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Hill Street Blues 

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The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.
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7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1987   1986   1985   1984   1983   1982   … See all »
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 56 wins & 109 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Robert Hirschfeld ...
 Irwin Bernstein 58 episodes, 1982-1987


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




TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hill Street Station  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(146 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


The pilot script said the show took place in an unnamed Midwestern city. Throughout the show's seven-year run, the exact name of the city was never mentioned, although there were hints as to its location. The police cars were based on those of the Chicago Police Department, while the officers' uniforms were based on that of the New York City Police Department. Neither city has a precinct known as "The Hill", although Pittsburgh, PA (where series creator Steven Bochco attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now known as Carnegie Mellon University), does. In addition, the City Hall shown in the series, is actually that of Philadelphia, PA. Also, several times characters talk about how they're going to or just came from "the shore", which is a term used by East Coast (mostly New York/New Jersey) residents referring to the "Jersey Shore", which is a beach resort area. On the other hand, at several points some of the elevated train cars that pass through the city can be seen with "CTA" painted on their sides. "CTA" stands for Chicago Transit Autority. 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 »


[repeated line]
Fay Furillo: [to Capt. Furillo] Well, excuse me, mister!
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Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Married with Children: Kelly's Gotta Habit (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Very Real and Authentic
12 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

Hill Street Blues was an unconventional cop show for the '80s, and even today. Why? Because it was real. Well as real as you can get with a TV show, without taking some liberties ofcourse. Unlike Miami Vice, T.J. Hooker or Hunter, HSB had a lot of detail and accuracy.

Sure Miami Vice was an entertaining show, but only for being stylish and hip for it's time. HSB didn't try to be cool, it tried to be accurate. Miami Vice and all the other cop shows and cop movies of the '80s, '90s and today are extremely fake in the way they present themselves, going more for a target demographic then bothering to portray how things operate in our world. In the real world, cops in America aren't wearing Armani suits and constantly trying to bust Columbian drug dealers and their shipment of cocaine while spitting out mile a minute obscure metaphors and similies that take us a few seconds to figure out. If you want to see the way REAL COPS in America speak, act and carry themselves through real crime cases, then watch HSB. You won't be dissapointed.

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