Boomtown (2002 TV series)
Season 1 DVD cover
|Created by||Graham Yost|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nemo Films
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 29, 2002 – December 28, 2003|
The show portrayed a criminal investigation each week, seen from various points of view: the police officers and detectives, the lawyers, paramedics, reporters, victims, witnesses and criminals. Despite the show's innovative style – similar to that of Akira Kurosawa's film Rashōmon, except all the perspectives agree – and glowing critical reviews, the show never drew a significant audience.
The series premiered on September 29, 2002. The first season order was for 18 episodes instead of the usual 22. After airing 12 episodes with disappointing ratings, NBC CTV moved Boomtown from Sundays to Fridays, putting the show on a two-month hiatus before it returned in March 2003. Its first season ended before May sweeps, an important period in determining ratings and thus ad revenue values.
Boomtown was renewed for a second season, but to satisfy the network's concerns with low ratings, the producers made some changes. Most significantly they abandoned the show's unique style. In Season One each story was told in a non-linear fashion, with each character's view adding a new detail. In Season Two, they still would put up people's names as if it followed them specifically, but there was not much new information on the mystery, and aside from a few flashbacks, the episode's events would run in order. There were changes within the cast as well. Nina Garbiras was let go, as the producers wished to focus more exclusively on Law & Order type characters. There was never any mention of her reporter character again. Lana Parrilla's character suddenly joined the police academy. The character had previously been seen as never wanting to be anything but a paramedic after her mother's death. Vanessa L. Williams joined the cast for every episode, but was billed as a guest star. She played Detective Katherine Pierce, a high-ranking officer who transfers into Bobby and Joel's division. Jason Gedrick and Neal McDonough were absent from one episode each (although Gedrick's Tom Turcotte was heard on the telephone), and McDonough was also absent from all but the last 20 seconds of the season premiere. Lana Parrilla was not in three of the six episodes. After airing only two episodes, the series was put on hiatus. NBC broadcast reruns of Law & Order in its place before deciding to cancel the series. Three of the remaining unaired episodes were broadcast on December 27, 2003, and the final episode aired on December 28, 2003.
Cast and characters
- Donnie Wahlberg as Los Angeles Police Department Detective II Joel Stevens
- Neal McDonough as Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney David McNorris
- Mykelti Williamson as Los Angeles Police Department Detective II Bobby 'Fearless' Smith
- Gary Basaraba as Los Angeles Police Department Police Officer III Ray Hechler
- Nina Garbiras as Andrea Little, Reporter (Season One)
- Lana Parrilla as Teresa Ortiz, Paramedic (rookie police officer in Season Two)
- Jason Gedrick as Los Angeles Police Department Police Officer II Tom Turcotte
- Megan Ward as Kelly Stevens
- David Proval as Los Angeles Police Department Detective II Paul Turcotte
- Dorian Harewood as Los Angeles Police Department Captain Ron Hicks
- Kelly Rowan as Marian McNorris (Season One)
- Erich Anderson as Ben Fisher (Season One)
- Kelly Hu as Rachel Durrel (Season Two)
- Vanessa L. Williams as Los Angeles Police Department Detective III Katherine Pierce (Season Two)
- Kim Murphy as Susan (Season One)
- Matt Craven as Dr. Michael Hirsch (Season One)
- Rick Gomez as Detective Daniel Ramos (Season One)
A drive-by shooting is investigated from several angles. We meet Fearless, detective and Gulf War veteran with a list of things to do before he dies, and a habit of telling stories; Joel, a detective who is still attempting to hide the suicide attempt of his wife Kelly; Teresa, the kind-hearted paramedic who was on duty the night of said attempt; David McNorris, the manipulative deputy district attorney; reporter Andrea Little, his secret mistress; Ray Hechler, a cop under suspicion of corruption; and his young partner Tom, a mediocre officer who is frequently criticized by his father.
After a telemarketer overhears a murder plot on the phone, Joel, Fearless, Ray and Tom scramble to find him; while David and Andrea find the pressure of their affair building.
- The Squeeze
A prominent attorney gets murder charges against him dropped, and everyone takes different paths in an attempt to get him to confess.
After Joel and Fearless solve the murder of Tom's father's former partner, Tom and Andrea face their past.
On Halloween, David is stunned when Andrea breaks up with him on the same night that Marian accuses him of adultery; while Ray and Tom go undercover to save Teresa - whose ambulance has been hijacked.
- The Freak
Ray and Tom investigate a bizarre case while Fearless risks his life to save a little girl, because of a haunting memory of an old war buddy.
Joel and Fearless must convince Andrea to face a psychotic homeless man who she went to school with to find a kidnapped teenager.
- Insured by Smith & Wesson
When Ray goes undercover into a hostage situation inside a sporting goods store, he discovers that the store manager is a former actor of Ray's favorite 1980s TV show. While attempting to convince the manager to help him save the day, Ray's illusions are shattered.
Fearless's ex-girlfriend joins him and Joel on a case to crack an insurance fraud ring.
- The David McNorris Show
While Joel and Fearless investigate the death of a teenage girl, McNorris makes some dirty deals which collapse just as his marriage does.
- Monster's Brawl
- Special Guest Star: Neil Patrick Harris
On a tip from Teresa, Joel, Fearless, Tom and a slowly falling apart David team up to convict a group of filmmakers inspiring homeless people to kill each other.
A simple domestic disturbance call becomes a life-changing event for Ray and Tom as they find themselves in the middle of a drug war, while Joel and Teresa grow closer.
- Home Invasion
Joel and Fearless must reluctantly let Andrea in on their case when they discover a group of killers who stake out a family home before torturing and killing the family.
On the night of his execution, a criminal gives McNorris an ultimatum: save his life or risk the death of a kidnapped cop. While McNorris attempts to save him, Ray and his fellow officers attempt to take a more pragmatic course, unaware of what they are up against.
- Storm Watch
Ray, Joel, Tom and Fearless are locked down in the station along with their fellow cops when a mole is suspected and Ray has no choice but to ask Andrea - who almost cost him his badge a year earlier - to help; meanwhile McNorris continues on a downward spiral.
In a rather different episode (featuring only one point of view, Fearless's), Fearless investigates the shooting of a drug dealer, and faces his past.
With his wife having left him, and Andrea refusing to take him back, McNorris finds himself drinking into blackouts, which ultimately leads him to wake up with blood on his car. When he learns about a hit-and-run incident, he begins to act fearfully, and his suspicions tip off Joel, who is working with Fearless, Ray and Tom to crack the case.
- Lost Child
Already agonising over his feelings for Teresa, Joel is put on the case of a kidnapped newborn. While Fearless, Andrea, Ray and David (preparing for rehab) investigate, Joel finds himself finally confronting his wife's suicide attempt and the death of their newborn daughter; while Tom finds himself being coerced into snitching on Joel.
Despite the lackluster performance of season one, Boomtown was renewed for a second season. The producers decided to focus more on the investigative and procedure aspect of the show, so Andrea was written out of the show, and Teresa joined the police academy.
- The Love of Money
- Special Guest Star: Rebecca De Mornay as Sabrina Fithian
Joel, Fearless, Ray and Tom work together to investigate a group of cop killers, who threaten Joel's family. Joel has Robbery/Homicide detective Katherine Pierce reassigned to their division to assist. Meanwhile, David recovers in rehab and Teresa considers her future.
Ray and Katherine testify against the cop killers; David comes out of rehab and gets straight onto the case despite his recent alcoholism; and Teresa joins the police academy.
Joel and Fearless investigate when Teresa discovers a body at the police academy; Ray, Tom and Katherine work to stop a gang of thieves who pose as police officers.
A gang of fleeing bank robbers take a group of hostages at a shopping center, including Teresa.
- The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang
- Special Guest Star: LeVar Burton as Marvin Lloyd
A frat boy killed and buried in the wall of a frat house twenty years ago is found, and David, Katherine, Joel and Fearless investigate.
- The Big Picture
- Special Guest Star: Virginia Madsen as Erika Ashland
Not following his instincts on a domestic disturbance call, Tom is horrified when the woman goes missing and the chief suspect is murdered; so he works with Katherine in a desperate effort to find the truth.
Awards and nominations
Lionsgate Home Entertainment release Season 1 of Boomtown on DVD in Region 1 on July 20, 2004. Season 1 was subsequently released in Region 2 as well. Despite strong sales of season one and popular demand on TV-DVD websites, season 2 was never released in the USA or UK. The season two episodes were made available, however, on the French DVD box set Boomtown Complet, which also includes a short interview with French film critic Alain Carraze, who offers comments about the show. The DVD's released in the United States contain an optional commentary soundtrack by individuals who were involved in making the show but this is absent from the French and British DVD releases.
The Region 1 release has been discontinued and is now out of print.
- "2002-03: The Season of Angels in America". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- 62nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2003.