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Gregory Hoblit

Gregory Hoblit

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Also Known As: Gregory King Hoblit Died:
Born: November 27, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Abilene, Texas, USA Profession: screenwriter, producer, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A much celebrated producer-director of perennial Emmy-winning series, usually in tandem with Steven Bochco, Gregory Hoblit got his start in local TV in Chicago, where he worked as an associate producer and producer on live and taped programming. He returned to Los Angeles in the late 1970s and served as associate producer on the miniseries "Loose Change" (NBC, 1978). Steven Bochco, who had risen to the status of one of the hottest young writers in TV thanks to "Columbo" and other "prestige" series, asked Hoblit to join him in the new company Bochco was setting up at MTM Enterprises. Hoblit accepted, although the partnership got off to a shaky start. Their first series, "Paris", starring James Earl Jones, was unsuccessful. Their second made TV history. Bochco along with Michael Kozoll conceived "Hill Street Blues" (NBC, 1981-87), with Hoblit in the producer's chair. The resulting series about life in and around a gritty urban police station, with constant activity and a very alive camera, was slow to find an audience but went on to create TV history, earning multiple Emmy nominations over its six year run. Most critics cite "Hill Street Blues" as one of the best series ever aired on American...

A much celebrated producer-director of perennial Emmy-winning series, usually in tandem with Steven Bochco, Gregory Hoblit got his start in local TV in Chicago, where he worked as an associate producer and producer on live and taped programming. He returned to Los Angeles in the late 1970s and served as associate producer on the miniseries "Loose Change" (NBC, 1978). Steven Bochco, who had risen to the status of one of the hottest young writers in TV thanks to "Columbo" and other "prestige" series, asked Hoblit to join him in the new company Bochco was setting up at MTM Enterprises. Hoblit accepted, although the partnership got off to a shaky start. Their first series, "Paris", starring James Earl Jones, was unsuccessful. Their second made TV history. Bochco along with Michael Kozoll conceived "Hill Street Blues" (NBC, 1981-87), with Hoblit in the producer's chair. The resulting series about life in and around a gritty urban police station, with constant activity and a very alive camera, was slow to find an audience but went on to create TV history, earning multiple Emmy nominations over its six year run. Most critics cite "Hill Street Blues" as one of the best series ever aired on American television.

Hoblit and Bochco's follow-up series, "Bay City Blues", which followed the lives of minor league baseball players was pulled after only four episodes aired, although it had its champions. Among the cast of then relatively unknown actors were Dennis Franz, Mykelti Williamson, Ken Olin and Sharon Stone.

When Bochco departed MTM in a dispute played out in the trade press, he eventually took his production company to 20th Century Fox TV. He, Hoblit and others assembled another ground-breaking series, "L.A. Law" (NBC), about a boutique law firm. In addition to his producing duties, Hoblit continued to his directing career, helming the pilot of "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986) and the premiere episode of "Hooperman" (ABC, 1987). Hoblit also directed the first episodes of the short-lived musical police series "Cop Rock" (ABC, 1990) and "Civil Wars" (ABC, 1991) about a law firm that dealt exclusively with divorce cases. In 1993, Bochco, Hoblit and others developed "NYPD Blue" (ABC), about life in and around a New York precinct. Hoblit directed the two-hour pilot and numerous episodes, setting the tone of the show, which offered a fluid camera style and characters who spoke to each other in a lower-key, less wooden, more conversational, albeit sometimes volatile, fashion. Controversy erupted over the show's romantic sequences, which included partial nudity, and its harsh, sometimes offensive language.

Hoblit, despite his fruitful association with Bochco, occasionally worked on his own. He produced and directed "Roe vs. Wade" (NBC, 1988), based on the landmark abortion rights case. The telefilm featured star turns by Holly Hunter and Amy Madigan and shared an Emmy as Best Drama/Comedy Special.

Inevitably, Hoblit turned to directing feature films. "Primal Fear" (1996) focused on a defense attorney (Richard Gere) whose desire to win his cases supersedes the pursuit of the truth. It also featured newcomer Edward Norton in his Oscar-nominated, star-making role as the accused. Hoblit proved more successful at guiding his actors than at negotiating the pitfalls of an uneven script. His sophomore effort, "Fallen" (1998), ventured into supernatural territory as it traced a detective who seems to be haunted by a serial killer. Again, the performances of the cast (i.e., Denzel Washington, John Goodman and Donald Sutherland) were of more interest than the story which was an unsuccessful hybrid of genres.

Not abandoning the supernatural, Hoblit directed "Frequency" (2000), a drama wherein a modern homicide detective discovers a time warp that allows him to communicate with his firefighter father who died in 1969. The generally favorable reviews once again cited Hoblit's ability to elicit good performances from a cast (in this case, Dennis Quaid and James Caviezel) as well as his skill at papering over plot holes. Leaving behind the otherworldly, he helmed the WWII drama "Hart's War" (2002), about a young law student (Colin Farrell) forced to defend a black officer accused of murder in a prisoner of war camp. A cross between 1953's "Stalag 17" and 1992's "A Few Good Men", the film was again redeemed by Hoblit's sturdy direction and a strong cast that included in addition to Farrell, Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser and Terrence Howard.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Untraceable (2008)
2.
  Fracture (2007)
3.
  Hart's War (2002) Director
4.
  Frequency (2000) Director
5.
  Fallen (1998) Director
6.
  Primal Fear (1996) Director
7.
  Class of '61 (1993) Director
8.
  Roe vs. Wade (1989) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in the Berkeley, California, area
:
Associate producer, then producer, live and taped shows at WLS, ABC-TV affiliate in Chicago
1978:
Associate producer on "Loose Change" (NBC) miniseries
1979:
Joined Steven Bochco at MTM Enterprises; produced series "Paris" (CBS) with Bochco
1981:
Served as producer of "Hill Street Blues" (NBC)
1983:
Was executive producer and director on "Bay City Blues" (NBC)
1986:
Executive produced and directed "L.A. Law" (NBC)
1987:
Produced and directed "Hooperman" (ABC)
1988:
TV-movie debut as producer and director of "Roe vs. Wade" (NBC)
1991:
Directed pilot, "Civil Wars" (ABC); also produced series
1993:
Executive producer and director (including pilot) on "NYPD Blue" (ABC)
1996:
Feature directorial debut, "Primal Fear" starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton
1996:
Formed production company, Abilene Pictures; signed a one year, first-look deal with Paramount
1998:
Helmed second feature, the thriller "Fallen" starring Denzel Washington
2000:
Directed the well-received drama, "Frequency" starring Dennis Quaid
2002:
Helmed the WWII prisoner of war drama, "Hart's War" starring Bruce Willis
2007:
Helmed the crime thriller, "Fracture" starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling
2008:
Directed Diane Lane in the thriller, "Untraceable"
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Education

University of California, Berkeley: Berkeley , California -
University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Debrah Farentino. Actor. Formerly married to James Farentino.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harold Foster Hoblit. FBI agent.
mother:
Elizabeth Hubbard King.
daughter:
Molly Hoblit. Born c. 1988.
daughter:
Sophie Hoblit. Born c. 1993.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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