About Steven Bochco

 

Steven Bochco Picture from University of Southern California CollectionThe concept of Hill Street Blues sprung from the fertile mind of Steven Bochco, although most people accept that it would have not been what it was, without the help of Writer Producer Michael Kozoll.

It was launched on the unsuspecting world in
January 1981 and ran for over six years, finally ending its run in 1987. By which time he was a star!

About Steven
But what about the man? He was born Steven Ronald Bochco in Manhattan, on 16th December 1943. He has an elder sister Stage name Joanna Frank who would later play Sheila Brackman the long suffering wife of Douglas Brackman in LA Law. Brackman was of course played by Alan Rachins who has been married to Joanna in real life since 1978.    

Steven trained as a playwright at Carnegie Tech, where he first met HSB Stars Barbara Bosson,  Bruce Weitz and Charles Haid. He also became friends with Michael Tucker, who would later guest on HSB and take a big role in LA Law.

He married Barbara Bosson in 1970 and the couple had two children before divorcing in 1997. Steven later married Dayna Kalins (2000), who often now produces under the name Dayna Bochco.

He joined Universal Studios as an assistant story editor where he spent 12 years gathering experience, climbing up the ranks and working on numerous TV shows. By 1976 Steven was not only writing, but producing program. It was during 1976 that he produced his first 'Cop Show' Delvecchio staring Taxi's Judd Hirsch. Amongst the cast regulars was a young Charles Haid,  a George Wyner (playing an Assistant District Attorney again) and one Michael Conrad. There was also an episode featuring Kiel Martin and lastly there was a story editor called Michael Kozoll.

On Hill Street
In an interview given to Pamela Douglas and reproduced in her excellent book Writing the TV Drama Series. Steven says "When you end up creating a show with seven, eight, nine character ó in response to that, ask yourself how can you appropriately dramatize that many characters within the framework of an hour television show? And the answer is that you canít. So you say, okay, what we have to do is spill over the sides of our form and start telling multi-plot, more serial kinds of stories. Even though any given character may not have but three scenes in an hour, those three scenes are part of a 15-scene storyline that runs over numerous episodes. So that was simply a matter of trying to react to the initial things we did. The show began to dictate what it needed to be. Probably the smartest thing that Michael [Kozoll] and I did was to let it take us there instead of trying to hack away to get back into the box. We just let it spill over".
 
After Hill Street

After HSB Steven went on to have an incredible career with many other TV successes including LA Law, Murder One and NYPD Blue. He is both a Producer and a Writer, he even tried acting once, appearing as 'Number 3' in a police line up, in a 1981 episode of Hill Street.

There is an in depth article on him by the University of Southern California Click here to view

If you have anything to add to this (perhaps because you are lucky enough to have known him, please submit it to us.

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