1 9 7 8 – 1 9 7 9 (USA)
New NBC president Fred Silverman claimed in 1978 that “Lifeline could indeed be the single show on any network this fall that changes the face of prime-time TV.”
The show was certainly distinctly different to anything which had gone before.
It was reality, not fiction – a series of hour-long accounts of the work and lives of doctors in various US medical centres.
Each episode concentrated on one doctor, following him or her through several concurrent cases, while at the same time offering glimpses into the subject’s life away from hospital and patients.
All of the doctors dealt with patients whose survival may be at stake, and most were surgeons of one kind or another.
The operating room scenes may have been less melodramatic than Ben Casey, but they were a lot more graphic.