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The series focused on the Mayor of New York City, Randall Winston(Barry Bostwick), and his staff as they ran the city - although the main person in charge was Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty (Fox). Mike was excellent at his job, dealing with spin and lies, but not so good with his personal life. Other members of staff at City Hall included press secetary Paul Lassiter (Richard Kind), whom no-one really liked and was often kept in the dark about things; chief of staff Stuart Bondek (Alan Ruck), who loves the ladies and is often very sexist; minority affairs spokesman Carter Heywood (Michael Boatman), who is a gay black man who owns a suicidal dog named Rags; speech writer James Hobert (Alexander Chaplin), who is easily led and quite naive; the Mayor's secretary Janelle Cooper (Victoria Dillard); Mike's secretary Stacy Paterno (Jennifer Esposito); and his assistant Nikki Faber (Connie Britton). Each of them had to help run City Hall, covering for the Mayor's frequent gaffes, improving his image, whilst sorting out their own personal lives.
At the start of the series, Mike was dating reporter Ashley Schaffer (Carla Gugino). However, just a few episodes into the series, Gugino decided to leave. Rumours were around saying that Fox's wife Tracy Pollan was not happy with the love scenes between Fox and Gugino's characters, and indeed one episode ("A Star Is Born") was re-edited for syndication, with all scenes featuring Ashley removed and replaced by other scenes.
In 1998 Michael J Fox announced he had Parkinson's Disease. As such a new character, Caitlin Moore (Heather Locklear) was introduced at the start of the 1999-2000 season to help share Mike's workload. Caitlin was Mayor Winston's campaign manager as he decided to run for Senator, and there was much friction between Mike and Caitlin about who was in charge of the Mayor.
In 2000 Fox announced that he was leaving the show at the end of the season to spend more time with his family and to raise money for research into Parkinson's. Fox's symptoms were getting worse by this point. The producers decided to carry on with the series with a new lead, and Mike Flaherty left City Hall at the end of the show's 4th season as he took the blame for an alleged Mafia link that the Mayor unknowingly had.
Production of the show then moved from New York to Los Angeles for the 5th season, and Charlie Sheen joined the show as new Deputy Mayor Charlie Crawford. Nikki, Janelle and James also disappeared between the 4th and 5th seasons (the absences of the characters were never explained) and the 5th season began with Charlie settling into his role of Deputy Mayor, along with Caitlin, Paul, Stuart, Carter and assistant Angie Ordonez (Lana Parrilla), and of course the Mayor himself. Angie left at the end of the 5th season, Parrilla feeling the character was underused, and she was never mentioned again.
|> Airing History & Information|
|Last Airing||Apr 30, 2002|
|Premiere||September 17, 1996|
|Format/Time||Color / 30 Minutes|
|Upcoming Airs||Not currently airing|
Angie Ordonez (2000-2001)
Carla Gugino.... Ashley Schaeffer (1996)
Heather Locklear.... Caitlin Moore (1999-2002)
Michael Boatman.... Carter Heywood
Charlie Sheen.... Charlie Crawford (2000-2002)
Alexander Chapman.... James Hobert (1996-2000)
Victoria Dillard.... Janelle Cooper (1996-2000)
Barry Bostwick.... Mayor Randall Winston
Michael J. Fox.... Michael Flaherty (1996-2000)
Connie Britton.... Nikki Faber (1996-2000)
Richard Kind.... Paul Lassiter
Alan Ruck.... Stuart Bondek
[More Cast & Guest Stars]
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