101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1981-1987

Low rated in its infancy, Hill Street Blues broke as many TV storytelling rules as its ultimate success helped establish for cop shows. Writing the pilot, Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll insisted on creative autonomy from the brass at NBC and MTM, the result of which was that "we could break away with all kinds of sidebars and sub-stories," Kozoll recalled. Bochco set about bringing writers to the show with points of view untainted by years in TV. One of those was a former aspiring novelist named David Milch. "The level of complexity we were trying to achieve in our scripts under the extraordinary time constraints you deal with in TV made it absolutely clear to me that you had to write these things in an ensemble way," Bochco said. "So I knew that we had to locate really good voices and work together as a chorus."

Credited Writers

Steve Bello
David Black
Steven Bochco
Jerry Patrick Brown
Floyd Byars
Philip M. Combest
Dennis Cooper
Robert Crais
Marjorie David
Roger Director
Robert Earll
Neil Eglash
Jacob Epstein
Terry Curtis Fox
Mark Frost
George Goldsmith
Walon Green
Joseph Gunn
Karen Hall
Gregory Hoblit
Barry Jay Kaplan
E. Jack Kaplan
Elia Katz
Ron Koertge
Michael Kozoll
Jonathan Lemkin
Jeffrey Lewis
John A. Litvack
David Mamet
John Mankiewicz
Jeff Melvoin
David Milch
Jerome Portman
Alan Rachins
Darrell Ray
John Romano
Robert Schlitt
John William See
Peter Silverman
Duncan Smith
Frank South
David Stenn
Bill Taub
Thom Thomas
Alan Toy
Darrell J. Vienna
Michael Wagner
Robert Ward
Christian Williams
Dick Wolf
Bob Woodward
Russ Woody
Jody Taylor Worth
Anthony H. Yerkovich
Lee David Zlotoff