*Spotlight on Rico, season 3, episode 20 of the series, premiered April 28. 1983, at 10:00 P.M. on NBC. We think it aired against Tucker's Witch (CBS) and 20/20 (ABC). Also on NBC's Thursday night lineup at this time: Fame, Cheers, and Gimme a Break!
*Hill Street Blues ran 7 seasons, 146 episodes, 1981-1987, and was a modest rating success in its prime years after a disastrous premiere season. It did dominate the Emmys after its inaugural year, though, which helped NBC keep it around, along with info indicating upscale advertisers were interested.
*Beverly Hills Buntz, the spinoff with Dennis Franz, lasted one season (1987-88) and 9 episodes (4 more were produced).
*Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh was the college show creator Steven Bochco and several cast members attended.
*Fort Apache, the Bronx is a 1981 movie with Paul Newman, Ed Asner, Ken Wahl, Pam Grier, and Rachel Ticotin.
*Guest star Jonathan Banks is in his mid-30s in this episode. He had already in movies like Airplane! and series like Little House on the Prairie, Barnaby Jones, and 3 episodes (as 3 different characters) of Lou Grant.
*Michael Conrad was only 58 when he died of cancer. Before Hill Street, among his many credits was The Longest Yard. He was also a regular on the Judd Hirsch cop show Delvecchio, which Bocho wrote for and which also starred Hill Street co-stars Charles Haid and James B. Sikking.
*"Sonny Crockett" in this one is Dennis Burkley, who co-starred in the 1980 Sanford on NBC.
*Orson Welles' talk show pilot was filmed in 1978 and, according to Wikipedia, never surfaced. It was a 90-mintue show with Burt Reynolds, Angie Dickinson, and The Muppets. Welles himself directed, and it was shot single camera! It's too long for our official playlist, but the pilot is on YouTube!