NYPD Blue is an American police procedural drama television series set in New York City, exploring the struggles of the fictional 15th Precinct detective squad in Manhattan. Each episode typically intertwines several plots involving an ensemble cast.
The show was created by Steven Bochco and David Milch, and was inspired by Milch's relationship with Bill Clark, a former member of the New York City Police Department who eventually became one of the show's producers. The series was originally broadcast on the ABC network, debuted on September 21, 1993‚ and aired its final episode on March 1, 2005. It was ABC's longest-running primetime one-hour drama series until Grey's Anatomy surpassed it in 2016.
NYPD Blue was met with critical acclaim, praised for its grittiness and realistic portrayal of the cast's personal and professional lives, though the show garnered controversy for its depiction of nudity and alcoholism. In 1997, "True Confessions" (Season 1, Episode 4), written by Art Monterastelli and directed by Charles Haid, was ranked #36 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 2009, TV Guide ranked "Hearts and Souls" (Season 6, Episode 5), Jimmy Smits' final episode as a main cast member, #30 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.