When it is perceived that a show has gone awry, the pressure is staggering, and as a writer caught in that storm, it feels like you are being attacked by jackals.
Hill Street Blues might have been the first television show that had a memory. One episode after another was part of a cumulative experience shared by the audience.
Vivid images are like a beautiful melody that speaks to you on an emotional level. It bypasses your logic centers and even your intellect and goes to a different part of the brain.
The entertainment world, television, movies, social media, YouTube stuff, we're so bombarded with so much imagery and such a great sense of inhumanity, and there is a coarseness, a coarsening of interaction.
When you look at Mark Zuckerberg and Snapchat and all these twentysomething billionaires, it's really kind of fascinating; a classic tale of the haves and have-nots.
I'd always thought that 'NYPD Blue' really would open those doors. While I think it created a much broader template for cable, I don't think it really did that much for network television.
I tend not to spend a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror. If you say, 'Oh, I did 'Hill Street Blues' or 'L.A. Law' and everything I do has to measure up to some preconceived notion of that,' it would paralyze you.
Television and film are such streamlined story mediums. You can't really meander about, whereas a novel is an interior experience.