Based on the factual book Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets by journalist David Simon, the series charts the lives of a team of homicide detectives in Baltimore, Maryland, both on and off the clock.
The third season of Homicide: Life on the Street aired in the United States on the NBC television network from October 14, 1994, to May 5, 1995, and contained 20 episodes. It was the first full season of episodes. Beginning in the third season, Homicide was moved to Fridays at 10 p.m. EST, a timeslot the show would remain at until its cancellation in 1999. The third season saw all the original cast members return except for Jon Polito, who was reportedly dropped at the request of NBC. Season 3 also marked the debut of character Lt. Megan Russert, and the final season for both Detectives Beau Felton and Stanley Bolander. Celebrities who made guest appearance during the third season include Al Freeman Jr., Steve Buscemi, Tim Russert, Howie Mandel and Chris Noth. As with the previous seasons, Season 3 had several episodes air out of order resulting in continuity issues. To make up for this, the episodes "Crosetti" and "Nothing Personal" included title cards in the beginning to tell the viewers the episodes took place in the past. Season 3 also saw the first crossover between Homicide and Law & Order as Chris Noth makes a cameo appearance as Detective Mike Logan in the episode "Law & Disorder".
The fourth season of Homicide: Life on the Street aired in the United States on the NBC television network from October 20, 1995 to May 17, 1996 and contained 22 episodes. The fourth season marked the debut of two characters: Detective Mike Kellerman, who transfers from Arson to Homicide; and J. H. Brodie, a news cameraman who hires on as the unit's videographer. The season was also the last to feature Captain/Detective Megan Russert as a regular. Drug Kingpin: Luther Mahoney also makes his first appearance. Stuart Gharty also debuts in a guest appearance. Celebrities appearances include Lily Tomlin, Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell, Jerry Orbach, Benjamin Bratt, Jill Hennessy, Chris Rock, and Jay Leno. The DVD box set of season 4 was released for Region 1 on March 30, 2004. The set includes all 22 season 4 episodes on six discs.
The first season of Homicide: Life on the Street, an American police procedural drama television series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between January 31 and March 31, 1993. The show was created by Paul Attanasio, with film director Barry Levinson and television writer and producer Tom Fontana serving as executive producers. Adapted from David Simon's 1991 non-fiction book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, the season followed the fictional detectives of Baltimore Police Department homicide unit and the murder cases they investigate. The show was broadcast on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, with the exception of the series premiere, which aired immediately after Super Bowl XXVII. The season introduced regular cast members Daniel Baldwin, Ned Beatty, Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto, Melissa Leo, Jon Polito and Kyle Secor. Most of the primary characters were based on real-life Baltimore detectives from Simon's book, including Gary D'Addario, Terrence McLarney, Harry Edgerton, Donald Worden and Jay Landsman. Many of the first season story arcs were also adapted from the book, most notably the 1988 Baltimore slaying of 11-year-old Latonya Kim Wallace, which was the basis for the murder case of Adena Watson in Homicide. "Night of the Dead Living", originally written as the third episode, was moved to become the season finale at the insistence of NBC executives, which led to several notable continuity errors.
The second season of Homicide: Life on the Street, an American police procedural drama television series, originally aired in the United States between January 6 and January 27, 1994. Due to low Nielsen ratings during the first season, NBC executives decided to order only a four-episode season, after which they would evaluate the ratings and decide whether to renew the show. Homicide was moved to a new timeslot of Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST, temporarily replacing the legal drama L.A. Law. NBC requested several changes from the series, including fewer episode subplots and less camera movements and jump cuts. The entire Homicide cast returned for the second season. The uncertainty over Homicide's future was stressful for the cast and crew, and the logistics of scheduling the filming around the actors' schedules was difficult. Daniel Baldwin publicly criticized NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield over the matter, and it was initially reported Ned Beatty would not return at all. The second season was the last to include original cast member Jon Polito, who was reportedly dismissed because NBC officials were unhappy with his physical appearance. Polito was publicly critical of the show after his dismissal.
The fifth season of Homicide: Life on the Street aired in the United States on the NBC television network from 20 September 1996 to 16 May 1997 and contained 22 episodes. A new opening sequence debuted with the start of this season, including elements of a police investigation and a growing chatter of radio transmissions behind the theme music. In addition, pictures of the actors were displayed alongside their names for the first time. The sequence ends with the ringing of the squadroom phone and a voice answering, "Homicide." Two new characters appeared during this season: Chief Medical Examiner Julianna Cox; and Detective Terri Stivers, a Narcotics officer who works with Homicide to bring down local drug kingpin Luther Mahoney. The season finale introduced Detective Paul Falsone, a member of the Auto Squad briefly on loan to Homicide, and re-introduced Stuart Gharty, now a detective assigned to Internal Investigations. It also marked the departures of regular characters Megan Russert, Kay Howard and J.H. Brodie.
The seventh season of Homicide: Life on the Street aired in the United States on the NBC television network from September 25, 1998 to May 21, 1999 and contained 22 episodes. The seventh season marked the debut of characters FBI Agent Michael Giardello and Detective Rene Sheppard. Recurring character Detective Terri Stivers became a regular cast member as of season 7. The DVD box set of season 7 was released for Region 1 on June 28, 2005. The set includes all 22 season 7 episodes on six discs. During the sixth season, NBC had been considered canceling the show in the face of consistently low ratings, but a number of shocks at NBC increased Homicide's value. Among those factors were the loss of the popular series Seinfeld and the $850 million deal needed to keep ER from leaving the network. As a result, the network approved a 22-episode seventh season.