NEW YORK – Befitting a crime in the shadow of Radio City Music Hall, it didn’t take long for the stars to make a surprise entrance.

Just minutes after Thursday night’s shocking shooting in midtown, the blood-stained sidewalk looked like a TV set as Candice Bergen and Lorraine Bracco rolled up with police investigating the crime.

The actresses were participating in the annual Commanding Officer for a Day program, which gives New Yorkers a chance to see firsthand how the city’s top cops work.

Bergen, the former “Murphy Brown” star, was sitting in a routine meeting with Midtown South Precinct commanders last night, thinking to herself, “This is kind of slow.”

Then the call came in about the shooting – and all hell broke loose.

“Suddenly, we were going 60 mph up Sixth Ave.,” Bergen said. “These guys are so impressive with the work they do. I’m in awe.”

Instead of poring over crime-reduction strategies and patrol plans, Bergen found herself staring at pools of blood and spent shells on Sixth Ave.

Bracco, who plays a mobster’s psychiatrist on “The Sopranos,” was spending the day with Manhattan detective division boss Thomas Fahey when she was thrust into the real-life drama.

“Nobody expects to see something like this,” Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “The people involved were certainly surprised.”

Police Foundation President Pamela Delaney gasped when told Bergen and Bracco wound up in the middle of a front-page murder mystery.

She called the program an invaluable opportunity for citizens to get a peek at the world of a police commander, for better or worse.

“Some people have a very boring day and others see some action,” Delaney said. “I guess (they) got some action.”


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