The series focuses on the Mayor of New York City, Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick), and his staff as they run the city — although the main person in charge is Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty (Michael J. Fox). Mike is excellent at his job, dealing with spin and lies, but not so good with his personal life, which he often neglects. Other members of staff at City Hall include press secretary Paul Lassiter (Richard Kind), the office cheapskate, suck-up, and noted coward, who has a habit of being a loudmouth and is often kept in the dark about things; assistant deputy mayor Stuart Bondek (Alan Ruck), who loves the ladies and is often very sexist; head of minority affairs Carter Heywood (Michael Boatman), a gay black man who owns a suicidal dog named Rags. Despite their overwhelming personal differences, Stuart and Carter actually become roommates and the best of friends. Also part of the staff are speech writer James Hobert (Alexander Chaplin), who is easily led and quite naive; Mike's secretary Janelle Cooper (Victoria Dillard); and his assistant Nikki Faber (Connie Britton). Janelle later became the mayor's secretary and Stacy Paterno (Jennifer Esposito) joined the show as Mike's. Each of them has to help run City Hall, improving the Mayor's image and cover for his frequent gaffes, while sorting out their personal lives.
At the start of the series, Mike is dating reporter Ashley Schaffer (Carla Gugino). In early promos for the series, this relationship is shown to be the main premise of the show. However, just a few episodes into the series, Gugino decided to leave. The nature of Carter and Stuart's relationship became a running gag during the series. The two ended up becoming so close that their friendship was mocked by others, and their arguments sounded so much like husband and wife that a whole episode was dedicated to the notion that the two argued like a married couple. The two ended up meeting an older duo of best friends (one black and one white) that were virtual twins of Carter and Stuart in terms of personality; when it was discovered that the two older versions had become a couple, it ended up scaring Stuart quite a bit. For his part, Stuart tends to be very possessive of his time with Carter, going so far as to be genuinely jealous when Carter spends more and more time with new campaign manager Caitlin (Heather Locklear) [see below]. In spite of all the jokes and innuendo, they prove to be best friends willing to do anything for both their friends and each other.
During the fourth season, Stacy was replaced by a temp, Gail, in one episode, and then by James in subsequent episodes of that season. Her absence was never explained, nor was she mentioned again after James took over her duties, although Paul has one comment in Gail's episode: he accidentally calls the temp "Stacy", then explains that he doesn't have the time to learn new names.
In 2000, as his symptoms worsened, 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 awareness of and research into Parkinson's. His character left City Hall at the end of the show's 4th season, taking the blame for an alleged Mafia link that the Mayor unknowingly had. He later moved to Washington D.C. as a environmental lobbyist, there meeting a senator named Alex P. Keaton (an homage to Family Ties, in which Fox played a conservative son of liberal parents ). Executive Producer/co-creator Bill Lawrence also left the show, along with a few cast members and writers/producers.
The remaining producers decided to carry on the series with a new lead. For the show's 5th season, production moved from New York to Los Angeles, and Charlie Sheen as new Deputy Mayor Charlie Crawford, joining Caitlin, Paul, Stuart, Carter, and the Mayor. The characters of Nikki, Janelle and James were not carried over (like Stacy, their absences were never explained), replaced by assistant Angie Ordonez (Lana Parrilla), who likewise left after one season without explanation (Parrilla feeling the character was underused).
Dreamworks has published two smaller DVD boxes titled "Michael J. Fox - His All Time Favorites" Vols. 1 and 2 in 2003, both containing eleven episodes. All 22 episodes are taken from the four seasons containing Fox, each starting with a brief interview in which he describes what he likes about the episode. In the 2003 interviews, Fox shows symptoms of his ongoing illness. Both DVD boxes contain bonus material with fund-raising TV commercials for Parkinson's Disease research, starring the Spin City cast.
On November 4, 2008, Shout! Factory will release The Complete First Season of Spin City on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time..
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete 1st Season||24||November 4, 2008|