Northern Exposure

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Northern Exposure
Northern Exposure-Intertitle.jpg
FormatComedy-drama[1]
Created byJoshua Brand
John Falsey
StarringRob Morrow
Barry Corbin
Janine Turner
John Cullum
Darren E. Burrows
John Corbett
Cynthia Geary
Elaine Miles
Peg Phillips
Paul Provenza (1994–95)
Teri Polo (1994–95)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes110 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)1990–93: Joshua Brand and John Falsey
1994–95: David Chase, Diane Frolov, and Andrew Schneider
Running timeApprox 45 minutes per episode
Production company(s)Cine-Nevada Productions
Universal Television
Falahey/Austin Street Productions
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original runJuly 12, 1990 – July 26, 1995
 
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Northern Exposure
Northern Exposure-Intertitle.jpg
FormatComedy-drama[1]
Created byJoshua Brand
John Falsey
StarringRob Morrow
Barry Corbin
Janine Turner
John Cullum
Darren E. Burrows
John Corbett
Cynthia Geary
Elaine Miles
Peg Phillips
Paul Provenza (1994–95)
Teri Polo (1994–95)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes110 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)1990–93: Joshua Brand and John Falsey
1994–95: David Chase, Diane Frolov, and Andrew Schneider
Running timeApprox 45 minutes per episode
Production company(s)Cine-Nevada Productions
Universal Television
Falahey/Austin Street Productions
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original runJuly 12, 1990 – July 26, 1995

Northern Exposure is an American television series that ran on CBS from 1990 to 1995, with a total of 110 episodes. It dealt with a New York City physician, Dr. Joel Fleischman, who is sent to practice in the (fictional) town of Cicely, Alaska. Early episodes dealt with Fleischman's culture shock in the small town. As he became acclimated, more attention was paid to the town's quirky residents.

Overview[edit]

The series was given a pair of consecutive Peabody Awards: in 1991–92 for the show's "depict[ion] in a comedic and often poetic way, [of] the cultural clash between a transplanted New York City doctor and the townspeople of fictional Cicely, Alaska"[2] and its stories of "people of different backgrounds and experiences" clashing but who ultimately "strive to accept their differences and co-exist."[2]

It received a total of 57 award nominations during its five-year run and won 27, including the 1992 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, two additional Primetime Emmy Awards, four Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globes.[3]

The series was created by Brand-Falsey Productions. Critic John Leonard called Northern Exposure "the best of the best television in the past 10 years."[4] Simon Pegg has stated that the series was one of the influences on the British sitcom Spaced.[5]

Northern Exposure has aired in South Africa under a different name; the first four seasons were broadcast in Afrikaans as Goeie Môre, Alaska!, Afrikaans for "Good Morning, Alaska!."

History[edit]

The show started as an eight-episode summer midseason replacement series on CBS in 1990.[4][6][7] It returned for seven more episodes in spring 1991, then became a regular part of the network's schedule in 1991–1992. It ranked among the top 10 viewed by 18 to 49 year-olds,[8] and was part of the network's 1992–1993, and 1993–1994 schedules. Its last season, 1994–1995, included a gap during the May 1995 sweeps when CBS broadcast other programming. "The show had a lot of life in it, and the move (Wednesday at 10pm) killed it," says executive producer Andrew Schneider. "This piddling out is sad." [9]

Northern Exposure first concentrated on the protagonist Joel Fleischman, with storylines revolving around his fish-out-of-water difficulties adjusting to Alaska, and his hot-and-cold romantic involvements with Maggie O'Connell. As Northern Exposure continued, supporting characters such as Chris, Ed, Holling, Shelly, Maurice, and Ruth-Anne (along with recurring characters such as Adam and Eve, Barbara Semanski, and Bernard) received more development.

Rob Morrow (Joel Fleischman) and his representatives spent much of Seasons 4 and 5 lobbying for an improved contract,[10] and intermittently threatened to leave the show. The producers responded by reducing Fleischman's role in the storylines, and introducing characters such as Mike Monroe (season 4) and Dr. Phil Capra (season 6) to partially compensate for the absence of Morrow.

Cast and characters[edit]

Cynthia Geary, Rob Morrow, and Janine Turner at the 1993 Emmy Awards
Peg Phillips and Barry Corbin at the 1993 Emmy Awards

In the show's last season, two new characters were introduced to try to fill the void left by Morrow's departure:

Major recurring characters include Apesanahkwat as Lester Haines (a native millionaire), Anthony Edwards as Mike Monroe (allergy sufferer and ecological watchdog), Richard Cummings Jr. as Bernard Stevens (Chris's half-brother and "spiritual doppelgänger"), James L. Dunn as Hayden Keyes (ex-con on the fence), William J. White as Dave the Cook (an employee fixture at The Brick), Graham Greene as Leonard (the official local shaman), Diane Delano as Officer Barbara Semanski (and Maurice's love interest), Adam Arkin as foodie and master chef Adam, and Valerie Mahaffey as his chronically hypochondriacal wife Eve; Mahaffey was the only actor from the series to win an Emmy Award.[3]

Production[edit]

Although the town of Cicely is widely thought to be patterned after the real town of Talkeetna, Alaska,[12][13] the main street of Cicely and the filming location was that of Roslyn, Washington, located in the Cascade Mountains. "Northern Exposure II" (the main production facility) was located in Redmond, Washington, in what is now the headquarters of Genie Industries, behind a business park.

According to The Northern Exposure Book, the moose in the opening titles was named Mort and was provided by Washington State University, where he was part of a captive herd. To film the opening sequence, the crew fenced off Roslyn, set him loose, and lured him around with food.[14]

Episodes[edit]

Notable episodes in the series include the pilot (nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Writing"[3]), the third season's last episode, "Cicely" (which won a Peabody Award,[2] three Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and a Directors Guild of America Award), and the fifth season episode "I Feel the Earth Move", which featured the second same-sex marriage story arc on U.S. prime-time television.[7] (Fox's Roc aired the first U.S. prime time television episode depicting a same-sex marriage, "Can't Help Loving That Man", on October 20, 1991.)

Reception: awards and reviews[edit]

Awards[edit]

Over the course of Northern Exposure's run, the series was nominated for over fifty Emmy Awards and multiple Golden Globe awards. In addition, Joshua Brand and John Falsey received two Peabody Awards, in 1991 and 1992, sharing the latter award with CBS and Finnegan-Pinchuk Company. During one of their thank you speeches, Brand and Falsey said that they appreciated the drama awards, "but it's a comedy."[citation needed]

The show's other awards include:

Nominations[edit]

Emmy Award:

Golden Globe:

Additional awards and nominations[edit]

1995
1994
1993
1992
1991

Reviews[edit]

Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker gave the first episode a B+, writing that the show “may well prove to be summer television’s most likably eccentric series.”[15]

It has not been rated on Metacritic.[16]

TV ratings[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Ausgerechnet Alaska (1992)

  1. The Moose – Northern Exposure Theme-Mix
  2. The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
  3. Little MiltonStand by Me
  4. Lee Dorsey – Ya Ya
  5. Billy Stewart – Summertime
  6. Little RichardGood Golly Miss Molly
  7. Coasters – Little Egypt
  8. The Drifters – On Broadway
  9. Dolly Parton – It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
  10. Guy Mitchell – Singing The Blues
  11. Patsy Cline – Crazy
  12. Paul AnkaMy Way
  13. The Marcels – Blue Moon
  14. Showaddywaddy – Who Put The Bomp
  15. Trini Lopez – This Is Your Land
  16. Jerry ButlerMoon River
  17. Andy WilliamsLove Is a Many-Splendored Thing

More Music From Northern Exposure (1994)

  1. Georgia Wettlin-Larsen – Ojibway Square Dance (Love Song)
  2. David Schwartz – Theme from Northern Exposure
  3. Johnny Nash – Stir It Up
  4. Ruth Brown – Mambo Baby
  5. Simon Bonney – Someone Loves You
  6. David Schwartz – The Ladder
  7. Big Joe & His Washboard Band – If You Take Me Back
  8. Basin Brothers – Un Marriage Casse (A Broken Marriage)
  9. Vinx – There I Go Again
  10. Les Paul & Mary Ford – Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (and Dream Your Troubles Away)
  11. David Schwartz – Mooseburger Stomp
  12. Joanne Shenandoah – I May Want a Man
  13. Iris Dement – Our Town—played full-length during the closing scene and credits for the last episode (July 26, 1995)

DVD releases[edit]

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all six seasons on DVD in Regions 1, 2 & 4. The Region 1 DVD releases have caused controversy among the show's fans, due to their high prices and for the changes to the soundtrack introduced in order to lower their costs.[18] The release of season 1 contained the original music, but retailed for $60 due to the cost of music licensing. Subsequent seasons replaced most of the music with generic elevator-style music, resulting in a lower-cost release. The first and second seasons were also re-released together in packaging that matches the third through sixth seasons.

DVD NameEp #Release dates
Region 1Region 2Region 4
The Complete First Season8May 25, 2004May 21, 2001February 18, 2004
The Complete Second Season7November 30, 2004May 9, 2005July 13, 2005
The Complete Third Season23June 14, 2005January 30, 2006March 8, 2006
The Complete Fourth Season25March 28, 2006July 31, 2006September 20, 2006
The Complete Fifth Season24November 13, 2006January 22, 2007February 21, 2007
The Complete Sixth and Final Season23March 6, 2007June 25, 2007July 4, 2007
The Complete Series110November 13, 2007October 8, 2007November 11, 2009

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, Dean E. (July 28, 1994). "A Bit of Cicely in Poland : Fans Find Post-Communism Respite With 'Northern Exposure'". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ a b c "Peabody Awards won by Brand-Falsey Productions". The Peabody Board at the University of Georgia. 
  3. ^ a b c Awards for Northern Exposure from the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ a b Producing Northern Exposure from the website for the book Two Aspirins and a Comedy (ISBN 1594511551)
  5. ^ Larry Getlen (20 July 2008). "Hey, Mr Spaced Man". New York Post. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Review/Television; As Networks Go Rural, CBS Goes a Bit Further, an April 1991 article in The New York Times
  7. ^ a b c Christine Scodari. "Northern Exposure: U.S. Dramedy". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  8. ^ Mark Harris & Kelli Pryor (26 July 1991). "Total Exposure". Entertainment Weekly. (via Moosechick Notes, a fansite). Retrieved 21 July 2009. "The loyalty the show excites even reached into network offices. "Of course it will be back next September," said one senior CBS executive long before the series was renewed. "My God, there are people here who would start a hanging party if it weren't." When CBS, thirsting for younger viewers, brought Exposure back this spring, it became a top 10 hit among the coveted audience of 18 to 49 year-olds. In the 10 p.m. Monday time slot following Designing Women, the show is drawing its best ratings ever." 
  9. ^ Fretts, Bruce; Snierson, Dan (June 2, 1995). "'Twas the Season". Entertainment Weekly. 
  10. ^ Cerone, Daniel (July 2, 1992). "'Northern Exposure,' Star in Icy Dispute : Television: Holdout Rob Morrow is sued by Universal. He reportedly wants his $30,000-per-episode salary doubled". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ Interview to CYNTHIA GEARY
  12. ^ Talkeetna, Alaska from roadtripamerica.com
  13. ^ Fictional places we love: Cicely, Alaska, on 'Northern Exposure' from sfgate.com
  14. ^ The Northern Exposure Book. 1995.[page needed]. ISBN 0-8065-1623-2. 
  15. ^ 20 Years Ago: The premiere of 'Northern Exposure' | PopWatch | EW.com
  16. ^ Northern Exposure—Season 1 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic
  17. ^ Du Brow, Rick (January 14, 1995). "CBS Moves 'Exposure' Out Into the Cold : Commentary: The switch to Wednesday night has been a disaster for the gentle series". Los Angeles Times. 
  18. ^ Copyrights Keep TV Shows off DVD, a 2005 Wired article

External links[edit]