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The District



Clever, compelling crime drama; teens OK.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The police officers take their jobs seriously and act professionally when responding to crime. Many thorny, complex issues are dealt with -- adoption vs. foster care, etc. Cast members are somewhat diverse. One character's Christianity plays into some episodes' storylines and subplots.


Since this program takes place in one of America's most crime-ridden cities, it deals with murder, burglary, and other crimes. Law enforcement officials and criminals use guns. Some graphic scenes (stabbing, strangling, etc.), but not as severe/bloody as some other crime/legal dramas.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that since this series centers around a police chief who works in a crime-ridden community, many episodes deal with crimes like murder, drug dealing, and kidnapping. This makes the program absorbing fare -- but also too violent and confusing for tweens and younger kids.

Kids say

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What's the story?

In THE DISTRICT, a former New York deputy police commissioner puts his crime-fighting ways to use in Washington, D.C., where, as chief of police, he's charged with cleaning up the city's streets and shaping up the ineffective police department. Craig T. Nelson plays Jack Mannion, whose prior police work has reduced crime in Boston and Newark, N.J., by 50 percent. In the nation's capital, he relies on the help of Temple Page (Sean Patrick Thomas), a young detective who -- with partner Kevin Debreno (Jonathan LaPaglia) -- works D.C.'s crime-ridden, drug-infested streets; and officer Nancy Parras (Elizabeth Marvel), who lends her intuition to solving cases.

Is it any good?


Since each episode of The District deals with a specific crime, scenes frequently include violence; in one, for example, an escaped convict is shown stabbing a guard with a needle, then strangling a cabbie with a wire after he reaches his destination. The show also explores adult themes, some of which might confuse and concern younger viewers. For example, in one episode, a female detective wants to adopt the orphaned son of her late sister but finds that the amount of time her job requires means the boy might be sent to foster care instead. The verdict? Teens will find The District absorbing, intelligent TV, but parents might want to think twice before letting younger kids watch.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about law enforcement. How accurate do you think this series is in portraying what it's like to work for the police? Families can also talk about the realities of living in an urban area. Are all cities affected by drug trafficking and violent crime? What causes these problems? Are there any effective solutions?

TV details

Premiere date:October 7, 2000
Cast:Craig T. Nelson, Jonathan LaPaglia, Sean Patrick Thomas
TV rating:TV-14

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bySteephillSteephill March 17, 2011

Good for thinking adults; sometimes a bit far fetched but well drawn characters and good story lines

Great series often raising matters of concern such as cancer. I shall be sorry when series ends.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models