Les Brown's Encyclopedia of Television (1992) Entry

Cagney and Lacey-critically and popularly successful CBS buddy crime drama series with a twist- the two buddies were female detectives. The roles were played by Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless (who replaced Meg Foster early on, after Foster replaced Loretta Swit from the show's pilot movie).

The pilot movie aired on CBS in 1981, and the series began appearing sporadically through most of 1982. It was canceled by CBS in 1983 but was brought back the next year when CBS received a flood of mail supporting the show. Revived, it ran until 1988.

Exploring the working and personal lives of the two detectives, the show touched on abuse, rape, alcoholism and a host of other social ills, winning a number of Emmy awards for its stars and executive producer, Barney Rosenzweig. It was also the first network television success for the then-fledgling independent studio, Orion Television.

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