Podcast 117: “Cagney & Lacey & Barney Rosenzweig, Part 1”

Buckle up, kids - We’re kicking off our series on Cagney & Lacey!

Sharon & Susan begin their look back at the classic 80’s TV series Cagney & Lacey with a conversation with the show’s creator and executive producer, Barney Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig’s career spans five decades and hundreds of hours of television including Charlie’s Angels, Daniel Boone, Christie, Twice in a Lifetime, and The Trials of Rosie O’Neill.

But he made TV history when he approached writers Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday with a simple yet revolutionary idea: “Write a Robert Redford/Paul Newman buddy movie -- but for women.” They in turn wrote Cagney & Lacey to answer the burning 1980s question: “Can women be buddies under pressure?” Together, they created a legendary television series that Rosenzweig elegantly describes as “a show about two women – who just happen to be cops”.

Cagney & Lacey is a police procedural drama - starring Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless - that premiered in 1982 and ran until 1988. The franchise included 125 episodes and five TV movies. The show has been the recipient of 37 Primetime Emmy nominations with 14 wins, including four wins for a leading actress in a drama for Daly and two wins for Gless.
Read Transcript

The Conversation

  • Three Cagneys, Two “pilots”… and One Lacey! - How Tyne Daly’s Mary Beth Lacey went through three Christine Cagneys: Loretta Switt, Meg Foster -- and finally Sharon Gless.
  • But what’s a Showrunner? - Barney explains his role in collaborating with writers, directors, actors and artists to bring a singular vision to life.
  • A Life-Changing Epiphany – How a night at the movies with future wife Barbara Avedon showed a “50’s guy” what sexism really is.
  • Getting her first movie gig with RoHow Cagney & Lacey were almost played by… Anne Bancroft & Raquel Welch??
  • Working publicity for MGM's Howard Strickling and directors Martin Ritt and Tony Richardson - which one was "the worst experience of my life"?
  • How to shoot Toronto for New York – there is a trick…
  • How a chance meeting with Suzanne Levine got Cagney & Lacey on the cover of Ms. Magazine – and a 48 share!
So join us as we talk about the University of Southern California yell-leaders, 1965 MGM-epic Ben Hur, car bombs – and throwing up over “director’s cuts”!

Our Audio-ography

All 5 seasons of “Remington Steele” are now available on Amazon Prime and AppleTV!

Cagney & Lacey Official website.

Read Barney Rosenzweig’s Blog!

Get Barney’s book: “Cagney & Lacey… and me”

Help us out AND get ad-free episodes and other good stuff: WE’RE NOW ON PATREON!


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


80s TV Ladies™ Episode 117 – “Cagney & Lacey & Barney Rosenzweig”
Produced by 134 West and Susan Lambert Hatem.
Hosted by Susan Lambert Hatem and Sharon Johnson.
Guests: Barney Rosenzweig.
Sound Engineer and Editor: Kevin Ducey.
Producer: Melissa Roth.
Associate Producer: Sergio Perez.
Music by Amy Engelhardt.
Copyright 2023 134 West, LLC and Susan Lambert. All Rights Reserved.