NYPD BlueLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 9/21/18 at 1:26PM EDT
NYPD Blue celebrates its 25th anniversary
The groundbreaking police drama from Steven Bochco and David Milch premiered on Sept. 21, 1993, running for 12 seasons through March 1, 2005. Bochco had already reinvented the police drama genre with Hill Street Blues, but his decision to team with Milch on a show based on Milch's relationship with former NYPD detective Bill Clark pushed the envelope further. To mark the 25th anniversary, Scott Huver spoke with Dennis Franz, Amy Brenneman and Gordon Clapp. "Not only would NYPD Blue pioneer a grittier, more frenetic storytelling style with the use of regularly jerky and very verite handheld camera," says Huver, "it would challenge long-established broadcast network limits regarding violence, nudity and four-letter words. Of course, the road for such a disruptive new approach would not be an easy one, with high drama playing out both among the opposition to the game-changing series and within its own ranks before it finally debuted on ABC on Sept. 21, 1993."
Posted Thursday 4/05/18 at 12:48AM EDT
TV composer Mike Post recalls trying to talk Steven Bochco out of doing Cop Rock
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Post -- who helped create the theme songs for Law & Order, The A-Team, The Rockford Files, NYPD Blue, Quantum Leap and Hill Street Blues -- remembered Bochco pitching him on the 1990 ABC singing cops series. "Don't" do it, Post recalls telling Bochco. "'No, Steven, I’m telling you this is too hard. This is too f*cking hard!' I said to him, 'America is not ready for the cops singing. They’re not ready for that.'" Reflecting on his work on Cop Rock, Post says: "It was a ballbuster, but in weird ways I was proud of it. People either loved it or hated it."
- L.A. Law's Jill Eikenberry remembers Bochco supporting her when she was diagnosed with breast cancer after filming the pilot
- Dick Wolf recalls meeting Bochco when he was 5 years old -- and working for him 30 years later on Hill Street Blues
- Hill Street Blues star Daniel J. Travanti: "When he hugged you, it was like he was putting a cloak over you"
- Blair Underwood recalls Bochco casting him in his first star vehicle, City of Angels, after L.A. Law
- NYPD Blue's Bill Brochtrup says Bochco was ahead of his time in his portrayal of gay characters
- NYPD Blue's Sharon Lawrence calls Bochco a champion for women: "When Steven saw that there weren’t enough females in the pilot, he shifted the gender"
Posted Tuesday 4/03/18 at 11:20PM EDT
Dennis Franz pays tribute to Steven Bochco: He had to talk me into playing NYPD Blue's Sipowicz
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"I consider Steven to be a leader and a visionary in television," Franz, who starred as Lt. Norman Buntz on Hill Street Blues and played the iconic Det. Sipowicz on NYPD Blue, said Tuesday in reaction to Bochco's death. "He left such a beautiful legacy of so much memorable work, which to me puts him in an icon status." Franz was nominated eight times for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, winning four Emmys, for his role as Andy Sipowicz. But Franz recalled having to be talked into playing his most famous role over lunch with Bochco, six months before the initial NYPD Blue script was written. "I read about my guy, and I thought, 'Who is going to care about this guy?'" Franz recalled. "He gets shot at the end of the pilot, and I thought, 'Who is going to care if he lives or dies? He is a womanizer. He is a drunk. He is a racist. He is a loose cannon. He is a bad cop and bad man.' And I expressed those feelings to Steven, and he said, 'You know, you will find a way to make him sympathetic.' And I asked how I was going to go about that, and he said, 'It is inherent in your personality. You have this.' And never did he say, 'You're right, we'll change the character.'"
- Kim Delaney says "Steven changed my life," from her Emmy-winning NYPD Blue role to the Philly series he created for her
- Amy Brenneman, who met her husband on NYPD Blue, says of Bochco: "Steven, thank you for my marriage and my life in Los Angeles. Thank you for your artistic courage which taught me how to have artistic courage of my own."
- "Steven Bochco was not about bull or baloney. He knew that life was too short for that stuff," says TV critic Tom Shales
- Adam Scott: "Steven Bochco generously gave me my first real tv job in 1995 on Murder One"
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 9:00PM EDT
Steven Bochco helped TV evolve
"Modern television wouldn't exist without Steven Bochco," says Matt Zoller Seitz. "From the early 1980s onward, starting with Hill Street, Bochco pushed relentlessly, some said fruitlessly, to loosen commercial broadcast television’s restrictions on both content and style, and allow showrunners, writers, and directors to create programs as artistically free as the best titles that could be viewed in cinemas or on cable." Bochco also worked closely and helped develop some of the greatest TV minds, from David E. Kelley to David Milch to Dick Wolf. Even his most notable failure, Cop Rock -- considered to be one of the worst shows ever made -- paved the way for musical TV series from Glee to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to Flight of the Conchords. "It’s impossible to imagine modern television existing without him," says Seitz.
- Bochco was a revolutionary when network TV was ordinary -- cable TV made his best work look callow
- Bochco's big, successful swings more than made up for his misses
- How Bochco fought the FCC and brought nudity to mainstream TV with NYPD Blue
- An ode to Bochco's Murder One, the first show to track an entire case over a season
- Bochco was a "showrunner" before the term was in common usage
- Where to stream Bochco's hits: Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser are on Hulu, but L.A. Law and Cop Rock aren't available for streaming
- Watch Bochco go in-depth in 1989 Later interview with Bob Costas
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 9:51AM EDT
Steven Spielberg recalls directing Steven Bochco's Columbo series premiere script in 1971
The Sept. 15, 1971 Columbo episode "Murder By the Book" kicked off the Peter Falk series after two previous Columbo TV movies. Spielberg and Bochco, the respective future titans of the movies and television, were still in their 20s when they collaborated on the first episode of a series that would have a 10-season run on NBC and ABC. "Steve was a friend and a colleague starting with the first episode of Columbo in 1971 that he wrote and I directed," said Spielberg in a statement, reacting to Bochco's death. "We have supported and inspired each other ever since and through many deep mutual friendships we have stayed connected for 47 years. I will miss Steve terribly.”
- Joss Whedon calls Hill Street Blues "one of the biggest influences on Buffy (and me)"
- Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady says "NYPD Blue ushered in what was to be a modern golden age of television drama"
- Blair Underwood: "Steven hired me on LA LAW and changed the trajectory of my life and career"
- Debra Messing: "He was a pioneer, a gentleman, and gave me my first job in prime time tv"
- Corbin Bernsen: "I will be forever grateful to Steven Bochco for the key to the lock that opened the door to a career"
- Neil Patrick Harris: "His work ethic shaped mine, his words of wisdom stick with me to this day. I’m so proud of Doogie Howser, mostly for being a Bochco show"
Posted Sunday 4/01/18 at 10:21PM EDT
Steven Bochco dies: Innovative producer behind NYPD Blue, L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues was 74
Bochco, whose three biggest hit shows won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series within seven years of each other, died in his sleep Sunday after battling cancer. Bochco underwent a stem cell transplant in 2014 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Bochco was nominated for an Emmy 30 times, winning 10, with the multiple series he co-created dominating the TV landscape throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, Murder One, Doogie Howser, M.D., Cop Rock and Hill Street Blues. Bochco, says Cynthia Littleton, "reveled in pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. Behind the scenes, Bochco ... expertly leveraged his status as an A-list showrunner. In 1987 he commanded a still-unprecedented six-year, 10-series deal with ABC. Bochco in his prime helped usher in the contemporary Golden Age of TV dramas by insisting that NYPD Blue, which ran from 1993 to 2005 on ABC, move the needle on the content restrictions that had traditionally defined broadcast TV. Bochco often used the phrase '… and the Republic didn’t fall' when asked about the controversy stirred by his shows."
- Stars pay tribute to Bochco: "It was his vision, style, taste and tenacity that made me love watching TV," tweeted NYPD Blue's Sharon Lawrence
- Disney CEO Bob Iger called Bochco "a visionary, a creative force, a risk taker, a witty, urbane story teller with an uncanny ability to know what the world wanted"
- Read an excerpt from Bochco's 2016 memoir, Truth is a Total Defense