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Hill Street Blues

Hill Street Blues was a serial police drama[?] that first aired on NBC in 1981, and such was the critical acclaim it received that NBC kept it running for seven seasons despite its audience figures never being more than acceptable.

MTM Enterprises[?] (home of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant) developed the series on behalf of NBC, appointing Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll as series writers. The writers were allowed considerable creative freedom, and created a series which brought together for the first time a number of emerging ideas in TV drama.

  • Each episode featured a number of intertwined storylines, some of which were resolved within the episode, with others developing over a number of episodes.
  • Much play was made of the conflicts between the work and private lives of the individuals. In the workplace there was also a strong focus on the struggle between doing "what was right" and "what worked".
  • The camera was held close in, action cut rapidly between stories, much use of made of overheard, or off-screen dialogue, giving a "documentary" feel to the action.
  • The show dealt with "real-life" issues, and used "real-life" language to a greater extent than had been seen before.

Though filmed in LA, the series was set in a generic location with a feel of a North-Eastern urban centre, with many exterior shots being filmed in Chicago.

Its influence may still be seen in such series as NYPD Blues and ER.

Main Characters:

 Capt. Frank Furillo         Daniel J. Travanti 
 Sgt. Phil Esterhaus         Michael Conrad 
 Officer Bobby Hill          Michael Warren 
 Officer Andy Renko          Charles Haid 
 Joyce Davenport             Veronica Hamel 
 Det. Mick Belker            Bruce Weitz 
 Lt. Ray Calletano           Rene Enriquez 
 Det. Johnny (J.D.) LaRue    Kiel Martin 
 Det. Neal Washington        Taurean Blaque 
 Lt. Howard Hunter           James Sikking 
 Sgt./Lt. Henry Goldblume    Joe Spano 
 Officer/Sgt. Lucille Bates  Betty Thomas 

The distinctive theme tune was written by Mike Post.



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