Cagney & Lacey

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Name: Cagney & Lacey
Creator: Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday
Date(s): 1981-1988
Medium: television
Country of Origin: USA
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Cagney & Lacey is an Emmy-winning police procedural drama starring Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as detectives in New York. Christine Cagney is a career-focused single woman, while Mary-Beth Lacey is married with children. The show follows their friendship as they solve crimes together.

Cagney & Lacey was a fairly early example of a show saved from cancellation by a letter-writing campaign.

Example Fanworks


Fic in Print Zines

Fan Clubs

  • Class (out of Surrey, England)


Fan Comments


"Cagney & Lacey" is a good example of real women. They aren't exceptionally beautiful(although I find many things about both their personalities beautiful)and they depict the career woman and the woman who has a family and a career. Of course Lacey's husband is a gem, and on a DOHAHUE show many of the women in the audience objected to Harve (the husband) as being unrealistic. Qf course, in my experience he's NOT uncommon, but to many of the women in the audience I suppose he was. What I appreciate about it is that he IS there as an example. Even if women don't want to believe men like that exist, he's there to show men AND women otherwise. [1]

I think we're getting a fine role model with the Cagney & Lacey series. Their camaraderie reminds me a lot of the strictly "straight" aspects of the S&H relationship, the teasing the caring. The May 14th episode dealt excellently with decisions that women have to make, I find this show satisfying in that my strong fascination with the male/male bond and the desire to share in that has always raised the question in my mind as to why women don't have better relationships with one another, and don't we miss seeing portrayals of such. [2]

I miss seeing portrayals of women friendships! I've tried CAGNEY & LACEY but I can't forgive them for what they did to Meg Foster, a fine actress and a woman who really wanted to inject some fine radical ideas into the series. When Sharon Gless came along (she's a good actress too, but much too mainstream and unimaginative) the show became very subtly sexist. I love Tyne Daly as an actress as well, but her attitude is much like that of Gless. I recently read somewhere that Gless wants to "soften up" Cagney and have her commiserating over being single. She says single career women really worry about that. I'm only 24 so perhaps I haven't lived long enough to worry about such things. But I just can't identify with Gless' concerns for her character. The writers on the show seem to enjoy getting Cagney all hot and bothered when some macho creep comes along. It's a very condescending portrayal. I like John Karlen as Lacey's husband, tho. For DARK SHADOWS fen out there, you may recall Karlen as the hapless, suffering Willy Loomis, Barnabas' servant (slave, really.) It's a switch in characters for him, and the role he plays is, from what I've seen, quite admirable. I'm still hungry for strong women friendships on TV, film, fiction, whatever. I'd love to see what a good writer could do with it. Unfortunately, most people think women friendships can be dull. I think that's due to the way they've been portrayed. [3]

The [use of the phrase] "cult" following, which I am beginning to suspect is synonymous with "women" (TV Guide referred to "cult" also, in reference to people who enjoyed watching "Cagney & Lacey" on TV). [4]