St. Elsewhere

NBC (ended 1988)



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St. Elsewhere

Show Summary

St. Eligius Hospital in South Boston was not exactly the world's best health care center. Despite its flaws, it featured some of the most caring doctors and nurses you could ever meet. Led by Dr. Donald Westphall (and later by Dr. Benjamin Gideon), St. Eligius became a sanctuary for the underdog and the downtrodden. "St. Elsewhere" ran on NBC for six seasons. Originally a ratings flop, NBC picked it up for a second season for the sole purpose of grabbing some additional Emmy nominations. It eventually became a minor hit for The Peacock, until burnout by the writers resulted in its 1988 cancellation. The series was nominated for 63 Emmy Awards and won 13.
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  • William Daniels

    William Daniels

    Dr. Mark Craig

    Ed Flanders

    Ed Flanders

    Dr. Donald Westphall

    Howie Mandel

    Howie Mandel

    Dr. Wayne Fiscus

    Christina Pickles

    Christina Pickles

    Nurse Helen Rosenthal

    Denzel Washington

    Denzel Washington

    Dr. Phillip Chandler

    David Morse

    David Morse

    Dr. Jack Morrison

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    • The Hill Street Blues of medical dramas.

      Years ahead of its time, this is basically the Hill Street Blues of medical dramas. Launching the careers of the likes of Denzel Washington, David Morse, Mark Harmon and Howie Mandel, storylines range from dramatic to trivial, challenging to funny to sad, and it treats the viewer as somebody who can retain multiple story arcs in their heads at the same time. It also has one of the most famous series finales of all time.

      For the discerning viewer, there are also any number of in-jokes and references to other TV shows and pop culture, such as Dr Mark Craig mentioning that he was a colleague of MASH's B.J. Hunnicutt in Korea. Also listen out for the staff announcements in the hospital that are "paging Gwyneth"-- St.Elsewhere was exec produced by Bruce Paltrow, and Gwyneth was his then six-year-old daughter.

      Several other subsequent TV shows since have included references to St.Elsewhere, such as Nurse Carol Grace in Oz (written by Tom Fontana, who also wrote for St.Elsewhere) having come from St.Eligius in Boston.moreless
    • Cutting edge, ahead of its time, paved way for other shows!

      Really a very underappreciated show and also watched as a kid as I wished that it came back on tv. Though it was on TV Land for a few years. As it paved the way for other shows like "ER, Chicago Hope, and Grey's Anatomy" to come on forward and popular. It gave Mark Harmon and Denzel Washington their starts and breakthroughs into other bigger things. Plus, it showed character actors that were seen but never really got to know at the time, like William Daniels and Ed Flanders out into the mainstream. The ending of the last show shows an autistic boy knowing his imagination was during those six years at the hospital through a small globe of snow. Just in a good kind of way.moreless
    • A really good show from the 80's

      All the medical dramas that have littered the airwaves for the last 20 years owe a great deal of gratitude to this show. It's success led to an entire genre of television shows being created. Shows like ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, and several others would have never been created if it weren't for St Elsewhere.

      Not to mention all the actors that got their big break on this show. Howie Mandell, Denzel Washington, Ed Begley Jr, and a bunch of others. This show not only had a great cast, but the writers almost always provided great gripping dialogue to let there talent show.

      Now, the series finale may have been pretty stupid, but it was a first of it's kind.moreless
    • I was pleasantly surprised!

      My parents put it in the DVD player and said "We loved this show when it was on so we bought the first season." I was worried. But I actually really enjoy it! Sometimes I can't believe I'm watching a show from the early 80's, but it is so good that I hardly notice. The plots are good and I really like the fact that it is a fast paced show. I love all of the characters and I think the actors were wonderfully cast in their roles. All aspects of the show are good, and the music is catchy!moreless
    • Loved this show, because it seemed so real! Definitely E.R.'s grandfather show!

      St. Elsewhere, a wonderful hospital drama that enthralled me from the very first episode! It was great seeing actors like Ed Flanders, Howie Mandel, & Ed Begley Jr. together in a fine drama. The cast was marvelous, the stories hooked you straightaway, & quite frankly, it was hard NOT to watch! I was very sad to see it go off the air, even though all good things must end. A reunion show would be fabulous! Ed Flanders is sorely missed, & a montage of his scenes from this show would be great to see. Get the chance, watch this show!!moreless

    More Info About This Show




    Medical, 80s, Classics, teen pregnancy, poverty on display