Actors and Scenes From Out of the `Blue'


Series' Candid Cast Members Help Steer Twists in Plot

By Janice Berman. STAFF WRITER

HERE'S WHAT makes Steven Bochco happy: 26 Emmy
nominations for his ABC series, "NYPD Blue."

Here's what makes Steven Bochco unhappy: reporters
who divulge information about storylines for the
upcoming season.

Such as what he said to a reporter who wrote that Det.
Andy Sipowicz (played by Dennis Franz) is going to
propose to assistant D. A. Sylvia Costas (played by
Sharon Lawrence).

"Why do you want to spoil it for the viewers?" Bochco

Maybe because the viewers want to know what's
happening on one of their favorite shows.Those who
don't want to know from storylines ought to turn the page
- right now.

Late last month - two days before David Caruso's
impending departure went from rumor to fact, five "Blue"
Emmy nominees - Lawrence, Amy Brenneman, Gordon
Clapp, Gail O'Grady and Nicholas Turturro - gathered in a
subterranean conference room on the 20th Century Fox
lot, where the first show was shooting. (The series returns
on Oct. 11.)

Talk rambled from Emmy nominations to story lines, with
a little time out for banter, including some about Caruso,
whose character, John Kelly, attracted significant
attention last season for displaying his nude backside in a
love scene.

With that thought in mind, Brenneman - who bared her
bod as Det. Kelly's first love interest, Det. Janice Licalsi -
had some shocking news for fellow cast member Clapp.
"You have a love scene with David coming up, simply
because he wants to get naked with everybody," she
said. "We're undercover," joked Clapp, who plays Det.
Greg Medavoy, administrative aide Donna Abandando's
(played by O'Grady) shy guy.

Brenneman will be leaving the series after the second
episode, even though she was nominated for Outstanding
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. But she predicts
that confessed killer and ex-detective Licalsi will be back:
"I heard from the grapevine that Janice gets the least
amount of time she can possibly get, without going to trial
so I think they should use her. It would be good to get her
back and have her do some undercover."

Because Licalsi killed a mobster and his driver, "she's a
felon and she isn't. Her perspective is so wonderful,"
Brenneman said. As a guest, Licalsi could get to do more
police work, which took a back seat last season to her
heated affair with Kelly.

"I'd love that," Brenneman said, adding that being an
occasional visitor is like "going to a party, a chance to
come back and play."

Deadpanned Clapp, "I think they should tell David
[Caruso] that, too. `David, if you want to drop by for a
couple of weeks, come on in, the party's always open.' "

So what will happen to Medavoy? Clapp says he wants
his character to "move in with Donna, get taken to the
cleaners by his wife, and then they win the lottery."

But he also wants to deal with Medavoy's relationship to
his kids. "I'd like to see it addressed," said Clapp, an
Emmy nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a
Drama Series. "They took me off the hook by having my
wife have the affair. In a way I think it would have been
more interesting to deal with me initiating the split, saying
`I'm the one that's unhappy, I have to do this,' and then
defending my character. But it was too risky." The writers,
he said, "didn't want me to be a deadbeat and Donna to
be the homewrecker." ONE SCENARIO Clapp has heard
about has Donna's sister moving into the apartment she's
sharing with Medavoy. The sister takes a shine to
Medavoy, and "Donna gets upset about that.

"I don't want to jinx it," he added. "The writers change
their minds about these things. They get wonderful ideas
and then put them on the back burner."

Many of the best ideas, said Brenneman, come from
executive producer David Milch. "It's his mind. So much
of it is his."

Added Clapp: "You bring David a scenario and he'll do a
hundred different variations on it and come up with a
great story. That's what he did withNick's (Turturro) friend
who was involved in a shootout." The result was the
episode in which Nicholas Turturro, as Det. James
Martinez, shot a man - a showcased performance that
helped earn Turturro an Emmy nomination, too.

Turturro says he'll miss fellow Queens native Caruso, but
anticipates no problem working with his replacement,
former "L. A. Law" star Jimmy Smits. This season, he
added, Martinez - the only character without a love
interest last season - will be looking for romance. "He may
get a crush on somebody he's guarding," he said.

With or without Caruso, predicted Brenneman, "the show
will land on its feet. It has integrity and energy and these
guys" - Bochco and Milch - "are so smart."

The women, said Lawrence, are smart, too. Even though
Det. Sipowicz is proposing ("I don't know whether she
says yes or not"), Lawrence wants Costas to "do more
legal stuff and continue to grow in her job."

Whatever happens Sunday night at the Emmys, Lawrence
is pleased with how the show has developed. When the
audience tunes in Tuesday nights at 10, she says, "it's the
characters they're responding to, and that's a cool thing."