|Theme music composer||Spin Doctors (seasons 2–3)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||145 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Film; Multi-camera|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Distributor|| Paramount Domestic Television |
CBS Paramount Domestic Television
CBS Television Distribution
Paramount Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution
|Original release||September 17, 1996 –|
April 30, 2002
Spin Cityis an American sitcom television series that aired from September 17, 1996 to April 30, 2002, on ABC. Created by Gary David Goldberg and Bill Lawrence, the show is set in a semi-fictionalized version of the New York City mayor's office, and originally starred Michael J. Fox as Mike Flaherty, the Deputy Mayor of New York. Fox departed in 2000 at the conclusion of Season 4 due to symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and Charlie Sheen became the new lead as Charlie Crawford for the final two seasons. The series was cancelled after six seasons in May 2002.
The series presents a fictionalized version of the local government of New York City, and follows its mayor Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick) and his staff as they run the city, although the main person in charge is Deputy mayor Mike Flaherty (Fox). Mike is talented at his job, dealing with political spin and office chaos, but not so good managing his personal life, which he neglects. Other members of staff at City Hall include press secretary Paul Lassiter (Richard Kind), the office snitch and a manipulative coward, who has a habit of being a troublemaker and is often kept in the dark about things; chief of staff Stuart Bondek (Alan Ruck), who thinks of himself as a lothario and is highly sexist; and head of minority affairs Carter Heywood (Michael Boatman), a gay black man with a suicidal dog named Rags.
Carter Heywood was seen as a revolution in modern television. As the writer Orville Lloyd Douglas noted on his blog GayBlackCanadianman, "Far too often whenever a character is gay on television it's always a white person. In North America gayness equals whiteness and gay black men are displaced due to race, gender, and sexual orientation. Finally, the writers and producers of Spin City got it right. Carter was a well adjusted young black man he wasn't on the down low, he also wasn't confused or conflicted about his homosexuality."  Despite their overwhelming personal differences, Stuart and Carter actually become roommates and best friends.
Also on the staff are speech writer James Hobert (Alexander Chaplin), who is weak-willed and gullible; Mike's secretary Janelle Cooper (Victoria Dillard); and accountant Nikki Faber (Connie Britton). Janelle later becomes the mayor's secretary and Stacey Paterno (Jennifer Esposito) joins the show as Mike's secretary and Paul's nemesis. Together, this group helps run City Hall, improves the Mayor's image, and covers for his frequent mistakes—while sorting out their own personal issues.
At one point in development, the show was simply called Spin, which was changed when ABC was unable to secure rights to the name from the magazine of the same name.  At the start of the series, Mike is dating reporter Ashley Schaeffer (Carla Gugino). In early promos for the series, the relationship is shown to be the main premise of the show. After just a few episodes, however, Ashley and Mike separated and the character was written out.
The nature of Carter and Stuart's relationship became a running gag during the series. The two ended up becoming so close, their friendship was mocked by others, and their arguments sounded so much like husband and wife, 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) who 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 protective of his time with Carter, going so far as to be genuinely jealous when Carter spends more time with new campaign manager Caitlin (Heather Locklear). In spite of all the jokes and flirtations, they prove to be best friends willing to do anything for each other. This, too, was considered an important moment in television history, with Douglas noting, "I love the fact that the writers of Spin City explored the fact that gay men and heterosexual men can be friends. The straight man doesn't have to worry that the gay man might hit on him." 
In 1998, Michael J. Fox announced he had Parkinson's disease. As a result, a new character, Caitlin Moore (Locklear) was introduced at the start of the 1999–2000 season to help lessen Fox's workload. Caitlin was Mayor Winston's campaign manager as he decided to run for Senator, and much conflict occurred between Mike and Caitlin about who was in charge of the mayor. Their relationship was more complex than a simple feud, and hints were dropped that it would become romantic.
In 2000, as his symptoms got more severe, Fox announced he was leaving the show at the end of the season to spend more time with his family and to raise awareness of Parkinson's.  His character left City Hall at the end of the show's fourth season, taking the blame for an alleged Mafia link the mayor unknowingly had.  A brief coda to the fourth-season finale revealed that the character moved to Washington, D.C., becoming an environmental lobbyist and there meeting a young senator named Alex P. Keaton, the character Fox played on Family Ties .   Executive producer and 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 fifth season, Charlie Sheen, as new Deputy Mayor Charlie Crawford, joined Caitlin, Paul, Stuart, Carter, and the mayor. The characters of Nikki, James, and Janelle were written out, to be replaced by assistant Angie Ordonez (Lana Parrilla), although she left without explanation for the sixth and final season. With the change of the lead character, also came a change in its production location, from Fox's home in the New York City area to Los Angeles.  The show would carry on with Sheen for two seasons.
|Michael J. Fox||Mike Flaherty||1996–2000, 2001||1–4, 6 (3 episodes)||103|
|Carla Gugino||Ashley Schaeffer||1996, 1998||1 (12 episodes), 3 (1 episode)||13|
|Richard Kind||Paul Lassiter||1996–2002||1–6||145|
|Alan Ruck||Stuart Bondek||140|
|Michael Boatman||Carter Heywood||145|
|Barry Bostwick||Mayor Randall Winston||144|
|Connie Britton||Nikki Faber||1996–2000||1–4||100|
|Alexander Chaplin||James Hobert||100|
|Victoria Dillard||Janelle Cooper||1996–2000||1 (recurring), 2–4 (starring)||91|
|Jennifer Esposito||Stacey Paterno||1997–1999||2 & 3||46|
|Heather Locklear||Caitlin Moore||1999–2002||4–6||71|
|Charlie Sheen||Charlie Crawford||2000–2002||5 & 6||45|
|Lana Parrilla||Angie Ordonez||2000–2001||5||21|
|Faith Prince||Claudia Sachs||1996–1999, 2000||1–3 (recurring), 5 (guest)||21|
|Taylor Stanley||Karen||1996-1997||1 (recurring)||08|
|Beth Littleford||Deirdre West||1998-2000||3, 4 (recurring)||08|
|Paula Marshall||Laurie Parres||1997-1998||2, 3 (recurring)||07|
|Heidi Klum||Heidi Klum||1998-1999||3, 4 (recurring)||07|
|Rags the Dog||Rags the Dog||1998–2002||3–6 (recurring)||20|
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Rank||Avg. rating [lower-alpha 1] /|
Avg. viewers [lower-alpha 2]
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||24||September 17, 1996||May 13, 1997||17||11.7|
|2||24||September 24, 1997||May 20, 1998||47||12.0|
|3||26||September 22, 1998||May 25, 1999||28||13.1|
|4||26||September 21, 1999||May 24, 2000||33||12.4|
|5||23||October 18, 2000||May 23, 2001||53||10.8|
|6||22||September 25, 2001||April 30, 2002||78||8.4|
Michael J. Fox won one Primetime Emmy, out of four nominations. The show won four Golden Globes (three for Fox and one for Charlie Sheen), out of its nine nominations.
Initially distributed by the original Paramount Television, Spin City entered off-network syndication on UPN, Fox and The WB affiliates from fall 2000 until fall 2005 and aired on FX from fall 2005 until fall 2010. As of 2019, Spin City has not aired on cable channels since then. In August 2015, the series started airing on digital multicast television network Laff. In July 2020, every episode was added to Australian streaming service Stan. In February 2021, the entire series was added to Pluto TV (which is owned by Paramount Global, the current entity distributing the series) in the United States.
Shout! Factory and DreamWorks Home Entertainment has released all six seasons of Spin City on DVD in Region 1. 
DreamWorks Home Entertainment released two best-of sets entitled "Michael J. Fox – His All Time Favorites" Vols. 1 and 2 in 2003, each containing 11 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.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete First Season||24||November 4, 2008|
|The Complete Second Season||24||April 28, 2009|
|The Complete Third Season||26||November 3, 2009|
|The Complete Fourth Season||26||February 15, 2011|
|The Complete Fifth Season||23||August 16, 2011|
|The Complete Sixth and Final Season||22||December 13, 2011|
Michael Andrew Fox, known professionally as Michael J. Fox, is a Canadian-American retired actor. Beginning his career in the 1970s, he rose to prominence portraying Alex P. Keaton on the NBC sitcom Family Ties (1982–1989).
Family Ties is an American sitcom television series that aired on NBC for seven seasons, premiering on September 22, 1982, and concluding on May 14, 1989. The series, created by Gary David Goldberg, reflected the move in the United States from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the conservatism of the 1980s. This culture was particularly expressed through the relationship between young Republican Alex P. Keaton and his ex-hippie parents, Steven and Elyse Keaton.
Carlos Irwin Estévez, known professionally as Charlie Sheen, is an American actor. He has appeared in films such as Platoon (1986), Wall Street (1987), Young Guns (1988), The Rookie (1990), The Three Musketeers (1993), and The Arrival (1996). In the 2000s, when Sheen replaced Michael J. Fox as the star of ABC's Spin City, his portrayal of Charlie Crawford earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He then starred as Charlie Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003–11), for which he received multiple Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy nominations, and as Dr. Charles "Charlie" Goodson on the FX series Anger Management (2012–14). In 2010, Sheen was the highest-paid actor on television, earning US$1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men.
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Alan Douglas Ruck is an American actor. He is best known for portraying Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller's best friend, in John Hughes's film Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986); Stuart Bondek, a lecherous, power-hungry member of the mayor's staff in the ABC sitcom Spin City; and Connor Roy, the eldest son of a media magnate, in the HBO series Succession. His other notable parts include those in Bad Boys (1983), Three Fugitives (1989), Young Guns II (1990), Speed (1994), and Twister (1996). In 2016, he co-starred with Geena Davis in an updated Fox TV adaptation of William Peter Blatty's best-selling novel The Exorcist.
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Jonathan Niven Cryer is an American actor, writer, director and producer. Born into a show business family, he made his motion picture debut as a teenage photographer in the 1984 romantic comedy No Small Affair; his breakout role came in 1986, in the John Hughes-written film Pretty in Pink. In 1998, he wrote and produced the independent film Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five.
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Marita Covarrubias is a fictional character on the American science fiction television series The X-Files. She was initially introduced as an informant, leaking diplomatic information to FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder to aid his investigation of paranormal cases, dubbed X-Files. However, she was revealed to be an agent of the secretive Syndicate, although ultimately betraying that organization on several occasions. Introduced in the fourth season opener "Herrenvolk", the character remained a recurring presence until the series' finale, "The Truth".
Richard Bruce Kind is an American actor and comedian, known for his roles as Dr. Mark Devanow in Mad About You, Paul Lassiter in Spin City (1996–2002), Andy in Curb Your Enthusiasm (2002–2021), and as Arthur in A Serious Man (2009).
Alex P. Keaton is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Family Ties, which aired on NBC for seven seasons, from 1982 to 1989. Family Ties reflected the move in the United States away from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the conservatism of the 1980s. This was particularly expressed through the relationship between Young Republican Alex and his hippie parents, Steven and Elyse Keaton. President of the United States Ronald Reagan once stated that Family Ties was his favorite television show.
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Spin City, for instance, started as Spin, but ABC couldn't get the rights from the magazine of the same name.
Eyebrows were also raised when Hollywood "bad boy" Sheen was brought in. But the transition was smoother than anticipated, even with the production moving from New York to Los Angeles.