Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

TV Series  -   -  Drama
8.2
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Reviews: 32 user | 17 critic

The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.

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Title: Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

Hill Street Blues (1981–1987) on IMDb 8.2/10

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1987   1986   1985   1984   … See all »
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 55 wins & 108 nominations. See more awards »

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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 »

Stars: Dennis Franz, Peter Jurasik, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Capt. Frank Furillo (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Officer Bobby Hill (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Sgt. Mick Belker (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Lt. Howard Hunter / ... (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Det. Henry Goldblume / ... (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Det. Neal Washington (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Officer J.D. LaRue / ... (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Sgt. Lucy Bates / ... (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Officer Andrew Renko / ... (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Joyce Davenport / ... (144 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Lt. Ray Calletano / ... (109 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Officer Joe Coffey (104 episodes, 1981-1986)
...
 Fay Furillo (102 episodes, 1981-1986)
Robert Hirschfeld ...
 Leo Schnitz / ... (92 episodes, 1981-1985)
...
 Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (71 episodes, 1981-1984)
...
 Chief Fletcher Daniels / ... (71 episodes, 1981-1987)
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Storyline

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 Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

15 January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Balada de Hill Street  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(146 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

During the opening credits when the police cars pull out of the garage, one of them has the overhead light bar on backwards. You can see that the others have the siren speakers between the lights facing front, while one has it facing to the trunk. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Belker: Sit down, dog breath!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits it shows the MTM kitten wearing a policeman's hat to match this show. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Facts of Life: Take My Finals, Please (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Realistic, ground-breaking police drama
26 August 1999 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

When Hill Street Blues was being made, here in the UK it didn't get networked. Instead, my local commercial station (Central) picked it up and showed it on a Friday night at 11pm. My opinion of the show can be judged from the fact that I used to get home early from the pub to watch it.

It might be a cliche, but this really was a ground-breaking series. Compare it to its forbears, series like Kojak and Starsky & Hutch. Instead of there being three or four central characters, and a single plotline per episode, HSB had a couple of dozen characters and five or six plotlines, each interwoven and often continuing from week to week.

It brought an extra level of realism, too. In previous series, if cops got into a fist fight then they'd remain standing, although maybe with a bloody mouth. If someone got shot, odds on it was the bad guy, with the cops not receiving a scratch.

HSB changed all that. Fights looked real; policemen got shot; the bad guys often got away. And it went beyond that, including police corruption; politics interfering with the job; the way the police reached compromise deals with people like Jesus Martinez, even though he was a gang leader and notionally a 'bad guy'.

You cared about the characters, too. When Joe Coffey got shot, when Esterhaus died, any of a dozen others, they felt like they meant something. This wasn't a show that you watched, then forgot about.

Stephen Bochco went on to series like LA Law, NYPD Blue, Murder One and ER, all of which owe a lot to the style of HSB. It really did break the mould of TV drama; its influence is still clear, even today.


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