Doctor Doctor (1989 TV series)
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|Created by||Norman Steinberg|
|Directed by||Robert Berlinger
Audrie J. Neenan
|Theme music composer||Ahmet Ertegün
|Opening theme||"Good Lovin'"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||40 (1 unaired) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Norman Steinberg|
George E. Crosby
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nikndaph Productions
Reeves Entertainment Group
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television
FremantleMedia (outside North America)
|Original release||June 12, 1989– April 6, 1991|
Doctor Doctor is an American television sitcom that aired on CBS. It began a short run in June 1989, and was picked up for a full season the following fall. A second season followed in fall 1990, but the show was cancelled at the end of the 1990-1991 season, due to low ratings. One episode, "Long Day's Journey Into Deirdre", remains unaired in the US (although it was aired as part of series runs in Australia and Great Britain).
The show features Matt Frewer as Dr. Mike Stratford, a partner in the medical practice Northeast Medical Partners in Providence, Rhode Island. Most of the comedy surrounds Dr. Stratford's zany antics, tempered by his commitment to his profession and his patients. Though at first serving as "straight men" for Frewer's manic style of comic acting, the other characters gained more depth as the series progressed, and the plots sometimes focused on issues such as AIDS, breast cancer, and homophobia.
Cast and characters
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Mike Stratford (Matt Frewer): General practitioner, novelist, and TV medical expert, Mike is devoted to his patients, sometimes offering his services for free, much to the consternation of his partners in the practice. His many responsibilities sometimes plays havoc with his love life, as is exemplified in the pilot episode where his unhappy girlfriend has to resort to making a doctor's appointment to see him. The least willing to "maximize the practice," as Grant once suggested, Mike's greatest ambition is to be like Marcus Welby, M.D..
Abraham Butterfield (Julius J. Carry III): Mike's best friend and medical partner, an uptight, ambitious African-American who is anxious to have the “perfect life,” leading him to become at times overly controlling with his wife and son. Though at times exasperated by Mike's endless pranks and off-the-wall comments, Abe is usually the first to go out on a limb for his friend.
Grant Linowitz (Beau Gravitte): Accomplished, ambitious heart surgeon and the medical partner with whom Mike initially disagrees with the most, Grant is at times egocentric, vain and shallow with a taste for the finer things in life, though these qualities are later downplayed somewhat as the series progressed. He becomes a good friend of Mike’s brother Richard.
Deirdre Bennett (Maureen Mueller): The medical partner who comes off as aloof, or as she puts it, “a complete bitch,” and is not above exploiting a situation for her own benefit. However, she is very protective of her patients and her partners, especially Mike. Deirdre also has a weakness for the wrong men, like her married lover Steve. At one point, prior to current events in the show, she had one tryst with Mike.
Richard Stratford (Tony Carreiro): Mike's brother, and an English professor ("I'm an Associate Professor at a liberal arts college - they pay me in brie"), he shares a house with Mike. Having come out as gay, Richard maintains a close relationship with his brother, though Mike can't resist a good-natured jibe or two at his brother's expense.
Leona Linowitz (Anne Ramsay): Psychiatrist and Grant's sister, Leona appears in the final season when she moves to Rhode Island with her daughter after her ex-husband writes a hit play which features a character based on her known only as "The Domineering Bitch"
Elizabeth McQueen (Jane Brucker): Mike's sometime girlfriend, and television producer of "Wake Up Providence," Elizabeth tries to keep the show together as Mike presents one wacky medical segment after another. She leaves for New York after the episode, “Bachelor Doctor.”
Nurse Faye Barylski (Audrie J. Neenan): Oversexed head nurse at the practice, Faye is nonplussed by Mike's jokes and strange antics, and has a fondness for The Grateful Dead and bikers like her boyfriend Dana.
Hugh Persons (Brian George): Host of Wake Up Providence, a snobby blowhard and know-it-all, Hugh has a tendency to critique plays and novels without having any exposure to the material. He’s constantly at odds with Mike during his segments, as it sometimes leads to on-air humiliation. It is later revealed that he is gay and HIV-positive, and he subsequently becomes a patient of Deirdre’s.
Pia Bismark (Sarah Abrell): Alternate host of Wake Up Providence, though at times frazzled by Mike’s stunts, Pia is far more congenial and easygoing.
Dr. Harold Stratford (Dakin Matthews): Father to Mike and Richard, husband to Connie, Harold is a stuffy, well-established heart surgeon who disapproves of Mike's choice to be a general practitioner of medicine, as well as Richard's sexual orientation.
Connie Stratford (Inga Swenson): Mother to Mike and Richard, wife to Harold, an excellent nurse, Connie longs to return to her profession, even to the point where she works briefly with Mike as his nurse. Unfazed by Mike's goofy nature, she usually responds in kind, and is far more accepting of her son Richard being gay.
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Coming from a family of medical professionals, Mike Stratford first befriended Abe Butterfield while attending Harvard Medical School. Aware of his need for a study group, Abe invited Mike to join his, where Mike met Grant Linowitz, Deirdre Bennett, and Peter Balcovske. At first, Mike got off to a bad start with the group with his apparent lack of preparation, and nervous habit of clowning around. But Mike's medical skill was soon made evident when he quickly came to the aid of Belkovske, the study group leader, who was having an epileptic attack and eventually dropped out of medical school.
Wanting to avoid the pitfalls of working in HMOs, the four decided to start a practice together after graduation. However, this decision initially led to conflicts as Mike's approach to medicine constantly conflicted with his partners', particularly Grant's. The conflicts increased as he started a promotional campaign for his first novel, Panacea, and began doing medical segments for the local morning news show Wake Up, Providence.
Mike made his first appearance on Wake Up, Providence only to promote his new novel. However, he soon found himself bickering with host Hugh Persons during the live broadcast as it was plain to see that Hugh was attempting to fake his critique when he had never read the book. Producer Elizabeth McQueen liked his style (and that someone finally took the pompous host down a peg or two), and offered him a spot on the show. Though Mike tries to cover serious medical issues in his segments on "Wake Up Providence," they usually devolve into unplanned lunacy, which only endears him more to his viewers, and even raises the show's ratings, much to Hugh’s dismay.
Elizabeth: The kids at the hospital love you. They call you Dr. Doofus.
Hugh: [amused] “Dr. Doofus!” Children have such insight.
After Elizabeth's departure from the show, Mike finds himself fending off requests to do "disease of the week" pieces, or even to promote products such as a "Miracle Slimming Supplement."
Abe's trademark goofy laugh, which draws a comment from Grant ("I HATE that laugh!") when it's at his expense. When one episode features a flashback with the characters in medical school, Deirdre haughtily responds, "Are you gonna laugh like that for the rest of your life?" It appears to have been passed on to his son.
Deirdre's name, as she insists on the Irish pronunciation "Dehr-dra" while Mike insists on pronouncing it "Deer-dree." He is also fond of various modifications like "Dier-drops" or "Dier-drums."
Faye's crossword puzzle, as the nurse's attempts to solve the puzzle usually involve lewd and lascivious answers based on her promiscuous nature.
"Yeah, right!" The typical response when anyone muses about the possibility of Grant showing depth or compassion.
Patient exam or Dr. Mike's medical segment - Each episode begins with one of these scenes, primarily the former, where Mike has to contend with goofy scenes like a patient suffering from a bad case of the hiccups, another suffering from body odor, an Elvis Presley impersonator attempting to get Mike to declare the King is alive, or a wrestler who takes extreme issue with Mike's snide comments about wrestling being fake.
The music for the opening titles was the rock and roll song "Good Lovin'", written by Ahmet Ertegün, Leroy Kirkland, Jesse Stone, and Danny Taylor. It begins with the bass vocal singing "D-D-D-D-Doctor, Doctor, D-D-D-D-Doc."
Awards and nominations
|1990||GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series|
|1991||Outstanding Comedy Series|