Steven Bochco Passes Away At 74

Working with different collaborators, Bochco co-created some of TV's most popular series for more than 20 years while helping to create the template for modern hours featuring large ensemble casts, serialized storylines and edgy content.

During his extensive and illustrious tenure in television, Bochco received a staggering 30 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, ten of which he won, as well as four Peabodys.

Steven Bochco was 74 and had been fighting cancer. "At first, television wasn't quite ready for this groundbreaking drama, certainly not on a network known for a talking vehicle". Steven Bochco changed television, more than once.

"All of us who grew up watching great TV and have benefited from the ground he broke owe pioneer Steven Bochco a debt of gratitude", he added. But they often deferred to him and were ultimately rewarded with strong ratings and critical kudos, a combination that was less common in the pre-Peak TV era of the 1980s and '90s. This is what Spielberg said about Bochco's passing, "Steve was a friend and a colleague starting with the first episode of Columbo in 1971 that he wrote and I directed". He was battling a rare form of leukemia for several years, as reported by Variety. Bochco had received a stem cell transplant from an anonymous 23-year-old in 2014.

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He was born in NY to Rudolph, a violinist, and Mimi, a painter and jewelry designer. He attended NYU and subsequently Carnegie Institute of Technology, receiving a degree in theater. He stayed at Universal for 12 years.

He started his writing career in the 1960s. The collaboration would launch the series to a successful 10-season run on NBC and ABC, and launch both Bochco and Spielberg's careers.

"There will be an bad lot of angry people if I screw this one up", he told The Times in 1987. "If I can't do that, I'll kill it for the next person who comes down the road". He gained recognition as the unconventional, determined, one-of-a-kind creative force that created massive hit series like the aforementioned NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues, as well as Doogie Howser, M.D. and L.A. Law.

Bochco once recalled a fan saying that "Hill Street Blues" was the first TV series that had a memory of. In one of the highest-profile tiffs, his rift with David Caruso during the first season of "NYPD Blue" led to the actor's exit, a considerable gamble for a series in its first season.

  • Carlos Nash