Reboots and revivals have been all the rage on the small screen in recent years, and ABC is jumping back into the NYPD Blue universe with an upcoming pilot. The revival will center on Andy Sipowicz's son rather than Sipowicz himself, so the pressure was undoubtedly on to cast just the right person to play the kid of such an iconic TV character. Now, the role has been cast, and Fabien Frankel will bring the character to life.
If the name "Fabien Frankel" doesn't ring a bell for you, don't feel like you fell short on your pop culture knowledge. Frankel is a newcomer to showbiz. The 24-year-old British actor is on board as Theo Sipowicz, and it's anybody's guess as to how he'll work as the lead actor in an NYPD Blue show.
The search for the revival star was reportedly exhaustive, so kudos to Fabien Frankel for landing such a significant role in his first TV outing! According to Deadline, Frankel won the role after a three-month search and multiple tests for the right actor to play Theo.
Don't hold out hope that you'll see Fabien Frankel acting opposite Dennis Franz for some Sipowicz family scenes. The NYPD Revival follows Theo as he attempts to become an NYPD detective and earn a space in the 15th squad where his father had worked. Instead of working with his dad, Theo will be investigating the murder of his father. R.I.P. Andy Sipowicz! If Franz does appear in the revival, it would probably have to be via flashback, hallucination, or dream sequence.
It does sound like the Sipowicz apple didn't fall far from the tree. Theo will reportedly be as quick-witted as his late father, but also as stubbornly hard-headed and a heavy drinker. He's part of the 15th precinct also including Detective Nicole Lazarus, to be played by Alona Tal of Supernatural and SEAL Team fame. Tal and Fabien Frankel are joined by two familiar faces from the original NYPD Blue: Kim Delaney as Diane Russell and Bill Brochtrup as John Irvin.
All things considered, the NYPD Blue revival pilot is shaping up to honor the original series while also taking the narrative in a brand new direction. That said, you shouldn't start planning weekly watch parties for another NYPD Blue. The project is still in the pilot stage; if the first episode doesn't work out, it may never score a series order. A lot may depend on the cast.
Some revivals have been more successful than others. Roseanne was a massive success during its brief run, and the first revival season of The X-Files was a big winner, but there are also projects like Murphy Brown that just haven't garnered the interest that networks undoubtedly would have liked. NYPD Blue may be a bit of a gamble for ABC. Jesse Bochco, son of original NYPD Blue co-creator Steven Bochco, will direct the pilot and executive produce, as will the Steven Bochco's widow, Dayna Bochco.
Also executive producing are original NYPD Blue writers and executive producers Matt Olmstead and Nick Wootton. If you're now in the mood to relive the glory days of original recipe NYPD Blue, you can find the series streaming on both Hulu and Amazon Prime. For some more of what you can watch now and in the not-too-distant future, drop by our midseason TV premiere guide.