St. Elsewhere

St. Elsewhere is an American medical drama television series that originally ran on NBC from October 26, 1982, to May 25, 1988. The series stars Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and William Daniels as teaching doctors at an aging, rundown Boston hospital who give interns a promising future in making critical medical and life decisions. The series was produced by MTM Enterprises, which had success with a similar NBC series, the police drama Hill Street Blues, during that same time. The series were often compared to each other for their use of ensemble casts and overlapping serialized storylines (an original ad for St. Elsewhere quoted a critic that called the series "'Hill Street Blues' in a hospital").

Recognized for its gritty, realistic drama, St. Elsewhere gained a small yet loyal following (the series never ranked higher than 47th place in the yearly Nielsen ratings) over its six-season, 137-episode run; however, the series also found a strong audience in Nielsen's 18–49 age demographic, a young demo later known for a young, affluent audience that TV advertisers were eager to reach.[1] The series also earned critical acclaim during its run, earning 13 Emmy Awards for its writing, acting, and directing. St. Elsewhere was ranked No. 20 on TV Guide's 2002 list of "The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time",[2] with the magazine also selecting it as the best drama series of the 1980s in a 1993 issue.[3] In 2013, TV Guide ranked the series No. 51 on its list of the "60 Best Series of All Time".[4]

St. Elsewhere
Stelsewhere
GenreMedical drama
Serial
Created byJoshua Brand
John Falsey
Developed byMark Tinker
John Masius
Starring
Theme music composerDave Grusin
Composer(s)Dave Grusin
J. A. C. Redford
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes137 (list of episodes)
Production
Production location(s)CBS Studio Center
Studio City, Los Angeles, California
Running time45–48 minutes
Production company(s)MTM Enterprises
DistributorMTM Television Distribution Group
(1988–1989)
20th Television
Release
Original networkNBC
Audio formatMonaural (seasons 1–5)
Stereo (season 6)
Original releaseOctober 26, 1982 –
May 25, 1988

Overview

St. Elsewhere was set at the fictional St. Eligius Hospital, a decaying urban teaching hospital in Boston's South End neighborhood. (The South End's Franklin Square House Apartments, formerly known as the St. James Hotel and located next to Franklin and Blackstone Squares, stood in for the hospital in establishing shots, including the series' opening sequence.)[5] The hospital's nickname, "St. Elsewhere", is a slang term used in the medical field to refer to lesser-equipped hospitals that serve patients turned away by more prestigious institutions; it is also used in medical academia to refer to teaching hospitals in general. In the pilot episode, surgeon Dr. Mark Craig (William Daniels) informs his colleagues that the local Boston media had bestowed the derogatory nickname upon St. Eligius since they perceived the hospital as "a dumping ground, a place you wouldn't want to send your mother-in-law." In fact, the hospital was so poorly regarded that its shrine to Saint Eligius was commonly defiled by the hospital's visitors and staff, and is passingly referred to by Dr. Wayne Fiscus as "the patron saint of longshoremen and bowlers." (Eligius is neither; he is patron saint of numismatists, metalworkers, and horses.)

Just as in Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere employed a large ensemble cast; a gritty, "realistic" visual style; and a profusion of interlocking serialized stories, many of which continued over the course of multiple episodes or seasons. In the same way Hill Street was regarded as a groundbreaking police drama, St. Elsewhere also broke new ground in medical dramas, creating a template that influenced ER, Chicago Hope, and other later shows in the genre. St. Elsewhere portrayed the medical profession as an admirable but less-than-perfect endeavor; the St. Eligius staff, while mostly having good intentions in serving their patients, all had their own personal and professional problems, with the two often intertwining. The staff's problems, and those of their patients (some of whom didn't survive), were often contemporary in nature, with storylines involving breast cancer, AIDS, and addiction. Though the series dealt with serious issues of life, death, the medical profession, and the human effects of all three, a substantial number of comedic moments, inside jokes, and references to TV history were included, as well as tender moments of humanity.[6]

The producers for the series were Bruce Paltrow, Mark Tinker, John Masius, Tom Fontana, John Falsey and Abby Singer. Tinker, Masius, Fontana, and Paltrow wrote a number of episodes as well; other writers included John Tinker, John Ford Noonan, Charles H. Eglee, Eric Overmyer, Channing Gibson, and Aram Saroyan.

St Elsewhere
The cast of St. Elsewhere (season one)

The show's main and end title theme was composed by famed jazz musician and composer Dave Grusin. Noted film and TV composer J. A. C. Redford wrote the music for the series (except for the pilot, which was scored by Grusin). No soundtrack was ever released, but the theme was released in two different versions: the original TV mix and edit appeared on TVT Records' compilation Television's Greatest Hits, Vol. 3: 70s & 80s, and Grusin recorded a full-length version for inclusion on his Night Lines album, released in 1983.

Main cast

Along with established actors Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and William Daniels, St. Elsewhere's ensemble cast included David Morse, Alfre Woodard, Bruce Greenwood, Christina Pickles, Kyle Secor, Ed Begley Jr., Stephen Furst, Howie Mandel, Mark Harmon, Denzel Washington and Helen Hunt. Notable guest stars include Tim Robbins, whose first major role was in the series' first three episodes as domestic terrorist Andrew Reinhardt, and Doris Roberts and James Coco, who both earned Emmy Awards for their season-one appearance as, respectively, a bag lady and her mentally challenged husband.

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122October 26, 1982May 3, 1983
222October 26, 1983May 16, 1984
324September 19, 1984March 27, 1985
424September 18, 1985May 7, 1986
523September 24, 1986May 27, 1987
622September 16, 1987May 25, 1988

St. Elsewhere ran for six seasons and 137 episodes; the first season (1982–83) aired Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (ET), with remaining seasons airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

St. Elsewhere was noteworthy for featuring episodes with unusual aspects or significant changes to the series' status quo. Some of those episodes included:

"Qui Transtulit Sustinet"

Original air date: November 16, 1983

Dr. Morrison learns of the death of his wife, Nina (with whom he had an argument midway through the previous episode, which was the last time he saw her alive), after slipping and hitting her head. Nina's heart is donated to a heart transplant patient—a patient of Dr. Craig. The poignant final scene of the episode finds Morrison entering the patient's room and, with a stethoscope, hearing the patient's new heart—Nina's heart—steadily beating.

"Cheers"

Original air date: March 27, 1985

St. Elsewhere ended its 3rd season with this TV crossover that found Drs. Westphall, Auschlander, and Craig getting together at that other Boston TV institution, the namesake setting of the comedy series Cheers. The scene, which was filmed on the main Cheers soundstage (Stage 25 at the Paramount Studios lot) and not entirely done for laughs, finds the bar's hypochondriac know-it-all Cliff Clavin, trying and failing to gain free medical advice from the doctors; Auschlander confronting his former accountant, Norm Peterson; and barmaid Carla Tortelli voicing her displeasure with the doctors regarding her stay in St. Eligius two years earlier for the birth of her baby. The scene ends with Westphall announcing to his two colleagues that he has decided to leave St. Eligius and medicine, a short-lived departure, as he returned in the Season 4 premiere.

"Time Heals"

Original air date: February 19 and 20, 1986

This two-part episode featured storylines that fleshed out the 50-year history of St. Eligius, each sequence taped in a different style (i.e. black-and-white for the 1930s setting, muted colors for the 1940s). The storylines included the hospital's 1936 founding by Fr. Joseph McCabe (played by Edward Herrmann), the arrivals of Dr. Auschlander and Nurse Rosenthal, the early struggles of Mark Craig and his relationship with his mentor (which mirrored Craig's later mentoring of Dr. Ehrlich), the death of Dr. Westphall's wife, and Dr. Morrison simultaneously dealing with an overdose patient and the disappearance of his son. TV Guide ranked "Time Heals" No. 44 on its 1997 list of "100 Greatest Episodes of All Time", calling the episode "a masterwork of dramatic writing."[7]

"After Life"

Original air date: November 26, 1986

This episode deals with the shooting of Dr. Wayne Fiscus, who is critically wounded while trying to capture fireflies in the park across from St. Eligius during a break from rounds. As the staff frantically try to save him, Fiscus ventures back-and-forth between Hell (where he meets former colleague, and rapist, Peter White); Purgatory; and Heaven, where he has a conversation with God, who presents Himself as a spitting image of Fiscus. Just as Fiscus shakes hands with Lou Gehrig, his colleagues successfully revive him back to Earth.

"Last Dance at the Wrecker's Ball"

Original air date: May 27, 1987

In the season-five finale, all attempts to save St. Eligius from closing seem to have failed. As demolition begins, a frail Dr. Auschlander, accidentally left in the hospital after a relapse, attempts to escape.

"A Moon For the Misbegotten"

Original air date: September 30, 1987

St. Eligius is saved (and any damage from the above-mentioned "Wrecker's Ball" repaired), but it falls under the new ownership of Ecumena Corporation, a national managed health care concern. (The use of "Ecumena" garnered some real-life controversy, as Humana thought the use of that name sounded too much like its own; the trademark-infringement lawsuit that ensued prompted NBC to begin airing post-episode disclaimers stating that Ecumena was indeed fictional,[8] and to change the corporate name mid-season to "Weigert."[9]) Ecumena's choice to head St. Eligius, Dr. John Gideon, mixed like oil and water with the St. Eligius staff, especially Dr. Westphall, who, in the final scene of this episode (and Ed Flanders's last moment as a St. Elsewhere series regular), delivers his resignation "in terms you can understand"—by dropping his pants and exposing his bare buttocks to Gideon ("You can kiss my ass, pal"). This scene, which would normally be considered controversial, was preserved by NBC's censors as they did not consider Westphall's display to be erotic in nature.[10]

"Their Town"

Original air date: April 20, 1988

In a somewhat change-of-pace episode, Drs. Craig and Novino, Ellen Craig, and Lizzie Westphall visit Donald and Tommy Westphall (Lizzie's father and brother, respectively), who appear to be enjoying the quiet life in small town New Hampshire. The episode features Dr. Westphall occasionally breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the viewer, a la the "Stage Manager" character in Our Town (the episode title and its location are nods to the Thornton Wilder play).

"The Last One"

TommyWestphall-TheLastOne-1988
Tommy holds the St. Eligius snow globe in the final moments of "The Last One".

Original air date: May 25, 1988

St. Elsewhere's series finale features momentous changes for several main characters, including the departures of Drs. Fiscus and Morrison and the death of Dr. Auschlander, as well as the return of Dr. Westphall to an active leadership role at St. Eligius after Weigert agrees to sell the hospital back to the Boston archdiocese, as Dr. Gideon is set to move on to another hospital in San Jose, California. The finale is more known for its provocative final scene: Westphall and his son Tommy Westphall (played by Chad Allen), who has autism, are seen in Dr. Auschlander's office watching snow falling outside. The image cuts to an exterior shot of the hospital. At that moment, Tommy and Daniel Auschlander are seen in an apartment building, with Tommy playing with a snow globe. Donald arrives home from a day of work, and it is clear from the uniform he wears and the dialog in this scene that he works in construction. "Auschlander" is revealed to be Donald's father, and thus Tommy's grandfather. Donald laments to his father, "I don't understand this autism thing, Pop. Here's my son. I talk to him. I don't even know if he can hear me, because he sits there, all day long, in his own world, staring at that toy. What's he thinking about?" As Tommy shakes the snow globe, he is told by his father to come and wash his hands for dinner. Donald places the snow globe on the family's television set and walks into the kitchen with Tommy and Auschlander; as they leave the room, the camera closes in on the snow globe—which holds a replica of St. Eligius.[11]

The most common interpretation of this scene is that the entire series of events in the series St. Elsewhere had been a product of Tommy Westphall's imagination, with elements of the above scene used as its own evidence.[12][13] Author Cynthia Burkhead explains that with this final shot, "St. Elsewhere managed to take the idea of a dream and alter it just enough, putting it in the imagination of an autistic boy", and surmises that an ending constructed in this manner "reminds viewers that the fiction they have watched for six years is actually fiction within a fiction, occupying a second level of unreality, one level beyond the space of illusion filled by all narrative television."[14] A notable result of this ending has been the attempt by individuals to determine how many television shows are also products of Tommy Westphall's mind owing to its shared fictional characters (the "Tommy Westphall Universe").

"The Last One"'s closing credits differ from those of the rest of the series. In all other episodes, the credits appear over a still image of an ongoing surgical operation, followed by the traditional MTM Productions black-backgrounded logo, featuring Mimsie the Cat in a cartoon surgical cap and mask; here, the credits appear on a black background, flanked by an electrocardiogram and an IV bag, with Mimsie lying on her side at the top of the screen; at the end of the credits, the heart monitor flatlines, marking Mimsie's death and the end of St. Elsewhere. Coincidentally, Mimsie the Cat died in real life shortly after the airing of "The Last One" at the age of 20.[15]

"The Last One" brought in 22.5 million viewers, ranking 7th out of 68 programs that week and attracting a 17.0/29 rating/share, and ranking as the most watched episode of the series.[16] In 2011, the finale was ranked No. 12 on the TV Guide Network special TV's Most Unforgettable Finales.[17]

Allusions, crossovers, and homages

St. Elsewhere was known for the insertion of several allusions, large and small, to classic movie, pop culture, and television events (the latter especially) throughout its run, including other shows that were produced by MTM Enterprises.[1] Some of the more noteworthy allusions have included:

  • The St. Eligius public address loudspeakers periodically summoned characters from other television series, often going unnoticed by the show's characters.
  • The character of hospital orderly Warren Coolidge (played by Byron Stewart) was carried over from The White Shadow, where Coolidge had been a student at Carver High. (Before St. Elsewhere, Bruce Paltrow served as Shadow's showrunner.) Coolidge occasionally sported a Carver High T-shirt while working at St. Eligius. In third-season episode "Any Portrait in a Storm", Coolidge sees guest star Timothy Van Patten (another Shadow alumnus) in an elevator and calls out "Heyyyy!! Salami!!", to which Van Patten, playing an unrelated character (named Dean, in a three episode story arc), replies "You got the wrong guy, pal.", leaving Coolidge trying to plead his case with a confused "No – it's Warren." as the elevator doors close.
  • Another episode saw Amnesiac John Doe #6, a recurring character played by Oliver Clark, watching an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show on a hospital TV and started believing himself to be that series' lead character Mary Richards; during the episode, Doe greeted a visiting Naval officer (from a concurrent storyline) as Moore's Sue Anne Nivens; the officer, played by Betty White (who played Sue Anne) responds, "I'm afraid you've mistaken me for someone else."
  • In the same episode in which John Doe believed he was Mary Richards, he is verbally disparaged by another patient in the psychiatric ward — Elliott Carlin, the resident neurotic from The Bob Newhart Show played by Jack Riley. Carlin's treatment of Doe mirrored his behavior toward Oliver Clark's Bob Newhart Show character, Mr. Herd. Mr. Carlin subsequently appeared on an episode of Newhart, still uncured from the damage caused by "some quack in Chicago."
  • In "Santa Claus is Dead", Dr. Craig mentions serving in Korea with his drinking buddy, B.J. Hunnicutt, implying that Dr. Hunnicutt was reassigned to another unit in Korea following the July 1953 deactivation of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital at the end of M*A*S*H’s finale, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen".
  • The crew filled the series finale, "The Last One", with an abundance of allusions and homages. The cold open has Dr. Fiscus saying to an ER patient "General Sarnoff..." (the man responsible for launching NBC, the first television network, in 1926) "... cut down the time you spend in front of the television". There is a direct reference to the 1967 series finale of The Fugitive, when orderly Coolidge catches a "One-Armed Man", on a water tower, for "Dr. Kimble". A patient appears to get his hair cut by (The Andy Griffith Show's) Floyd the Barber, including his first name, face and clothing. There is a call over the public address system for a Code Blue (someone has reached their "end") in Room 222. There is a direct reference to the 1977 series finale of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, including a group hug, a group shuffle to get tissues and a suggestion that they sing "It's a Long Way to Tipperary". The finale for the character Dr. Henry Blake in a 1975 episode of M*A*S*H is referenced when cadaver "4077" is autopsied after a "helicopter crash". There are numerous song references, including Dr. Fiscus saying "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine", and Dr. Auschlander exclaiming "Jumpin' Jack, what was that flash?".[18]

St. Elsewhere was also host to one crossover, served as the source material for two others, and has been paid homage to in several ways:

  • The third season's finale featured Drs. Westphall, Auschlander, and Craig visiting the eponymous pub of Cheers (also set in Boston) for a drink. During the second season of Cheers, barmaid Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman) gave birth to a child at St. Eligius, and here expresses her displeasure about her hospitalization there, even getting into a verbal altercation with Dr. Craig.
  • Two St. Elsewhere characters were carried over to the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street, which was executive produced by St. Elsewhere alumnus Tom Fontana. In an episode in season six entitled "Mercy," Alfre Woodard reprises her role of Dr. Roxanne Turner, who is accused of illegally euthanizing a cancer patient. Woodard was nominated for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance. In other Homicide episodes, the character of Detective Tim Bayliss (played by Kyle Secor) develops a bad back and is treated by an offscreen "Dr. Ehrlich." In the Homicide: The Movie finale, Ed Begley, Jr., makes an uncredited appearance as Dr. Victor Ehrlich.
  • Ed Begley Jr., William Daniels, Stephen Furst and Eric Laneuville reunited to appear in a season-one episode of Scrubs; the episode saw the actors not reprising their St. Elsewhere characters but rather guest as a quartet of doctors that fell sick at a medical convention. The episode was part of a week-long series of events honoring NBC's 75th Anniversary.[19]

Showtime's Series "City on a Hill" (S01E07 "There are no F**king Sides") based in early 1990's Boston has a hospital scene where Drs. Wesphall and Fiscus and Nurse Papandreau were paged in the background on the hospital's PA system. In S01E08 St. Eligius was mentioned by name.

Awards and nominations

St. Elsewhere has won 24 out of 106 award nominations. The series has garnered 62 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning 13 of them. Out the thirteen wins, Ed Flanders won once and William Daniels won twice for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series; Bonnie Bartlett and Doris Roberts each won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; James Coco won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series; John Masius and Tom Fontana won two awards for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Mark Tinker won for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.[20] It has received five Golden Globe Award nominations, with four of them for Best Television Series – Drama.[21] St. Elsewhere received seven TCA Award nominations, winning once for Outstanding Achievement in Drama.[22] The series also won three out of four Q Awards. Additional accolades include a Peabody Award[23] and People's Choice Awards for Favorite New TV Dramatic Program.[24]

Film adaptation

In May 2003, Walden Media announced a partnership with Roth Films to create a film adaptation of the television series. The film was re-designed to be similar to Walden's project Holes. It was never made.

Syndication

After its initial run, reruns of St. Elsewhere aired for a time in syndication, with later runs on Nick at Nite, TV Land, Bravo and AmericanLife TV Network.

Also a popular series in the United Kingdom, St. Elsewhere has been aired twice by two separate British broadcasters. Channel 4 aired the series between 1983 and 1989, with Sky One later airing repeats in a daily Midday timeslot during 1992–93. In 2009, Channel 4 began showing the series again, usually at around 03:30AM, and have repeated the entire series several times since then. All 137 episodes are also available to view online at 4OD.

Nick at Nite first added St. Elsewhere to its regular lineup on April 29, 1996 as part of an all-night sneak peek of sister network TV Land. After the sneak peek, Nick at Nite aired St. Elsewhere regularly from May 4 until July 6, 1996 every Saturday night as part of a short-lived programming block called Nick at Nite's TV Land Sampler. St. Elsewhere was among one of many rotating shows airing Saturday nights as part of Nick at Nite's TV Land Sampler, which included (among other shows) Petticoat Junction, That Girl and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour along with past Nick at Nite Classics Mister Ed and Green Acres. Nick at Nite aired reruns of St. Elsewhere once again from June 30 until July 4, 1997, as part of the week-long event The 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.[25]

Home media

On November 28, 2006, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the complete first season of St. Elsewhere on DVD in Region 1.[26]

In Region 2, Channel 4 DVD released the first season on DVD in the UK on April 2, 2007.[27] All episodes have been made available on Channel 4's UK on-demand internet stream 4OD (4 On-Demand) in the UK and Ireland, though these episodes are edited versions for syndication and not as they were originally aired.

As of October, 2018, all 6 seasons of the series are available for streaming on Hulu.

References

  1. ^ a b Emily VanDerWerff (March 12, 2012). "St. Elsewhere". Retrieved June 10, 2019. Shows like St. Elsewhere, which pulled in a solid number of younger viewers—indeed, a larger number of younger viewers than some shows in the top 30—could be monetized in that fashion. Advertisers who wanted to reach younger viewers would advertise on St. Elsewhere.
  2. ^ "TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows". April 26, 2002. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  3. ^ TV Guide April 17-23, 1993. 1993. p. 11.
  4. ^ "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Best Series of All Time". TV Guide.
  5. ^ Entry for Franklin Square House on VirtualGlobetrotting.com
  6. ^ "NBC's Stylish 'St. Elsewhere,'" review from The New York Times, 11/16/1982
  7. ^ "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28–July 4). 1997.
  8. ^ "'St. Elsewhere' Told to Carry Disclaimer" from The New York Times, October 2, 1987
  9. ^ "St. Name Change" from The Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1987
  10. ^ Source: "St. Elsewhere: A Moon for the Misbegotten," from IMDb.
  11. ^ "TV ACRES: Quotations > Signoffs > Classic Series Finales > St. Elsewhere". Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Gallagher, William (May 30, 2003). "TV's strangest endings". BBC News. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  13. ^ Feder, Robert (May 26, 1988). "Chicago Sun-Times:: Search". Chicago Sun-Times.
  14. ^ Burkhead, Cynthia A. (December 2010). Dancing Dwarfs and Talking Fish: The Narrative Functions of Television Dreams (Ph.D. thesis). Murfreesboro, TN: Middle Tennessee State University. p. 157. No.3459290 – via ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
  15. ^ "TV Honcho Grant Tinker, Ex-Husband Of Mary Tyler Moore Dies At 90". November 30, 2016.
  16. ^ "Star-News – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  17. ^ TV's Most Unforgettable Finales – aired May 22, 2011, on TV Guide Network
  18. ^ Gedan, Gail (May 28, 1988). "`Elsewhere` End A Pun Fest". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  19. ^ Scrubs: "My Sacrificial Clam", from IMDB.com
  20. ^ "St. Elsewhere". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  21. ^ "St. Elsewhere". GoldenGlobes.com. Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  22. ^ "Television Critics Association Awards (1988)". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  23. ^ "St. Elsewhere". Peabody Awards. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  24. ^ "1983 People's Choice Awards – Nominees & Winners". PeoplesChoice.com. One Three Digital, LLC. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  25. ^ "The Nick at Nite Log: 1985–present – Sitcoms Online Message Boards – Forums". Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  26. ^ "St. Elsewhere – Washington, Morse and Mandel – Artwork inside". Archived from the original on December 14, 2012.
  27. ^ "St Elsewhere – Series 1 [DVD]". Retrieved August 9, 2015.

Further reading

External links

35th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 35th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on September 25, 1983. The ceremony was broadcast on NBC, from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, California. It is remembered for the vulgar language during the ceremony, much of it from Joan Rivers who cohosted the ceremony with Eddie Murphy. Rivers also wore nine dresses throughout the ceremony.

Despite being one the lowest-rated shows of the season, the critically acclaimed first season of Cheers won Outstanding Comedy Series as well as three other major awards. For the third straight year, Hill Street Blues won Outstanding Drama Series, it received at least 14 major nominations for the third straight year, unprecedented at the time, and also received every nomination in the Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series field. Second City Television also garnered every nomination in a category, for Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Music or Comedy Program. NBC dominated the night, on the strength of the shows mentioned, it received 71 of the 128 major nominations, and won 19 of 25 major categories.

In its final ceremony, M*A*S*H was once again nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. M*A*S*H was nominated every year it was on the air, 11/11, winning once in 1974, this record would be tied by Cheers a decade later when it too went 11/11, finishing with four victories.

36th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 36th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on September 23, 1984. The ceremony was broadcast on CBS, from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, California.

The top shows of the night were Cheers and Hill Street Blues. Cheers won its second straight Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, while Hill Street Blues made history. It became the first show to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series four consecutive years. This record still stands today, but has been tied twice, by The West Wing and Mad Men. Hill Street Blues also added to another streak. It received at least 14 major nominations for the fourth straight year, winning four. Cheers received the most nominations on the comedy side (10), winning three.

Sir Laurence Olivier won the last of his five career Emmys this evening. His win was also the last time a non-Network Syndicated performance won an Acting Award.

37th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 37th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on September 22, 1985. The ceremony was broadcast on ABC, from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, California.

The Cosby Show defeated two-time reigning champion Cheers to win Outstanding Comedy Series, one of three major awards it won. Although it only took home one major award, Cheers did tie the then-record for most major nominations by a comedy series (11), set by The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1977. In the drama field Cagney & Lacey, en route to winning four major awards on the night, defeated presumed favorite Miami Vice to win Outstanding Drama Series, four time defending champion Hill Street Blues still received nine major nominations, but only won one award. This was Hill Street Blues 18th and final major award, setting an Emmy record for a drama series that still stands.

The ceremony also had a memorable unscripted moment involving the arrest of impersonator Barry Bremen for grand theft while attempting to accept the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series award on behalf of Betty Thomas, who would show up on the auditorium stage a few minutes late

38th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 38th Primetime Emmy Awards were presented on September 21, 1986, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. The Emmy ceremony was cohosted by David Letterman and Shelley Long. During the ceremony, Letterman saluted Grant Tinker, who had stepped down as chairman of NBC due to its parent company, RCA, having been acquired by General Electric. The ceremony was also memorable for the presentation of the Governors' Award to Red Skelton, who in his acceptance speech said he had missed being on TV for the previous 16 years.

This year's ceremony saw the return of the guest acting category. The top shows of the night were The Golden Girls which won Outstanding Comedy Series and two other major awards. The Golden Girls became the first series to gain three nominations in a lead acting category, they would repeat this feat multiple times. For the second straight year Cagney & Lacey won for Outstanding Drama Series, and led all shows with four major wins. With help from the guest acting category, The Cosby Show with 13 nominations broke the record for most major nominations by a comedy series of 11 set by The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1977, this record has since been surpassed. This was the first season that Daniel J. Travanti or Veronica Hamel were not nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series or Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, respectively. They weren't nominated in the next and final one either.

39th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 39th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, September 20, 1987. The ceremony was broadcast on Fox for the first time as the network premiered a year earlier from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.

For the second straight year, The Golden Girls won Outstanding Comedy Series. The winner for Outstanding Drama Series was L.A. Law, which, for its first season, won four major awards, and led all shows with 13 major nominations. The winner for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special, Promise, set a new record with five major wins. This record still stands for TV movies, though it was tied by Temple Grandin in 2010. The Tracey Ullman Show received three major nominations on the night, making it the first ceremony in which the network Fox received a major nomination. This was the only time that Hill Street Blues wasn't nominated for Outstanding Drama Series in its seventh and last season, also no males actors of Hill Street Blues were nominated (even with 20 previous nominations), only Betty Thomas for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series was nominated and did not win, making her the only one in the cast to be nominated in all seasons.

NBC continued its dominance of the field, becoming the first network to gain over eighty major nominations (82). Its résumé was highlighted by gaining all five nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, this had been done only once before (in 1977, but with a field of only four shows) and has not been matched in either field since.

40th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 40th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, August 28, 1988. The ceremony was broadcast on Fox from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. The ceremony was pushed back from its newly established September date because of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Cable stations HBO and Showtime received their first major nominations at this ceremony.

Despite a season that consisted of only six episodes, newcomer series The Wonder Years won Outstanding Comedy Series. After winning his fourth consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, John Larroquette requested to have his name taken off of the ballot for future ceremonies. Frank's Place became the most recent show whose only season was nominated for Outstanding Comedy/Drama Series.

In the drama field L.A. Law came into the ceremony as the defending champ and with 15 major nominations, (second most ever by a drama series at that time), it was seen as the heavy favorite. However, it was upset by another first season show, thirtysomething which won four major awards on the night including Outstanding Drama Series, L.A. Law only won one major award. The duo of Cagney & Lacey won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the sixth consecutive year, this tied The Mary Tyler Moore Show's record for acting categories, which still stands, (it stood for all categories until The Daily Show with Jon Stewart won ten consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series). With the wins for Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty, The Golden Girls became the most recent show to have all of its cast members win Emmys. It became the second series to do so, following All in the Family. Two other programs would accomplish this feat: Will & Grace in 2003, and The Simpsons in 2014.

There was controversy during the nomination process regarding the PBS series Rumpole of the Bailey. The series was initially placed in the miniseries field, but soon after the Academy disqualified it and placed it in the drama series field. Its slot in the miniseries category was filled by The Bourne Identity.

Bruce Greenwood

Stuart Bruce Greenwood (born August 12, 1956) is a Canadian actor and producer. He is known for his role as the American president John F. Kennedy in Thirteen Days and as Captain Christopher Pike in J. J. Abrams's Star Trek reboot series. In television, Greenwood starred as Gil Garcetti in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and has appeared in Mad Men, St. Elsewhere, Knots Landing, and John from Cincinnati. He currently stars as Dr. Randolph Bell in the medical drama The Resident.

He has appeared in supporting roles in such films as National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Hollywood Homicide, Double Jeopardy, Déjà Vu, I, Robot, Dinner for Schmucks, Capote, The Post and as the motion-capture alien dubbed "Cooper" in Super 8. Greenwood is also a voice actor; his voice roles include Chiron in the Canadian animated series Class of the Titans and Bruce Wayne / Batman in Batman: Under the Red Hood, Young Justice and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight.

David Morse

David Bowditch Morse (born October 11, 1953) is an American actor, singer, director and writer. He first came to national attention as Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison in the medical drama series St. Elsewhere (1982–88). He continued his film career with roles in The Negotiator, Contact, The Green Mile, Dancer in the Dark, Disturbia, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Rock and 12 Monkeys.

In 2006, Morse had a recurring role as Detective Michael Tritter on the medical drama series House, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination. He portrayed George Washington in the 2008 HBO miniseries John Adams, which garnered him a second Emmy nomination. He has also received acclaim for his portrayal of Uncle Peck on the Off-Broadway play How I Learned to Drive, earning a Drama Desk Award and Obie Award. He has also had success on Broadway, portraying James "Sharky" Harkin in The Seafarer. From 2010 to 2013, he portrayed Terry Colson, an honest police officer in a corrupt New Orleans police department, on the HBO series Treme. He also appeared in the WGN America series Outsiders (2016–17).

Ed Begley Jr.

Edward James Begley Jr. (born September 16, 1949) is an American actor. Begley has appeared in hundreds of films, television shows, and stage performances. He is most recognized for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich, the bumbling surgical partner of William Daniels' Dr. Mark Craig, on the television series St. Elsewhere (1982–1988); the role earned him six consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award nomination. He also co-hosted, along with wife Rachelle Carson, the green living reality show entitled Living with Ed (2007–2010).

Equally prolific in cinema, Begley's best known films include Stay Hungry (1976), Blue Collar (1978), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), This Is Spinal Tap (1984), The Accidental Tourist (1988), She-Devil (1989), The Pagemaster (1994), Batman Forever (1995), Auto Focus (2002), Pineapple Express (2008), What's Your Number? (2011), Ghostbusters (2016) and CHiPS (2017). He is a recurring cast member in the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy, including Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), For Your Consideration (2006) and Mascots (2016).

Ed Flanders

Edward Paul "Ed" Flanders (December 29, 1934 – February 22, 1995) was an American actor. He is best known for playing Dr. Donald Westphall in the medical drama series St. Elsewhere (1982–1988). Flanders was nominated for eight Primetime Emmys and won three times in 1976, 1977, and 1983.

He received a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his performance in the 1973 production of A Moon for the Misbegotten.

Eric Laneuville

Eric Gerard Laneuville (born July 14, 1952) is an American television director, producer and actor. His first acting roles were in the science-fiction film The Omega Man (1971) with Charlton Heston, and the ABC television series Room 222 (1970–1973). His role as Luther Hawkins in the television series St. Elsewhere is his best known role. He also starred in A Force of One (1979) playing Charlie, the stepson of Chuck Norris's character. In more recent years, he frequently directs such one-hour dramas as Blue Bloods and NCIS: Los Angeles. He directed Body of Proof episode "Missing". He also appeared in Love at First Bite.

Gnarls Barkley

Gnarls Barkley is an American soul duo, composed of singer-songwriter CeeLo Green and producer Danger Mouse. They released their debut studio album, St. Elsewhere, in 2006. It contained their hit single "Crazy", which peaked at number two on the US Hot 100 and topped the UK Singles Chart. It was nominated at the 2007 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, and was platinum certified for shipping over 1,000,000 records. St. Elsewhere also received a nomination for Album of the Year. The Odd Couple, their second studio album, was scheduled for release in April 2008, but due to a leak of their album over the internet, they decided to release it early. The album in its entirety received good reviews, but it did not have as much commercial success as their first album.

John Tinker (TV producer)

John Tinker is an American television producer and writer. He is the co-creator of the CBS drama Judging Amy and has been an Executive Producer and Writer on American television shows such as NBC's iconic St. Elsewhere, the CBS drama Chicago Hope, the ABC drama The Practice, and the NBC drama The Book of Daniel. Recently, he developed the television series Chesapeake Shores for the Hallmark Channel and was the Executive Producer and Co-Writer on the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Love Locks. Tinker won the 1986 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for the St. Elsewhere episode "Time Heals" which he co-wrote with Tom Fontana and John Masius. He has received numerous Emmy Award nominations and Humanitas Award nominations.

He is the son of television executive Grant Tinker and his first wife, Ruth Byerly.Tinker is married to the best-selling Southern author and syndicated columnist, Ronda Rich.

Mark Harmon

Thomas Mark Harmon (born September 2, 1951) is an American television and film actor. He has appeared in a wide variety of roles since the early 1970s. Initially a college football player, his role on St. Elsewhere led to his being named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People in 1986. After spending the majority of the 1990s as a character actor, he played Secret Service special agent Simon Donovan in The West Wing, receiving a 2002 Emmy Award nomination for his acting in a four-episode story arc.Harmon was cast in a similar role a year later. The creator of both JAG and NCIS had seen Harmon in The West Wing and decided to cast him in NCIS. Harmon's character of NCIS special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs was first introduced in a guest starring role in two episodes of JAG. Since 2003, Harmon has starred in NCIS as the same character.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Beginning with the 18th Primetime Emmy Awards, leading actors in drama have competed alone. However, these dramatic performances included actors from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below:

# – Indicates a performance in a Miniseries or Television film, before the category's creation.

§ – Indicates a performance as a guest performer, before the category's creation.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In early Primetime Emmy Award ceremonies, the supporting categories were not always genre, or even gender, specific. Beginning with the 22nd Primetime Emmy Awards, supporting actors in drama have competed alone. However, these dramatic performances often included actors from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below:

# – Indicates a performance in a Miniseries or Television film, prior to the category's creation.

§ – Indicates a performance as a guest performer, prior to the category's creation.FOX is the only one of the Big Four networks to not win this category. As of the 2019 ceremony, FOX is 0/1.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In early Primetime Emmy Award ceremonies, the supporting categories were not always genre, or even gender, specific. Beginning with the 22nd Primetime Emmy Awards, supporting actresses in drama have competed alone. However, these dramatic performances often included actresses from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below:

# – Indicates a performance in a Miniseries or Television film, prior to the category's creation.

§ – Indicates a performance as a guest performer, prior to the category's creation.

St. Elsewhere (album)

St. Elsewhere is the debut album by American soul duo Gnarls Barkley. It was released on April 24, 2006 in the UK, where it debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and on May 9, 2006 in the United States, although it was available for purchase one week earlier as a digital download in the U.S. iTunes Store. It debuted at No. 20 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and peaked at No. 4. It topped the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart for 39 non-consecutive weeks in 2006 and 2007. The album's first single, "Crazy", was the first song to become a UK number one single based solely on downloads. The album was certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA, for shipping 1,000,000 units. A limited edition deluxe package of St. Elsewhere was released on November 7. The CD + DVD package includes a 92-page booklet, four music videos, and bonus songs from live performances. It was also released on vinyl.

Tommy Westphall

Tommy Westphall, portrayed by Chad Allen, is a minor character from the drama television series St. Elsewhere, which ran on NBC from 1982 to 1988.Westphall, who is autistic, played an increased role in St. Elsewhere's final episode, "The Last One", where one interpretation of the finale is that the entire St. Elsewhere storyline exists only within Westphall's imagination. As characters from St. Elsewhere have appeared on other television shows and those shows' characters appeared on more shows, and so on, a "Tommy Westphall Universe" hypothesis (postulated by Dwayne McDuffie) argues that a significant amount of fictional episodic television exists within a fictional universe imagined by Tommy Westphall.

Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama
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