From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name: Wiseguy
Abbreviation(s): WG
Creator: Stephen J. Cannell, Frank Lupo
Date(s): 1987-1990, 1996
Medium: television series & TV movie
Country of Origin: US
External Links: IMDB, Wikipedia page,
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of A River That Runs Both Ways, Caren Parnes. The image shows Vinnie Terranova (left) and Frank McPike (right). A fan in 2010 said: "This is the badass Frank I know and love." [1]

Wiseguy was a show based around Vinnie Terranova, an undercover Fed, and his irascible handler, Frank McPike.

Each new undercover assignment set up an arc of episodes, unusually so for its era; there were roughly two arcs per season, filled out with occasional standalone eps. Each arc introduced new bad guys.

The show had just started its second arc in the fourth season when it was cancelled.

The show lasted three years in its original form; another 1/2 year of 4th season after Vinnie's actor left. At the time the show was on the air, TV Guide mentioned the homoeroticism of the plots.

In 1996, ABC aired a reunion movie. Wikipedia has a good Wiseguy article


  • Steelgrave arc -- Vinnie/Steelgrave is (almost) canon by the final ep of the arc
  • Profitt arc -- Vinnie is sent to take down Mel Profitt and his sister/lover Susan (Vinnie is canonically involved with Susan); meets Roger Lococco
  • White Supremacy arc -- former Senator Fred Thompson was the bad guy in this arc
  • Garment industry (aka Rag Trade) arc (Vinnie is hurt in hospital; they bring in a new Wiseguy)
  • Dead Dog (aka Music industry) arc - Tim Curry plays the bad guy
  • 2nd Mafia (aka Mob Wars) arc -- Vinnie has a girlfriend this arc
  • Washington D.C. arc -- Mr Terranova goes to Washington
  • Lynchboro-Seattle arc -- Vinnie freaks out, does a runner
  • Finding Vinnie

The Fandom

Wiseguy was primarily a slash fandom, based around four characters: the titular Wiseguy, Vinnie Terranova, an undercover fed; his handler, Frank McPike, his first mark, Sonny Steelgrave, and another morally-wounded undercover agent he runs into in his second case, Roger Lococco.

Possibly because the show's writing was so good, and because arcs don't leave the narrative holes that episodic television does, possibly because of the multiple pairings, possibly because there was not much of a gen fandom to lean on, the slash fandom never grew that large.

Tashery Shannon wrote a slashy guide to Wiseguy for her zine Risk (A Multimedia slash zine featuring Wiseguy and Blakes 7).


With the exception of a few Roger/Frank stories, virtually all pairings are Vinnie/someone else.


In 1996, the Media Monitor had an ad for the TerrSitLst, a mailing list for readers of the lengthy Wiseguy novel The Terranova Situation. It featured discussions of the novel and occasional fiction.

In 1996, the Media Monitor also listed a Wiseguy fan site that offered: "2 cast photos (1 from the series and 1 from the recent TV movie), an episode guide, filmographies of the series' stars, and more." An archived copy can be found here.

Small Wiseguy slash fan fiction archives were set up here and here in the late 1990s.

Notable Stories and Zines

For a more complete list see Wiseguy/Fanzines.

Notable Vids

Sample Fanart

Art by Suzan Lovett is here, and includes: "Diamonds and Rust," "The Justinians," "Awakenings," "Life's A Lemon and I Want My Money Back," "Wear Leather -- Love Ya, Babe," "Taking Care of Baby," "The Outsider," "Angels Won't Mind," and "Someone to Watch Over Me."

Fan Communities


  1. ^ from a mailing list, quoted anonymously (November 2010)
  2. ^ from a mailing list, quoted anonymously (November 2010)
  3. ^ from a mailing list, quoted anonymously (November 2010)