Steven Bochco, creator of 'NYPD Blue,' dies at 74

Steven Bochco in 2007. | Nick Ut  AP

On Sunday, Steven Bochco, who helped shape modern TV drama with innovative shows such as Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, died at 74.

Former USA Today TV critic Robert Bianco summed up: "If this is the Golden Age of television, Steven Bochco launched it and helped sustain it". The New York City native studied theatre at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. Bochco has won 10 primetime Emmy's for his work, throughout his career.

Bochco worked with different collaborators, to co-create some of TV's most popular series for more than 20 years.

Bochco carved out a specific area for many of his shows - the law. Instead, Bochco signed a six-year, 10-series deal at ABC, worth around $10 million.


His enduring legacy rests on "Hill Street Blues", the gritty NBC drama that offered a more nuanced and realistic portrayal of police life than American audiences were used to seeing in cop shows from the 1970s. "I thought, 'If I can't find a way to revitalize this form, I'm going to be out looking for a real job, '" he said in a 2005 interview with ABC News.

From 2014 until 2016, he wrote and produced Murder in the First, a United States police drama starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson.

Fellow producer and screenwriter Joss Whedon said: "Absolutely one of the biggest influences on Buffy (and me) was HILL STREET BLUES". He developed The Invisible Man as a sci-fi adventure in 1975, but it was Hill Street Blues which rose him to prominence in the business. He is survived by his daughter, Melissa, and sons Jeffrey and Jesse.

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