LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Steven Bochco, 74, the man behind television powerhouses like “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law,” died April 1 after a long battle with leukemia.
“Steven fought cancer with strength, courage, grace and his unsurpassed sense of humor,” family spokesman Phillip Arnold told The Hollywood Reporter. “He died peacefully in his sleep [at home] with his family close by.”
One could argue Bochco changed the landscape of television. As a writer/producer, he not only brought the game-changing “Hill Street Blues” to the small screen (with the help of Michael Kozoll and Brandon Tartikoff) but also the Neil Patrick Harris vehicle “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” “Murder In The First,” and “NYPD Blue.”
“Hill Street Blues” debuted in last place on NBC in 1981 then went on to accumulate 98 Emmy Awards.
“We agreed that we would do it, on one condition, which we assumed would kill the deal right there,” Bochco once told THR. “I said to [NBC entertainment exec] Brandon [Tartikoff], ‘We’ll do this pilot for you on the condition that you leave us completely alone to do whatever we want.’ And he said OK.
“I began to hear words about myself: He’s arrogant, he’s this, he’s that. My attitude was, call me what you will, but I know I have a great project here. I don’t know how many great projects there are going to be in my life, and I’m not going to screw this one up. I’d rather not do it. And they folded. They virtually folded on everything.”
Bochco, a 10-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, was known for not knuckling down to television executives. He was once offered the job of president of CBS’s entertainment division but turned it down to sign an unprecedented six-year, 10-series deal at ABC that gave Bochco ownership of the series. He later went on to develop “L.A. Law.”