1 9 9 3 – 2 0 0 1 (USA)
178 x 45 minute episodes
Community General Hospital in Los Angeles is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Blair Lawson, a nurse who mysteriously disappeared in the basement in 1975.
The cost-efficient Norman Briggs (Michael Tucci) runs the hospital. Dr Mark Sloan (Dick Van Dyke) is the administrator (later head of internal medicine) and doctors Jack Stewart (Scott Baio from Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi) and Jesse Travis (Charlie Schlatter) assist Mark, along with pathologist Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell).
Mark is a widower in his 60s and tries to keep in shape by walking at least five miles a day, although at times he just paces back and forth in his office to make up for the walking when something bothers him. He is also an amateur magician and performs tricks for the children at the hospital.
Mark assists his son, Detective Steve Sloan (Dick’s real-life son Barry Van Dyke) and often finds evidence overlooked by investigators to warrant further investigation into a case.
Steve (pictured at left) is with the 15th Precinct of the Metropolitan Division of the LAPD. He is later promoted to lieutenant and pooled his resources with Dr Jack Stewart to open BBQ Bob’s, a restaurant in the Fontaine Mall.
Amanda Bentley was adopted when she was ten years old and studied dance at the Ballet School of New York. She later quits her job at the hospital for a position with the LA Medical Examiner’s Office (she also married Colin Livingston, a never seen Navy man).
Three TV movies aired prior to the series: Diagnosis Murder (3 January 1992), The House on Sycamore Street (1 May 1992) and Twist of the Knife (13 February 1993).
On 6 February 2002, CBS aired a follow-up TV movie called Diagnosis Murder: Town Without Pity that reunited Dick Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke and Charlie Schlatter in a story that finds Mark attempting to solve the murder of his daughter, Carol (Stacey Van Dyke), a carefree woman who was kidnapped then killed.
Dr Mark Sloan
Dick Van Dyke
Dr Jack Stewart
Dr Amanda Bentley-Livingston
Detective Steve Sloan
Barry Van Dyke
Nurse Delores Mitchell
Shane Van Dyke
Detective Cheryl Banks
Dr Madison Wesley
Detective Janis Archer
Carey Van Dyke