Furillo breaks the news of Esterhaus's death. Bates is given serious consideration for Sergeant. Coffey's girlfriend is sexually assaulted. Belker goes undercover as a truck driver to try and catch ...
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 title refers to the blue uniforms worn by many police officers in the US, and is perhaps an intentional pun on the musical style "blues," which is depressing in its tone ("Hill Street" is the name of the precinct). The phrase is uttered only once within the series, by Detective Emil Schneider in Hill Street Blues: Gatorbait (1981). Schneider says it in a slightly mocking tone, in reference to officers Hill and Renko, who he feels are out of their league at a particular crime scene. It should be noted, however, that the precinct bowling team is the "Hill Street Blue Ballers." 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 »
In the days of E.R and NYPD Blue, it's hard to remember just how ground-breaking a show HSB was. Nothing like it had ever been seen before. The quality of the acting and writing, the documentary look and feel, the seedy broken down environment, the brutally frank situations and language (for the time), the fact that the "bad" guys got away with it as often as not, the huge ensemble cast, the long one-take scenes, the unhappy endings etc. etc.
Needless to say, the American people wanted nothing to do with such quality at first - until it won a record number of Emmys and they couldn't ignore it anymore. If nothing else, this series proved to the networks that quality can sell soap after all.
If you like your E.R. think a kind thought for Hill Street Blues - the series that made it all possible.
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