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"The Equalizer"
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"The Equalizer" (1985) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1985-1989

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Overview

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7.7/10   2,225 votes »
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Seasons:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Release Date:
18 September 1985 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A retired intelligence agent turned private detective helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds. Full summary »
Awards:
Won Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A breath of fresh air amid 1980s gloss-dross. See more (46 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 2 of 194)

Edward Woodward ... Robert McCall (88 episodes, 1985-1989)

Keith Szarabajka ... Mickey Kostmayer (56 episodes, 1985-1989)
(more)

Series Directed by
Alan Metzger (19 episodes, 1985-1989)
Richard Compton (14 episodes, 1985-1988)
Russ Mayberry (12 episodes, 1985-1989)
Bradford May (6 episodes, 1988-1989)
Donald Petrie (5 episodes, 1985-1988)
Marc Laub (5 episodes, 1987-1989)
Aaron Lipstadt (3 episodes, 1986-1987)
James A. Contner (3 episodes, 1988)
Rod Holcomb (2 episodes, 1985)
Michael O'Herlihy (2 episodes, 1987-1988)
Tony Wharmby (2 episodes, 1987)
Paul Krasny (2 episodes, 1988-1989)
Mark Sobel (2 episodes, 1988)
 
Series Writing credits
Richard Lindheim (88 episodes, 1985-1989)
Michael Sloan (88 episodes, 1985-1989)
Coleman Luck (19 episodes, 1985-1989)
Scott Shepherd (13 episodes, 1986-1988)
Maurice Hurley (9 episodes, 1985-1986)
Joel Surnow (9 episodes, 1985-1986)
Robert Eisele (9 episodes, 1987-1989)
Carleton Eastlake (7 episodes, 1986-1987)
Jim Trombetta (3 episodes, 1985-1987)
Heywood Gould (3 episodes, 1985)
Jack V. Fogarty (3 episodes, 1986-1987)
Ed Waters (3 episodes, 1987)
Peter McCabe (3 episodes, 1988)
Gail Morgan Hickman (3 episodes, 1989)
Donna Powers (3 episodes, 1989)
Wayne Powers (3 episodes, 1989)
Tom Towler (3 episodes, 1989)
Charles Grant Craig (2 episodes, 1985-1986)
Mark Frost (2 episodes, 1986)
Dennis Manuel (2 episodes, 1987)
Robert Crais (2 episodes, 1988)
Kevin Droney (2 episodes, 1988)
Jacqueline Zambrano (2 episodes, 1989)
Victor Hsu (1 episode, 1985)

Series Produced by
James Duff McAdams .... executive producer (87 episodes, 1985-1989)
Coleman Luck .... co-producer / co-executive producer / ... (76 episodes, 1985-1989)
Peter A. Runfolo .... coordinating producer / co-producer: New York (75 episodes, 1986-1989)
Dan Lieberstein .... co-producer: New York / associate producer / ... (55 episodes, 1985-1988)
Ed Waters .... co-executive producer / supervising producer (44 episodes, 1986-1988)
Robert Eisele .... co-producer / co-supervising producer (44 episodes, 1987-1989)
Marc Laub .... producer (44 episodes, 1987-1989)
Stuart Cohen .... supervising producer / supervising producer: New York / ... (40 episodes, 1985-1989)
Scott Shepherd .... co-producer / supervising producer (27 episodes, 1986-1987)
Gail Morgan Hickman .... co-producer (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
JoAnn M. Laub .... associate producer (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Maurice Hurley .... supervising producer / co-producer (21 episodes, 1985-1986)
Joel Surnow .... co-executive producer / supervising producer (21 episodes, 1985-1986)
Alan Barnette .... producer (20 episodes, 1986-1987)
Stuart Lieberman .... associate producer (12 episodes, 1987-1988)
Mark Sobel .... producer (9 episodes, 1988)
Edward Adler .... producer (5 episodes, 1985)
Heywood Gould .... co-executive producer (5 episodes, 1985)
Alan Metzger .... producer (3 episodes, 1989)
 
Series Original Music by
Stewart Copeland (51 episodes, 1985-1987)
Cameron Allan (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Joseph Conlan (6 episodes, 1988)
John Cacavas (5 episodes, 1988)
Bob Christianson (3 episodes, 1986)
 
Series Cinematography by
Geoffrey Erb (73 episodes, 1985-1989)
Alan Metzger (8 episodes, 1985)
Richard C. Kratina (2 episodes, 1985)
David Greene (2 episodes, 1988)

Constantine Makris (unknown episodes)
 
Series Film Editing by
Robert Q. Lovett (27 episodes, 1985-1989)
Marc Laub (14 episodes, 1985-1987)
Gary Karr (13 episodes, 1987-1989)
Norman Gay (12 episodes, 1985-1989)
Scott Vickrey (12 episodes, 1986-1988)
Stanley Warnow (11 episodes, 1985-1987)
Michael R. Miller (9 episodes, 1985-1986)
Jeffrey Wolf (8 episodes, 1985-1986)
Norman Hollyn (7 episodes, 1985-1986)
Richard P. Cirincione (4 episodes, 1987-1988)
Robert M. Reitano (4 episodes, 1989)
Bill Pankow (3 episodes, 1985-1986)
Lawrence Silk (3 episodes, 1987-1988)
Arline Garson (2 episodes, 1986)
Thomas S. Drescher (2 episodes, 1987)
 
Series Casting by
Lois Planco (87 episodes, 1985-1989)
 
Series Production Design by
Richard Bianchi (76 episodes, 1985-1989)
Jeffrey Beecroft (10 episodes, 1985-1986)
 
Series Art Direction by
Wing Lee (47 episodes, 1985-1988)
Rick Butler (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Jeffrey Beecroft (3 episodes, 1985)
 
Series Set Decoration by
Thomas C. Tonery (39 episodes, 1987-1989)
Caryl Heller (5 episodes, 1987)
 
Series Costume Design by
Linda Wayne (65 episodes, 1985-1988)
John Boxer (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
 
Series Makeup Department
Joe Cuervo .... makeup artist (86 episodes, 1985-1989)
Joseph Coscia .... hair stylist (36 episodes, 1987-1989)
Jerry Masarone .... hair stylist (34 episodes, 1985-1987)
Werner Sherer .... hair stylist (10 episodes, 1987)
William A. Farley .... hair stylist (6 episodes, 1988)
 
Series Production Management
Diane Foti .... unit production manager (80 episodes, 1985-1989)
Peter A. Runfolo .... unit production manager (12 episodes, 1985)
Judith Stevens .... unit production manager (7 episodes, 1989)
 
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert E. Warren .... first assistant director (36 episodes, 1985-1989)
Ellen H. Schwartz .... second assistant director / first assistant director (26 episodes, 1985-1988)
Nelson Cabrera .... second second assistant director (22 episodes, 1985-1986)
Amy Sayres .... second assistant director / first assistant director (12 episodes, 1985-1988)
Alex Kramarchuk .... second assistant director (12 episodes, 1986-1989)
Vebe Borge .... second assistant director (9 episodes, 1986-1987)
Ken Ornstein .... first assistant director / second assistant director (8 episodes, 1985-1988)
Dana J. Kuznetzkoff .... second assistant director (8 episodes, 1987-1989)
Drew Ann Rosenberg .... second assistant director (8 episodes, 1987-1989)
Matt Fenton .... apprentice assistant director (8 episodes, 1988-1989)
Joseph P. Reidy .... first assistant director (7 episodes, 1985)
Ellen Rauch .... first assistant director (7 episodes, 1986-1987)
Michael Ingber .... second assistant director (7 episodes, 1988-1989)
Aaron Barsky .... first assistant director (5 episodes, 1986-1987)
Peter A. Runfolo .... first assistant director (5 episodes, 1989)
Henry Bronchtein .... first assistant director (3 episodes, 1985)
Mark McGann .... second assistant director / first assistant director (3 episodes, 1986-1988)
Ian Woolf .... second assistant director (3 episodes, 1988)
Kyle McCarthy .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1986-1989)
Richard Patrick .... second assistant director / second second assistant director (2 episodes, 1986-1987)
Bruce Nalepinski .... first assistant director (2 episodes, 1987)
Charles Zalben .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1987)
David Dreyfuss .... first assistant director (2 episodes, 1989)

Carla Zackson .... dga trainee (unknown episodes, 1987)
Timothy J. Lonsdale .... first assistant director: second unit (unknown episodes)
Jane Paul .... second assistant director (unknown episodes)
 
Series Art Department
Linda Skipper .... scenic artist (81 episodes, 1985-1989)
Kevin McCarthy .... set dresser (44 episodes, 1987-1989)
Philip Saccio .... property master (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Eric Stepper .... property master (17 episodes, 1987-1988)
John McDonnell .... property master (5 episodes, 1987)
Warren Jorgensen .... scenic artist (2 episodes, 1986)

Eric Weiler .... set dresser (unknown episodes)
 
Series Sound Department
Steve Scanlon .... sound mixer (75 episodes, 1985-1989)
Fred Rosenberg .... supervising sound editor (44 episodes, 1986-1988)
James Perdue .... boom operator (40 episodes, 1985-1989)
Lisa J. Levine .... adr editor (13 episodes, 1989)
Mike Marcucci .... apprentice sound editor (11 episodes, 1987-1988)
Kevin Meehan .... sound recordist (3 episodes, 1987-1988)
Randall Coleman .... assistant sound editor (2 episodes, 1987)

Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (unknown episodes)
Richard Friedlander .... assistant sound editor (unknown episodes)
Kevin Lee .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Gary Parker .... sound recordist (unknown episodes)
Harry Peck Bolles .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Philip Stockton .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Lionel Strutt .... adr mixer (unknown episodes)
 
Series Special Effects by
Edward Drohan .... special effects (44 episodes, 1987-1989)
 
Series Visual Effects by
Mitch Wilson .... optical effects (88 episodes, 1985-1989)
 
Series Stunts
Harry Madsen .... stunt coordinator (44 episodes, 1985-1987)
Frank Ferrara .... stunt coordinator (40 episodes, 1987-1989)
Gene Harrison .... stunts / stunt double (12 episodes, 1985-1988)
John Cenatiempo .... stunts (2 episodes, 1987-1989)
Richard Epper .... stunt double / stunts (2 episodes, 1987-1988)
Jim Lovelett .... stunt coordinator (2 episodes, 1989)
Rick Shaw .... stunt driver (2 episodes, 1989)

Rick Avery .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Victor Magnotta .... stunt coordinator (unknown episodes)
Edgard Mourino .... stunt coordinator (unknown episodes)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Gene Engels .... gaffer (44 episodes, 1987-1989)
Bob Brennan .... key grip (42 episodes, 1987-1989)
Alec Hirschfeld .... camera operator (28 episodes, 1988-1989)
Robert Bauer .... key grip (2 episodes, 1989)
Richard Guinness Jr. .... key grip (2 episodes, 1989)
John Smith .... gaffer (2 episodes, 1989)

Jack Coffen .... electrician (unknown episodes)
John Dolan .... grip (unknown episodes)
James W. Finnerty .... dolly grip (unknown episodes)
Raymond Fortune .... electrician (unknown episodes)
Chris Hammond .... electrician (unknown episodes)
Tom Kerwick .... key grip: second unit (unknown episodes)
Sal Lanza .... dolly grip (unknown episodes)
 
Series Casting Department
Sylvia Fay .... extras casting (88 episodes, 1985-1989)
Cal Saint John .... casting assistant (9 episodes, 1985)
 
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Benjamin Wilson .... wardrobe supervisor / costume supervisor (40 episodes, 1985-1989)
Guy Tanno .... wardrobe supervisor (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Rose Trimarco .... wardrobe supervisor (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Robert Dean Jackson .... wardrobe supervisor (17 episodes, 1987-1988)
Robin L. Ruth .... wardrobe supervisor (17 episodes, 1987-1988)
Jan Finnell .... costume shopper (5 episodes, 1986)
 
Series Editorial Department
Valerie Schwartz .... editorial coordinator / assistant film editor / ... (35 episodes, 1985-1987)
JoAnn M. Laub .... post-production coordinator / assistant film editor / ... (23 episodes, 1986-1988)
Stuart Lieberman .... post-production coordinator (22 episodes, 1986-1987)
Lisa Delgrosso .... assistant film editor / editorial coordinator (20 episodes, 1985-1988)
Beriau Picard .... assistant film editor (15 episodes, 1985-1987)
Tara Timpone .... assistant film editor (14 episodes, 1986-1989)
Donnamarie Hock .... assistant film editor (14 episodes, 1987-1989)
Anne Sawyer .... assistant film editor (12 episodes, 1987-1989)
William Karpe .... assistant film editor (9 episodes, 1985-1986)
Judith Blume .... editorial coordinator (8 episodes, 1985)
Suzanne Pillsbury .... assistant film editor (6 episodes, 1985-1986)
Tony Grocki .... assistant film editor (6 episodes, 1988-1989)
K.F. Ligammari .... apprentice editor (5 episodes, 1988-1989)
Mark Juergens .... apprentice editor (4 episodes, 1986)
Joseph Gutowski .... assistant film editor (4 episodes, 1987-1988)
Pam Di Fede .... assistant film editor (4 episodes, 1989)
Nick Smith .... apprentice editor (3 episodes, 1989)
Elizabeth Ackerman .... assistant film editor (2 episodes, 1985)
Maryann Brandon .... assistant film editor (2 episodes, 1985)
Nicholas Holmes .... assistant film editor (2 episodes, 1987)
Barbara Minor .... assistant film editor (2 episodes, 1987)
William Kruzykowski .... assistant film editor (2 episodes, 1988)

Peter B. Ellis .... assistant editor (unknown episodes)
Tom San Martin .... negative matcher (unknown episodes)
Arnold Shuster .... negative matcher (unknown episodes)
 
Series Music Department
Thomas S. Drescher .... music editor (47 episodes, 1985-1987)
Stewart Copeland .... theme by (37 episodes, 1986-1989)
Tom Bruno .... music coordinator (37 episodes, 1987-1989)
Jeff Seitz .... music performer (28 episodes, 1986-1987)
Elizabeth Ackerman .... music editor (27 episodes, 1988-1989)
Mike Gormley .... music coordinator: OSS (18 episodes, 1985-1986)
Derek Power .... music coordinator: OSS (18 episodes, 1985-1986)
Seth Kaplan .... music coordinator: OSS (9 episodes, 1986)
Todd Kasow .... music editor (7 episodes, 1987-1988)
Patrick Mullins .... music editor (5 episodes, 1988)
John Miller .... composer: additional music / composer: jazz music (2 episodes, 1987-1988)
 
Series Transportation Department
Edward Iacobelli .... transportation captain (29 episodes, 1988-1989)
 
Series Other crew
Wendy Chesebrough Lowe .... assistant to executive producer (53 episodes, 1987-1989)
Soomi Marano .... production office coordinator (46 episodes, 1985-1987)
Kim Nielsen .... assistant to executive producer / executive assistant (42 episodes, 1985-1987)
Ira Hurvitz .... script supervisor (29 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sheila Paige .... script supervisor (26 episodes, 1985-1989)
Barbara Stoia .... script supervisor (22 episodes, 1985-1989)
Donna Powers .... story editor (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Wayne Powers .... story editor (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Tom Towler .... executive story consultant (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Jody Milano Vanderputten .... production office coordinator (22 episodes, 1988-1989)
Chris Schutsky .... set location assistant / location assistant (19 episodes, 1985-1989)
Carleton Eastlake .... story editor (18 episodes, 1986-1987)
Debra Tanklow .... production office coordinator (17 episodes, 1987-1988)
Deborah Lee .... location manager (14 episodes, 1988-1989)
Scott Shepherd .... executive story consultant (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
Stan Mendoza .... location manager (11 episodes, 1988-1989)
Steve Johnson .... story editor (9 episodes, 1987-1988)
Jan DeVries .... technical advisor (8 episodes, 1985)
Joanne Small .... script supervisor (8 episodes, 1988-1989)
Peter McCabe .... story editor (8 episodes, 1988)
Esther Gordon .... production assistant (7 episodes, 1985)
John Romeo .... production assistant (7 episodes, 1986)
Diane Foti .... production associate (7 episodes, 1989)
Rick Ashman .... production assistant (6 episodes, 1986)
Judith Stevens .... production associate (5 episodes, 1989)
Theodore Gershuny .... story editor (4 episodes, 1985)
Mike Marcucci .... production assistant (4 episodes, 1986-1987)
Don Carlos Dunaway .... creative consultant (4 episodes, 1986)
Abdul Malik Abbott .... production assistant (4 episodes, 1987)
Bettiann Fishman .... location manager (4 episodes, 1988)
Quincy Z. Gunderson .... location assistant (4 episodes, 1989)
Dan Frye .... production assistant (3 episodes, 1986)

David Tripet .... production assistant (unknown episodes, 1986)
Tim Tyler .... location assistant (unknown episodes, 1988-1989)
Brett Botula .... location scout (unknown episodes)
Salvatore Carino .... production estimator (unknown episodes)
Adam Cohen .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
Kati Johnston .... assistant location manager (unknown episodes)
Gene Kraft .... title designer (unknown episodes)
Adam Lichtenstein .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
Barbara Lucey .... production accountant (unknown episodes)
Kate McCallum .... assistant to writer (unknown episodes)
Peter Pastorelli .... location manager (unknown episodes)
M. Ross-Michaels .... assistant accountant (unknown episodes)
Aaron Sadovsky .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
Michael Sloan .... conceived by (unknown episodes)
Matthew T. Weiner .... location assistant (unknown episodes)
Nadine F. Wilson .... post-production accountant (unknown episodes)
Steven Wren .... location assistant (unknown episodes)
 
Series Thanks
Gene Engels .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Caryl Heller .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Edward Iacobelli .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Debra Katz Weber .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Michael T. Miller .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Peter Pastorelli .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Steve Scanlon .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Janet Shaw .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Kenneth Vogt .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Benjamin Wilson .... the producers wish to thank (1 episode, 1986)
Ernie Palinkas .... this episode is dedicated to the memory of (1 episode, 1987)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
60 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
McCall's main weapon was a .380 Walther PPK/S. He also often uses a Desert Eagle Mark I.See more »
Quotes:
Robert McCall:You have five seconds to give me the name.
[pause]
Robert McCall:Time's up, throw him out of the window!
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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27 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
A breath of fresh air amid 1980s gloss-dross., 12 November 2000
Author: Dave Matthews from Lancashire, England

Amid designer-superficiality like "Miami Vice" and myriad juvenile Glen Larson productions, "The Equalizer" came as a breath of fresh air when first broadcast in 1985. After many years in the wilderness, American studios recognised the intelligence of their audience and produced a well-scripted, well-acted action drama with character, depth and real bite.

The central premise was of a British military officer named Robert McCall who had served the latter half of his career with an American intelligence agency nickednamed "The Company" (although it approximated the real-life CIA) but had grown disillusioned with its methods. The series starts with McCall having resigned and decided to use his espionage, intelligence-gathering and combat skills on a lone crusade to champion the victims of crime, apparently as some form of atonement for his shady past.

But McCall could never fully escape The Company. Occasionally he needed some of its resources to help him tackle the job at hand. While his ex-superior, known only as "Control" (played by Robert Lansing), was sympathetic to McCall's reasons for quitting, he was never fully prepared to let him go, both because of his skills and the sensitive secrets he carried with him. Indeed many episodes saw McCall being drawn back into Company operations. The two men remained friends but their relationship was on a constant knife-edge (and often led to some of the series' best "stand off" dialogue moments).

The first two seasons wrought a tremendous variety in interesting story lines, had good dialogue and the performances of Edward Woodward, his regular co-stars and the often-abrasive interplay between their characters lifted the show further.

Location shooting in New York was used highly effectively and Stewart Copeland's startling, unique musical style lent the show a sparky, effervescent, slightly off-beat air.

The staging of action scenes was reasonable, though would never match the sensational jousts witnessed in Brit series such as The Sweeney and The Professionals. In fairness, though, The Equalizer trod a more realistic path in this respect.

The series' sole fault, during the first three seasons, was that the scripts became rather formulaic. With a few notable exceptions, the plots tended to revolve around a well-established, predictable pattern: McCall would receive a call from some distressed individual being terrorised; they would meet to discuss the problem at hand; McCall would then use his dubious contacts to dig up some dirt on the aggressor, who McCall would then threaten and, ultimately, end up having to kill - though all imbued with a liberal dose of pathos, of course!

The production schedule on the series was frenetic and with most scenes requiring the involvement of Woodward, it maybe shouldn't have been a surprise that he, a heavy smoker, suffered a heart attack during filming on the third season in 1987. Actor Richard Jordan was brought in to lighten McCall's load for several episodes. While a perfectly understandable move, in many viewers' minds it appeared that Jordan was taking over.

By the time of the fourth season Woodward had returned full-time and Jordan was phased out. But a necessary reduction in the strenuous exercise regime Woodward had previously followed meant he was far from the dynamic powerhouse he had once been. The show took on a new direction and embraced socially-sensitive themes. (In one episode a small boy is dying of AIDS and being harassed by frightened, ignorant neighbours.) Although audience rating were not as strong as before, they remained high...

Unfortunately CBS was apparently suffering from internal power struggles and some of its senior staff wanted to launch new series at the expense of existing ones. "The Equalizer" was axed after completing its usual 22-episode production. Neither Woodward nor a huge campaign of public support could convince CBS to change its mind.

The situation for the UK was actually worse. For reasons that have never been clear, proper peak-time screenings (on the ITV network) of the final season stalled after a few episodes. Naturally many Brits assumed the show had been cancelled mid-season. The remaining eventually aired via regional syndication in late-night "graveyard" slots with no publicity. In fact some ITV regions opted out completely, the affected editions being buried amongst repeat runs in the 1990s. It was an astonishing attitide to adopt as the show had actually been even more successful in the UK than its home country! Once can only suppose that denial of a complete network run was due to CBS.

The series had to wait for many years until it was made available on videocassette and even then only nine episodes from the first season were issued. Yet - probably to CBS' embarrassment - repeat runs continued to demonstrate the show's enduring appeal. In early 2008 the first season was issued on DVD in the US and UK. But even then problems continued. The American set has a welcome addition of an audio commentary by the series' creator Michael Sloan but the episodes suffer from several mysterious substitutions of incidental music. The picture quality on the UK set is notably "scratchy" and has been overly compressed for digitisation.

However with efforts under way to launch a movie version in 2009, there is clearly still an audience for this show... and deservedly so.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (46 total) »

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The Complete Series DVD Release! AaronCapenBanner
'Confirmation day' blonde girl in the choir. Is that...? roximunro
Who agrees? Watching this again just makes you grin ear to ear scott-1127
I really can't stand Scott, but... helica9
Is that Steven Williams (NYPD Lieut) actual voice in the pilot? roximunro
In Desperately from season 1, what did Dryden do to Allison's friend? yspobo
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