Creator: NYPD Blue
Along with Dick Wolf, Steven Bochco is the godfather of modern police procedural shows. But if Dick Wolf's legacy rests in cementing the television procedural formula, Bochco is remembered for challenging it. Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue are all Bochco creations.
With NYPD Blue, Bochco sought to create a show that could compete with the emerging cable sensibility. Audiences wanted shows that felt "real." for NYPD Blue, this meant diligently consulting technical advisor Bill Clarke and never shying away from the ugly realities of police life.
The result was an edgy, dramatic show that taught a number of future creators and critics what television could be. Prominent TV critic Alan Sepinwall began his career reviewing NYPD Blue, while David Milch, who would go on to create Deadwood and Luck, co-created Blue with Bochco. That both men would go on to help define television today is a testament to the power of Bochco's work.