Launched for the Fall 2000 season, "The District" quickly became a solid ratings hit for CBS, winning its hour week after week and usually leading CBS to a winning Saturday night. Thanks to that successful first season, "The District" will return to CBS for the Fall 2001 season in the same schedule berth -- Saturdays at 10:00pm ET/PT. In addition to its North American successes -- and possibly due to them -- "The District" now airs in Australia and will soon debut in Germany.
"The District" is set in Washington, D.C. and focuses on D.C.'s new Police Commissioner Jack Mannion, played by Craig T. Nelson ("Poltergeist," "Coach"). Mannion is, according to the CBS website, "brought in to overhaul an antiquated system ill-equipped to deal with the problems of a sprawling, crime-ridden city. As much a friend to ordinary citizens as to high-ranking politicians, Mannion has quite a task ahead of him. He immediately selects the most promising officers around him to become his circle of aides. Mannion and this group of modern-day "Untouchables" set out to bring order to the District and to clamp down on the crime in America's capital."
Created by Terry George and Jack Maple, "The District" is produced by CBS Productions, in association with Studios USA. Terry George and Denise Di Novi are the Executive Producers, while Rob Corn serves as Producer.
Richard Burgi joined the cast in the recurring role of Captain Vincent Hunter of the D.C. Internal Affairs division, appearing in seven of the first season's episodes, two of the third season's episodes, and three of the current fourth season's shows to date. Thus far, Hunter's most revealing episode has been "The D.C. Strangler," which gave tantalizing insight into the background and history of the dour detective. Mannion gains some insight into the seemingly standoffish and prickly Hunter through a conversation with computer statistician Ella Farmer (Lynn Thigpen).
According to Ella, Hunter -- a former Homicide detective with numerous commendations for heroism and a respectable sixty-five percent solve rate -- came home one evening to find his wife (a good police officer in her own right) in bed with his partner. Hunter immediately put in for a transfer from Homicide into Internal Affairs. From a heated exchange between rookie detective Temple Page (Sean Patrick Thomas) and Hunter, we learn that Hunter apparently feels embattled and beleaguered, caught in a war between the lambs and the lions which "the lions are winning!"
Richard returned to "The District" for the third season's "The Second Man," which aired on November 9th, 2002, and "Good-bye, Jenny," which aired on January 18th, 2003.
The current Fall 2003 -- and final -- season saw Richard appear in three episodes, with Hunter leading the "teaser" of the season premiere episode. These three shows are: "Jack's Back," the September 27th, 2003 premiere; "Blind Eye," which aired October 25th; and "In God We Trust," which aired November 22nd.
To learn more about "The District," visit the CBS Website's "District" page at www.cbs.com/primetime/district/
Further "District" information can be found at the "District News" site at www.districtnews.net/
Requests for cast photos and autographs, as well as fan mail for specific actors, can be sent "paper mail" to the following address:
[actor name], "The District"
Season One (2000-2001)
Synopsis: While fleeing from Officer Temple Page (Sean Patrick Thomas), driver for the new Chief of Police Jack Mannion (Craig T. Nelson), a suspect runs into the street and is hit by an oncoming car. When supposed witnesses falsely claim that Temple pushed the suspect into the street, Internal Affairs is brought in to investigate the incident.
Captain Vincent Hunter (Richard Burgi) introduces himself to Mannion before going on to interview Temple. Temple denies the charges and remains calm, finding strength in his religious faith, which further impresses Mannion.
Temple is found to be innocent of any wrong-doing in the incident and is returned to duty.
Synopsis: Hunter (Richard Burgi), as Captain of the Internal Affairs division, feels it his responsibility to get to the bottom of the death threat Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) received shortly after taking office. Hunter, aware of Detective Danny McGregor's (David O'Hara) past as a policeman in Belfast, goes on an intimidating fishing expedition of sorts, leaving McGregor wary.
McGregor finds an unmarked police car parked in front of his apartment building and later learns that a group of detectives are apparently using an apartment across from his as a base of operations. After talking with the building super, McGregor assumes the detectives are conducting surveillance with himself as the subject. McGregor returns to headquarters and drops his gun and badge on Mannion's desk; he is resigning. Mannion, mystified, demands that McGregor explain himself.
Mannion calls Hunter into his office to see if McGregor is, in fact, under investigation; Hunter states that he is not. Mannion tells Hunter to cease his investigation of the death threat. When Mannion learns that there is no official surveillance team in McGregor's building, he and McGregor go to the apartment to see what is going on. Much to their surprise, they discover a group of transvestite cops are using the apartment for their get-togethers.
Synopsis: Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) calls Hunter (Richard Burgi) into his office to show him a disturbing video in which police officers lie to and steal from a supposedly blind robbery victim. Hunter is at first disturbed and put off by the fact that Mannion went around him to organize a sting operation, but agrees it must be dealt with; however, he and Mannion have considerably different ideas on how the issue should be handled.
Mannion insists that the officers involved should be arrested and booked just like any other apprehended criminals, even though both Hunter and Deputy Chief Joe Noland (Roger Aaron Brown) are against the idea. As Mannion insists, Hunter oversees the arrest and booking of the accused officers. The string of very public arrests enrages the D.C. police force, leading to an escalating "blue flu."
Mannion finally convinces the divisional captains and officers to return to work by showing them why he finds criminal behavior by police officers so repugnant; their behavior tarnishes the memory and legacy of the men and women who have died in the line of duty.
Synopsis: Violence breaks out on Washington street corners as "Santas" of varying affiliations vie for the most lucrative intersections.
Meanwhile, Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) begins receiving threatening phone calls from the person behind the death threat implied by the bullet left on his windshield. Mannion calls for Hunter (Richard Burgi) and Noland (Roger Aaron Brown) and informs them of the new threats. As the calls become more personal and the caller increasingly agitated, Mannion realizes his stalker has access to inside information -- his schedule and his cell phone number are only available through police channels.
As the situation escalates, Hunter and Noland try to convince Mannion to stay off the streets and in his office; when he refuses, they insist he at least wear a bullet-proof vest. Things come to a head when Mannion's stalker -- a disgraced police officer -- takes over a locker-room and holds the men within hostage. Mannion enters the locker-room and is able to talk the ex-officer out of his suicidal plan.
Synopsis: When an apparent serial killer begins targeting Washington prostitutes, Hunter (Richard Burgi) surprises his new boss by declaring that a similar, earlier rash of killings remained unsolved because they were low-priority victims -- no-one missed or cared about the slain prostitutes. Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) is even more surprised to learn that Hunter was the detective investigating the unsolved cases; prior to his transfer to Internal Affairs, Hunter worked in Homicide.
After a conversation in his office, Mannion creates a temporary task force to investigate and solve the killings, transferring Hunter out of Internal Affairs and into this task force. Hunter is partnered with Temple Page (Sean Patrick Thomas), a pairing he accepts with ill grace due to Page's status as most junior detective. Page and Hunter are a study in contrasts; where Page is optimistic and open, Hunter is cynical and closed off, and the differences in outlook are a constant source of friction between the two men.
As the investigation progresses, Mannion learns from Ella Farmer (Lynne Thigpen) that Hunter requested the transfer out of Homicide roughly a year ago after finding his wife in bed with his partner; Ella fears Hunter's dark and pessimistic outlook will influence Temple. However, Page's optimism and faith remain unshakable, enabling him to gain a confession from the culprit -- a murderous sailor with a string of victims in every port.
Synopsis: When Nancy Parras (Elizabeth Marvel) reports her sidearm missing, and that sidearm is used in a robbery, Internal Affairs is called in to investigate in the form of Captain Hunter (Richard Burgi). Parras can only come to one conclusion -- that an unwise, and somewhat alcohol-fogged, one-night stand led to the theft of her hand-gun.
Hunter is somewhat less than understanding of Parras' uncharacteristic indiscretion and, when prodded by Parras' sometime boyfriend, detective Danny McGregor (David O'Hara), reveals Parras' one-night stand to McGregor. Parras tracks down her erstwhile bar-room beau and takes him into custody, clearing her name and returning to duty.
Meanwhile, Chief Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) and his wife (Jean Smart) are shocked to learn that their son, who has decided to quit college and bum around Europe for a semester or two, is addicted to the designer drug Ecstasy -- which is being supplied to him by his drug-dealing girlfriend. Mannion has little choice but to allow his son to be taken into custody and prosecuted.
Synopsis: An undercover stakeout in a neighborhood plagued by convenience-store robberies goes horribly wrong when an African-American detective (Erik King) is shot in the back by an off-duty white cop (James Parks). In a department with a history of white-on-black "friendly fire" incidents, the situation quickly escalates to crisis proportions.
When he learns of the shooting, Chief Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) sets up a temporary base of operations at the hospital and begins an ER vigil with his team and the detective's family. Captain Hunter (Richard Burgi) soon joins them, making a bee-line for detectives Page (Sean Patrick Thomas) and McGregor (David O'Hara), both members of the undercover team. Hunter is clearly less than satisfied with the handling of the operation, and frustrated by the fact that both detectives were out of sight of their injured team-mate.
When the injured detective dies during surgery, Mannion finds himself in charge of a potentially explosive investigation complicated by a lack of eye-witness testimony. With pressure mounting for a politically expedient case closure, Mannion, Hunter, McGregor and Page work against the clock to ferret out the truth.
Season Three (2002-2003)
Synopsis: While shopping in a neighborhood convenience store, Deputy Chief Joe Noland (Roger Aaron Brown) spots a suspicious-looking college student skulking about between the racks. Noland moves in and grabs him as he is reaching into his back pocket for a pistol. A struggle ensues and leads to Noland having to shoot the would-be bandit.
As is standard procedure in a shooting, Internal Affairs is called in, in the form of Captain Vincent Hunter (Richard Burgi). Meanwhile, detectives Temple Page (Sean Patrick Thomas) and Kevin Debreno (Jonathan LaPaglia) are assigned to investigate the case by Chief Mannion (Craig T. Nelson), with Nancy Parras (Elizabeth Marvel) assisting. Their case hits a snag when the gun Noland claims the bandit was carrying cannot be found on the scene.
With the weapon missing and a shortage of witnesses to the altercation, Hunter presses Mannion to suspend Noland, as is department procedure. Mannion is reluctant to do so, even though the student's wealthy parents threaten to bring charges against Noland. An otherwise annoying and intrusive video surveillance system helps Mannion piece together the incident and track down the missing pistol, while Hunter stays on the case to make sure Mannion and his team do not rely on inadmissible evidence.
Synopsis: Debreno (Jonathan LaPaglia) and Temple (Sean Patrick Thomas) are quite pleased with themselves when they apprehend a hoodlum and the half-million dollars worth of cocaine he's carrying, as the cocaine is the linch-pin in a convoluted murder case. Officer Nancy Parras (Elizabeth Marvel) is quickly dispatched to ferry the drugs to the evidence warehouse.
When the drugs are next brought out for examination, it becomes apparent that the cocaine has been switched for powdered sugar. As the only people with access to the evidence warehouse are members of the DC police department, Captain Hunter (Richard Burgi) is called in to investigate -- and Nancy Parras is first on his list, after a few tense words with Chief Mannion (Craig T. Nelson). Seems the District PD is under close scrutiny, especially with Mannion's long-standing strance on crooked cops and cover-ups, and Hunter wants to make sure there are no fingers pointed at the Department or accusations of slackness and favoritism.
While Hunter questions Parras and generally gives her a hard time, Mannion, Debreno, and Temple each take different paths to get to the bottom of the evidence tampering while maintaining the integrity of their murder investigation. With timely assistance from an exterminator and a horde of roaches, Mannion tracks the missing cocaine -- or rather, the trail of sugar -- to a crooked member of the DA's office; Parras unwittingly broke Department regulations by leaving him alone with the drugs while he took a supposedly private phone call, which allowed him to make the switch.
As the day winds to a close, Hunter walks over to Temple and delivers a "friendly warning" concerning ballistics expert Carol Bodine (Helen Cates, who shared the stage with Richard Burgi in 2002's "Johnny on the Spot"). Bodine is obviously interested in pursuing Temple romantically; Temple is interested in avoiding any such entanglement; and Hunter seems to be staking a claim of some sort himself, warning Temple off with a gruff "I'll kick your ass."
Season Four (2003-2004)
Synopsis: When Detective Temple Page (Sean Patrick Thomas) shoots and kills a long-pursued drug-dealer and murderer during an unorthodox investigation, Captain Vincent Hunter (Richard Burgi) takes particular interest in the case, as he has a history of procedural and philosophical differences with ex-Chief Jack Mannion's (Craig T. Nelson) administration and the behavior of Mannion's most trusted officers.
When one of the witnesses to the shooting claims Page did not give his suspect a chance to surrender before firing, Hunter assumes Page has succumbed to the borderline vigilantism and obsession which has plagued him in recent months and has him arrested for murder. Hunter is less than amused when Detective Kevin Debreno (Jonathan LaPaglia), recently transferred to IA, begins taking matters into his own hands as well, nosing around in the investigation of his former partner.
Meanwhile, Jack Mannion has returned to Washington, DC, with the intent to reclaim his job as Chief of Police -- a position he lost due to a charge of obstruction of justice. Mannion quickly calls his old team together and, working unofficially, they run their own investigation into the murder charge against Page and prove the witness lied about what she saw and heard. Though Page is released from custody, Hunter vows to pursue the matter.
Synopsis: Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) stumbles upon a "community justice" system in his neighborhood when he catches one teenager beating up larger boy who, oddly, doesn't retaliate. Meanwhile, Detective Temple Page (Sean Patrick Thomas) finds himself the target of a wrongful death civil case when his shooting of notorious drug lord and murderer Lester Richards does not lead to criminal charges. Captain Vincent Hunter (Richard Burgi) is bought in to give a deposition, and his take on the shooting does not paint a positive picture of the young detective.
Synopsis: Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) and his team search for a modern-day Robin Hood after a vision of the Virgin Mary on the side of Mannion's building leads the thief to distribute the money and goods he has stolen to poor and needy neighbors. Meanwhile, Detective Temple Page's (Sean Patrick Thomas) wrongful death lawsuit for the shooting of Lester Richards goes to court, with Captain Vincent Hunter (Richard Burgi) being called upon to testify for the plaintiff. Hunter's strong opinion and attitude leads to the judge admonishing him for his smart mouth.
(Thanks to Becky B. and Erin for the "District" screen-grabs)
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