RARA-AVIS: Chicago-based cop shows: after several

From: Todd Mason ( Todd.Mason@tvguide.com)
Date: 26 Apr 2002

Among the most obvious extra-visual Chicago references was to Mayor Ozzie Cleveland (rather than Harold Washington)...others may come back to me...the composition of the gangs also suggested Chicago more than most cities...

-----Original Message----- From: JIM DOHERTY [mailto: jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com]


Re your question below:

> Wasn't "Hill Street Blues" based on LA (in spite
> of the el that seems to dominate some of it?)
> Isn't there a police station in central LA on
> Hill Street?

Although the city in HILL ST BLUES was never named, dialog specifically located it on the Eastern Seaboard. Some establishing shots used parts of Chicago that weren't readily identifiable as Chicago. I'm told other establishing shots used Pittsburgh, PA, but I've never been there, and can't confirm this.

The uniforms were similar to the kind then being worn in both NYC and Chicago. The cars were Chicago and the exterior of the Hill St Precinct was and old Chicago police station that no longer exists.

The badges most closely resembled San Diego (though it's a fairly generic design and many departments use it).

The technical advisor, Jesse Brewer, was an LAPD deputy chief, so the organizational structure tended to resemble LAPD with some exceptions. One exception was that, in LA local station were referred to as
"divisions" (they are now called "areas") and a group of divisions (or areas) was and is called a "bureau." In HILL STREET's fictional city, a local station was called a "precinct" and a group of local stations was called a "division." This is the same nomencalture then in use (and probably still in use) in NYC.

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