The Commish

I saw the boxed set of THE COMMISH at Best Buy today.  THE COMMISH was a Stephen J. Cannell crime drama that coasted along for four seasons on ABC without attracting any real attention. It was about a lovable, soft-hearted small-town police chief and family man who solved crimes and helped people in need. It was your typical, inoffensive, shot-on-the-cheap-in-Canada 90s cop show. And yet,  THE COMMISH is directly responsible for some of the most innovative and success series on television today.

COMMISH star Michael Chiklis is now the Emmy-winning lead of  THE SHIELD. 

COMMISH writer/producers Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran created 24 and are its exec producers. The staff on 24 includes Stephen Kronish, co-creator and co-executive producer of THE COMMISH, and Evan Katz, who also worked on the show.

COMMISH director Brad Turner went on to helm episodes of 24, PRISON BREAK, and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, among many others. 

COMMISH producers Glen Morgan & James Wong went on to THE X-FILES (which was co-exec produced by Howard Gordon, who is now an exec producer on 24) and wrote & directed the FINAL DESTINATION films.

COMMISH producer David Greenwalt went on to BUFFY, ANGEL and is now on SURFACE.

COMMISH director David Nutter became one of TV’s most sought after and successful directors of pilots. His credits include SMALLVILLE, SUPERNATURAL, and DARK ANGEL (to name a few).

And what was I doing while all these folks were working on THE COMMISH? I was working right down the hall on another Stephen J. Cannell crime drama called COBRA. The staff of COBRA has reshaped television, going on to do–

Oh God, how depressing.

9 thoughts on “The Commish”

  1. Was THE COMMISH a happy show to work on? Or a boiling pit of competition and resentments? My gut says that the first is the best spawning-ground for achievers but I know producers who think you get the best out of your people by keeping them stressed and uncomfortable.

  2. I liked The Commish. So it wasn’t cutting edge. In the 90’s, many of us were damn tired of cutting edge. We just wanted to watch a show with characters that we would invite for dinner.

  3. Isn’t it interesting how a show or production brings so much talent together that the ripple effect is felt years into the future.
    I used to watch Northern Exposure, which is still in syndication. Many of the actors, staff and crew went on to do great things.
    Sorry about Cobra.

  4. I too loved THE COMMISH when it was on, and am getting the DVD sets as I see them. (Okay, to be honest, from Season Two on, Melinda McGraw was a *major* draw for me), but has anyone noticed how X FILES has kind of fizzled and died? No more XF books in bookstores, no more comic books, no more soundtracks or “inspired by”, lots of rumors about a second movie, but no real action being taken? The only recent news I’ve seen about Chris Carter is he is suing Fox Network for profits he didn’t get.

  5. I remember watching The Commish when I was a kid. It was one of the few shows my mom would actually let me watch. I have to be honest though I don’t really remember much of what happened on the show, but I know I watched it. That and some medical show with Peter Strauss. (I’m not sure on the spelling of the guy’s name.)
    Though before I buy The Commish on DVD I think I’ll have to purchase Doogie Howser, M.D. only because I can actually remember that show more and Neil Patrick Harris was absolutely adorable.

  6. Wow, Lee, you worked on COBRA? I enjoyed that show a lot. Especially the car the show was–I guess–named after. I almost came close to buying a replica of the Shelby 427 Cobra recently. You gotta love a race car that comes with a fire extinguisher strapped to the floor.

  7. Sorry, but it’s a known fact people just hate snakes. Isn’t anything named after a snake just doomed to slither away and die, no matter how good.
    Commishes on the other hand have a warm sibilent fuzzy feel.

  8. Cobra might not have done so well but what about your other shows.
    Seaquest for example. Rockne O’Bannon went on to create Farscape, Naren Shankar works on CSI, Javier Marxuach works on Lost, and I think that Speilburg has done some stuff since.
    Peter Deluise is a writer/Director and occational actor for Stargate and has worked on other sci-fe series such as Andromeda.
    Ted Raimi went on to Zena, and is in all of Sam Raimi’s movies such as Spiderman.
    Micheal Ironside is still getting work as is Micheal Deluise.
    Not a bad showing if you ask me.


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