Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)
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Presidential Fever 

The President of the United States wants to visit the Hill, and the station has to deal with how to make it happen.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Phil Esterhaus
Officer Bobby Hill
Sgt. Mick Belker
Lt. Howard Hunter (as James B. Sikking)
Det. Henry Goldblume
Fay Furillo
Det. Neal Washington
Officer J.D. LaRue
Lt. Ray Calletano (as Rene Enriquez)
Officer Lucy Bates
Joyce Davenport
Grace Gardner


The station prepares for the president's visit, calling a summit of the various gang leader's in the hopes the president can get in and out of the city without being killed or putting the city's citizens at risk. But tempers flare as rival gangs find out whose territory the president will visit, and whose he won't. Division decides that the city's police stations need "sprucing up." The Hill is first on the list for official department decorator Grace Gardner, a fiery redhead who immediately clashes with Sergeant Phil Esterhaus. He'd rather see the money spent on real issues for the department. Hill and Renko return to the job after several weeks in the hospital, but can't come to terms with working together again. Bobby admits he's scared after the shooting, and Renko can't seem to forgive Bobby for not ever coming to visit him in the hospital. Belker makes it a priority to bring in the two rapists who continue to assault women in St. James Park. New uniformed cops Harris and Fuentes... Written by Spirit

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Release Date:

17 January 1981 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Capt. Frank Furillo: [finding out two new cops got jumped and their guns stolen and are planning to return with baseball bats] Gentlemen, I've been a cop for 17 years, and I've been to my share of 'softball games', so why don't we stop trying to kid a kidder?
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User Reviews

Good episode
29 July 2010 | by (The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left) – See all my reviews

Captain Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti, excellent as usual) summons the leaders of various street gangs in an attempt to ensure their peaceful cooperation during a visit from the President of the United States. Hill and Renk return to work after recovering from their severe wounds in the hospital. Esterhaus (superbly played by Michael Conrad) meets his match in the form of feisty and fetching decorator Grace Gardner (the delightful Barbara Babcock). Belker (finely essayed with growly gusto by Bruce Weitz) busts a couple of rapists. This episode is notable for the introduction of Gardner, who makes for a fine foil for Esterhaus (their verbal sparring scenes are priceless). Esterhaus also gets to show his warm and understanding avuncular side while Hunter (James B. Sikking in deliciously deadpan form) has a funny moment when he karate chops a bathroom stall door. Michael Warren as Hill and Charles Haid as Renko have a strong scene talking about how they're still scared after being shot and how they didn't talk to each other while recovering from their wounds; this stuff is handled in an admirably realistic and unsentimental way. Betty Thomas as tough cookie Lucy Bates gets a little more to do. Moreover, the delineation between cops and gangs is neatly drawn here when Furillo stops his men from engaging in some off duty "softball" practice. Popping up in nifty guest roles are Merritt Butrick (Captain Kirk's son in the second and third "Star Trek" movies) as one of the rapists, Trinidad Silva as formidable street gang leader Martinez, Steven Bauer and Mark Metcalf (Neidermeyer in "Animal House"!) as a couple of brash rookie cops, and a pre-stardom David Caruso as Irish street gang leader Tommy Mann.

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