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Treasure trove: Archive of American Television puts major players on record

Brimming with facts, figures and interviews with many of the medium's most prominent figures, the newly remodeled Archive of American Television can be a site for sore eyes once you start navigating it.

In other words, it can be hard to stop watching. Some of the interviews -- and interviewers -- obviously are better than others. And a few bugs still need to be squashed. But as a TV tutorial, this is a gold mine.

Below is a portion of an interview with Hill Street Blues creator Steven Bochco, who very candidly talks about the ups and downs of this landmark NBC series. You can either watch the whole half-hour or move up to the 10-minute mark, where Bocho talks about drug use on the set and some of the series' combustible actors. It'll take just over 30 seconds for the entire interview to load up, so a little patience is required.

Bocho has seldom been shy about expressing his opinions, so that helps. Other TV giants among 219 interviewees to date include Steve Allen, James Arness, Bea Arthur, Bob Barker, Milton Berle, David Brinkley, Sid Caesar, Walter Cronkite, Dick Van Dyke, James Garner, Larry Hagman, Angela Lansbury, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Carroll O'Connor, Carl Reiner, Tim Russert, Aaron Spelling, Grant Tinker, Barbara Walters and Betty White.

Here's Bochco discoursing on Hill Street: