Best of Bochco

What is the best way to remember Steven Bochco, the prolific TV writer and producer who passed away yesterday at 74?

Over the course of five decades Bochco helped shaped the television landscape with such series as Hill Street BluesL.A. LawDoogie Howser, M.D., Murder One and NYPD Blue.

Early in his career, Bochco cut his teeth writing episodes for Columbo. Even earlier, at 25, he created and wrote his first series, the now largely forgotten show The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1969 to 1973). The New Doctors followed a team of physicians at an exclusive clinic called The David Craig Institute of New Medicine. The show was actually a segment that alternated with three other mini-shows involving lawyers, law enforcement and politics, all under the banner of The Bold Ones.

The Bold Ones: The New Doctors is available to binge only on DVD, although we did find one episode on YouTube which you can view here:

Several of Bochco’s better-known series are more easily available:

Hill Street Blues (1981 to 1987)

The ensemble police drama starred Daniel J. Travanti as Captain Frank Furillo, head of a fictional inner-city police precinct. The large cast included Bruce Weitz, James Sikiing, Veronica Hamel, Dennis Franz and Betty Thomas, who later went on to a directorial career.

You can stream all seven seasons with a subscription to Hulu. You can also rent episodes from the first three seasons starting at $1.99 each from Amazon and other providers.

Hill Street Blues also airs over-the-air on Heroes and Icons weekdays at 3 pm ET, and Saturdays at 9 and 10 pm. Check to find the channel in your area.

Doogie Howser MD (1989 to 1993)

Neil Patrick Harris starred in the title role as a teenage prodigy dealing with growing up and a medical residency.

You can stream all four seasons with a Hulu subscription.

Murder One (1995 to 1997)

Although Murder One ran only two seasons, it was another mold-breaking drama, following one court case throughout an entire season. Season one starred Daniel Benzali (right) as attorney Ted Hoffman and a memorable Stanley Tucci as the villainous Richard Cross. Season two introduced Anthony LaPaglia as the lawyer Jimmy Wyler, but broke the season into several murder cases.

You can stream both seasons for free, with ads, on Yahoo View.

NYPD Blue (1993 to 2005)

NYPD Blue seemed to pick up where Hill Street Blues left off, except it was set in a real city with even grittier characters. It even starred a Hill Street Blues cast veteran, Dennis Franz, who played troubled detective Andy Sipowicz. Over the course of NYPD Blue‘s 12 seasons, Sipowicz dealt with a succession of partners who were portrayed by Jimmy Smit, Ricky Schroder and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.  David Caruso famously played Sipowicz’s first partner, Detective John Kelly. Caruso made the ill-advised decision to exit the hit show early in the second season for a film career that never materialized.

You can stream all 12 seasons with a Hulu subscription. You can rent episodes from the first five seasons starting at $1.99 from Vudu, Amazon and Microsoft.

NYPD Blue also airs  over-the- air on Heroes and Icons weekdays at 4 pm and weeknights at 1 am.

Where’s L.A. Law (1986 to 1994)? That show appears to be in syndication limbo and is unavailable to stream or view over the air.

Finally, we leave you with the first episode of the iconic Columbo, “Murder By The Book,” written by Bochco and directed by Steven Spielberg in 1971:

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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