New York Undercover is a one-hour police drama that aired on the Fox television network from 1994 to 1998. The series stars Malik Yoba as Detective J.C. Williams and Michael DeLorenzo as Detective Eddie Torres, two undercover detectives in New York City's 4th Precinct who were assigned to investigate various crimes and gang-related cases. The cast also included Patti D'Arbanville-Quinn as their boss, Lt. Virginia Cooper, and Lauren Vélez, who joined the cast in the second season as Nina Moreno, fellow detective and love interest to Torres.
New York Undercover, originally known as Uptown Undercover, is notable for being the first police drama on American television to feature two people of color in the starring roles. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV" on Thursday nights in the 1990s, many African-American viewers flocked to Fox's Thursday night line-up of Living Single, New York Undercover, and Martin. In fact, these were the three highest rated series among Black households (in this respective order) for the 1996-1997 season.
Besides solving each week's case, the show, produced by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, also explored the private lives of its characters. For example, Det. Williams struggled to raise his young son, Gregory (George O. Gore II), while Torres was shown to be fighting family and other related problems, including having to cope with his father's drug addiction and HIV-positive status and a childhood friend turned gang leader.
At the beginning of the third season, a new detective, Tommy McNamara (Jonathan LaPaglia), was introduced as a principal character. In the third-season finale in May 1997, Torres and Moreno were married. However, in that same episode, Torres and McNamara were both killed by a gang of bank robbers. Many viewers believe that these events—particularly the death of Torres and the departure of Michael DeLorenzo—caused New York Undercover to "jump the shark," since the friendship of Williams and Torres was a major dynamic of the series.
New York Undercover returned with a new cast for its Fourth and final season in January 1998. Williams and Moreno were assigned to a new unit, resulting in D'Arbanville-Quinn being dropped from the cast. Joining the detectives were Lt. Malcolm Barker (played by Tommy Ford), Det. Nell Delaney (Marisa Ryan), and Det. Alec Stone (Josh Hopkins). The new unit eventually captured the last bank robber responsible for the deaths of Torres and McNamara.
George Gore II
Theme music composer Seasons 1-3:
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 89 (List of episodes)
Running time 60 mins.
Production company(s) Universal Television
Original channel Fox
Original run September 8, 1994 – June 25, 1998