This was Television on May 12

1987: Hill Street Blues signs off

The acclaimed NBC drama, focusing on the lives and work of police officers in an anonymous American city, ran seven seasons and 146 episodes. An MTM Enterprises production created by Stephen Bochco and Michael Kozoll, Hill Street Blues had a significant influence not only on subsequent years of TV drama, but also on the critical perception of television as a medium and an art form. Nominated for 98 Emmys during its run (of which it won 26, including four straight as Outstanding Drama Series), the show is frequently cited as one of the foundational precursors of the “quality TV” era a decade later. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Bruce Boxleitner, spy (63); Gabriel Byrne, therapist (63); George Carlin, comic (d. 2008); Kim Fields, single lifer (44); Malcom David Kelley, Islander (21); Jamie Luner, Melrose Placer (42); Bruce McCulloch, Kid in the Hall (52); Richard Riehle, character actor (65); Tom Snyder, emcee (d. 2007); Catherine Tate, companion (45); Emily VanCamp, vengeance seeker (27); Vanessa A. Williams, middle daughter (50).

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