How ‘The Shield’ Helped Pave the Way for Gritty Cable Dramas and Peak TV

Roughly 10 years ago, one of the greatest cop dramas ever told on the small screen was wrapping up its run of 7 seasons, 88 episodes, and multiple award wins. FX's The Shield brought the story of Det. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) to a close, not with the violence, gunfire, and bloodshed the gritty series had become known for, but with a more realistic finale akin to that of its premium network counterpart, The Sopranos, which put a hard stop to Tony Soprano's story just a year earlier....

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