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The Shield

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The Shield
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Premiere March 12, 2002
Finale November 25, 2008
Creator Shawn Ryan
Network FX
Style 60-minute crime drama
Company MiddKid Productions
Fox Television Studios
Sony Pictures Television
Seasons 7
Episodes 88
Origin USA
The Road to Justice is Twisted.

The Shield is a controversial and ground-breaking cop show that aired on FX. Created by Shawn Ryan, the show premiered in 2002 to a large cable audience: one of the highest ratings for a pilot in cable history. Since then, it has met with much critical praise, a consistently good ratings base, several awards, and much contempt from such organizations as the Parents Television Council.

Taking place in the fictional Farmington district of Los Angeles, The Shield examines the ambiguity of justice: as its tag line states, "The Road to Justice is Twisted". The action centers around the police headquarters known as "The Barn", where veteran cop Vic Mackey (played by Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis) runs the elite Strike Team with Shane Vendrell, Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky and Ronnie Gardocki. The Strike Team has a reputation for getting results out on the streets and is responsible for dropping crime rates. However, the Strike Team is also a tremendous source of controversy and a headache for the ambitious Police Chief David Aceveda, who doesn't approve of the Strike Team's brutal methods but seems ineffective at stopping them. The Barn's other cops include the professional Detectives Claudette Wyms and her highly intelligent but neurotic loser partner Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach, and Officer Danielle "Danny" Sofer and her rookie partner Officer Julien Lowe.

Much of the praise for The Shield is aimed at its writers, who manage to flesh its characters out beyond the usual cop show clichés and take a no-holds barred approach to portraying the different characters' versions of "justice" as seen on the show. The Shield is also notable for its realistic portrayal of racial conflicts and Los Angeles gangs (though the gangs portrayed in the show are fictional, they often seem oddly similar to some real-life gangs). The superb acting performances have earned rave reviews all around and actor Michael Chiklis an Emmy. However, with abundant profanity, violence and nudity integral to its plots, The Shield has become a target for the Parents Television Council, a "television decency" group, who have led boycotts intended to keep the show from airing.

The PTC's campaign has not been successful and the show continues with the sixth season currently airing on FX, Tuesday nights at 10 pm Eastern.

A video game based upon The Shield produced by Sammy Studios was scheduled to be released in 2005, but was shelved when the company was acquired by High Moon Studios.



Actor Character Duration
Billed Cast
Michael Chiklis Vic Mackey 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Glenn Close Monica Rowling 4
Forest Whitaker Jon Kavanaugh 5 6
Catherine Dent Danielle "Danny" Sofer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Walton Goggins Shane Vendrell 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Michael Jace Julien Lowe 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Kenneth Johnson Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky 1 2 3 4 5
Jay Karnes Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Benito Martinez David Aceveda 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
CCH Pounder Claudette Wyms 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Cathy Cahlin Ryan Corrine Mackey 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
David Rees Snell Ronnie Gardocki 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Paula Garcés Tina Hanlon 6 7


Season Premiere Finale #
Season One March 12, 2002 June 15, 2002 13
Season Two January 6, 2003 April 1, 2003 13
Season Three March 9, 2004 June 15, 2004 15
Season Four March 15, 2005 June 14, 2005 13
Season Five January 10, 2006 March 21, 2006 11
Season Six April 3, 2007 June 5, 2007 10
Season Seven September 2, 2008 November 25, 2008 13


DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Complete Series
The Complete Series Collection November 3, 2009 28


Season Sets
The Complete First Season January 7, 2003 4

Season 2 January 6, 2004 4

Season 3 February 22, 2005 4

Season 4 December 26, 2005 4

Season 5 March 27, 2007 4

Season 6 August 26, 2008 4

Season 7 June 9, 2009 4

External Sites