Hill Street Blues was a serial police drama that first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran on primetime into 1987. It received high critical acclaim but audience figures were never 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.
Capt. Frank Furillo Daniel J. Travanti Fay Furillo Barbara Bosson 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 ThomasThe distinctive theme tune was written by Mike Post.