Steven Bochco was named Thursday as the winner of the Writers Guild of America 1994 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for outstanding contributions in TV writing.
Bochco is one of the few Chayefsky Award recipients to be honored mid-career.
He has been responsible for such shows as “Columbo,””Hill Street Blues, “”L.A. Law,””Civil Wars,””Doogie Howser, M.D.,””Cop Rock” and “NYPD Blue.”
The silver-haired producer will pick up the career achievement at the March 13 WGA Awards dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“It is rare that we honor a writer for a body of work in midcareer,” WGA prexy Frank Pierson said in a statement. “Steven Bochco has proven time andagain that the highest drama is made of small moments of humanity. He has taken the focus of storytelling in the television medium in new directions.”
Pierson added that with Bochco’s ongoing record of TV hits, the WGA would likely be honoring him again in 20 years.
Bochco’s first writing credit was shared with the dean of TV’s golden age of writing, Rod Serling, in 1967 for expanding a Chrysler Showcase presentation of “A Slow Fade to Black” into a two-hour pic.
He later worked as a story editor for shows such as “Name of the Game, “”McMillan and Wife” and “Columbo,” the last of which garnered him nominations for two Emmys, two WGA awards and an Edgar Allen Poe award.
In 1980, Bochco made TV history with the startup of “Hill Street Blues,” which snagged 21 Emmy nominations in its first season. In 1985, he co-created “L.A. Law,” and in 1988 he formed his own production company.