Third Watch
Third Watch titlecard (blue)
Third Watch opening logo
Series Information
Created By: John Wells
Edward Allen Bernero
Produced by: John Wells Production
Warner Bros. Television
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
No. of seasons: 6
No. of episodes: 132
First aired: September 23, 1999
Last aired: May 6, 2005
Running time: 43-44 minutes
Status: Ended/Cancelled
Cast Information
Executive Producer: Christopher Chulack
John Wells
Edward Allen Bernero
John Romano
Brooke Kennedy
Jorge Zamacona
Starring: Lead Actors
Theme music: "Keep Hope Alive" by The Crystal Method
Studio: NBC Studios
Broadcast/Internet Information
United States/English
Network: NBC
Website/URL: Third Watch at
Third Watch logo (1)
Third Watch titlecard (red)

Third Watch is an American television crime drama series created by John Wells and Edward Allen Bernero 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 characters
Cast Characters Appearance Seasons
Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6
Michael Beach Monte "Doc" Parker
FDNY Paramedic
104 Main Guest
Coby Bell Tyrone "Ty" Davis Jr.
NYPD Officer
132 Main
Eddie Cibrian James "Jimmy" Doherty
FDNY Firefighter/Lieutenant
102 Main Guest
Bobby Cannavale Roberto "Bobby" Caffey
FDNY Paramedic
39 Main
Molly Price Faith Yokas
132 Main
Kim Raver Kimberly "Kim" Zambrano
FDNY Paramedic
112 Main Guest
Anthony Ruivivar Carlos Nieto
FDNY Paramedic
132 Main
Skip Sudduth John "Sully" Sullivan
NYPD Officer
132 Main
Jason Wiles Maurice "Bosco" Boscorelli
FDNY Paramedic
112 Main
Chris Bauer Fred Yokas 53 Main
Amy Carlson Alexandra "Alex" Taylor
FDNY Paramedic/Firefighter
62 Main
Tia Texada Maritza Cruz
NYPD Sergeant
52 Main
Nia Long Sasha Monroe
NYPD Officer/IAB Detective
43 Main
Bonnie Dennison Emily Yokas 43 Recurring Main
Cara Buono Grace Foster
FDNY Paramedic
22 Main
Josh Stewart Brendan Finney
NYPD Officer
22 Main

Episodes Edit

Main article: List of 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 Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 22 September 26, 1999 May 15, 2000
2 22 October 2, 2000 May 14, 2001
3 22 October 15, 2001 May 15, 2002
4 22 September 30, 2002 April 28, 2003
5 22 September 29, 2003 May 7, 2004
6 22 September 24, 2004 May 6, 2005

Development and production Edit

The main premise for Third Watch was inspired by such television series as ER, and China Beach. Series creator John Wells saw its concept as a way of developing an original anthology series, as anthologies were unpopular with the networks.

The series ran on NBC for six seasons, from September 1999 through May 2005.

A soundtrack album was first released in 1996, titled "Keep Hope Alive", who played The Crystal Method in "Species" (1995) and "The Replacement Killers". It was released by Moonshine Music on CD and cassette tape.

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.

It is unknown as to when Warner Archive Collection will release sets of the remaining six seasons.

DVD name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete First Season 22 February 5, 2008 May 26, 2006 May 3, 2006
The Complete Second Season July 7, 2009 TBA N/A
The Complete Third Season N/A N/A N/A
The Complete Fourth Season N/A N/A N/A
The Complete Fifth Season N/A N/A N/A
The Complete Sixth and Final Season N/A N/A N/A
Third Watch: The Complete Series 132 TBA 2019 N/A 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.

Ratings Edit

The show finished its first season (1999–2000) barely in the Top 20, placing 27th in the Nielsen ratings, with an average rating of 9.8. The second season did considerably better, making it into the Top 40 finishing its second season (2000–2001) 46th in the Nielsen ratings with an average rating of 7.7. Viewership increased 12.3% from season one.

The show finished its third season (2001–2002) at a higher place in the ratings, placing 38th with an average rating of 7.05 during the season; however, the ratings share was a drop of 3.5% from the second season.

External links Edit

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