Blood Ties (Diagnosis: Murder)
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|Diagnosis: Murder (1993–2001) episode|
Screenshot of (from left) Kathy Evison as Detective Amy Devlin and Zoe McLellan as Detective Taylor Lucas.
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Bruce Seth Green|
|Written by||Lee Goldberg
|Original air date||May 6, 1999|
|Running time||60 minutes|
It was filmed as a pilot episode for a spin-off series that would have starred Kathy Evison and Zoe McLellan. The series, which would have been called Whistlers, was ultimately not picked up by CBS, the broadcast television network airing the series.
Two female vice-unit detectives — the calm and professional Detective Amy Devlin (Evison) and her hotheaded partner, Detective Taylor Lucas (McLellan), a former special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — are investigating the murder of local pimp Milton Wilder and uncover a conspiracy by four corrupt female police officers who murder felons (including Wilder and Laurette Stipe, a bail-jumping gunrunner biker Devlin and Taylor were pursuing) to harvest their organs for the most-seriously-ill patients using the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) DNA database of felons and the organ-donor registry.
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Goldberg and Rabkin were also the executive producers of the series and would have been the executive producers on the new series as well. They, along with Green, had worked extensively with Evison before on seaQuest DSV (1993–1996), a science-fiction television series in the United States. She also guest-starred as different characters in two earlier episodes of Diagnosis Murder ('Murder by the Busload' and 'Wrong Number') that were written and/or produced Goldberg & Rabkin prior to the nested pilot.
Because Diagnosis: Murder was itself a spin-off of the television series Jake and the Fatman (1987–1992) which was a spin-off of the television series Matlock (1986–1995), Fred Silverman, another executive producer of the series, insisted that every season the series devote one episode to be a nested pilot. This was a practice he had earlier pioneered at CBS where episodes of Barnaby Jones (1973–1980), Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988) and others often hosted such pilots.
The two nested-pilot projects during Goldberg's and Rabkin's period with the series were "A Mime Is a Terrible Thing to Waste" (1997), which was an unsold pilot for a spin-off with no name currently known; and a two-part episode "Retribution" (1998), which was for a spin-off called The Chief and would have starred Fred Dryer.
Previous nested-pilot episodes of the series included "Sister Michael Wants You" (1994), with Delta Burke as a crime-solving nun; "How to Murder Your Lawyer" (1995), about crime-solving lawyers; and "An Explosive Murder" (1996), starring Tracy Gold as an undercover police officer. 
- "Diagnosis Murder; "Blood Ties" episode" at the Internet Movie Database
- diagnosismurder.col.uk, Diagnosis: Murder fansite
- Diagnosis: Murder — "Blood Ties" (episode script — in PDF format (652 KB; Adobe Reader required). diagnosis-murder.com (operated by Lee Goldberg). Accessed February 8, 2010.
- [copyright violation?]Database (uploaded October 5, 2006) "Whistlers Main Title" (opening credits). brettmaverick2004 on YouTube. Accessed February 8, 2010.