Steven Bochco

Steven Bochco


12/16/1943, New York, New York

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Also Known As

Steve Bochco
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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Steven Bochco worked on Ironside very early in his career. He had been hired by producer Frank Price at the start of the first season to write a few extra scenes in the first six episodes, which were too short. After looking at the scripts, Bochco asked Price if it was really necessary for him to do this, since he didn't think the show would last that long. According to Bochco, Price was angry and this started a strained relationship between the two of them that continued when Price was in charge of Universal Television and Bochco was a writer there.

    • Steven Bochco's sister is actress Joanna Frank.

    • Steven Bochco is the brother-in-law of actor Alan Rachins, who starred in L.A. Law.

    • Since 2000, Steven Bochco has been married to producer Dayna Kalins.

    • Among Steven Bochco's classmates at Carnegie-Mellon were actors Michael Tucker (L.A. Law), Bruce Weitz (Hill Street Blues) and Charles Haid (Hill Street Blues).

    • Steven Bochco received the 1994 Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement from the Writers Guild of America.

    • Steven Bochco was married to actress Barbara Bosson from 1969 to 1997. She appeared on many of his shows, including Hill Street Blues, Hooperman, and Murder One, where she was Emmy-nominated for her portrayal of prosecutor Miriam Grasso.

    • Steven Bochco had planned a fifth season story arc on Doogie Howser, M.D., during which Doogie would become disillusioned with medicine and become a writer. ABC's cancellation of the show after four seasons prevented this from happening.

    • Steven Bochco partially based Doogie Howser on his father, who had been a child violin prodigy.

    • In Steven Bochco's 2003 novel Death in Hollywood, the main character describes an idea for a TV show in which a detective who gets blinded in the line of duty returns to the force with a seeing-eye dog. This would become the premise for Bochco's short-lived 2005 series Blind Justice.

    • Steven Bochco has won two Edgar awards from the Mystery Writers of America. The first was in 1982, Best Episode in a TV Series Teleplay, for Hill Street Blues, "Hill Street Station"; and the second was in 1995, Best Episode in a TV Series Teleplay, for NYPD Blue, "Simone Says."

    • Steven Bochco submitted a script for the third season of Columbo, but Peter Falk rejected it. Later, during the Columbo revival on ABC, Falk changed his mind and Bochco's script aired as "Uneasy Lies the Crown" in 1990.

    • The man we see playing the violin in the logo of Steven Bochco's production company (seen just before the closing credits of Steven Bochco shows such as NYPD Blue and Murder One) is Bochco's father. A portrait of him was animated to make it appear as if he was playing the violin.

    • In 2007, Steven Bochco teamed up with (a user-generated content website) to create "Cafe Confidential," a video website where people can submit videos revealing their personal stories.

    • In 1966, Steven Bochco graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with a BFA in playwriting and theater.

    • In 1987, Steven Bochco made a $15 million deal with ABC to create ten series pilots over ten years.

    • Steven Bochco's son Jesse is a TV producer and director, and has worked on several of his father's shows, including NYPD Blue and Philly.

  • Quotes

    • Steven Bochco: (on changing the format of "Murder One" in its second season) It was really my decision to make the changes. I felt that not only from a viewer point of view, but also from a creative point of view, it was better to tell more than one story. We could have told it just as efficiently in half the time. I think if I do a couple or three story lines, allow them eight or nine episodes each and have them overlap two or three weeks each, we'll be able to do a lot more with the show. I think when you've got as low a rating as we had and you get renewed, you've got to try to broaden your appeal.

    • Steven Bochco: (on the process that led to his first novel) I had had this idea that I thought maybe would be a movie idea. And [the producer] Brian Grazer said, "Oh, I'd like to see it." I wrote 20-some-odd pages, kind of like a short story. And I showed it to my friend David Milch and he said, "Boy, this is really something you could turn into a terrific novel." And I said, "I've never written a novel before, it's not what I do." And he said, "Well, so what?"

    • Steven Bochco: (on his series "Over There") You're going to get controversy no matter what. We'd get less controversy if we made an overt political statement about the war because half the people will agree with us and the other half will dismiss us. The controversy really comes when you present something like the Iraq war in such a nuanced way that it presses everybody's buttons a little bit. Now you've got a game.

    • Steven Bochco: (on being asked to take over the struggling "Commander in Chief") No good deed goes unpunished. It was a horrible, horrible experience. It really sort of crystallized the way in which the business has changed, and that's not for me anymore.

  • Possibly the most important and influential figure in TV drama in the last forty years.

    With his work on shows like "Hill Street Blues", "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue", Steven Bochco has really ushered in the idea of modern TV drama, and he has rightfully earned scores of awards and acclaim. Bochco introduced the ideas of multiple-episode story arcs in prime time; he made shows with large ensemble casts successful (rare is the show today that focuses on only one character); and he brought new levels of content to prime-time. Where would TV be today if he had not pushed the envelope in 1993 with "NYPD Blue" and language and nudity? It's almost hard to imagine the brouhaha that erupted when "Blue" premiered, since it seems like every show under the sun carries a "Viewer Discretion Advised" tag at the outset. Getting his sea legs in the era of big prime-time mysteries (Bochco cut his teeth on "Columbo"), he brought that sensibility of character and plot to his own work and he broke new ground in series television.

    Of course, Steven Bochco did more than just change TV standards: he also created some great shows and characters. Arnie Becker, Andy Sipowicz, and many others. Not everything he's touched has been a hit ("Cop Rock," "Blind Justice") but he never plays it safe and delivers something tired and stale. Bochco's shows feature real people with faults and foibles...gimmicks aren't his bag. Even with all of the excitement over naked butts on "Blue," what kept viewers around was the drama of the characters. In an age where comic-book concepts and cheap ploys are filling the networks, it's unfortunate that Steven Bochco seems to be done with TV. We could use a show with his voice again.moreless