1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 2 (USA)
57 x 30 minute episodes
Although ostensibly based on the 1978 movie of the same title (director Howard Zieff), actor Wayne Rogers’ character here, surgeon Charley Michaels, seemed to have more in common with his M*A*S*H incarnation Trapper John than the movie role as portrayed by Walter Matthau.
Charismatic Dr Michaels worked at San Francisco’s Kensington General Hospital in this sitcom from CBS.
Michaels had an ongoing love/hate relationship with English administrator Ann Anderson (the superb Lynn Redgrave).
His M*A*S*H-style bending of the rules to eliminate red tape, and his general irreverence towards hospital bureaucracy, frequently brought him into direct conflict with Ann, but beneath the friction, there was obviously a smouldering passion.
When Anderson left the hospital, an old flame of Charley’s turned up, in the form of Jane Jeffries (played by Sharon Gless who would go on to star as Detective Chris Cagney in the long-running drama Cagney & Lacey).
Other regular characters included the brilliant but somewhat senile chief of surgery Dr Amos Wetherby (David Wayne), the neurotic young obstetrician Dr Norman Solomon (Ray Buktenica), head nurse Bradley (Aneta Corsaut), stuffy hospital administrator Conrad Peckler (Marc L Taylor) and Mrs Phipps (Deedy Peters), a peculiar hospital volunteer who provided patients with books, candy and other inexpensive odds and ends.
Only the early episodes featuring Lynn Redgrave were ever aired in the UK. Redgrave left the show after a dispute with the producers about breastfeeding her newborn baby on the set.
Dr Charley Michaels
Dr Amos Weatherby
Dr Norman Solomon
Marc L Taylor
Head Nurse Bradley