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Wiseguy (TV Series 1987–2009) Poster

(1987–2009)

Trivia

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Billy Bob Thornton auditioned for the role of Mel Profitt.
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Kevin Spacey was cast 3 days before filming his first scene.
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Vinnie Terranova's agent number 4587 was chosen because the show began filming on April 5, 1987.
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Gary Cole was originally cast as Mel Profitt.
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Appeared on Time magazine's list of the "All-Time 100 TV Shows" by critic James Poniewozik in the September 5, 2007 issue.
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Jim Profit on the TV series Profit (1996) was named after Mel Profitt and partially based on both Mel Profitt and Sonny Steelgrave.
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Was chosen by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "100 New Classics" ranking as #74 in the television category. The issue ranked the greatest works of entertainment of the previous 25 years. The issue is dated June 20, 2008.
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The name "Sonny Steelgrave" was also the name of a mobster in the movie Marlowe (1969).
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One of the shows covered in TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time by Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall
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Lifeguard's real name Daniel Benjamin Burroughs is revealed in Wiseguy: Call It Casaba (1989).
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In the episode "To Die in Bettendorf", Sid insults an overweight customer who can't find shoes in her size - exactly as Al Bundy does many times in Married... with Children (1987).
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Jonathan Banks and Ray Sharkey both previously appeared in the film Who'll Stop the Rain (1978).
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Just a year before serving as the inaugural antagonist on Wiseguy, Ray Sharkey played a bartender at a mob social club in a Joe Piscopo/Danny DeVito comedy. The film's name Wiseguys.
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Wiseguy is responsible for introducing the "story arc" to television. It was for precisely that reason that every network turned Wiseguy down multiple times . Network executives did not believe that audiences would invest in a single story being drawn out over seven or eight weeks. Then creator Steve Cannell sat down with new CBS President Kim LeMasters. LeMasters declared the story arc concept, "the coolest idea I ever heard!" It has since become a staple of television drama.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The beginning of season 4 implies that Vinnie Terranova has been killed. In reality, Ken Wahl was written out after a dispute with the producers. Vinnie (and Wahl) returned for the Wiseguy (1996) TV movie, and the events of season 4 were erased, as though having never happened.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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