Edie Falco has been a mobster's wife and a troubled nurse, and now, she's becoming the first female police chief of Los Angeles.
That's only in fictional terms, of course. The four-time Emmy winner plays a New Yorker who switches coasts to keep the City of Angels safe in “Tommy,” a CBS drama premiering tonight. Abigail “Tommy” Thomas' approach doesn't always sit comfortably with others, particularly those with politics in mind, but she's determined to do what it takes to protect her new turf and staff. Writer-producer Paul Attanasio (“Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Bull”) created the show, which includes Adelaide Clemens, Joseph Lyle Taylor and Olivia Lucy Phillip among its co-stars. Corbin Bernsen (“Psych,” “L.A. Law”) appears in several episodes.
“She comes from a cop family,” Falco says of Tommy, “and I think she's seen how it's done. I don't know that she ever thought, 'I see how Dad does it, but I'm a girl, so it's going to be different.' I think she just sees, 'He's a cop. He takes care of the populace. He does the right thing, and that's kind of what I want to do.' And I think it may be less intimidating and more manageable to her because she's seen it growing up.
“She knows she's more qualified than a lot of people who have come before her,” adds Falco, “so I think she steps into that job with that pretty stable knowledge. Her job really is to do her job, and the people around her will eventually come to see that's what she does. She's going to get pushback, and she can react to that any way she wants ... but if she continues to do the job and to do it well, people tend to come around.”
In playing someone who hails from the Big Apple – as does Falco herself – the actress notes that in the show, “I'm kind of being the New Yorker that I am, which is sort of a subtle New Yorker. I mean, I try not to go overboard – but I also have been told I can have some rough edges and whatever else that other people may equate with being a New Yorker. But it's not something that has to be front-and-center about the series.”
Interestingly, self-described “homebody” Falco hasn't had to go to Los Angeles to make “Tommy.” As with her earlier series “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie,” it's being filmed primarily in New York. She recalls, “I read (the 'Tommy' pilot) and I thought, 'This is great. Oh, well.' And that's the way it was, until I got a call saying they would shoot it in New York. And here I am.”