Who created Hill Street Blues?

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Answered by: Michael, An Expert in the Shows A-Z Category
The ground-breaking 1980s TV show "Hill Street Blues" was created by writer/producer Steven Bocho and Michael Kozoll. When the series was launched many people expected a run-of-the-mill crime drama where the police chased and arrested the bad guys, but as the first scenes started to play out viewers realized that they were watching something completely different.

Most TV dramas of that time used static cameras, however "Hill Street Blues" introduced the television world to hand-held cameras that moved from character-to-character in a style that was more documentary than it was scripted TV drama. This shooting style allowed the cameras to move within a scene pulling the audience deeper into the story being told. This technique allowed the viewer to feel as if they were really living in the world they were watching.

"Hill Street Blues" was one of the first TV Police Dramas to use intertwining story lines. Before "Hill Street Blues" was launched most Police Dramas told one story per episode usually focusing on one case where the bad guy would be caught and justice was served. The story structure for “Hill Street Blues” was very different.

"Hill Street Blues" would start each episode with what was a "roll call". This roll call would feature the Precinct Captain laying out the duties of the day to his team of detectives and beat cops. These duties would then become the storyline for that episode. Most of the episodes were written to take place in over only one day. The thing that set the show apart from other dramas of the day was the fact that not all the stories being told in that particular episode ended when the episode ended. Many of the story lines would carry over into future episodes.

The continuing story lines that "Hill Street Blues" used led the producers to start using a "previously on" segment at the beginning of each episode. These "previously on" segments allowed the producers to refresh the viewer’s memories about what happened on earlier episodes. The producers used these segments to both help people who may have missed an episode catch up on what they didn’t see and it was also used to showcase what the audience needed to know about the upcoming episode.

"Hill Street Blues" is also famous for launching the careers of many successful writers and producers. Creator Steven Bocho went onto producer countless episodes of some of TV most watched shows that included: "LA Law", "Doogie Howser M.D." and "NYPD Blues". Dick Wolf also got his start on the show. Wolf went on to create and produce the long-running series "Law & Order" and all to the subsequent spin-offs. John Romano, Mark Frost, Walon Green and Greg Hoblit are some other writers who got their start on the show and went on to successful careers in TVs and Feature Films.

Over the seven year run of the series the show garnered 98 Emmy nominations, winning 26 of those awards which included 4 for Outstanding Drama. The show also picked up multiple nominations and awards from the Director's Guild of America, The Casting Society of America, People Choice Awards, the Writer's Guild of America and many other entertainment industry honors. It is still one of the most honored TV Dramas of all time.

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