St. Elsewhere was never a huge hit in terms of the Nielson ratings, but it was absolutely one of the finest series ever to grace the small screen.
What made it so great? First-rate scripts, unique characters, fine acting, and a masterful blend of comedy, drama, and pathos.
Each episode, it seemed, had moments that could make you laugh out loud and moments that could put a lump in your throat. On one side of the spectrum, you had the silly humor of the Dr. Ehrlich/Dr. Craig exchanges (Ed Begley and William Daniels), and on the other end you had the poignant richness of the mentoring relationship between Dr. Westphall and Jack Morrison (Ed Flanders and David Morse).
The acting could not have been better. Flanders and Morse were standouts, but Daniels played prickly, egotistical Dr. Craig to perfection, and others pitched in with wonderful portrayals as well. And, each week, there were standout guest stars.
It's difficult to find another program in the history of television that so consistently offered high quality drama AND laugh-out-loud comedy. St. Elsewhere delivered that difficult mix, week in and week out. It should be included in the ranks of the greatest TV series of all time.