Steven Bochco, David Milch

Nearly 20 years ago, Steven Bochco and David Milch changed the face of primetime drama with NYPD Blue. Now, Bochco and Milch have reunited to sell a new drama to NBC.

Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV are behind the project, a legal drama set in Washington, D.C. The show follows the exploits of a charismatic "rainmaker" lawyer in D.C. with a dark secret. Says the studio: "This is a series about how we negotiate with our demons and the price we pay for those alliances."

The drama sold to NBC with a sizable penalty. Bochco and Milch would executive produce along with Imagine TV's Francie Calfo and Brian Grazer. The drama actually originated as an idea from Grazer, who then reached out to Milch and Bochco.

But before the deal could be done, Milch had to make an arrangement with HBO to take a break from his commitments at the pay channel. That's because Milch is behind HBO's upcoming horse racing drama Luck, and is winding up his most recent overall deal there. HBO execs wanted assurances that the collaboration with Bochco wouldn't eat into his work on a second season of Luck. Milch is expected to renew that HBO deal, but in the meantime will take a month or so to huddle with Bochco on the NBC project.

Bochco and Milch co-created NYPD Blue, which launched to immediate critical acclaim on ABC in 1993. The show's edgy content was unusual at the time for a broadcast network — and led several advertisers to boycott and affiliates to drop the show. But NYPD Blue became an Emmy winner and a ratings powerhouse — and eventually the advertisers and stations returned.

Milch began his career working on Bochco shows such as Bay City Blues and Hill Street Blues in the 1980s, leading eventually to their partnership as co-creators on NYPD Blue. Besides NYPD Blue, they last worked together on the short-lived shows Brooklyn South and Total Security, both in 1997. But since then, both producers have been busy with their own shows. Bochco's recent credits include TNT's Raising the Bar, ABC's Commander in Chief and FX's Over There, while Milch was behind HBO's Deadwood and John from Cincinnati. Luck, which stars Dustin Hoffman and is also executive produced by Michael Mann, premieres in January 2012.

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