Norman Buntz, the gruff (and somewhat ethically questionable) detective from "Hill Street Blues" (1981) leaves the anonymous inner city and heads to the sunny climes of Southern California ... See full summary »
The original "ensemble drama," this is the story of an overworked, under-staffed police precinct in an anonymous inner city patterned after Chicago. We follow the lives of many characters, from the lowly beat and traffic cops to the captain of the precinct himself. This is the show that blazed the trail followed later by such notable ensemble dramas as "St. Elsewhere" and "L.A. Law." Written by
The opening credit sequence was shot in Chicago, while the episodes themselves were shot in Los Angeles. Location scouts said it was hard to find L.A. locations for the show because they could not have visible palm trees. Most of the "grittier" exterior scenes were shot in the grimier parts of downtown L.A., which has the look of a decaying Midwestern or Northeastern city. At least the first episode (possibly as many as the first three) was shot on location in Chicago) See more »
When the various characters speak into the radio microphone in their patrol cars, they seldom press the "transmit" switch, and Andy Renko is occasionally seen speaking into the back of the microphone. See more »
During an era of cop shows where the main characters were often portrayed as superheroes or as charicatures, this priceless classic was born. For the first time since the days of Jack Webb and Joseph Wambaugh, we finally had a show that showed police as real people with all the faults and failings that all people had. You had Furillo, who was a recovering alcoholic, Renko and Hill, who were dealing with their own fears, Hunter, the reactionary head of the S.W.A.T. team, Bates, who just wanted to prove that she was a good police officer as well as a woman, Belker, the maniacal undercover cop, and of course the fatherly Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, the father figure for the whole squad. This show definitely set the stage for shows like N.Y.P.D. Blue and the Law and Order franchise and will always be a classic.
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