Ready for the Roll Call: The "Hill Street Blues" Quiz


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: NBC

About This Quiz

"Hill Street Blues" was a landmark police show that heavily influenced police and court TV shows that came after it. Learn more about "Hill Street Blues" with this quiz!

"Hill Street Blues" was a police show, but it also had a certain storytelling style. What style did the show have?

"Hill Street Blues" showed how law enforcement officers reacted to everything that was happening.


What did the "blues" in the title mean?

Police officers wore blue or dark blue uniforms. "Blues" was the nickname given to them.


Where was the Hill Street police station located?

The producers intended for the Hill Street police station to be fictional. No city is ever mentioned. The closest match is a mix of Los Angeles and Chicago.


"Hill Street Blues" shows a lot of big hair and post-disco era clothes. In which decade was the show set?

"Hill Street Blues" was set in the 1980s, which was also the decade during which it aired. It tackled many of the issues of the times.


Frank Furillo was the glue that held Hills Street Station together. He was their professional and spiritual leader. What was his rank?

Captain Frank Furillo was the man in the middle of all the stories. He would do anything for his people.


Frank Furillo was often called Pizza Man. What about pizza restaurants applied to him?

Furillo was a man who always meant what he said. That's why he's the Pizza Man. He "always delivers."


Officers J.D. LaRue and Frank Furillo didn't always agree, but they shared something that kept them together. What was it?

Both Furillo and LaRue were recovering alcoholics. Their troubles were plot lines for some of the show's stories.


Joyce Davenport and Frank Furillo were opponents while on the job. What were they when they were off-duty?

Davenport was a lawyer who often butted heads with Furillo and his police force. However, the two were also lovers.


Frank Furillo was known for his smart attire, thanks to Joyce Davenport, who helped him with his clothes. What piece of clothing was he known to wear?

Furillo was known for wearing vests or waistcoats. It gave him a certain air of authority in the station.


Sgt. Phil Esterhaus had this scene in every show he was in. What morning ritual was he always in charge of?

Sgt. Esterhaus always started each episode with roll call. This would usually set the mood for the show, or drop plot points for the episode.


One of the more memorable side characters in "Hill Street Blues" was Tommy Mann, who was played by this very young, future lead star of "CSI: Miami." Which actor was this?

David Caruso had an early start in his career on "Hill Street Blues." He would later play police or authority figures on other shows, such as "CSI: Miami."


David Caruso’s character, Tommy Mann, belonged to what ethnic group?

Tommy Mann was the head of the local Irish gang. He was always ready with a smile, but you never knew if he was laughing with you or at you.


What was Sgt. Esterhaus's daily message to all the Hill Street officers on shift?

Sgt. Esterhaus was the father figure of the station, aside from Frank Furillo. His message to "be careful out there" was a daily tradition.


How did Sgt. Esterhaus die?

Sgt. Esterhaus may have been a bit of a traditionalist, but the producers chose to kill his character off in a non-traditional way.


Detective Mick Belker was a special type of officer. What type of officer was he?

Detective Michael Belker was an undercover police officer. Most people who weren't the from Hill Street station couldn't believe he was a cop.


While Detective Belker was hell on wheels as a cop, he did have a weakness. What was it?

Belker may have been the wild man of the station, but when his mother called, it was a different story.


Lt. Henry Goldblume was a very competent community affairs officer, but sometimes he could be too good. His weakness was identifying too much with what type of people?

Goldblume was a very dedicated and sensitive officer. However, his job sometimes had a heavy effect on him, and he identified too much with the victims.


What did a wealthy mob widow give Goldblume when she died?

Goldblume became a rich man when a mobster's wife left him a fortune in her will.


Officer Bobby Hill was one of the main characters in the show's rather large cast. However, it almost wasn't the case. What happened in the very first episode?

Bobby Hill barely survived a shootout in the first episode. He went on to become one of the main characters at the Hill Street police station.


Officer Bobby Hill, aside from being a good cop, was also a great athlete. What was his favorite sport?

Bobby Hill loved basketball. This figured in an episode where the officers had to play against some gang members.


Lauren Holly is best known today as Jenny Shepard, the tough Director in "NCIS." However, in "Hill Street Blues," a much younger Holly played a completely different character. What was she?

Lauren Holly's role in "Hill Street Blues" was her first for TV. She played a very young prostitute.


Police officer Howard Hunter was the target of jokes at the station. But in the field, he was something else. What specialized squad did he head?

Howard Hunter was the head of the Emergency Action Squad. These days, it's known as the SWAT team.


People cared about Howard Hunter. That’s why J.D. LaRue changed his gun's ammunition to blanks one time. What was LaRue trying to prevent Hunter from doing?

Hunter wasn't feeling particularly good about himself, and he tried to commit suicide. It failed because LaRue switched his ammunition to blanks.


Sgt. Lucille Bates was a streetwise cop. Why was she sometimes tougher than the other guys?

Lucille Bates had a kinder and gentler side. However, she felt her job required her to be tougher than the others, so that being a woman wouldn't be an issue.


What did Sgt. Lucille Bates do when she found a boy named Fabian, whose junkie mom couldn’t take care of him?

Sgt. Bates decided to adopt Fabian. It was an unexpected move for her character.


What does Sgt. Jabolonski really mean when he says "Let's do it to them before they do it to us"?

Jablonski wasn't encouraging cops to shoot criminals. He wanted them to do their jobs right, because criminals will do their "jobs" right, too.


Detective J.D. LaRue would have been a walking harassment case if "Hill Street Blues" were rebooted today. What was his nickname at the station?

LaRue was a ladies' man and was called "Lover." Unfortunately, the ladies didn’t always see it that way.


Jeffrey Tambor, the male-to-female transgender lead character in "Transparent," made a guest appearance on "Hill Street Blues" as a judge wearing this type of clothing. What was it?

"Hill Street Blues" viewers could always trust Judge Wachtel to do something to bring laughs to the show. In one case, he wore a dress to deal with some gender issues.


Detective LaRue was the lovable rogue at the station. What sort of scheme was he always trying to get in on?

LaRue hoped for better things. However, his love for get-rich quick schemes that seemed improbable were classic.


Detective LaRue's partner, Detective Washington, was the cool dude. How long could he chew on his famous toothpick?

Detective Washington seemed to go for hours with a toothpick in his mouth.


Even though Detective Washington was the cool guy at the station, what rattled him?

Detective Washington had a hard time dealing with the fact that he shot an innocent man. It showed that even the most confident men can be rattled to their core.


What made "NYPD Blue" actor Dennis Franz's two appearances on "Hill Street Blues" special?

Dennis Franz played two characters, Detective Benedetto and Lt. Norman Buntz. After "Hill Street Blues" ended, he was the lead in a short spinoff series, and then rose to fame in "NYPD Blue."


Fay Furillo was Frank's divorced wife. During the show's earlier seasons, what did she think would happen?

Fay Furillo believed that Frank would come back into her life as her husband. Of course, this didn’t happen.


Like many of the "Hill Street Blues" characters, Fay had a catchphrase: "Hey buster." When did she use that line?

Fay Furillo was a no-nonsense woman. It made sense that she would use "Hey, buster" as her personal quote.


What was Coffey's vice?

Officer Coffey was a compulsive gambler.


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