Call the historians. The Shield changed more than FX — whose claim to fame had been the puerile but entertaining Howard Stern original Son of the Beach — it altered basic cable. Just seven years ago, hard-hitting drama was a domain exclusive to premium cable. Ad-supported cable was loaded with films, specials, documentaries and, of course, reruns. FX’s first original drama changed this, and fast. Michael Chiklis’ sometimes moral Detective Vic Mackey gained the burly actor an Emmy and a Golden Globe — basic cable firsts. The debut season also brought creator Shawn Ryan an Emmy nom for writing and Clark Johnson one for directing, also basic cable firsts for drama. And while many felt advertisers would want to "shield" viewers from its weekly dose of blood and sex, The Shield has been very good for FX’s ad rates. And since we’re talking history, remember, my children, The Shield begat Rescue Me, and Rescue Me begat nip/tuck, and….

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