Altman redux

David Edelstein, maybe my favorite movie critic currently working, has this to say about Altman:

On the Internet last week, I read that Altman had changed American cinema, but I’ve always been saddened by how little influence his work actually had in an era of wall-to-wall storyboarding and computer-generated imagery.
This is true as far as it goes, although the current vogue for large-ensemble pileups like Crash and Babel certainly owes something to Nashville. But it may turn out that Altman's influence was most strongly felt on the small screen. Hill Street Blues, with its elaborate tracking shots and overlapping dialogue, was always described as "Altmanesque" (that's where I first heard the word). Add to that NYPD Blue, The West Wing, and most of all The Wire, which in its subtle sound mixing and its gyroscopic portrait of the connections between moments and systems is basically Altman filtered through a bunch of genius crime writers. (Altman would never have attempted The Wire's intricate and satisfying narrative setups and resolutions.) Plus remember that Tanner '88, the HBO series Altman made with Garry Trudeau, anticipated the look and feel of The Office and every other video-documentary-style sitcom. Altman left television in 1969 to make the remarkable and remarkably adult films that are his legacy. He may have done more than any other filmmaker to drag television into its adulthood too.