Steven Bochco, 74, creator of ‘NYPD Blue’ and ‘Hill Street Blues’

Mr. Bochco created a number of hit TV shows.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/File 2016
Mr. Bochco created a number of hit TV shows.

LOS ANGELES — Steven Bochco, a writer and producer who created seminal television dramas in the 1980s, including ‘‘Hill Street Blues’’ and “L.A. Law,’’ died Sunday, a family spokesman said. He was 74,

The Los Angeles Times reported that he had been battling leukemia for several years. In 2014, he received a stem cell transplant that was credited with prolonging his life.

He won 10 primetime Emmys, and also created “NYPD Blue’’ and ‘‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’’


“Even though the network is supposed to be the authority, I always looked at Steven as my teacher, my mentor, the genius that led me to the best decision,” Ted Harbert told the Times. Harbert worked with Mr. Bochco when he brought “Doogie Howser, M.D” and “NYPD Blue” to ABC.

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A New York City native, Bochco was born to a violinist father and a painter-jewelry designer mother. He attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan for singing before spending a year at New York University. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a theater degree in 1966.

While attending Carnegie Mellon, he received a fellowship from MCA that both helped him pay for school and landed him summer jobs at Universal Studios his last two years before graduating.

At NBC, Mr. Bochco expanded the idea of a broadcast television cop show when he created “Hill Street Blues” with Michael Kozoll in 1981, and he did it again at ABC with “NYPD Blue” in 1993.

“What we did with ‘NYPD Blue’ opened up the world,” he told the Times in 2014. “We were certainly aware of advancing the agenda.’’


“When I left ‘Hill Street,’ I said, ‘I’m never going to do another police show ever’ because I couldn’t imagine doing one better,” Bochco said in 1995. “But a dozen years later [in ‘NYPD Blue’], there’s everything to wring from that old towel because the prevailing attitudes of the society shift.” The series lasted 12 seasons.

In 2014, asked why he has largely been absent from the television landscape after years of being involved in so many series, Bochco quipped, “I’m just old,” then added, “I don’t actually have the drive I used to have.”

Details of a memorial service were not immediately released.