Show Type: Police Drama

First Telecast: September 7, 1990

Last Telecast: June 7, 1991

Broadcast History:

September 1990 - November 1990, Friday 9:00-10:00 on FOX

April 1991 - June 1991, Friday 9:00-10:00 on FOX


Nick Biaggi..... Chris Stanley

Bill Stadler..... Tom Mason

Teresa Robles..... Jenny Gago

Phil Jacobs..... David Wohl

Jimmy Sanders..... Byron Keith Minns

Ricky Prado (1990)..... John Vargas

Rafael Cordera (1990)..... Miguel Sandoval

Carl Schleimann (1990)..... Alan Scarfe

Isabella Solana..... Roya Megnot

Severo De Lasera (1991)..... Joseph Gian

Ellen Brunner (1991)..... Terri Treas


D.E.A. was a highly unusual, though ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to integrate the popular cinéma vérité style of the 1990's into the framework of a traditional police drama with a continuing cast. While actors were used and most scenes were staged, the cases were real and actual surveillance and news footage was incorporated to lend authenticity.

The series followed the tense and often violent work of a small group of Drug Enforcement Agency field agents as they fought the influx of illegal narcotics to the United States. Nick, Teresa, and Jimmy were the younger members of the team. Bill Stadler was their veteran leader, and Phil Jacobs was the group 9 supervisor to whom they all reported. When D.E.A. premiered, the groups' target was an Ecuador-based crime family smuggling cocaine into New York. Rafael Cordera was the head of the crime family; Ricky Prado, a Cordera lieutenant who, in the series' first episode, killed a D.E.A. agent and was eventually killed himself in a sting operation; Carl Schleimann, Cordera's trusted German-born aide; and Isabella Solana, the sexy, cold-blooded daughter of another crime family leader who had her father killed so she could take over the business. In the spring, she, too, was killed by another mobster.

The series was taken off in the fall because of low ratings, but returned in April with its title changed to D.E.A. - Special Task Force. More emphasis was put on the agents' personal lives and the violence was toned down a bit, but it still attracted few viewers.