‘Vision, style, taste and tenacity’: TV pioneer Steven Bochco remembered for having it all


The late television pioneer Steven Bochco has been commemorated by colleagues and fans for both his luminous career and the humanity he brought on and off screen.

The Emmy-winning writer-producer, who died at 74 Sunday after battling cancer, left his imprint on network television with cop dramas such as “NYPD Blue” and “Hill Street Blues,” then took on legal and medical genres with “L.A. Law” and “Doogie Howser M.D.” — all of which he shook up with realism and topical issues.

“His work ethic shaped mine, his words of wisdom stick with me to this day. I’m so proud of Doogie Howser, mostly for being a Bochco show,” tweeted “Doogie Howser” star Neil Patrick Harris.


Bochco’s immense influence was apparent in the praise his contemporaries heaped upon him. Fellow creators such as Judd Apatow, Larry Wilmore and Joss Whedon credited his career-changing advice, while actors Debra Messing, Blair Underwood and Dean Norris thanked him for giving them their first meaningful jobs.

Others such as “House of Cards” showrunner Beau Willimon and “Modern Family’s” Steven Levitan recalled how watching Bochco’s shows made them fall in love with the small screen and affected their work.

Fans and Twitter users also repeated “Hill Street Blues’” familiar refrain — “Let’s be careful out there.”

Industry heavyweight and longtime friend Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Co., praised Bochco as “a visionary” and a “creative force.”

Steven Spielberg warmly remembered his old friend and colleague by reflecting on the first episode of “Columbo.”

“Steve was a friend and a colleague starting with the first episode of ‘Columbo’ that he wrote and I directed,” Spielberg told Variety. “We have supported and inspired each other ever since and through many deep mutual friendships we have stayed connected for 47 years. I will miss Steve terribly.”

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