Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally slated to make its Fox network bow on September 25, 2007, but held up due to production problems, New Amsterdam was rushed onto the network's schedule during the 2008 Hollywood writers' strike, with only eight of the propose thirteen episodes in the manifest. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau starred as John Amsterdam, an NYPD homicide detective who somehow always found himself assigned to cases involving supernatural or paranormal activity. Though most of his colleagues didn't know it, John came by his sensitivity for other-worldly manifestations honestly: He himself was an "immortal", and had been since 1642. At that time, John was a Dutch soldier serving in the colony of New Amsterdam; in the line of duty, he sacrificed his life to save a Native American girl whose tribe was being massacred. The grateful girl cast an ancient spell on John, allowing him to live forever; the spell could only be broken if John, in true "Flying Dutchman" fashion, were to find his One True Love. While this backstory explained the tinge of sadness in the modern-day John Amsterdam's eyes--after all, over the past 367 years he had outlived everyone whom he ever cared about--it did not quite explain how he'd been able to keep his immortality a secret for so long. At any rate, at the time of the series' premiere John had just experienced an epiphany, indicating that the end of his life was near and that he would soon find both closure and that elusive True Love--but not before a lot of traditional cop-show violence and Highlander-style special effects. Others in the cast included Stephen McKinley Henderson as all-wise jazz club owner Omar, the only person who knew the truth about John; Zuleikha Robinson as John's feisty NYPD partner Eva Marquez; and Alexie Gilmore as Dr. Sara Dillane, who spent much of her time trying to figure out why John had recovered so miraculously after she'd declared him dead of heart failure. Swedish film director Lasse Hallstrom, whose previous credits included What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, served as New Amsterdam's co-executive producer.