How ‘NYPD Blue’ Changed Emmy Culture and Paved the Way for ‘Game of Thrones’ (Column)

  • Variety
How ‘NYPD Blue’ Changed Emmy Culture and Paved the Way for ‘Game of Thrones’ (Column)
When “Game of Thrones” made history this year by scoring 32 Emmy nominations — the most ever for a series in a single year — it broke a record that had previously been held by the premiere season of “NYPD Blue.”

It’s been 25 years since the Steven Bochco and David Milch cop drama helped change TV storytelling, ushering in a new era of more sophisticated, commercially successful small screen that eventually led to its new “golden age.” And it also altered the Emmy landscape: In 1994, “NYPD Blue” landed 27 nominations, a feat that wouldn’t be topped until this year.

NYPD Blue” pushed the primetime envelope as no other broadcast show had, testing the boundaries of sex and language, and presenting complicated characters whom you didn’t always root for. Its TV DNA led to such shows as “The Sopranos” and “The Shield,” that in turn, spawned the explosion in original series on cable and then streaming.
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