4 March 2008 on FOX and Global
New Amsterdam is an Emmy-nominated series that centres on a brilliant and enigmatic New York homicide detective unlike any other. And he has a profound secret -- he is immortal.
In 1642, Johann van der Zee (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), then a Dutch solider in the colony of New Amsterdam -- later to become New York City -- stepped in front of a sword to save the life of a Native American girl during a massacre of her indigenous tribe. The girl in turn rescued Amsterdam, weaving an ancient spell that conferred immortality upon him. Amsterdam will not age, she told him, until he finds his one true love. Only then will he become whole and ready for mortality.
van der Zee has found this to be a mixed blessing. Over the course of three centuries, he's experienced endless adventure and honed his many talents while using many alias. But everyone Johan meets must leave him in time; friends, lovers, and children grow old and eventually die, while he remains young. The exhilaration of eternal life has given way to emotional isolation and loneliness; the blessing has become a curse. His sole confidant and current lifelong friend is the sage jazz club owner Omar York (Stephen Henderson), the keeper of his secret, as well as a few of his own.
Having witnessed its entire history from colonial outpost to mega-metropolis and now going by John Amsterdam, he is the living embodiment of New York City. He and the island of Manhattan are joined -- part and parcel. Bringing to bear the unorthodox techniques and unique knowledge gained from his vast life experience, Amsterdam today is one of the NYPD's best homicide detectives, sparring with his vibrant, strong-willed partner Eva Marquez (Zuleikha Robinson) as they solve difficult murder cases.
But when Amsterdam suffers and then recovers from what appears to be a massive heart attack while chasing a suspect, and Dr Sara Dillane (Alexie Gilmore) pronounces him dead in the ER, he realises that the prophesy may have come true -- he felt the pain in his heart foretold so long ago. His soul mate must have been nearby. As he works to bring closure to the lives of others, Amsterdam also seeks closure of his own.
From executive producers David Manson (Saved, Thief, Nothing Sacred), Allan Loeb (Things Lost in the Fire, 21), Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, The Hoax), Leslie Holleran (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, The Hoax), and Steven Pearl (Untraceable), this intriguing series invites viewers to explore the enduring mysteries of life, death and true love.
New Amsterdam was ordered to series as part of FOX's 2007 upfront presentation on 11 May and was given a 13 episode order. It was initially scheduled to premiere on 25 September 2007 at 9pm ET. Nikolaj even appeared on WNYW's (FOX New York) morning news show on 26 July 2007 to promote the series. Then it got pulled. In October 2007 production on the series was stopped. On 2 December 2007 a DVD screener of a version of the pilot was leaked onto the internet. It was very popular at the time. On 23 January 2008 FOX begam showing commercials promoting the show as "coming soon". A version of New Amsterdam slightly modified from the leaked pilot premiered 4 March 2008 on Global in Canada at 8pm ET and was seen at 9pm ET on FOX in the USA. Episode 2 was shown on 5 March in Canada while those watching on FOX had to wait until 6 March. In the USA the show was given a very popular lead-in of American Idol for its first two episodes. When the show moved to its regular time slot it didn't do so well. On 11 May 2008 FOX's upfront presenation did not include New Amsterdam, effectively cancelling the show.
On 17 July 2008 New Amsterdam was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design but lost to Mad Men.