Creator of 'NYPD Blue' hopes uproar is easing

TURNED ON IN L.A. -- Spring Preview

January 12, 1994|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Television Critic

Steven Bochco says that even he didn't anticipate the firestorm of controversy that greeted "NYPD Blue" this fall, and that he hopes it's finally starting to ebb.

"Sure, I anticipated some of the controversy last summer when ** we began to get so much attention so many months before the show was on," Bochco, the show's creator, said yesterday.

"But it just snowballed and intensified.

"And there was a point where it was very uncomfortable.

"There was a point where I was genuinely dismayed at the vehemence and the willingness by people to give in to censorship instead of just saying, "OK, this is not my cup of tea, and I'll just watch something else.' "

Bochco said he's feeling the heat less these days.

"I think it's starting to go away . . . and, by the time we start the second season, I think it will be gone . . . and I hope that will make a difference with reluctant advertisers."

Even though the show is a hit in the ratings, ABC said this week that it is losing money on "NYPD" because advertisers don't want to be associated with it.

The heat of fame

As for David Caruso, one of the stars of "NYPD Blue," he says he's feeling another kind of heat -- from being a TV sex symbol.

"I had an afternoon off last week, so I went to a movie at Century City," Caruso said.

"After the film, I thought I could stand outside the ladies room and wait for my girlfriend.

"But I can longer do that . . . I was recognized. . . . And it was scary being at the center of a crowd like that."

The 'Byrds' of Bochco

Are you ready for more Bochco? ABC has another Steven Bochco show ready to go this spring. It's called "The Byrds of Paradise" and it stars Timothy ("thirtysomething") Busfield as a college professor at Yale who packs up his three children and the family dog and moves to Hawaii after his wife is killed.

It's an hourlong drama, like "NYPD Blue." But there are no cops, no guns and no violence in the pilot, which was screened for critics yesterday.

@4 P.S.: It looks like it could be a terrific show.

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