Homicide: Life on the Street

Homicide Opening S6

Format Police procedural
Picture Format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Running Time 40–45 minutes
Created by Paul Attanasio
Narrated By
Opening Theme
Country of origin United States
Language English
Original channel NBC
Original run 31 January 1993
Finale 21 May 1999
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 122
(As of present)
List of episodes {{{list_episodes}}}
IMDB profile Homicide: Life on the Street summary Homicide: Life on the Street
related shows Law & Order franchise
Belzer Homicide S6

Richard Belzer in the opening credits

Homicide: Life on the Street is an American television police procedural series chronicling the work of the Baltimore Police Department homicide unit. It ran for seven seasons on the NBC network from 1993 to 1999 and then was followed by a 2000 TV movie that served as a de facto series finale. The show was based on David Simon's true crime book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, which follows a year with the Baltimore Homicide Unit. Many episodes were based on true cases, including:

The Angel of Reservoir Hill: The sexual assault murder of Laytonya Kim Wallace was worked on by rookie Tom Pellegrini. The Adena Watson murder case in the show was based on this case. Both versions of the case are open.

The Shooting of Gene Cassidy: A patrolman who was shot in the face with a .357 Magnum and lived. Sgt. Terrence McLarney closed the case and the shooting of Chris Thornmann was based on it. Steve Crosetti, who was in charge of the investigation like the real version was a friend of the patrolman. Crosetti was based on McLarney.

The Black Widow: A woman who took out insurance policies on her husbands then got hit man Dennis "Cutty" Wise to kill them. One would be victim was her three-year-old niece. She received three concurrent life sentences. The story of Caluprina Church is based on this.

The Shooting of John Raldoff Scott: A young car thief shot in the back while fleeing from police officers. The only unsolved police shooting in Baltimore PD history. The shooting of C.C. Cox is based on it and unlike the real version, Detective Frank Pembleton (who is based on Harry Edgarton) closed the case.

Detectives Tim Bayliss, John Munch, and Meldrick Lewis and Lieutenant Al Giardello are the only characters in the series to survive all seven seasons. The show also had a large impact on the African American community since it had noble black characters. It was canceled after losing to Nash Bridges.

Homicide: Life on the Street was often considered the sister show to the original Law & Order, although it was created by Paul Attanasio and not Dick Wolf. Writer and director Tom Fontana is such a good friend of Dick Wolf that the character Detective Joe Fontana was named after him.

Detective John Munch was a member of the Baltimore PD and later moved to New York and joined the New York City Police Department's Special Victims Unit on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Homicide writers never wrote a script they didn't want to write.

In the Homicide: Life on the Street season three episode "Law and Disorder", Detective Mike Logan (played by Chris Noth) escorted a prisoner awaiting transfer from New York to Baltimore.

In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit season ten episode "Zebras", Gwen Munch makes an appearance when one of her friends, Peter Harrison, is a suspect in a murder. Munch uses her to find him; she slaps him when she finds out.

In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit season fifteen episode "Wonderland Story", Detective Meldrick Lewis (played by Clark Johnson), Gwen Munch, and Billie Lou Hatfield attend Munch's NYPD retirement party.


Law & Order has produced three crossover two-parters with Homicide: Life on the Street. A case would begin with Law & Order (the higher-rated show) in New York City for Part One, before moving the action to Baltimore for Part Two.

L&O: "Charm City" season six, episode 13 and Homicide: "For God and Country" season 4, episode 12

Col. Alexander Rausch God and Country

Actor J.K. Simmons as Col. Alexander Rausch

A terrorist attack targeting African-Americans kills twenty people in New York, and the Baltimore cops connect it to an earlier racially-driven attack that killed six people. The cops team up to find a militia leader with vile plans before he gets away with murder.

L&O: "Baby, It's You" season eight, episode 6 and Homicide: "Baby, It's You (2)" season 6, episode 5

Briscoe Bratt Baby, It's You 2

Detectives Briscoe and Curtis

A teenage supermodel dies after being sexually assaulted. The dual-city investigation focuses at first on an obsessive fan and later on her father, before a stunning revelation closes the case.
Sam Waterston's name was misspelled "Sam Waterson" in the opening credits.

L&O: "Sideshow" season nine, episode 14 and Homicide: "Sideshow (2)" season 7, episode 15

McCoy Sideshow 2

Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy

A murder investigation in New York leads cops in a maze of intrigue that includes a lesbian hitwoman, gang members, and political machinations both for and against the current Administration.