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In what must have been one of the shortest lived series on network television, "Cop Rock" was part "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol" and part "The Sound of Music". After chasing down a criminal, the force would take to the street for an organized dance number, then haul the guy back to HQ. This may have been the only series to have been based on a Broadway musical format. Written by
Michael Silva <email@example.com>
"Cop Rock" was a typical police drama, except for the fact that it was also a MUSICAL. Everybody sang: the cops, the criminals, even the judge and jury in the courtroom during trials. With its many lavish song-and-dance routines and catchy tunes, "Cop Rock" was almost like a Broadway musical adaptation of "Hill Street Blues".
"Cop Rock" was heavily promoted by ABC in the weeks before its premiere in the fall of 1990. Apparently, ABC thought that they had a huge hit on their hands, even though it was the first-ever cop show/musical on TV. Not surprisingly, the show was savaged by critics and ignored by audiences. Despite the large amounts of publicity and money invested in the series (which was one of the most-expensive TV shows ever made up to that point, at a cost of nearly $2 million an episode), it was canceled after only three months.
In my opinion, "Cop Rock" was a very unique show. Although the singing wasn't always that great, the songs were usually decent. Randy Newman wrote a number of good songs for this series (including the opening theme, "Under The Gun", which he also performed). The problem with "Cop Rock" was that it combined two genres that do not go well with each other. I can understand why "Cop Rock" was not able to catch on with TV audiences: not only was it a musical series with fictional characters and weekly storylines (something never seen before on American network television), but it was also a police show. Also, with the exception of the Broadway-style musical numbers, the show was average at best.
VH1 reran an all-day marathon "Cop Rock" a few years ago, but the series is not currently on cable (as far as I know). I think this original (but strange) series would be perfectly suited for a network like Court TV.
"Cop Rock" was a show that was far from perfect, but it was definitely very memorable.
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