Homicide: Life on the Street: Get Official Details on Its Streaming Future, HD Remastering

There is new hope for those wishing they could stream Homicide: Life on the Street.

The most sought-after, non-streaming show in a July 2023 TVLine poll, the NBC cop drama during its 1993-1999 run was the recipient of 17 Emmy nominations and four wins — including Outstanding Lead Actor for the late Andre Braugher, who first made a name for himself as Baltimore detective Frank Pembleton.

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The police procedural developed for television by Paul Attanasio also introduced audiences to Det. John Munch (played by the late Richard Belzer), who made the move to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit following Homicide‘s conclusion in 1999.

Alas, music rights issues/clearance costs had famously kept the drama from being available for streaming, for first-time samplers or longtime fans wanting to revisit its excellence. But that is going to change.

Addressing a new social media post by David Simon, author of the 1991 novel Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, a rep for NBCUniversal confirms for TVLine, “We’re currently in the midst of resolving the music rights issues for Homicide: Life on the Street and remastering the series to HD and UHD (for the first time).”

It is unclear at this stage where exactly Homicide: LOTS would actually stream, both here and abroad; NBCUniversal has dibs on U.S. rights, while Fremantle holds the international rights.

Simon first hinted at Homicide‘s eventual arrival on streaming back in December 2023, when he posted to X that NBCUniversal “is at last attempting, along with Fremantle on the overseas rights, to clear music rights on #Homicide for eventual streaming. Lot of work to do achieve that, however, I am also told.”

“There is a lot of licensed music in the show from a vast array of artists,” Simon explained back then. And at the time of the drama’s 1990s run, “They didn’t pay for future platforms. And do you know what? Artists deserve to be paid for their work earning money for corporations on various platforms.”

When asked why the music originally used in the show can’t simply be dubbed out or replaced with other music — as is sometimes done, with varying success (WKRP, shudder) — Simon explained to an X follower, “Film is carefully cut to tempo, melody and theme of music especially in montage sequences. You can sub anything for anything. And f–k it up.”

Are you looking forward to eventually streaming (or revisiting) get Homicide: Life on the Street?

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