Last month violence, this month sex. The talk of the new television season is the series “NYPD Blue” by Steven Bochco, the creator of “Hill Street Blues” and “Cop Rock,” and David Milch, a former English professor at Yale. These two see themselves as artists because they do what people thought could not be done: they show more explicit sexual behavior and more naked flesh than has hitherto been seen on network TV. When asked at a news conference about yielding to pressure about the sex ’n’ violence, Bochco replied, “I think if you do, you’re in the television business, you’re not in the television art”—which is about as clear a definition of “art” as we’re likely to find these days. In television, at any rate, “art” means unveiling progressively more female torso. Or perhaps having...


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