Video: Too Good for Television?

Hill Street Blues has everything going for it—except ratings

ROLL CALL, 7:07 a.m. The Hill Street precinct comes to disorder. Detectives, patrolmen and patrolwomen, officers and desk jockeys shuffle through the squad room, find seats, swallow some coffee and try to ignore the day ahead. Sergeant Phillip Freemason Esterhaus (Michael Conrad), a mountain of meat and gristle with a smile that could crack ice, is briefing his charges on the new day's agenda. "I'd like to interject a personal observation," he announces. "It seems that we've reached a new low, graffiti-wise, in both the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!