On Tuesday, CHML’s AM900 morning host Bill Kelly suggested to me that Steven Bochco was to television what Steven Spielberg was to movies.
Both moved their medium forward. Bochco certainly was an innovator as a writer and story editor, combining serial elements into police procedurals. Bochco also encouraged Hill Street Blues pilot director Robert Butler to literally shake things up with extensive hand-held camera use. His one season, one storyline approach to Murder One came 20 years before True Detective.
Another important element for both Stevens: the right music collaborator. Spielberg movies were enhanced by the driving energy of John Williams’ music scores. Bochco brought the best out in Mike Post, who created signature themes for Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue.
The story behind the haunting and simple Hill Street Blues piano theme is that it took Post 30 minutes to compose. Watch Bochco and Post explain how that came together here in this Archive of American Television clip.
For more on Bochco’s legacy, as discussed on the radio by Bill Kelly and me, you can listen in here.