New Amsterdam TV Series Overview (2008)


New Amsterdam is an American television drama which aired for eight episodes in 2008 on Fox.

The series starred Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as “John Amsterdam” (real name Johann van der Zee), an immortal Dutch man born in 1607, who has lived in New York City on and off since he was 14 years old, and who is a homicide detective in the present day.


John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is an NYPD homicide detective who is 400 years old, but has the appearance of a 35-year-old. He was a Dutch soldier in Manhattan in the year 1642, when he stepped in front of a sword to save the life of a Native American girl during the massacre of her tribe. The girl in turn rescued Amsterdam by weaving a spell that conferred immortality upon him. It was also prophesied that he would not age until he finds his one true love, and only then will he become whole and ready for mortality. Flashbacks in different episodes of the show reveal Amsterdam’s centuries of life since, using many names, though usually retaining “John”, marked by loss as his friends, lovers, children (63), and dogs gradually grow old and die. Amsterdam is a recovering alcoholic who regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, having remained sober since 1965. In his lifetime he has joined the Army three times, in addition to the Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. He stated that he never joined the Air Force because he “doesn’t like heights”. He has taught history at a university, served as a physician during the American Civil War, was a furniture maker at the turn of the 20th century, a portrait painter just before the outbreak of World War I, and by 1941 an attorney. At some point he attended Columbia University and served in the CIA.

Amsterdam’s quest to find his “true love” drives the series. But in each episode as a policeman he has crimes to solve, which he does using his deep and often personal knowledge of history, depicted as flashbacks. Though estranged from and unknown to most of his many descendants, except his 65-year-old son Omar, he tries to keep track of them and aids them when possible.

The title sequence is a time lapse series of images of the place where Amsterdam received his “gift”, from the forests and Native American camps of the 17th century which evolves into modern Times Square in the city of New York.


  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as John Amsterdam, a New York homicide detective (badge number 9298) who will become mortal again after he finds his one true love.
    • As a side effect of the immortality ritual, John has a rare Native American blood type (RZRZ), with lethal levels of lead (120 μg/dL).
    • His blood also clots quickly, with a platelet level ten times normal, despite very low levels of factor VIII.
    • Later Dr. Dillane speculates that he may have pluripotent stem cells.
    • He was born Johann van der Zee on 01 June 1607 in Amsterdam, Holland.
    • Amsterdam is only the latest of the aliases John has used, changing identities as often as once a decade.
  • Zuleikha Robinson as Eva Marquez, Amsterdam’s new partner.
    • She attended SUNY Binghamton.
    • Her brother is also a police officer, and her father is police Chief Eddie Marquez.
    • Her mother is a history teacher at Queens College.
  • Alexie Gilmore as Dr. Sara Millay Dillane, a Cornell graduate who lives in the West Village, within walking distance of St. Francis Hospital where she is an emergency room physician.
    • Dr. Dillane pronounces Amsterdam dead after a heart attack, and he is convinced that she is “the one” (his soulmate).
    • This is complicated by the revelation that she has been married for four years to Robert Camp, although they are currently separated.
    • Sara initiates a divorce because her husband was having an ongoing affair.
  • Stephen Henderson as Omar York, who owns a jazz club named Omar’s: Bar–Grill, and is John’s 65-year-old son with schoolteacher Lily Rae Brown, an African American woman.
    • He is named after Omar Khayyám.


New Amsterdam was created by Allan Loeb and Christian Taylor, who also served as executive producers alongside David Manson, Leslie Holleran, Steven Pearl and Lasse Hallström. The latter also directed the pilot. Produced by Laha Films, Regency Television, Sarabande Productions and Scarlet Fire Entertainment, the series was greenlit and given a thirteen-episode order on 11 May 2007. The series was scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2007, consequently airing on Tuesday nights at 8:00/7:00c on Fox, but it was held as a mid-season replacement and began airing in March 2008.

On Tuesday 16 October 2007, an article in The Hollywood Reporter stated that production on New Amsterdam had been stopped for an indefinite period, with “seven episodes of the series in the can”. The article also mentioned that Fox decided to review the series and then decide whether or not to order new episodes, something that the article writer asserted was considered to be unlikely. A pre-air version of the Pilot episode was leaked onto internet file-sharing services on 02 December 2007.

On 23 January 2008, Fox resumed airing commercials for the show stated “coming soon”. Following the premiere another preview episode aired on 06 March 2008 (at 9:00 PM/8:00 pm Central), before the series moved to its regular timeslot on 10 March 2008. The series also aired on Global in Canada. Global ran the first episode one hour before the US broadcast, and the second episode one day before the US broadcast.

On 11 May 2008, it was announced that Fox had decided to cancel New Amsterdam. The show was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award for Main Title Design, but lost to Mad Men.

As of the pilot, John has had 609 girlfriends, a few wives, and 63 children. His current dog is Thirty-six. John keeps a detailed family tree of all his wives and known descendants. His military service includes “the Army three times, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard…not the Air Force – don’t like heights.”

John’s descendants shown or mentioned in the series include:

  • John’s daughter, Maggie (born c. 1891), known as “Em”. In 1941 she is working as John’s secretary.
  • John’s son, Roosevelt “Rosie” Amsterdam (born 1894).
    • Rosie’s son, Theo Spoor. The retired boss of one of New York’s mob families. The Spoor family owns Dutch’s Painting of Alice, which they keep at the Spoor Brewery.
      • Theo’s grandson, Nicholas Spoor. The current boss of the mob family, and an FBI informant.
      • Theo’s grandson, Piers Spoor. Murdered by Nicholas to hide the FBI details.
    • Theo’s grandson, Alex Spoor. Murdered by Nicholas to hide the FBI details.
  • John’s son, Omar York (born 1942).
    • Omar’s daughter, Hallie.
      • Hallie’s young son, Corey.

New Amsterdam Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • John David Coles … (2 episodes, 2008).
    • Jean de Segonzac … (1 episode, 2008).
    • Ken Girotti … (1 episode, 2008).
    • Lasse Hallström … (1 episode, 2008).
    • Jim McKay … (1 episode, 2008).
    • Matthew Penn … (1 episode, 2008).
    • Bobby Roth … (1 episode, 2008).
  • Producer(s):
    • Vanessa Hayes … associate producer (8 episodes, 2008).
    • Allan Loeb … executive producer (8 episodes, 2008).
    • David Manson … executive producer (8 episodes, 2008).
    • Steven Pearl … executive producer (8 episodes, 2008).
    • John David Coles … co-executive producer (7 episodes, 2008).
    • Ashley Gable … supervising producer (7 episodes, 2008).
    • John Mankiewicz … co-executive producer (7 episodes, 2008).
    • Margo Myers … producer (7 episodes, 2008).
    • Eric Ellis Overmyer … co-executive producer (7 episodes, 2008).
    • Barry Pullman … producer (7 episodes, 2008).
    • Lasse Hallström … executive producer (1 episode, 2008).
    • Michael Hausman … producer (1 episode, 2008).
    • Leslie Holleran … executive producer (1 episode, 2008).
  • Writer(s):
    • Allan Loeb … (creator) (8 episodes, 2008).
    • Allan Loeb … (story) (8 episodes, 2008).
    • Christian Taylor … (creator) (8 episodes, 2008).
    • Christian Taylor … (story) (8 episodes, 2008).
    • Christian Taylor … (teleplay) (8 episodes, 2008).
    • David Manson … (written by) (3 episodes, 2008).
    • David Manson … (story) (3 episodes, 2008).
    • David Manson … (teleplay) (3 episodes, 2008).
    • Eric Ellis Overmyer … (written by) (2 episodes, 2008).
    • Ashley Gable … (story) (1 episode, 2008).
    • John Mankiewicz … (written by) (1 episode, 2008).
    • Kimberly Mercado … (staff writer) (1 episode, 2008).
    • Barry Pullman … (written by) (1 episode, 2008).
  • Music:
    • Mychael Danna … (8 episodes, 2008).
  • Cinematography:
    • Michael Slovis … (7 episodes, 2008).
    • Stuart Dryburgh … (1 episode, 2008).
    • Peter Reniers … (1 episode, 2008).
  • Editor(s):
    • Sue Blainey … (4 episodes, 2008).
    • Gregg Featherman … (2 episodes, 2008).
    • Peter C. Frank … (2 episodes, 2008).
  • Production:
    • LaHa Films.
    • New Regency Productions.
    • Sarabande Productions.
    • Scarlet Fire Entertainment.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Fox Network (2008) (US) (TV) (Original Airing).
  • Release Date: 04 March 2008 to 14 April 2008.
  • Running Time: 43 minutes.
  • Rating: TV-14.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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