Public Morals (1996 TV series)

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Public Morals
Genre Sitcom
Created by
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (12 unaired) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Steven Bochco
  • Jay Tarses
  • Dayna Flanagan
  • Stephen C. Grossman
Production location(s) Los Angeles, California[1]
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network CBS
Original release October 30, 1996 (1996-10-30)
Related shows NYPD Blue

Public Morals is an American sitcom that aired on the CBS network in October 1996. Created and executive produced by Steven Bochco and Jay Tarses, the series was poorly received and was canceled after airing only one episode.[2]


The show is based around a group of detectives and others in a city's vice squad. Among the actors who appear in the series are Peter Gerety and Donal Logue. Bill Brochtrup's character John Irvin, an administrative assistant, had been imported into the show from the drama NYPD Blue, and would return to NYPD Blue after the cancellation of Public Morals. Both Public Morals and NYPD Blue were produced by Steven Bochco.[3]



The original pilot episode of Public Morals was scrapped because critics and some CBS affiliates believed the language was too vulgar. However, the episode that did air was also poorly received. Critics argued that the characters were one-dimensional and that some of the humor involved racial stereotypes.[4][5]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"The Blue Cover"Don ScardinoJay TarsesOctober 30, 1996 (1996-10-30)
2"The Yellow Cover"Don ScardinoLisa AlbertUnaired
3"The Aqua Cover"Don ScardinoMatt TarsesUnaired
4"The Red Cover"Don ScardinoBeth Fieger FalkensteinUnaired
5"The White Cover"Andy AckermanSteven Bochco & Jay TarsesUnaired
6"The Green Cover"Don ScardinoRichard DresserUnaired
7"The Purple Cover"Don ScardinoDan GreenbergerUnaired
8"The Orange Cover"Don ScardinoAlan R. Cohen & Alan FreedlandUnaired
9"The Shrimp Cover"Don ScardinoRichard DresserUnaired
10"The Cornflower Cover"John FerraroLisa AlbertUnaired
11"The Goldenrod Cover"John FerraroMatt TarsesUnaired
12"The Camel Cover"John FerraroLisa Albert & Marc FlanaganUnaired
13"The Tuna Cover"Jay TarsesRichard DresserUnaired


  1. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (November 4, 1996). "Review: 'Public Morals Cbs, Wed. Oct. 30, 9:30 p.m.'". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  2. ^ Brian Stelter. "Canceled After a Single Episode: TV’s One-Show Wonders". New York Times. April 18, 2008. Retrieved on November 11, 2008.
  3. ^ "True-blue actor has little time to mourn 'Morals'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 1, 1996. E2.
  4. ^ Allan Johnson. "Boorish Bochco: Stereotypical 'Public Morals' is nothing to laugh at". Chicago Tribune. November 6, 1996. p. 3.
  5. ^ Tom Shales. "'Morals' not so much a comedy as a crime". San Diego Union-Tribune. November 7, 1996. E3.

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