Video: Hill Street, Hail and Farewell

A groundbreaking show heads for its final roll call

If TV programmers were always predictable, Hill Street Blues would have had a short life as one of the medium's more notable flops. Despite critical praise, the unorthodox police show settled near the bottom of the ratings after its January 1981 debut. But NBC renewed it anyway and then watched a remarkable success story take shape. First came a passel of Emmys (eight after its first season, a record-breaking number for one series; 26 all together), then a growing corps of dedicated viewers. People who claimed to watch little else on TV would tune in faithfully for the intricate and often...

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