Friday, May 4, 2018

Classic TV: Medical Center (1969)

The primetime freshman class of 1969 had a number of standouts on each of the networks. It just happened that all three had new medical dramas. On NBC, you had The New Doctors as part of the anthology wheel, The Bold Ones. On ABC, there was, of course, Marcus Welby, MD, a comeback vehicle for Robert Young (ex-Father Knows Best), who parlayed Welby into an endorsement deal for Sanka coffee, as memory serves.

Then, on CBS, there was Medical Center.

The other day, we talked about the pilot, which was released five months before the series was to debut. One cosmetic casting change, from Richard Bradford (ex-Man in a Suitcase) to Chad Everett, made all the difference in the world, or so it seems. Medical Center ran the same length of time as Welby, 7 seasons (1969-76), but on a different night. As memory serves, the three medical shows aired on consecutive nights (Bold Ones on Sundays, Medical Center on Mondays, Welby on Tuesdays). Of these, Medical Center was the only one not from Universal, as it came instead from MGM.

Producer Frank Glicksman would later serve as a show-runner for another CBS medical drama, Trapper John, MD, for 20th Century Fox. His producing partner, Al C. Ward, was hardly heard from again.

Here's a sample clip:

My memory is hazy about whether or not I'd seen any reruns, and, yes, the series was out of syndication by the time I graduated high school, which isn't helping my cause overmuch.

No rating.

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