John Mankiewicz and I created this 40 episode series for late night television in 1988. We shot on Betacam, using existing light, with a small crew, in Newark, New Jersey — finishing a show in a single night, four episodes every five days. The concept was to do a fictional documentary about beat cops, as if we were riding around with them on their shifts, and occasionally peering in on their private lives; every scene was shot in one unbroken take, sometimes later edited for time. It was so successful that another production company, upon seeing it, realized that they could do the same thing but with real police officers, an even smaller crew, unscripted. Hence saving the money spent on actors, writers, and production design.
They called their show “Cops.” And it’s still running.
No, we did not get credit.