How Well Do You Remember Cagney and Lacey?

Robin Tyler

Image: CBS

About This Quiz

TV series were definitely very different in the 1980s. Especially series involving the police. These were much loved and people tuned in every week to catch a glimpse of the goings-ons at the precinct. "Cagney and Lacey" was one such series. Gritty, character-driven, excellent acting - it had it all. 

And although the show started out a little shakily, it became one of the best cop series of the decade. That is thanks to the fact that, unlike many other shows at the time, Cagney and Lacey dared to be a little different. It did this by having two FEMALE detectives in the lead roles, expertly acted by two actresses that were not new to the game. The supporting cast was strong too, which is important, as that is an area where many shows fell down. 

Soon, "Cagney and Lacey" had fans tuning in, so much so that CBS decided to put it in the 10 p.m. slot, up against Monday Night Football no less. It not only survived but thrived.

So how much do you remember about this iconic duo, the actors that played them and the early troubled start to the series? Well, this "Cagney and Lacey" quiz will put your knowledge to the test. 

Which actress played Cagney in the pilot and also appeared in "M*A*S*H"?

Although she wanted to carry on in the role of Cagney, producers from "M*A*S*H" would not release her from her contract.

Originally, Sharon Gless did not play Cagney. Which season did she join the show?

Gless only joined the show at the start of season 2. The original actress had to pull out as she could not be released from her contract with "M*A*S*H," another massive show at the time.

Who played the character of Cagney?

Like Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless was an experience actress with many acting credits behind her name before she undertook the role of Cagney. She had appeared in a number of movies, made-for-TV movies and series, including "Switch," "Turnabout" and "Centennial Man."

In which city did Cagney and Lacey work in?

"Cagney and Lacey" was set in New York. The two detectives worked from a fictional precinct, however. It was called Midtown South.

Which of Cagney or Lacey had children?

In the show, Lacey was married and had two children. Cagney was single.

How many "Cagney & Lacey" shows were aired?

That's fairly impressive. After just six shows in the first season, the final season ran for 22 episodes.

What was Detective Cagney's first name?

Detective Cagney's first name was Christine. That makes her initials C.C.

Did the show ever win a prestigious Golden Globe award?

The Golden Globes are the pinnacle for television productions. Yes, "Cagney and Lacey" achieved that honor.

The screenplay for the pilot episode was originally intended as a movie. True or false?

Yes, the screenplay was originally intended as a movie. It was changed into a TV pilot eventually, because many Hollywood execs were not sure about the potential success of the show.

What was the running time of a "Cagney and Lacey" show?

As with most dramas in the '80s, you would have to set aside an hour of your time (with advertisements) to watch an episode of "Cagney and Lacey."

Which popular show did Tyne Daly recently appear in?

Daly starred as Maxine Gray in Judging Amy for well over 100 episodes.

How many seasons did the show run for?

Cagney and Lacey ran for seven seasons, from 1981 to 1988.

Which of Cagney or Lacey is far more sensitive?

Lacey is far more sensitive than Cagney. It comes with being a married woman and having kids, possibly...

What make of car did Cagney and Lacey mostly drive around in?

A tan Dodge Diplomat, standard New York detective issue, was one of the Cagney and Lacey cars throughout the seasons.

One of the actors who formed part of the show sadly passed away during its run. His name was never removed from the credits, as a sign of respect. Who was he?

As he was so highly respected by everyone, after he died, producers kept Sidney Clute's name in the credits until the series ended.

Who played the character of Lacey?

Lacey was played by Tyne Daly, who had appeared in a number of TV series, made-for-TV movies and Hollywood films beforehand. She still continues to act to this day.

Was the show cancelled at any point (other than when it came to an end)?

Unbelievably, the show was cancelled at some point, but this made CBS viewers furious. They complained and with reruns well watched, CBS brought the show back.

Which popular actor, whose final TV role was as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield in "Twin Peaks," was a guest actor in a few "Cagney and Lacey" episodes?

That's right. It was very early in his acting career, but Miguel Ferrer and his brother Rafael were cast in guest roles.

Which of Cagney (Sharon Gless) and Lacey (Tyne Daley) did producer Barney Rosenzweig eventually marry?

After divorcing co-creator Barbary Corday, Rosenzweig married Sharon Gless.

What was Detective Lacey's first name?

Yes, Mary Beth Lacey. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

In Season 1, who played the role of Cagney for the six episodes?

After the pilot, Meg Foster joined the show for six episodes. Her contract was not renewed.

In what year did the show first air?

The pilot for "Cagney and Lacey" was first shown in 1981. The season consisted of six episodes after that.

Why was the show canceled?

"Cagney and Lacey" was canned for one reason only... a decline in viewers. Luckily, those who loved the show made enough noise to bring it back.

What actor portrayed the husband of Mary Beth Lacey?

John Karlen played Harvey Lacey, husband of Mary Beth. He famously appeared in the series "Dark Shadows."

Which current Hollywood actor spent time on set with his cousin, Miguel Ferrer? In fact, this made him want to take up acting.

Yes, George Clooney was in between careers, so to speak, as his attempts to become a professional sportsman had failed. The rest, as they say, is history.

In which city was Cagney and Lacey actually filmed?

This is Hollywood after all. They didn't need to go to New York, they just made Los Angeles look like New York.

As with many successful '80s series, made-for-TV movies followed. How many made-for-TV Cagney and Lacey movies were released in the 1990s?

Four made-for-TV movies followed in the 1990s. The first was released in 1994 and the last in 1996.

What other popular show did Sharon Gless star in recently?

Gless stars as Madeline Westen in "Burn Notice." She appears in over 100 episodes.

Coincidentally, on what street were many "Cagney and Lacey" scenes shot?

Weird, huh? Just missing an E.

For how many consecutive years did Gless and Daly take home the Emmy award for best actress?

Incredibly, the show won the Best Actress Emmy six years in a row (four wins for Daly and two for Gless). This still remains a record.

At the end of what season was the show canceled?

Just as the show's cast became settled, CBS decided to cancel the show. Television executives, hey!

Do you know who executive produced the show? A little bit of a tough one here!

Barney Rosenzweig was the man behind "Cagney and Lacey" from the very beginning. He was initially married to the co-creator of the show, Barbara Corday.

What major continuity problem plagued the series?

Someone wasn't paying attention. They started with numbers 730 and 763, but in some shows, the badge numbers changed to 340 and 790.

How many Golden Globes did the show win?

The Gloden Globe was for Best Actress in a TV Drama or Series. It was won by Sharon Gless (Cagney) in 1986.

In which location did most of the filming take place?

Yes, a simple warehouse was made up to look like a New York police station and most internal shots were filmed there.

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