Third Watch: A Comprehensive Guide to the Iconic Series

The American crime drama Third Watch was one of the most popular TV shows in the late 90s to mid-2000s. John Wells and Edward Allen Bernero created the show for NBC. Third Watch followed the lives of police officers in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the firefighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Personnel in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

The show premiered on September 26, 1999, with its finale on May 6, 2005. It ran for 132 episodes across 6 seasons. Third Watch was created with an ensemble cast of characters, with many of them receiving several award nominations. Here’s a comprehensive guide to NBC’s crime drama Third Watch.

Third Watch Overview

Third Watch series

The show aimed to showcase the exploits of servicemen and women in the NYPD and FDNY. This series derived its name from the work shift of its characters, which began and ended between 3:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Besides following the professional lives of these police officers, paramedics, and firefighters, its subplot also explores their personal lives and relationships.

The series was set in a fictional NYPD 55th Precinct and the FDNY Squad 55/Ladder 100/Battalion 24 firehouse. A recurring nickname for the fictional Precinct was Camelot because it was located between the corners of King Boulevard and Arthur Street. The main characters of Third Watch that appeared in all 6 seasons of the show include NYPD Officer Maurice “Bosco” Boscorelli, NYPD Officer Tyrone “Ty” Davis Jr., NYPD Officer John ‘Sully’ Sullivan, FDNY Paramedic Carlos Nieto, NYPD Officer/Detective Faith Yokas, and FDNY Firefighter Derek “DK” Kitson. FDNY Firefighter/Lieutenant James “Jimmy” Doherty appeared as part of the main cast from seasons 1 to 5.

How Third Watch Was Created

Third Watch TV series

John Wells was an executive producer on the popular medical drama ER. With the show’s success, Wells wanted to create a similar show that would focus on the work-life of paramedics. However, he didn’t have enough to work with at the time that could span out as a TV show. Edward Allen Bernero had worked as a police officer in Chicago before he began his career in television. Coincidentally, Bernero had also hoped to use his experience as a cop to create a series. It was a no-brainer for them to agree to collaborate to produce the show that became known as Third Watch. Including firefighters in the series was an afterthought. Interestingly, Eddie Cibrian‘s good looks nudged the show’s creators to create a character that’ll keep him in the series. This birthed the idea of including FDNY Firefighter/Lieutenant James “Jimmy” Doherty in the series.

Top Cast Of Third Watch

cast of Third Watch series

Third Watch was a career booster for several of the show’s cast. Jason Wiles played NYPD Officer Maurice “Bosco” Boscorelli. Bosco, as he’s mostly called, is known for his “act now, think later” attitude. Before Third Watch, he played recurring and main cast roles in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1995–1996) and To Have & to Hold (1998). Coby Bell played NYPD Officer Tyrone “Ty” Davis Jr. The character was introduced in season 1 as a rookie and partnered with John “Sully” Sullivan. Bell’s only major TV appearance before Third Watch was in L.A. Doctors (1998–1999).

Skipp Sudduth played NYPD Officer John ‘Sully’ Sullivan, ex-partner to Ty Jr.’s father. Anthony Ruivivar played FDNY Paramedic Carlos Nieto. The role became his breakthrough role in television, having only made guest appearances in Law & Order (1997) and All My Children (1997). Molly Price played NYPD Officer/Detective Faith Yokas. Faith was Bosco’s partner but split up by the end of season 4. She was later partnered up with Sasha Monroe. Other notable cast are Derek Kelly as Derek “DK” Kitson, Bobby Cannavale as Roberto “Bobby” Caffey, Kim Raver as Kimberly “Kim” Zambrano, Michael Beach as Monte “Doc” Parker, Nia Long as Sasha Monroe, and Chris Bauer as Frederick “Fred” Yokas.

Nominations And Awards Third Watch Received

Top cast of Third Watch TV series

Third Watch was an instant hit with many crime drama TV audiences for its authenticity and being relatable. It received nominations throughout its run from several award associations. The series honored the men and women of the real NYPD and FDNY after the September 11, 2001 attack. It began its season 3 with a special episode (“In Their Own Words”), which was a collection of interviews with the real NYPD and FDNY responders. The episode won a Peabody Award in 2002.

Nia Long won two consecutive Image Awards (NAACP) for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2004 and 2005. It was also nominated and won in non-acting categories at the Primetime Emmy Awards. With the show not renewed for a seventh season in 2005, Third Watch is often included on the list of TV shows canceled too early. Third Watch is available to watch Amazon Prime Video

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