Behind The Desk: The True Story You Never Knew About Hill Street Blues

Hill Street Blues was created by Steven Bochco in 1981. It ran for seven seasons and won over 20 Emmy Awards. But with success came scrutiny, and Hill Street Blues received its fair share. Choosing to be more realistic than competing shows left it in the dark early on.

Once fans discovered the gritty reality of Hill Street Blues, they were hooked. For everything that happened on camera, there were plenty more interesting stories behind it. Here is the true story of Hill Street Blues. You’ll call the cops when you learn which successful director got her start acting here!

Hill Street Blues’ First Season Was A Ratings Disaster

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Photo Credit: David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images

Premiering in 1981, Hill Street Blues struggled to find an audience. NBC, unsure of how to sell a realistic cop show in primetime, threw it around the schedule. During its first season, Hill Street Blues aired on four different nights, eventually settling in on Thursdays.

Boosted by critical praise and numerous awards (which we’ll get to later) Hill Street Blues stayed on the night shift for its second season. Sirens blaring, the show became a huge success, finishing the year as a top-30 rated program.