The Naked City
Naked City is a police drama series which aired from 1958 to 1963 on the ABC
television network. It was inspired by the 1948 motion picture of the same name, and mimics its dramatic
Filmed on location in New York City, the series centers on the detectives of NYPD's 65th
Precinct, but episode plots were often focused more on the criminals and victims portrayed by guest stars. Primary
writer Stirling Silliphant nurtured a focus on intelligent drama with elements of comedy and pathos, leading to
significant critical acclaim for the series, and leading film and television actors of the time sought out
guest-starring roles. In addition to Silliphant, who went on to win an Academy Award for his script of In the Heat
of the Night, writers of Naked City episodes included veteran TV writer Howard Rodman and blacklisted screenwriter
Arnold Manoff, writing under the pseudonym "Joel Carpenter."
In addition, extensive location shooting made New York as much a star of the series as any of
the actors. Many scenes were filmed in the south Bronx near Biograph Studios, where the series was produced, and in
Greenwich Village and other neighborhoods of Manhattan. The exterior of the "65th Precinct" was the Midtown North
Precinct at 306 West 54th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.
Naked City first aired in 1958 as a half-hour series starring James Franciscus and John McIntire
playing, respectively, Detective Jimmy Halloran and Lt. Dan Muldoon — the same characters as in the 1948 film.
While critically acclaimed, the series did not garner high ratings. Midway through the season, McIntire quit the
show because of his desire to leave New York and move back to the West Coast. His departure was handled by
dramatically killing off his character in the opening scene of the episode "The Bumper". Horace McMahon was then
introduced in the same episode as his more crusty replacement, Lieutenant Mike Parker. In its first season, the
half-hour version of Naked City preceded the ABC crime/police reality show called Confession, in which Jack Wyatt,
later an Episcopalian priest, interviewed assorted criminals to determine why they had rejected societal mores and
turned to a life of lawlessness.
Even with the cast change, Naked City was cancelled by ABC at the end of the 1958-1959 season.
One of the show's sponsors (Brown & Williamson), along with production staff, successfully lobbied the network
to revive the show as an hour-long series, which premiered in 1960.
The 1960 version featured Paul Burke as "Detective Adam Flint", a sensitive and cerebral cop in
his early thirties who does much of the legwork in the episodes. The preceding season, Burke had appeared with
David Hedison in the short-lived NBC espionage drama, Five Fingers. Horace McMahon returned as Lieutenant Mike
Parker as did Harry Bellaver as the older, mellow Sgt. Frank Arcaro. Nancy Malone appeared as Adam Flint's aspiring
actress girlfriend, Libby. The hour long version of the show was broadcast on ABC in the 10:00 p.m. slot on
Stirling Silliphant went on to create Route 66 for CBS in 1960 in
which he used the same semi-anthology format of building the stories around the guest stars, rather than the