Steven Bochco

We are very sorry to hear that Steven Bochco, a giant in television, and a good friend to Creative Voices, died this week. Steven was a strong and consistent voice for free expression in media. His work expanded the boundaries of what the then three television networks permitted, even to the point that some network affiliates refused to carry his shows — until their local audiences demanded that they be able to watch, for example, NYPD Blue. Creative Voices filed briefs in the NYPD Blue “indecency” case, where the FCC fined ABC $1.4 million for airing a brief glimpse of an actress’s rear end (horror of horrors!), and was gratified when the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judgment, finding the FCC’s indecency rules unconstitutionally vague. Our post on that important precedent is here. That decision brought to an almost complete halt the FCC’s use of those vague rules to censor television.

We made an interesting and popular podcast with Steven several years ago, but it’s still timely and worth a listen. Find a link to it on our Podcast webpage, here.

Steven will be missed. His obituary is here, and a thoughtful appreciation of Bochco’s work as ahead of his time in paving the way for the explosive growth of cable television limited series is here.