1991: ABC Introduces 'The Commish'
On this day in 1991, ABC introduced the dramedy, The Commish. The show, about an NYPD detective who takes a job as a small-town police commissioner, was the first major role for series star Michael Chiklis, who went on to star in the FX drama, The Shield and the new CBS series, Vegas.
The easy-going commissioner, Tony Scali, was known for using wit and common sense to combat crime. Theresa Saldana portrayed Rachel, his wife. David Paymer portrayed Rachel's brother during the show's first season.
Series creators Stephen J. Cannell and Stephen Kronish took The Commish to CBS, but the network insisted on casting a traditional TV "tall, dark and handsome" lead. Cannell and Kronish refused to compromise their vision for the character, and, after a significant stalemate, they took the script to ABC. The alphabet net bought into the creators' vision, and the show ran for five seasons.