Wow! That show is still on?!?

ABC Renews ‘NYPD Blue’ for 12th and Final Season
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “NYPD Blue,” which made a star of its balding, middle-aged protagonist and thrived as one of television’s most honored and successful police dramas, will go off the air next year after a 12th and final season, ABC said on Monday.
Since its debut in 1993, the landmark cop series starring Dennis Franz as grouchy, hard-boiled police detective Andy Sipowicz has piled up 84 Emmy nominations and 20 awards, and it remains the highest-rated drama series on the struggling network, a unit of The Walt Disney Co.
The program, which went on hiatus in December to make room for the launch of the new FBI drama “Line of Fire,” returns to ABC’s schedule in the midst of its 11th season on Tuesday.
“There are very few dramas that are good enough to deserve a 12th season, but ‘NYPD Blue’ set the benchmark for quality programming when it launched back in 1993,” ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne said in announcing the show’s renewal.
Although ABC said the 12th year would be its last, co-creator and executive producer Steven Bochco left open the slim possibility that the groundbreaking cop show could go beyond the 2004-2005 season.
“Should we do brilliantly, and circumstances change, we would be delighted to revisit the possibility of life beyond 12 seasons,” Bochco said in a joint statement with ABC. “However, to go out after 12 strong years is great, as it’s better to go out too early rather than overstay our welcome.”
A spokeswoman at Steven Bochco Prods. said the current cast is expected to return next season, despite recently aired concerns of co-star Gordon Clapp that producers might be forced to jettison some veteran players, as David E. Kelley was forced to do to save “The Practice” at the end of last season.
In winning renewal for next year, “NYPD Blue” joins a select group of U.S. prime-time dramas that have survived a dozen years or more, including fellow cop shows “Dragnet” and “Hawaii Five-O” (12 years each), “Dallas” and “Bonanza” (14 seasons), “Lassie” (17 seasons) and the granddaddy of all prime-time dramas, “Gunsmoke,” which lasted 20 seasons.
NBC’s “Law & Order” is the longest-running drama currently on U.S. television, now in its 14th year. “NYPD Blue” ranks second, followed by NBC hospital drama “ER,” now in its 10th season.
Since its 1993 premiere, “NYPD Blue” has gained critical plaudits for its gripping portrayal of police work and the tortured personal lives of the detectives in a New York City squad room.
Gaining early notice for expanding the boundaries of profanity and nudity on network television, the show has survived and thrived through numerous personnel changes.
David Caruso left his role as Franz’s first partner in the second season and ended up years later starring on the hit CBS crime drama “CSI: Miami.” He was replaced on “Blue” by Jimmy Smits, whose character, Bobby Simone, eventually was killed off and was replaced by Rick Schroder.
Franz has starred throughout as the show’s central character, Sipowicz. Clapp first appeared as detective Greg Medavoy on a recurring basis during the first season and joined the regular cast in season No. 2.