Hey, Steven Bochco, tell us how you really feel about David Caruso!
By the end of the cop drama’s breakout first season, “David Caruso had become impossible,” Bocho writes in the book (a portion of which has been excerpted on THR.com). “Caruso’s behavior was, simply put, cancerous. He was emotionally unavailable to everyone, and he was volatile, moody or sullen, depending on the day. Most people don’t function well in a dysfunctional environment, but Caruso loved it because he was the source of all the discontent, and it empowered him.
“He never said it to me directly, but the simple truth was, Caruso felt he was too good for television,” Bochco adds. “He wanted to be a movie star. And his plan was to alienate the writers, producers and his fellow castmates in hopes that we would dump him from the show.”
When that didn’t happen, Caruso asked to be let out of his contract unless certain demands were met, Bochco alleges. Among them: A raise from $40K to $100K an episode, as well as “Fridays off… a 38-foot trailer…. an office suite on the lot, replete with his own development executive, for whom we had to foot the bill to the tune of $1,000 a week… two hotel suites in New York when the company went there on location, plus a dozen first-class plane tickets… and additional security to shield him from his adoring public.”
In the end, Caruso was written out of NYPD Blue four episodes into Season 2. Jimmy Smits, meanwhile, was brought in to replace him and, as Bocho states, ended up making “the series even greater.”