Now that NYPD Blue gunshot victim Rodriguez is back on his feet, there's nothing keeping affianced detectives Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) and McDowell (Charlotte Ross) from walking down the aisle. Well, almost nothing. "Let me just put it this way," executive producer Mark Tinker tells TV Guide Online. "There's some dissention in the ranks as to what we should do with that story."
He can say that again. His colleague, co-producer Bill Clark, talks like he's already stocking up on rice. "We sure hope [the wedding will happen]," he insists. "We have it on hold probably at least through about half the season."
So what's the sticking point? Bennifer could put together a ceremony quicker than this! Heck, J. Lo could even get hitched and divorced faster! "It's a delicate situation," Clark explains, "because we don't want to get into marital bliss with [Sipowicz], and he's had so much tragedy in his life already, so we're going to decide which is the best way to handle it."
If Franz gets his way, he and leading lady Ross will be going to chapel. The couple has earned a happy ending, and so have their fans. "We took a very long time to develop that relationship with the end in sight the end being the consummation of their marriage and we're at that point now," he argues. "I think if we don't go there this season, then we have to find a real strong reason why they're not going to be together."
Ross agrees with her on-screen intended. "I hope that they go through with it," she says, adding, "I'm sure with 22 episodes, the wedding will happen somewhere in there." However, she does share one teensy reservation with Clark. Since the cops formed a mom-and-pop operation, "I do feel a little bit like The Waltons," she confesses. "But it's fine."
In the end, whether the unlikely sweethearts tie the knot won't be up to the characters, to the actors or even to the show brass. Notes Franz: "I know that [the big boss, series creator] Steven Bochco is anxious to see [McDowell and Sipowicz] unite and for them to develop a real family unit." And, concludes Tinker, "Not that it's this black-and-white, but we follow our fearless leader's advice, which is, 'Do what I say.'" Additional reporting by Lisa Chambers