Third Watch
Third Watch logo (1)
Genre Crime, Drama, Medical, Police procedural
Created by John Wells
Edward Allen Bernero
Starring Lead Actors
Producer Christopher Chulack
John Wells
Edward Allen Bernero
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 132
Production company(s) John Wells Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Country of origin United States, Canada
Original network NBC
Running time 43-44 minutes
Original run September 23, 1999
Finale May 6, 2005
List of episodes List of Episodes
Related shows ER
IMDB profile Third Watch at

Third Watch is an American television crime drama series that ran on NBC from September 23, 1999 to May 6, 2005, for a total of six seasons and 132 original episodes. It was produced in partnership with the John Wells Productions and association with Warner Bros. Television.

The show was set and filmed in New York City, and with an ensemble cast of characters the storylines centered on the lives of police officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the firefighters and paramedics of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), all working the same fictional precinct during the 3 pm to 11 pm shift - the 'Third Watch'.

After the September 11 terrorist attacks hit New York in 2001, season 3 opened with the award-winning October 15, 2001 episode "In Their Own Words", featuring interviews with real-life NYPD and FDNY members who responded to the attacks. The following episode was titled "September Tenth".

Premise Edit

The series followed the exploits of a group of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics in the fictional NYPD 55th Precinct and the fictional FDNY Squad 55/Ladder 100/Battalion 24 firehouse, whose shifts fell between 3 pm and 11 pm, the "third watch". The precinct and fire station were located on the corner of King Boulevard and Arthur Street; hence the nickname "Camelot". Exterior/interior shots of the 55th Precinct and the firehouse were filmed in Long Island City, Queens, although both in the show appear to be located somewhere between the Bronx, and midtown and Inwood in Manhattan. Third Watch succeeded in presenting all three branches of New York City's emergency services in the same show, reviving a failed attempt to do so nine years prior with the similarly themed H.E.L.P.

The show balanced numerous single-episode events with other, ongoing storylines, some of which spanned multiple seasons. Though it gained much acclaim and eventually won an award for its emotional and honest portrayal of 9/11 and its aftermath, Third Watch was also criticized in some circles for extremely detailed violence, and extensive (by network standards) profane language. The show was created, produced, and written by John Wells and Edward Allen Bernero. The theme song for the show was "Keep Hope Alive" by The Crystal Method, except for the pilot episode, when "Right Here, Right Now" by Fatboy Slim was played during the opening sequence.

Series ended Edit

Nevertheless, NBC announced the cancellation of the show on April 2005, after six seasons. In the series finale, "Goodbye to Camelot", broadcast on May 6, 2005, the third watch is disbanded after a grenade attack burned down the police station.

Conception Edit

John Wells had wanted to do a show about paramedics for some time due to his work on ER, but did not think he had enough material to make such a show. Ed Bernero, a former Chicago cop, had wanted to do a police drama partly based on his own experiences. The two worked together on the short-lived show Trinity and, after that show was cancelled, Wells asked Bernero if he wanted to co-create a show with him.

Originally, the show was only going to be about the police and paramedics, but firefighter Jimmy Doherty was added to the show after Eddie Cibrian auditioned for the role of Bosco. Cibrian lost out to Jason Wiles, but because of the attention he received from women due to his good looks, the producers decided to put him in the show as a new character. Bernero reportedly commented that they did not have any firefighters, and the fire aspect of the show was added.

Cast and Characters Edit

Main article: List of Third Watch characters

Episodes Edit

Main article: Third Watch: Episodes

The series consists of six seasons with a total of 132 episodes, produced and broadcast from September 23, 1999, to May 6, 2005.

Season Episodes Network First air date Last air date
Season One 22 NBC September 26, 1999 May 15, 2000
Season Two October 2, 2000 May 14, 2001
Season Three October 15, 2001 May 13, 2002
Season Four September 30, 2002 April 28, 2003
Season Five September 29, 2003 May 7, 2004
Season Six September 24, 2004 May 6, 2005

DVD Release Edit

Warner Home Video released Season 1 of Third Watch on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4. Season 2 was released in Region 1 on July 7, 2009.

Warner Archive Collection owns the international DVD rights to the show, although four seasons were they have not made any releases yet.

DVD name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Third Watch: The Complete First Season 22 February 5, 2008 May 26, 2006 May 3, 2006
Third Watch: The Complete Second Season July 7, 2009 TBA N/A

Music licensing issues delayed the release of the first two seasons and, as of 2017, it is unknown when or if the remaining four seasons will ever be released, most likely due to the same issues.

Reception Edit

Third Watch was also broadcast worldwide including Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

Awards and nominations Edit

The hit series won the prestigious Peabody Award for Season 3 episode "In Their Own Words", in which series regulars Michael Beach, Coby Bell, Amy Carlson, Eddie Cibrian, Kim Raver, Anthony Ruivivar, Skipp Sudduth, and Jason Wiles introduced clips of interviews with the real-life NYPD and FDNY members who responded to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Series regular Molly Price was interviewed in a segment because she is married to real-life FDNY firefighter and Third Watch recurring guest star Derek Kelly.

Many Third Watch former cast members were nominated for awards for their work on the show. Among them, both Bobby Cannavale and Anthony Ruivivar were nominated for ALMA Awards for their positive portrayals of Latino characters. Nia Long also won several NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of the African-American character Sasha Monroe. Other cast members, including Michael Beach, Molly Price, and Tia Texada also were nominated for various awards. The show itself was nominated for several Primetime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Stunt Coordination and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series, which it won in 2000.

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