Revisiting Homicide: Life on the Streets (NBC, 1993-1999)

Procedural police drama Homicide: Life on the Streets is one of the most interesting series ever broadcast on American television history. Here is a riveting documentary on the making of the most acclaimed episode “The Subway” which won Peabody award for Outstanding Writing in television fiction that year for James Yoshimura–a Japanese American teleplay writer and producer who is the backbone of the series. Naturally, this documentary centers on Yoshimura’s role in the making of this gripping Homicide‘s episode. The documentary also features executive producer Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Wag the Dog) and supervising producer David Simon whose book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets is the basis for the series’ premise. To those who appreciate Simon’s The Wire, Homicide may serve as a possible blueprint for The Wire’s unusual take on police drama and narrative experimentation. What I find fascinating about this documentary is the fact that it captures the nuts-and-bolts creative television production, not to mention the perennial battle between creative forces like Yoshimura and the institution, i.e. NBC. Kudos to PBS for putting this documentary out, but more especially to one who generously uploaded this on YouTube. Much obliged.

Note: The documentary is broken down into 9 parts. So there rest can be watched on YouTube. Just type: The Anatomy of a “Homicide: Life of the Street” (1998)

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