Slightly offbeat television police comedy/drama. Tony Scali is the police commissioner in a small town, where solutions to difficult situations often require considerable creativity. Tony's... See full summary »
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5   4   3   2   1  
1996   1995   1994   1993   1992   1991  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Tony Scali (92 episodes, 1991-1996)
...
 Rachel Scali (92 episodes, 1991-1996)
...
 David Scali (92 episodes, 1991-1996)
...
 Stan Kelly (66 episodes, 1991-1994)
...
 Cyd Madison (46 episodes, 1992-1994)
...
 Ronnie Lopez / ... (42 episodes, 1991-1996)
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Storyline

Slightly offbeat television police comedy/drama. Tony Scali is the police commissioner in a small town, where solutions to difficult situations often require considerable creativity. Tony's easygoing manner and clever intellect are much more useful to him than weapons or brute force in his fight against crime Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

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Plot Keywords:

police | See All (1) »

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A desk job? Not the way HE does it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

28 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El comisionado  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Tony Scali was supposed to be in his late thirties. Michael Chiklis was actually 28 years old when cast as Scali, in part because he looked much older than his real age. When Chiklis lost weight during the course of the series, the network, fearing that such weight loss might negatively effect the ratings, reportedly had Chiklis stuff his clothing to appear older and heavy set. Chiklis was also discouraged from shaving his hair off to look still older. See more »

Quotes

[Cyd and Tony are in a tattoo parlor]
Tony: A starburst would look perfect on you.
Cyd: Thanks, but I think one is enough.
[Long pause]
Cyd: It's on my shoulder, okay?
Tony: Did I ask?
Cyd: In a manner of speaking.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Millennium: The Hand of Saint Sebastian (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Welcome to Tonyland!
9 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An unsung gem from the waning days of Stephen J. Cannell's production company, the big draw of The Commish nowadays is definitely Michael Chiklis. Now best-known as tough guy Lt. Vic Mackey from the lauded FX drama The Shield, it's intriguing to see Chiklis in his earlier series, playing a cop who's the polar opposite of his Emmy-winning Shield character.

The show centers on small-town Police Commissioner Tony Scali, who leads the force in Eastbridge, New York (based on real-life Rye, N.Y., Police Commissioner Tony Schembri, who collaborated on a few scripts for the series). As another poster stated, Eastbridge could easily be the Mayberry of the North, but considering that violent crime can and does happen there, one could also make comparisons to Cabot Cove, Maine or Sparta, GA., two other seemingly sleepy TV towns where trouble often lurks in the shadows.

Most of the time, though, it's petty crime and petty incidents that take up the time of Tony and his quirky force of officers...they're just as likely, if not more so, to help an old lady whose son stole her dentures (as part of a bigger plot to force her to move into a nursing home) or break up a fight between two guys dressed in chicken outfits, as they are to investigate a murder or a drug deal. Also, Tony's home life takes up a good deal of some episodes...he has to help his son get a date or coach the kid's basketball team, he supports his wife in their efforts to have another child...it's little things like this that lighten the mood and make The Commish more than just another shoot-'em-up.

Commissioner Scali is truly a different cop...unlike Chiklis's later character of Vic Mackey, who was more of a criminal than the criminals he pursued, with his brutality and disregard for suspect's rights, Tony relies on wit, charm and good old common sense to solve most problems...but that doesn't mean he doesn't get mad...far from it. He can yell with the best of them if the occasion warrants. Tony Scali might be a kind, sweet man, but he's nobody's pushover.

If Tony is Andy, he needs a Barney. For most of the first season, Irv Wallerstein (Alex Bruhanski) fills that role, until he's killed while working undercover, prompting one of the biggest bursts of anger from the normally-calm Commissioner. After solving Irv's murder, Tony takes on 'visiting' L.A. detective (and high-school buddy) Paulie Pentangeli (John Cygan) as a sidekick. Cygan fills out the season, then disappears to make way for Detective Cyd Madison (Melinda McGraw) for a couple of seasons, then returns to stay for the fourth season and the TV-movie follow-ups. And at home, he has the support of his beautiful and devoted wife Rachel, played by the underrated Theresa Saldana, who sadly seems more remembered for being brutally attacked by an obsessed fan that for any acting roles.

The Commish is definitely a great, lighter cop show if you want to see a cop that favors brains and charm over weapons. My rating...8 out of 10.


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