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He became Co-Executive Producer of the series at the end of its first season but left at the end of the second season, after difficulties with Gene Roddenberry. His position as head writer was eventually assumed by his friend, Michael Piller, who joined the Star Trek staff due to Hurley's invitation. Nonetheless, Hurley would return to the series to write two more episodes, Galaxy's Child for season four and Power Play for season five.
As the writer of the episode Q Who, Hurley was the creator of the Borg when he came up with the idea of an unbeatable foe. (TNG Season 2 DVD special feature "Departmental Briefing Year Two: Production") Alongside Rob Bowman and Bowman's assistant he also provided the Voice of the Borg for this episode. He was also partly responsible for the introduction of Lore (having co-written the story for Datalore) and the introduction of the Romulans in the Next Generation era (he wrote the teleplay for The Neutral Zone).
The late Herbert J. Wright cited Hurley as one of the reasons he left TNG. He described Hurley as "basically playing drinking buddies with Gene." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 224) Tracy Tormé also named Hurley as one of the causes of his departure, after numerous disagreements over Tormé's scripts. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, pp. 170, 177-178, 181-182)
According to Rick Berman, Hurley was the reason behind Gates McFadden's departure from The Next Generation in its second season, as he disliked her acting and "had a bone to pick with her." After he left the show in the third season, McFadden was invited back by Berman. 
Before his time on TNG, Hurley co-wrote a Canadian science fiction film called Firebird 2015 AD in 1981. He then became a co-producer on The Equalizer, a series which starred Robert Lansing and Keith Szarabajka. Hurley also wrote at least one episode of this series.
After leaving TNG, Hurley wrote a number of episodes for Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and became a writer and executive producer on the short-lived series Pointman. From 1996 through 1997, he served as executive producer for Baywatch Nights and wrote several episodes of that series, as well. He moved on to become a writer and co-executive producer on Baywatch from 1999 through 2000.
Hurley wrote the screenplay for the 2002 film Groom Lake from a story by William Shatner, who also directed and starred in the film (with Dan Gauthier). In addition, Hurley wrote a 2001 film called The Proposal and two episodes of the hit series 24 – one for the first season and another for the second. Trek performers who appeared in the 24 episodes which Hurley wrote include Jude Ciccolella, Michelle Forbes, Penny Johnson, Daniel Dae Kim, and Harris Yulin, all of whom were either regular or recurring players at the time.
- Hide and Q (teleplay with Gene Roddenberry, story - as C.J. Holland - Season 1)
- Datalore (story with Robert Lewin)
- 11001001 (with Robert Lewin)
- Heart of Glory (teleplay, story with Herbert J. Wright and D.C. Fontana)
- The Arsenal of Freedom (story with Robert Lewin)
- The Neutral Zone (teleplay and television story)
- The Child (with Jaron Summers and Jon Povill - Season 2)
- Time Squared (teleplay)
- Q Who
- Shades of Gray (teleplay with Richard Manning and Hans Beimler, story)
- Galaxy's Child (teleplay - Season 4)
- Power Play (story with Paul Ruben)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (The Naked Now - When The Bough Breaks) - Producer
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (Coming of Age - Shades of Gray) - Co-Executive Producer
Star Trek interviews
- The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation To The Next, interviewed on Szablon:D (excerpts from the same interview appeared in TNG Season 2 DVD specials "Mission Overview Year Two" ("Whoopi Goldberg", "Ten Forward", "Gene Roddenberry" and "Departmental Briefing Year Two: Production" ("Writing", "Music"))