The series "Hill Street Blues" premiered on NBC's Prime Time schedule on January 15,1981 as the mid-season replacement for two canceled NBC shows("A Man Called Sloane" and "Good Time Harry")that became one of the greatest police dramas of the 1980's that was nominated for an impressive 98 Prime Time Emmys and was victorious in winning 8 Prime Time Emmys during its first season for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing and Direction, Outstanding Actor in a Prime Time Series, Outstanding Actress in a Prime Time Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Prime Time Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Prime Time Series. This was debut season record that was held until 2000 when another critically acclaimed NBC series "The West Wing" surpassed it winning 9 Prime Time Emmys for Outstanding Television Series. "Hill Street Blues" was nominated for 4 Golden Globes and was victorious in winning 3 Golden Globes in 1982, 1983 and 1984 for Best Outstanding Television Series.
For the seven seasons and 146 episodes it produced while on the air the series aired as the mid-season replacement on January 15,1981 where it aired on Thursday nights at the 10:00 eastern/9:00 central time slot until January 17,1981 when the network moved the series to Saturday nights until March 21,1981. Then NBC moved "Hill Street Blues" again from Saturday nights to Tuesday nights in order to save it from cancellation within its first season where it was placed at the 9:00 eastern/8:00 central time slot from March 28,1981 until May 26,1981. Then from Seasons 2 thru 6, the show was placed on Thursday nights in Prime-Time becoming one of NBC's "Must See" dramas on it's successful prime time line-up at the 10:00 eastern/9:00 central time slot where it remained from October 29,1981 until April 3,1986. By the show's seventh and final season saw the show remaining on Thursday nights on October 2,1986 until November 27,1986 on the same exact time slot. Then on December 2,1986 it moved from Thursday nights to Tuesday nights from March 3,1987 until the series finale on May 12,1987.
"Hill Street Blues" was the brainchild of creators Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoil(who also served as executive producers of this series) along with producer Gregory Hoblit. The series was produced by MTM Productions(Mary Tyler Moore's production company and then ex-husband Grant Tinker). MTM Productions not only created Mary Tyler Moore's sitcom of the 1970's but also created "The White Shadow","Newhart", "Rhoda","St. Elsewhere", "Remington Steele", "WKRP In Cincinnati","The Tony Randall Show",and "The Bob Newhart Show" just to name a few. Interesting point about the actors associated with "Hill Street Blues". out of the 146 episodes it produced only actors Daniel J. Travanti, Veronica Hamel, Micheal Conrad, Michael Warren, Betty Thomas, Joe Spano, Charles Haid, Dennis Franz, Bruce Weitz, Jon Cypher, Taurean Blacque and Kiel Martin were with the series throughout its entire seven season run.
It's evident that this series had some of the best writers that gave this series the must see television of the decade ranging from the creators Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoil along with Dick Wolf, David Milch, Anthony Yerkovich, Jeffrey Lewis, David Mamet, Walon Green, Robert Ward and had top notch directors from Christian Nyby, David Anspaugh, Thomas Carter, George Stanford-Brown, Bill Duke, Stan Lathan, Jack Starlett, Corey Allen, Alexander Singer, Gabrielle Beaumont, Randa Haines, Oz Scott, Arnold Laven, Don Weis, Rick Wallace, and Robert Butler who contribute to some of the fantastic and riveting episodes this series had.
Top notch guest stars from David Caruso, James Remar, Howard Rollins, Alfre Woodard, Frances McDormand, Lauren Holly, Jennifer Tilly, Lindsay Crouse, Dan Hedaya, Jane Kaczmarek, Linda Hamilton, Danny Glover, Michael Lerner, Reni Santoni, Gregory Sierra, Clarence Williams III, Anne-Marie Johnson, Edward James Olmos, Chris Noth, Dolph Sweet, Ally Sheedy, Michael Biehn, Joe Santos, Eric Laneuville, CCH Pounder, to Lynn Whitfield, Garrett Morris, James Avery, Charles Hallahan, Mimi Rogers, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Jill Eikenberry, Cuba Gooding Jr., Richard Bull, Robert Pastorelli, Alex Hyde-White, Beah Richards, Richard Romanus, Hector Elizondo, Steven Bauer, Hal Williams, Robert Davi, Scatman Crothers, Yaphet Kotto, James Murtaugh, Joanna Kerns, Don Cheadle, Dwight Schultz, Dana Elcar, Laurence Fishburne, Moses Gunn, to Beverly Todd, Keenen Ivory-Wayans, Patricia Wettig, Val Bisoglio, and Michael Ironside just to name a few of the great guest stars this series had.
From the best episodes I will start with the riveting pilot that started it all "Hill Street Station". Other great episodes "What Are Friends For?"(Season 6, Episode 9); "It Ain't Over Till It's Over'(Season 7, Episode 22); "Grace Under Pressure"(Season 4, Episode 14); "Trial By Fury"(Season 3, Episode 1); "Freedom's Last Stand"(Season 2, Episode 11); "The Rise and Fall of Paul The Wall"(Season 5, Episode 10) and many more great episodes that made "Hill Street Blues" one of the best cop dramas of the 1980's.
When NBC abruptly canceled this critically acclaimed series after seven seasons and 146 episodes, it didn't take the powers that be over at NBC long to find its replacement that also created and produced by Steven Bochco that also became NBC's "Must See" drama of the late-1980's and early-1990's which was "L.A. Law"
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