinez.
  5. Reviewed by: Lon Grahnke
    Apr 3, 2013
    100
    Take away the nude lovemaking scene, the revolutionary level of potent cussing, the curiosity-stirring controversies surrounding Steven Bochco's premeditated shock elements, and NYPD Blue remains one helluva cop show. [21 Sept 1993, p.35]
  6. Reviewed by: Rick Cogan
    Apr 3, 2013
    100
    In Franz, the show has an actor who is to TV cops what Walter Cronkite was to anchormen. It seems as if I've seen Franz try on about a thousand TV cop outfits. This one fits perfectly - tattered, soiled but real...Caruso is a revelation. Given the history of TV redheads - Red Skelton, Lucy, Howdy Doody - one doesn't expect to find a carrot-topped tough guy. But Caruso is convincing, engaging and fully of New York City. [21 Sept 1993, p.T1]
  7. Reviewed by: John Engstrom
    Apr 3, 2013
    100
    NYPD Blue is a very good cop drama, often edging its way into superb...It is intense and powerful, peopled with intriguing characters. And it addresses issues in remarkably human, real terms, especially for television. [21 Sept 1993, p.C1]
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 10, 2013
    91
    Sex and violence certainly have their place here, but they're placed in the context of a vivid city that, as dangerous, seamy, and profane as it can be, is a place you want to revisit every week.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Zoglin
    Jul 2, 2013
    90
    A crackling good TV show, probably Bochco's best since Hill Street Blues. Better than Hill Street in some ways: sleeker, more focused, less distracted by those often annoying comic interludes.
  10. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Apr 3, 2013
    90
    Amy Brenneman, as Licalsi, is the dark-haired, more visceral contrast to Kelly's wife, Laura, played by Sherry Stringfield. Both women add depth to the drama, as do James McDaniel as the precinct commander, Nicholas Turturro as the new kid in the cop shop and Tom Towles as the guy from the Organized Crime Squad.
  11. 90
    NYPD Blue is telling a tough, engrossing story about several fascinating characters...Chief among them is the grimly determined but not humorless Kelly, played by David Caruso with an irresistibly cool, understated intensity. Caruso's performance is the perfect counterpoint to that of Dennis Franz as the constantly fuming, embittered Detective Andy Sipowicz, Kelly's partner. [19 Sept 1993, p.TV-6]
  12. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Apr 3, 2013
    88
    A striking, crisply edited show. The raw language, the series' other point of controversy, gives NYPD Blue an authentic flavor. Here is a series about bruised people, seemingly beyond redemption. This is the way they would talk. [21 Sept 1993, p.E1]
  13. Reviewed by: Bruce Westbrook
    Apr 3, 2013
    80
    The acting is strong. The music is urgent. The on-location shooting - with many exteriors - has a gritty Gotham authenticity. And the directorial style is crisp and energized. [21 Sept 1993, p.H1]
  14. Reviewed by: MIles Beller
    Apr 3, 2013
    60
    While the music of Mike Post makes its insistent point, complementing Franz's fine crafting of a hyper-real portrait of a public servant that's effective in a heightened way, NYPD's overall impact is all too self-consciously wrought to engender quieter, deeper aspects that would truly flesh out the fictional lives assayed here. [21 Sept 1993]
  15. 60
    In no way does NYPD Blue even approach the brilliance of Barry Levinson's police drama, "Homicide," which aired briefly last spring and still could return. So if you exercise your right to change the channel when it comes on, you won't be missing greatness. [19 Sept 1993, p.7F]
  16. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Apr 3, 2013
    50
    Watchable but disappointing. [21 Sept 1993, p.F1]
  17. Reviewed by: Marilynne S. Mason
    Apr 3, 2013
    50
    The show is a mixed bag. The story line is formulaic, but the dark tone is skillfully shaded in gray. The approach to sex is basically gratuitous, sexist, and tiresome - more banal male fantasies. The handling of violence is at least concerned with consequences. There are too many stock characters, and the speedy pace is manipulative, but the camera work is excellent in the pilot, and the character development of the show's protagonist is one of the most interesting ever created for a weekly cop show. [21 Sept 2003, p.13]

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