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'Hill Street Blues': The most influential TV show ever
CNN ^ | Tue April 29, 2014 | Todd Leopold

Posted on 04/29/2014 9:22:27 AM PDT by mkleesma

Loved this show! Might even pick up the DVD collection.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: blues; hill; street; tv
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(CNN) -- "Sopranos" fan? "Breaking Bad" binge-watcher? "Mad Men" admirer? Take a moment to thank "Hill Street Blues." "There is no 'Sopranos' without 'Hill Street Blues,' " says Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson, who wrote a book tracing "Hill Street's" influence. "Matt Weiner ('Mad Men') and Vince Gilligan ('Breaking Bad') and David Chase ('The Sopranos') and all these people ought to wake up every morning and send a note to 'Hill Street Blues.' " Graphic: The children of 'Hill Street' The entire seven-season run of the groundbreaking series comes out on DVD Tuesday. It wasn't a success that could have been predicted. When it premiered on NBC in January 1981, "Hill Street" was unlike anything else on American television. It was a serialized mixture of drama and comedy featuring diverse, colorful and three-dimensional characters -- the policemen and policewomen of the rundown Hill Street Station. It was well-written, boldly directed and creatively revolutionary. Still, initial ratings were poor and audiences were confused. It stayed on through a combination of key corporate support, determination and a little bit of luck. The result? Two decades of dominance for the Peacock Network -- "Hill Street" was the first cornerstone of its Thursday lineup -- and the bounty of novelistic TV series we see today. "It just changed the rules of TV," its producer, Steven Bochco, said in an interview.
1 posted on 04/29/2014 9:22:27 AM PDT by mkleesma
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To: mkleesma

I guess my partial claim to fame is I grew up around the corner and went to high school with Charlie Haid. Back then he seemed like kind of a hard guy.


2 posted on 04/29/2014 9:26:09 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: mkleesma

M*A*S*H*


3 posted on 04/29/2014 9:28:22 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: PapaNew
From this point forward, all television drama will be measured against

Breaking Bad

4 posted on 04/29/2014 9:28:34 AM PDT by atc23 (The Confederacy was the single greatest conservative resistance to federal authority ever)
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To: atc23
Breaking Bad

Never seen it. Stopped watching regular TV program series years ago. Can you say in 25 words of less what makes it so good?

5 posted on 04/29/2014 9:32:30 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: mkleesma

Great theme song too!


6 posted on 04/29/2014 9:32:47 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: PapaNew
Can you say in 25 words of less what makes it so good?

Bryan Cranston as Heisenberg.

7 posted on 04/29/2014 9:33:12 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: atc23

I’m thinking about watching “Breaking Bad” via Netflix - but to date, I have not seen a single show.

But, I have heard, from many people, that it is actually a very good show.


8 posted on 04/29/2014 9:33:54 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: mkleesma

One of the great shows for sure.


9 posted on 04/29/2014 9:34:19 AM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: mkleesma

Loved Hill Street Blues. The high point was when the counselman fell out the window and landed on the SWAT van.


10 posted on 04/29/2014 9:36:07 AM PDT by MattinNJ (It's over Johnny. The America you knew is gone. Denial serves no purpose.)
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To: mkleesma
Oh, man..thanks....just what I need for my stocking for Christmas..gotta start dropping hints now...

Veronica Hamel was gorgeous back then...reminds me of Brigit Moniyan on "Blue Bloods. Loved the way she'd call Furillo.... "Pizza Man"...

11 posted on 04/29/2014 9:36:14 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: left that other site

Absolutely...one of the best ever...


12 posted on 04/29/2014 9:36:41 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: mkleesma

13 posted on 04/29/2014 9:37:21 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: mkleesma
"Hill Street" was unlike anything else on American television.
It was a serialized mixture of drama and comedy featuring diverse, colorful and three-dimensional characters

Oh yeah, for sure THAT had never been done before. Sheesh.
And as far as "most influential" - anyone ever hear of All In The Family? Seinfeld?
14 posted on 04/29/2014 9:37:31 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: mkleesma

I have to admit, Hill Street Blues was a very good, edgy show that showed the ups and downs of everyday life for police officers. I mean, it really showed everything: deaths, drugs, good cops, bad cops, and even “good cops” doing things that were “in the gray area” of legal.

I would rate it right up there with M*A*S*H, as a “Must See” TV series.


15 posted on 04/29/2014 9:37:57 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: ken5050

Sometimes when i am relaxing at the piano, i burst into the Theme from HSB! (Never saw any sheet music, but the theme is unforgettable)


16 posted on 04/29/2014 9:40:13 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: mkleesma

Never watched it.
Do like the theme song though. It used to get some radio play.


17 posted on 04/29/2014 9:41:14 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Bryan Cranston as Heisenberg.

What is he like or what does he do that makes him and the show so good?

18 posted on 04/29/2014 9:42:13 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: left that other site

Do YOU burst into the theme, or does the piano?


19 posted on 04/29/2014 9:42:14 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: ken5050

Both...my fingers do the talking.


20 posted on 04/29/2014 9:42:49 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: ExTxMarine
Semper Fi, brother...

Most influential TV series for me, ever was "The Lieutenant" (1963-64)about a young Marine officer. That made me decide that's what I wanted to do..and a year later I was in NROTC..

21 posted on 04/29/2014 9:45:02 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: ExTxMarine

Remember the episode with the comedian friend of one of the cops? Comic’s name was something like Vic Hitler? I’m laughing right now as I vaguely recall it!


22 posted on 04/29/2014 9:45:32 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: mkleesma

bttt


23 posted on 04/29/2014 9:46:06 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: mkleesma

I remember Daniel J. Travanti doing fundraisers for the Democrats.


24 posted on 04/29/2014 9:46:44 AM PDT by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: PapaNew

Great writing, Great acting. Great storylines. Very little p.c.


25 posted on 04/29/2014 9:46:49 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: ExTxMarine

I loved how it wasn’t as “episodic” as the rest of TV - they actually built off of and recalled things from past shows; far more than other shows at the time.


26 posted on 04/29/2014 9:47:09 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: PapaNew; Future Snake Eater

I just finished all of Breaking Bad on Netflix. It is an incredible show. You see the main character go from protagonist to antagonist. The entire show is cast perfectly. I will say some of seasons 1 & 2 tend to be a tad slow in some parts. But it’s worth it in the end. Also, I watched both seasons of House of Cards with Kevin Spacey. Also on Netflix. If you like politics and villains, watch it. It’s a very fun and fast-moving show.


27 posted on 04/29/2014 9:47:24 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: ExTxMarine

Hubby was a huge Breaking Bad fan. Like so many of the other series it got ‘tiring’ to me. Same thing happened to me with 24. I have given up on a lot of series because of that. I also no longer watch Justified or Sons of Anarchy for the same reason. The plots all just seem regurgitated to me after awhile.


28 posted on 04/29/2014 9:47:34 AM PDT by sheana
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To: left that other site
OK..kewl..glad we got that clarified..

FYI...MIke Post wrote the music..he also did NYPD Blue..

29 posted on 04/29/2014 9:47:53 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: driftless2

Oooo. Anti-PC? On TV? From Hollywood? Is that possible?


30 posted on 04/29/2014 9:48:39 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: Gay State Conservative

M*A*S*H*”

My all time fav too. We never ever missed seeing it on TV. Even enjoyed old Section 8 Klinger. He was just way ahead of his time. Had he been in a today’s version he would have been welcomed with open arms.


31 posted on 04/29/2014 9:48:39 AM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: ken5050

Another Great Show!

Those were the days.


32 posted on 04/29/2014 9:48:40 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: ExTxMarine
I heard about BB from reading a Jonah Goldberg column on NRO last year. I thought to myself that it couldn't be that good. So I told my wife about it last September, and she said go ahead and buy the first season dvd. We watched the first episode and were hooked. We ended up watching episode after episode, one after the other. Then we had to wait several months for the dvds for the final season to come out. That was agony. The wife and I both agree...best tv series ever.

By the way, I'm past sixty and she's almost there. We've seen a lot of touted series that turned out to be less than great. (She likes "Homeland," and I think it's a lot of p.c. leftist crap.) This one is the real deal.

33 posted on 04/29/2014 9:53:25 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: mkleesma

Hey, Lets be careful out there.

34 posted on 04/29/2014 9:53:42 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: mkleesma

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je2fGzKiqRM

Hill Street Blues Theme 1981 - 1987

Never saw Breaking Bad or Mad Men and never had the desire to.

Funny thing the the City of Albuquerque had a fit when the Bernalillo County Sheriff Ok’ed the TV show COPS to do ride-alongs and film for their show. They were up in arms over how it would make Albuquerque look bad, yet the embrace Breaking Bad?

To me comparing Hill Street Blues to Breaking Bad or Mad Men makes about as much sense as comparing the 1957 version of 3:10 to Yuma to the 2007 Homo-erotic-sadist version.


35 posted on 04/29/2014 9:54:01 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: mkleesma

In a nod to “The Street”, many of our morning scrums end with an admonition to “be careful out there”. :)


36 posted on 04/29/2014 9:55:45 AM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: mkleesma

Best show ever on American TV was The Waltons. It should be played on every TV in America 24x7. Our nation would benefit from it.


37 posted on 04/29/2014 9:57:00 AM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: Kartographer

HSB best was when La Rue was the Storm Drain Monster!

My fav program now is Board Walk Empire.


38 posted on 04/29/2014 9:58:33 AM PDT by DocJhn
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To: PapaNew

Intricate story, fully realized characters, demanding active thought from the viewer.


39 posted on 04/29/2014 10:00:03 AM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
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To: oh8eleven

Seinfeld came after Hill Street. All In the Family was not a serialized story (ongoing plot where what happens in this episode effects the world the next episode will be told in). Prior to Hill Street serialization on TV pretty much only existed in soap operas, and even soap periodically “reset” back to the baseline so they were really episodic they just had “episodes” that last months.


40 posted on 04/29/2014 10:03:42 AM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
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To: mkleesma

I’m a big fan of Hill Street Blues. Innovative. Creative. Great acting.

But most influential? Hardly, it didn’t have the ratings. St. Elsewhere launched more careers, if that’s the measure.

The most influential would have to be The Honeymooners or All in the Family.


41 posted on 04/29/2014 10:07:13 AM PDT by kidd
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: discostu

While we are at it... I nominate BARNEY MILLER as a great cop show.. That was hilarious. And a great theme song!


43 posted on 04/29/2014 10:09:05 AM PDT by corkoman
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To: mkleesma

Never watched it.


44 posted on 04/29/2014 10:09:23 AM PDT by petitfour
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To: ken5050
Veronica Hamel was gorgeous back then...reminds me of Brigit Moniyan on "Blue Bloods. Loved the way she'd call Furillo.... "Pizza Man"...

You and I have the same tastes. Veronica and now Brigitte.

45 posted on 04/29/2014 10:13:41 AM PDT by Vinnie
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To: discostu
Seinfeld came after Hill Street.
So what? The headline claimed HSB was, "The most influential TV show ever."

All In the Family was not a serialized story.
Surely you jest.
46 posted on 04/29/2014 10:18:48 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

“I Love Lucy” pretty much created the television universe as we know it. Now it may be dated but it doesn’t get much more influential than that. The same could be said for Birth of a Nation for the motion picture industry. Very dated now but there is no denying it laid the foundation for the major Hollywood studios.


47 posted on 04/29/2014 10:19:03 AM PDT by xp38
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To: mkleesma

Amazing the number of far leftwing shows that appear to be among FReepers favorites? All in the Family? M*A*S*H? and so on.....


48 posted on 04/29/2014 10:22:32 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Vic Hitler, the Narcoleptic comic. Awesome. I particularly liked the drug dealer Belker would arrest every few weeks. He once “got lost at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk.”

Remember when the EAT (Emergency Action Team) Team was in the sewers looking for alligators? LaRue and Washington got a stuffed alligator on wheels and sent it down the sewer. A few seconds later all you heard was machine gun fire.


50 posted on 04/29/2014 10:25:06 AM PDT by cyclotic (America's premier outdoor adventure association for boys-traillifeusa.com)
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