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Chicago Hope

1 9 9 4 – 2 0 0 0 (USA)
141 x 60 minute episodes

Chicago Hope Hospital – in the city of the same name – had more than its fair share of medical and personal crises, but in a much more restrained, soapy way than in its rival, E.R., which was also set in the Windy City, and was also its cross-channel rival on Thursday evenings in the US.

E.R. won that battle but Chicago Hope prospered in another time slot for several more years.

The state-of-the-art hospital specialised in medical innovation, and chief among the healers were estranged surgeon husband and nurse wife, Aaron (Adam Arkin) and Camille Shutt (Roxanne Hart), along with level-headed chief surgeon Phillip Watters (Hector Elizondo) and fading doctor Arthur Thurmond (E G Marshall).

Dr Shutt was a world-renowned neurosurgeon who had recently returned to the operating theatre following a long story arc which saw the character forced to abandon surgery for a time following – ironically – a brain injury of his own, for a brief foray into the field of psychiatry.

Broadway star Mandy Patinkin co-starred as cardiologist Jeffrey Geiger, who soon found his way into viewers’ hearts as a troubled surgical genius who had recently returned following a lengthy absence in the pivotal position of the hospital Board Chairman, dedicated to ensuring that the renowned institution maintained its commitment to curing, whilst maintaining its ability to generate serious money.

And because he was a brilliant surgeon it was easier to turn a blind eye to the fact that he was often obnoxious, rude, explosive and self-centred. Also prominent was legal adviser Alan ‘The Eel’ Birch (Peter MacNicol).

Viewers of a fragile constitution quailed at the sight of so many human organ close-ups and pumping blood, and UK transmission was gradually switched from Saturday peak hours to late Tuesday nights.

Dr Jeffrey Geiger
Mandy Patinkin
Dr Aaron Shutt
Adam Arkin
Nurse Camille Shutt
Roxanne Hart
Dr Phillip Watters
Hector Elizondo
Dr Arthur Thurmond
E G Marshall
Alan Birch
Peter MacNicol
Angela Giandamenico
Roma Maffia
Dr Karen Antonovich
Margaret Colin
Dr Daniel Nyland
Thomas Gibson
Dr Geri Infante
Diane Venora
Dr Billy Kronk
Peter Berg
Dr Dennis Hancock
Vondie Curtis-Hall
Laurie Geiger
Kim Greist
Dr Kate Austin
Christine Lahti
Dr Diane Grad
Jayne Brook
Maggie Atkisson
Robyn Lively
Dr John Sutton
Jamey Sheridan
Judge Harold Aldrich
Stephen Elliott