Steven Bochco: Brains Behind ‘LA Law’ And ‘NYPD Blue’ Dies Of Cancer

The creator of some of the biggest TV crime dramas of the '80s has died.

Steven Bochco dies of cancer
Chris Pizzello / AP Images

The creator of some of the biggest TV crime dramas of the '80s has died.

Steven Bochco, the renowned producer of hit TV shows including LA Law, NYPD Blue, and Hill Street Blues, has died.

A family spokesman told CNN that the 10-time Emmy Award winner died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning surrounded by loved ones after battling leukemia for years.

Steven Bochco was 74.

In 2014, the legendary writer and producer had a bone-marrow transplant which doctors allege helped to prolong his life.

Bochco is lauded as one of the best brains in television dramas in the last several decades. Variety is reporting that in the 1980s, he sparked a golden age in television by producing two highly successful crime dramasHill Street Blues and LA Law.

Hill Street Blues premiered in 1981 and got an unprecedented 27 Emmy nominations in its first year. During a seven-season stint on television, it won 26 Emmys and cemented Bochco as one of the best brains behind prime-time television.

LA Law was a mainstay on NBC for eight seasons and won a total of 15 Emmy Awards.

Bochco redefined television with his overlapping narratives and far from perfect characters. Before his successes, prime-time soaps, whether comedy or drama, always made a standalone episode and offered a simple teaser of the next episode.

Due to his success, Steven signed a milestone deal with ABC to produce 10 television series, The Guardian reported. During this period, the prolific writer and hardworking producer scored other television hits with Doogie Howser, M.D. and NYPD Blue.

NYPD Blue set another benchmark for television series. The cop drama was ahead of its time when it incorporated foul language and unfriendly family subject matter alongside the occasional nudity.

Steven Bochco grew up in Manhattan but traveled to Los Angeles after finishing college. The son of a painter and concert violinist, he started out writing several series at Universal Studios. However, his big break came when he wrote the screenplay for the 1972 sci-fi movie Silent Running, according to the Daily Mail.

Although major TV successes would later elude him in his advancing years, Bochco remained highly sought after in the television industry, working on Commander in Chief, an ABC drama starring Geena Davis as the first female U.S. president and Over There, an FX series revolving around soldiers in Iraq and their families back in America. The show ran during the Iraq war and engendered plenty of controversies.

Steven also produced Raising the Bar for TNT. The legal drama ran for two seasons.

Bochco is survived by his third wife, Dayna Kalins, three children as well as two grandchildren.