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UC: Undercover is an American procedural drama television series created by Shane Salerno and Don Winslow. The series premiered on the NBC network on September 30, 2001. The series ran for one season of 13 episodes, finishing its run on March 23, 2002. It focused on the secret lives and private demons of an elite Justice Department crime-fighting unit that confronted the United States' deadliest, most untouchable lawbreakers by going undercover to bust them.

UC: Undercover
GenreProcedural drama
Created by
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Vancouver, British Columbia
CinematographyTony Westman
Editor(s)Les Butler
Running time43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor20th Television
Original networkNBC
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseSeptember 30, 2001 (2001-09-30) –
March 23, 2002 (2002-03-23)

The screenplays were either solely written or co-written by Salerno. James Bond composer David Arnold wrote the main title theme and scored the pilot episode.[1] Salerno said the show was a "very music driven series."[2] UC: Undercover was a production of NBC Studios, in association with Jersey Television, Chasing Time Pictures, Regency Television, and 20th Century Fox Television. The series' short but popular run ended when it was canceled by the network. The show developed a passionate following overseas and continues to run on FX International.[3]



The unit is headed by authoritative Frank Donovan (Oded Fehr), with undercover agents Jake Shaw (Jon Seda) and Alex Cross (Vera Farmiga), psychological profiler Monica Davis (Bruklin Harris), and young techno-wizard Cody (Jarrad Paul), who runs all of the high-tech surveillance operations.

As a federal team, the group responds to emergencies all over the country: taking down elite bank robbers, drug kingpins, domestic terrorists, spies, jewel thieves, and corrupt cops. The drama's character-driven storylines emphasize the taut, cat-and-mouse game played by the undercover agents as they attempt to infiltrate the lives of a gallery of criminals, including murderous master thief Jack "Sonny" Walker (William Forsythe) and imprisoned drug lord Carlos Cortez (Steven Bauer).

The series also explores the psychological toll undercover work takes on the agents who play this deadly game of false identities and who commit treachery as a daily profession for the greater good. The team often butts heads with Paul Bloom (Brian Markinson), their obstructive and fiercely ambitious Justice Department boss.





No.TitleDirected by [4]Written byOriginal air dateProd.
code [4]
1"Life on the Wire"Thomas CarterShane Salerno & Don WinslowSeptember 30, 2001 (2001-09-30)1AEZ79
2"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"Tony BillShane SalernoOctober 7, 2001 (2001-10-07)1AEZ01
3"Of Fathers and Sons"Lou AntonioShane SalernoOctober 14, 2001 (2001-10-14)1AEZ02
4"Once Upon a Time, in the Hood"
"Amerikaz Most Wanted"
Terrence O'HaraShane SalernoOctober 21, 2001 (2001-10-21)1AEZ03
5"Honor Among Thieves"Richard DobbsStory: Nick Kendrick & Shane Salerno
Teleplay: Stephen Adly Guirgis
October 28, 2001 (2001-10-28)1AEZ04
6"Nobody Rides for Free"Jefery LevyStory: Erik Bork
Teleplay: Shane Salerno
November 11, 2001 (2001-11-11)1AEZ05
7"City on Fire"Jean de SegonzacStory: Erik Bork & Naren Shankar
Teleplay: Erik Bork, Naren Shankar & Stephen Adly Guirgis
November 18, 2001 (2001-11-18)1AEZ07
8"The Siege"Kenneth FinkStory: Nick Kendrick, Erik Bork & Naren Shankar
Teleplay: Shane Salerno & Stephen Adly Guirgis
December 2, 2001 (2001-12-02)1AEZ06
9"Zero Option"Michael W. WatkinsStory: Stephen Adly Guirgis & Nick Kendrick
Teleplay by: Shane Salerno
December 9, 2001 (2001-12-09)1AEZ09
10"Hunting Armando"Tony BillStephen Adly Guirgis, Naren Shankar & Erik BorkJanuary 6, 2002 (2002-01-06)1AEZ10
11"Teddy C"Jeff WoolnoughShane Salerno & Don WinslowJanuary 13, 2002 (2002-01-13)1AEZ11
12"Manhunt"Joseph Patrick FinnStory: Andrew Lenchewski & Jerry Nachman
Teleplay: Stephen Adly Guirgis & Naren Shankar
March 23, 2002 (2002-03-23)1AEZ12
13"The Sins of Sonny Walker"Allan KroekerShane Salerno, Naren Shankar & Nick KendrickMarch 23, 2002 (2002-03-23)1AEZ08


Critical responseEdit

The New York Times called it a "fast paced, good-looking series,"[5] and Variety wrote that series lead Oded Fehr is a "commanding and interesting addition to television."[6] Variety added that "technical credits are comparable to theatrical quality" which led the series winning awards for cinematography and sound. The show received a high 7.3 out of 10 from viewers on[7] USA Today's Robert Bianco gave it one star and said it was "pretentious, incoherent and so visually hyper it borders on nauseating."[8]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2002 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing in Television Episodic – Effects & Foley Mace Matiosian, Peter Austin, Rick Hinson, Craig Hunter, David Rawlinson, Guy Tsujimoto, H. Jay Levine (for "Pilot") Nominated
Best Sound Editing in Television Episodic – Dialogue & ADR Peter Austin, Edmund J. Lachmann, Ruth Adelman, Jay Keiser (for "The Siege") Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Ving Rhames Nominated
Canadian Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography in a TV Series Tony Westman (for "The Siege") Won


  1. ^ Video on YouTube
  2. ^ "Ving Rhames Cast in 'Undercover'". ABC News. July 5, 2001.
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ a b From the United States Copyright Office catalog: "Public Catalog - Copyright Catalog (1978 to present) - Basic Search [search: "UC: Undercover"]". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  5. ^ Gates, Anita (September 28, 2001). "New Television Season in Review; UC: Undercover". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Fries, Laura (September 27, 2001). "Review: 'UC: Undercover'". Variety.
  7. ^ "UC: Undercover Reviews".
  8. ^ Bianco, Robert (September 28, 2001). "'UC: Undercover' underwhelms". USA Today.

External linksEdit