Cold Case

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Cold Case
Cold Case cover.jpg
Promotional poster
FormatPolice procedural
Drama
Created byMeredith Stiehm
StarringKathryn Morris
Justin Chambers
John Finn
Jeremy Ratchford
Thom Barry
Danny Pino
Tracie Thoms
Theme music composerHelmut and Franz Vonlichten with intro by Michael A. Levine
Opening themeNara
Composer(s)Michael A. Levine
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes156 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Meredith Stiehm
Jerry Bruckheimer
Jonathan Littman
Location(s)Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Jerry Bruckheimer Television
CBS Television Studios
Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Picture format480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original runSeptember 28, 2003 (2003-09-28) – May 2, 2010 (2010-05-02)
 
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Cold Case
Cold Case cover.jpg
Promotional poster
FormatPolice procedural
Drama
Created byMeredith Stiehm
StarringKathryn Morris
Justin Chambers
John Finn
Jeremy Ratchford
Thom Barry
Danny Pino
Tracie Thoms
Theme music composerHelmut and Franz Vonlichten with intro by Michael A. Levine
Opening themeNara
Composer(s)Michael A. Levine
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes156 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Meredith Stiehm
Jerry Bruckheimer
Jonathan Littman
Location(s)Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Jerry Bruckheimer Television
CBS Television Studios
Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Picture format480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original runSeptember 28, 2003 (2003-09-28) – May 2, 2010 (2010-05-02)

Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from September 28, 2003 to May 2, 2010. The series revolved around a fictionalized Philadelphia Police Department division that specializes in investigating cold cases.

On May 18, 2010, CBS announced that the series had been canceled.[1] The series currently airs in syndication, and also on Ion Television on Friday in the U.S. and on Viva in Canada.[2] Sleuth channel occasionally airs it at midnight on the weekdays. In 2011, the show began airing on MyNetworkTV.[3]

Premise[edit]

The show is set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and follows Detective Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris), a homicide detective with the Philadelphia Police Department, who specializes in "cold cases", or investigations which are no longer being actively pursued by the department. Rush was initially partnered with Detective Chris Lassing (Justin Chambers) in the first five episodes and then with Detective Scotty Valens (Danny Pino) for the remainder of the series. They work under Lieutenant John Stillman (John Finn) and are assisted by other detectives from their squad—Nick Vera (Jeremy Ratchford), Will Jeffries (Thom Barry), and beginning in season three, Kat Miller (Tracie Thoms).

Usually, each episode would focus on a single investigation. All cases involved murders committed in Philadelphia, although investigations occasionally required travel outside the city. Cases were also spread out over much of the previous century, with some as recent as a year or two old and others dating back to the 1910s. Generally, an investigation would begin when the police received a new lead, or "new direction", on a case. This might be the discovery of a body or a critical piece of evidence such as a murder weapon (e.g., one investigation began when a gun received in a gun buyback program was linked to a murder through ballistic evidence). In some cases, the lack of a body meant that it was originally unclear if a crime had even occurred, with people instead believing that the victim had merely left town.

Over the course of the episode, the detectives would interview witnesses associated with the crime and piece together the story of what led the victims to their death. These interviews were accompanied by flashback sequences to the time of the murder which dramatized the testimony. Witness testimony, even from people who would later be revealed as the killer, was almost never false. At most the guilty party would lie by omission, leaving out critical details, or stopping their narrative before they implicated themselves. The witness testimony was also generally presented in chronological order so that it formed a cohesive linear story for the audience.

At the end of the episode, the police would be shown arresting the killer and walking them into custody as the spirit of the victim looked on appreciatively. This would be accompanied by the playing of a song meant to symbolize the period in which the killing took place.

Through the flashbacks, the show examined many issues related to 20th century history, including: racism, homophobia, sexism, abortion, and police brutality. Some of the cases were based on real life events or victims, akin to the "ripped from the headlines" style from shows like Law & Order.

Music[edit]

The theme song is an excerpt from "Nara" by E.S. Posthumus (who also performed the theme for NFL on CBS), with an introduction by series composer Michael A. Levine that begins with an otherworldly wail from vocalist Elise Morris. Besides Levine's original music, each episode makes extensive use of era-appropriate music for flashbacks to the year in question. Some episodes contain music only from one artist such as Ray Charles, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Doors, John Mellencamp, Johnny Cash, Bob Seger, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Tim McGraw, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra and John Lennon. Pearl Jam's music was used in the two-part season-six finale, the first time one artist's music has been used for two full episodes.[4] In one episode, the music from the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show ("Creatures of the Night" starring Barry Bostwick) and in another episode ("Wilkommen") only music from Cabaret was used. In the series finale, music from The Rolling Stones was used, and for the first time, it featured an unreleased song.

Original Songs of the series:

Characters[edit]

NamePortrayed byOccupationDivisionSeasons
1234567
Det. Lilly RushKathryn MorrisSenior Detective
HomicideMain
Lt. John StillmanJohn FinnLieutenant
Supervisor
HomicideMain
Det. Scotty ValensDanny PinoSenior DetectiveHomicideMain
Det. Nick VeraJeremy RatchfordSenior DetectiveHomicideMain
Det. Will JeffriesThom BarrySenior Detective
Asst. Supervisor
HomicideMain
Det. Kat MillerTracie ThomsJunior Detective/
Senior Detective
formerly in Narcotics/
Homicide
Main
Det. Chris LassingJustin ChambersSenior DetectiveHomicideMain

Guest stars[edit]

CSI: NY crossover[edit]

On May 2, 2007, one of the Cold Case detectives made a rare appearance outside of the series. In the CSI: NY episode "Cold Reveal", Danny Pino appeared as his Cold Case character Scotty Valens as he traveled to New York when it was discovered that CSI Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) was connected to an unsolved case. The CSI shows and Cold Case all air on CBS and are produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. None of the characters from CSI, however, appeared on Cold Case.

Satire[edit]

In 2005, John Finn, Kathryn Morris and Jeremy Ratchford appeared in a satirical promo on the Irish language television station TG4. The commercial won a Gold Medal in the "Best Drama Promos" category of the 2007 Sharks International Advertising Awards Festival of Ireland (Sharks Awards).[5] The promotion features John Finn and Kathryn Morris in character interrogating a murder suspect (Peader Cox) from the TG4 soap Ros na Rún who refuses to speak in English; both detectives then begin talking in Gaelic, much to the surprise of Jeremy Ratchford's character. The promo tied in with a murder investigation in Ros na Rún.[6]

Similar series[edit]

The investigation of "cold cases" has been used as the basis for several other detective dramas, including:

Cold Squad controversy[edit]

Upon its launch, television critics noted similarities between Cold Case and a similar Canadian series called Cold Squad which debuted in 1998, five years before Cold Case.[7] Fans of Cold Squad accused the American series of copying the basic premise and characters of the Canadian version. In 2003, the creators of Cold Squad considered launching legal action against the makers of Cold Case over copyright issues.[8][9] Both shows air in Canada (and on the same network, CTV). The law firm headed by entertainment attorney Pierce O'Donnell, who successfully represented Art Buchwald in his copyright-infringement suit against Paramount and who has defended the James Bond franchise against copycats, has confirmed that it has agreed to represent[clarification needed] the producers of Cold Squad, who claim that the CBS series is a knock-off of their own hit show. The Globe and Mail reported that Meredith Stehm, the creator of the American series, attended a seminar on TV writing at the Canadian Film Centre in 2002 where the concept of Cold Squad was explained to her. O'Donnell's law firm stated: "Our clients are very concerned about many striking similarities and have retained counsel to investigate the situation and if necessary, to take appropriate action."

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesFirst AirdateLast Airdate
Season 123September 28, 2003May 23, 2004
Season 223October 3, 2004May 22, 2005
Season 323September 25, 2005May 21, 2006
Season 424September 24, 2006May 6, 2007
Season 518September 23, 2007May 4, 2008
Season 623September 28, 2008May 10, 2009
Season 722September 27, 2009May 2, 2010[10][11]

U.S. television ratings[edit]

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
SeasonTimeslotSeason premiereSeason finaleTV SeasonRankingRatingViewers
(in millions)
1stSunday 8:00pmSeptember 28, 2003May 23, 20042003–2004#179.3[12]14.18
2ndOctober 3, 2004May 22, 20052004–2005#149.7 [12]15.10
3rdSeptember 25, 2005May 21, 20062005–2006#179.3 [12]14.24
4thSunday 9:00pmSeptember 24, 2006May 6, 20072006–2007#168.9 [12]13.98
5thSeptember 23, 2007May 4, 20082007–2008#287.1 [13]10.89
6thSeptember 28, 2008May 10, 20092008–2009#207.5 [13]12.00
7thSunday 10:00 pm (September 27, 2009 – November 15, 2009)
Sunday 9:00 pm (November 22, 2009 – January 17, 2010)
Sunday 10:00 pm (February 14, 2010 – May 2, 2010)
September 27, 2009May 2, 2010[10]2009–2010#296.3 [13]9.86

Cancellation[edit]

Cold Case began in September 2003 and quickly became a staple of the CBS Sunday night schedule. The crime drama had a successful first season and, by season two, was averaging a 3.5 rating in the 18–49 demographic and 15.1 million viewers. For the next couple seasons, total viewership fell slightly but the demographic numbers rose, reaching a 3.8 in season four.

In season five, the show averaged a 2.9 rating and about 12 million viewers. In Season 6, the ratings sank lower, to an average of a 2.7 rating; CBS made a choice between renewing Without a Trace and Cold Case. They chose to keep Cold Case. In Season 7, the show’s ratings dropped even further to a 2.15 rating in the 18–49 demographic and 9.6 million viewers. One reason for this is that the show aired at 10:00 pm, the ratings dropped 25% to 9 million viewers.[14] In November 22, 2009 CBS scheduled Cold Case at 9:00 pm, the ratings increased to 10 million viewers but it was not enough to keep Cold Case, on February 14, 2010, Cold Case returned to its original schedule, at 10:00 pm.

CBS announced the show would not be renewed for season eight.[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards[edit]

ASCAP Award
GLAAD Media Awards
Image Awards
Imagen Foundation Awards

Nominations[edit]

ALMA Awards
ASC Awards
Excellence in Production Design Award
CDG Awards
GLAAD Media Awards
Emmy

Soundtrack[edit]

A soundtrack CD was released in 2008 by Lakeshore Records, featuring incidental music composed by Michael A. Levine from the first four seasons, as well as the song 300 Flowers, sung by Robbyn Kirmsse.[15]

Track listing
No.TitleLength
1."Late Returns"  3:06
2."The Good Death"  4:12
3."The Park"  1:08
4."Detective's Reprise"  1:40
5."Sister Vivian's Flashback"  1:04
6."Yo, Adrian (featuring Elin Carlson)"  1:13
7."Churchgoing People"  1:52
8."Gwen & Rush"  0:56
9."The Professor"  3:15
10."Sadie's Blues (featuring Carmen Twillie)"  3:47
11."Forever Blue"  4:59
12."Bad Night (featuring Robbyn Kirmsse)"  2:02
13."Fireflies"  1:51
14."Carl's Recollection"  3:42
15."Saving Sammy"  3:30
16."Freely's Flashback"  2:07
17."8:03 am"  2:45
18."Rush & George"  2:56
19."The Badlands (featuring Jason Ralicki)"  2:48
20."The Window"  1:58
21."Train Station"  1:04
22."300 Flowers (featuring Robbyn Kirmsse)"  2:48
23."Best Friends"  2:13
24."Baby Blues"  3:12

International broadcasts[edit]

Broadcasters carrying the show include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hibberd, James (May 18, 2010). "CBS cancels seven shows, including "Ghost", "Case"". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  2. ^ James, Newton Howard (June 22, 2011). "CBS canceled shows including ghost, case". IGN. 
  3. ^ Staff (2012). "Home". MyNetworkTV. MyNetworkTV, Inc. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Pearl Jam Turns "Ten" Buzz". March 19, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Corporate – Awards". TG4. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Cold Case meets Ros Na Rún". YouTube/TG4. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ Bob Sassone (September 18, 2006). "The strange case of Cold Squad". TV Squad. Retrieved February 21, 2008. 
  8. ^ Ian Edwards (November 10, 2003). "Cold Squad on Bruckheimer Case". Playback. Retrieved February 21, 2008. 
  9. ^ Dan Brown (December 4, 2003). "The genius of Ratchford". CBC News. Retrieved February 21, 2008. 
  10. ^ a b http://www.cbspressexpress.com/div.php/cbs_entertainment/release?id=24809
  11. ^ Staff (2012). "Cold Case - CBS (ended 2010)". TV.com. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d Brooks, Tim; Earle Marsh (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows (1946—Present): Ninth Edition. United States: Ballantine Books. pp. 1697–1698. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. 
  13. ^ a b c Tim Brooks (6). "Top Rated TV Programs By Season (2007-2011)". Television and Record Industry History Resources. Tim Brooks. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Staff (22). "Cold Case: CBS TV Show’s Cancelled, No Season Eight". TV Series Finale. TV Series Finale. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Cold Case Soundtrack page at Lakeshore Records". November 11, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  16. ^ CHASE Station ID, MTRCB rating, and Cold Case retrieved via www.youtube.com 05-25-2012

External links[edit]