STEVEN BOCHCO Biography - Producers, publishers & editors


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Name: Steven Bochco                                                                         
Born: 16 December 1943                                                                       
Steven Ronald Bochco (born December 16, 1943) is an American television producer             
and writer. He has been involved in a number of popular hits including Hill                 
Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue.                                                       
Bochco was born in New York City into a Jewish family. His parents were both                 
artistic, his mother a painter, his father a violinist. He was educated in                   
Manhattan at the High School of Music and Art. In 1961, he enrolled at the                   
Carnegie Institute of Technology (after merging with the Mellon Institute in                 
1967 known as Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh to study playwriting and             
theater. He graduated with a BFA in Theater in 1966, having also had an MCA                 
Writing Fellowship.                                                                         
He went to work for Universal Studios as a writer and then story editor on                   
Ironside, Columbo, McMillan and Wife and the flops Griff, Delvecchio and The                 
Invisible Man. He wrote the screenplay for the 1968 TV movie The Counterfeit                 
Killer and worked on Silent Running (1972) and Double Indemnity (1973). He left             
Universal in 1978 to go to MTM Enterprises where he had greater scope for                   
He achieved major success for NBC with the police drama Hill Street Blues. It               
ran from 1981 to 1987 and Bochco was credited as co-creator and also wrote and               
produced. Despite critical acclaim and awards the series was never very                     
lucrative. Bochco was fired from MTM in 1985 following the failure of his (1983)             
Bay City Blues baseball project.                                                             
Bochco moved to Twentieth Century Fox (which ironically now owns the MTM library)           
where he made as creator and executive producer, L.A. Law (1986-1994), first                 
aired on NBC. In 1987 Bochco created the half-hour dramedy Hooperman which                   
starred John Ritter and was cancelled after two seasons, despite Bochco offering             
to take over direct day-to-day control of a third season.                                   
He was given a lucrative deal with ABC in 1987 to create and executive-produce               
ten new TV series, forming 'Steven Bochco Productions'. From this deal came                 
Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989-1993) and the 1990 musical flop Cop Rock, which                   
notoriously combined straight police drama with live-action Broadway singing and             
dancing. It was one of his most high-profile failures.                                       
After a lull he came back with the controversial, by network standards, NYPD                 
Blue (1993-2005) with David Milch. He created the show with the express                     
intention of changing the nature of network one-hour drama to compete with the               
more adult fare broadcast on cable networks. Other projects in this period that             
failed to take off include Murder One (1995-1997); Brooklyn South (1997); City               
of Angels (2000), Philly (2001), and Over There (2005). All four shows failed to             
match Bochco's earlier success though "Murder One" and "Over There" garnered                 
critical praise and have developed cult followings.                                         
In 2005, Bochco took charge of Commander in Chief (2005-2006) which was the                 
creation of Rod Lurie and brought in a new writing team. However, in Spring 2006,           
he left the show because of conflicts with ABC, and shortly afterward the                   
program was cancelled. Bochco described his experience on the show as "horrible"             
Bochco has completed a pilot ABC show, Hollis and Rae, and is said to be                     
developing a baseball drama and another legal drama for ABC in partnership with             
Chris Gerolmo. It was announced in March 2007 that he has taken his first steps             
into internet tv with the 44-episode "Cafe Confidential", each episode being 60-seconds     
of unscripted 'confessions' by members of the public. Yet another legal                     
drama entitled Raising the Bar is in production for TNT, this time in                       
partnership with David Feige. 10 episodes have initialy been ordered by the                 
According to an interview with Bochco published in September 2007 he is now                 
winding down his involvement with network television, feeling that his tastes               
and current fashions in tv drama no longer coincide. "The network executives                 
stay the same age and I keep getting older and it creates a different kind of               
relationship. When I was doing my stuff at NBC with Brandon (Tartikoff) and Hill             
Street, we were contemporaries," says Bochco. "When I sit down (now), they're               
sitting in a room with someone who's old enough to be their father and I'm not               
sure they want to sit in a room with their fathers."                                         
His impact on the nature of American primetime network television drama is                   
considerable: prior to Hill Street Blues it was rare for American straight drama             
shows to have story arcs, i.e. several stories running over many episodes (with             
the exception of primetime soaps such as Dallas). It was also rare to have a                 
large regular cast. The structure of the modern 'ensemble' television drama                 
comes from Bochco who many regard as having changed the 'language' of television