Another contemporary "dramedy" series from the star/creator of The Job, Rescue Me revolved around the activities of a group of professional firefighters operating Engine 62 in a post-9/11 New York City. Denis Leary headed the cast as senior firefighter Tommy Gavin, who had allowed the pressures of his job to botch up his home life, separating him from his wife, Janet (Andrea Roth), and their three children. Even more disturbing was the fact that Tommy was constantly haunted by the ghosts of his dead comrades, and regularly carried on conversations with his deceased cousin, firefighter Jimmy Keefe (James McCaffrey). Nor was Tommy the only member of the Engine 62 team battling personal demons. Chief Jerry Reilly (Jack McGee) was a compulsive gambler; handsome Sean Garrity (Steven Pasquale) was incapable of carrying on an intelligent conversation; and daredevil Franco Rivera (Daniel Sunjata) insisted upon living on the edge, both on and off the job, frequently with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, Lt. Kenny "Lou" Shea (John Scurti) endeavored to channel his emotions and phobias into writing poems, and rookie Mike Silletti (Mike Lombardi) was kept busy trying to figure out what sort of practical joke would next be pulled on him by his sadistically prankish co-workers. The first season of Rescue Me was launched by the FX cable network on July 21, 2004.
Several of the production people responsible for The Sopranos were also behind the equally quirky FX network series Damages. Glenn Close, who'd been asked to star in this series on the strength of her work as police captain Monica Rawling on another FX offering, The Shield, was cast as barracuda-like Manhattan power attorney Patty Hewes. As ruthless and calculating as the high-profile criminals that she went after in court, Patty spent most of the series' first season pursuing a class-action suit against billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), a shady Ken Lay-style corporate CEO. It was clear from the get-go that Frobisher was willing to do anything to stop Patty in her tracks, possibly even including ordering a few murders. The first-season storyline literally began at the end, as Patty's idealistic protégée Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), half-naked and caked with blood, ran through the streets of New York (were the show was filmed) and made a beeline for her office, where her first words were "I need a lawyer!" The rest of the season built up to this crucial moment, with what series creator Todd Kessler described as the inevitability of a Greek tragedy. (It was planned for Patty Hewes to handle a different case in each successive season, each introduced with a similarly tantalizing "teaser.") Throughout the drama, the thin line between "hero" and "villain" grew progressively thinner, in the tradition of The Shield. In addition to Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, the regular cast included Tate Donovan as Patty's much-maligned subordinate Tom Shayes and Zeljko Ivanek as sly defense attorney Ray Fiske. Debuting July 24, 2007, on FX, Damages was also briefly carried by MyNetwork TV beginning August 1 of that year.