×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Steven Bochco Building Dedication Feels Like More of a Family Reunion

On a sunny weekend afternoon, the Fox lot was quiet except for the group that gathered to dedicate Building 1 to the writer-producer-showrunner who occupied it for the last few decades: Steven Bochco. The building now bears his name and a plaque with his distinct signature, which was also used as his production card on his television shows.

Gary Newman, chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group, spoke at the dedication, acknowledging the presence of cast members from “NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.” including Jimmy Smits, Dennis Franz, Kim Delaney, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Gordon Clapp, James B. Sikking, Susan Ruttan and James McDaniel. Looking around those gathered, Newman noted, “Steven always cast the best of the best.”

Newman said the decision to rename the building was made swiftly and with the full agreement of the studio bosses. He pointed out, “As long as I’ve been on this lot, about 28 years, it’s the only name this building has ever been known by and it’s a point of pride for the writers who have their office in it. It’s as if Steven himself had selected them to be residents of it.”

Commenting on his own personal interactions with Bochco, Newman recalled, “He was such a giant, so brilliant. Over the years, I discovered him to be warm, funny and friendly.” Another fond memory Newman shared: “At the time of my early days at Fox, the commissary was a place where producers and executives often gathered for lunch. It wasn’t unusual to see the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Joe Roth, Harris Katleman, and Jon Dolgen, all sitting at their respective tables holding court. But no one held court like Steven. It wasn’t unusual to see him and Dana and four or five of his writers at a table meant for four and there was always so much laughter — it was just the table you wanted to be at.”

Bochco’s impact and influence on the crafting of one hour dramas affected the industry when his shows first aired and is felt to this day. Newman paid tribute to Bochco saying, “Steven’s first masterpiece, ‘Hill Street Blues,’ with a brilliant ensemble cast, its multiple storylines, serialized character development and bold themes, advanced dramatic storytelling light years ahead…It is no exaggeration to say it was Steven’s series that blazed the way for the renaissance of television drama that is still flourishing nearly 40 years later.”

“L.A. Law” alumnus Jimmy Smits shared, “Everything I am as an actor and artist, in terms of my understanding of what ensemble means, came from Steven as a coach. He brought people together and nurtured them. Steven was such a super writer and creator, so many people walk around in this business stand on his shoulders. I was spoiled by Steven Bochco.”

Jill Eikenberry, another “L.A. Law” alumnus, has often lauded Bochco for supporting her as she battled cancer while shooting the hit drama. Eikenberry also admired Bochco’s skill at writing female characters, “He loved strong women. He was really interested in strong women and believed they deserved their day in court, so to speak. He wasn’t afraid of strong women. He made me stronger while I was battling cancer. I became stronger while I played Ann Kelsey.”

After thanking Bochco’s family for sharing him with the studio, Newman closed the ceremony by reading from the new plaque on the building: “He was a pioneer whose series helped usher in the contemporary golden age of television and many credit ‘Hill Street Blues’ as the godparent of modern dramatic storytelling. He leaves behind a lasting legacy of quality series, many of which were created in this very building and filmed on this studio lot. He will always be remembered for his storytelling, his humanity, his humor and perhaps for one of the greatest catchphrases in television history. As Sgt. Phil Esterhaus would say when he finished roll call with his officers, ‘Let’s be careful out there.’ Great advice to this day.”

After the building dedication, an invitation-only memorial service was held at Fox’s Zanuck Theatre.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content