Neil Patrick Harris pays tribute to Doogie Howser, MD creator Steven Bochco

Todd Singleton
April 3, 2018

Steven Bochco, a producer whose boundary-pushing series like "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue" helped define the modern TV drama, died Sunday after a battle with leukemia.

Over the course of his long career, Steven Bochco won 10 Emmy Awards after being nominated a whopping 30 times.

In 1999, the Producers Guild of America honored Bochco with its David Susskind lifetime achievement award, describing his record of quality programs as "the standard all television producers strive for".

Event co-chairs Dayna and Steven Bochco (R) attend the NDRC Food For Thought Benefit celebrating safe and sustainable eating in Santa Monica, California, May 29, 2014.

Bochco was famously fiesty with network and studio executives. However, she later opened up about her decision to leave the show, adding that one of the primary reasons was her husband being forced out of the creative team. His influence is felt throughout TV, in all genres.

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Bochco was born in New York City, USA and grew up in a Jewish family, the son of a painter and violinist.

On Monday, dozens of actors and showrunners shared their condolences on Twitter, with House Of Cards creator Beau Willimon writing: "As a kid, Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law were rituals in my house". He worked on Columbo for several seasons, starting with the 1971 90-minute episode "Murder by the Book", directed by Steven Spielberg. The gritty police drama incited controversy thanks to Bochco's insistence that it replicate the real-life nudity and language of cable dramas at the time, and it became an instant hit.

Bochco began winding down his work in television after NYPD Blue a bit, but still kept busy. His credits go on to include "Murder One", "Murder in the First", "Raising the Bar" and "Civil Wars".

After Hill Street Blues, he was offered the job of entertainment president on CBS, but turned it down for the chance of producing 10 different shows throughout six years at ABC.

His first television creation was The Bold Ones: The New Doctors in 1969, which he co-created with Richard H. Landau, Paul Mason.

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