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network = NBC
| first_aired = October 3, 1976
| last_aired = September 5, 1983
| num_episodes = 148
(or simply Quincy
) is the name of a United States television series from Universal Studios that aired from October 3, 1976, to September 5, 1983, on NBC (and can be seen in the UK on ITV3 and intermittently on the ITV Network, as well as in syndication on MeTV in Chicago, Illinois, on KDOC-TV in Orange County, California, and in Australia on cable channel TV1). It starred Jack Klugman as Dr. Quincy, a strong-willed Medical Examiner (forensic coroner) in Los Angeles County working to ascertain facts about suspicious deaths. In the process, he frequently comes into conflict with his boss and the police, each of whom have their own (often flawed) ideas about what's going on. Many of the episodes follow this formula:
Somebody dies, seemingly by natural causes.
Quincy notices something that causes him to suspect foul play.
He then changes roles from medical examiner to detective.
Quincy's boss gets upset, believing that Quincy is seeing evidence that doesn't exist and that Quincy should work on routine cases. The police get their feathers ruffled as he "shoulders-in" on their territory as well.
He argues quite loudly with some bureaucratic individual impeding the case.
Quincy solves the murder.
A quote from one episode gives a snapshot of a typical conflict. When Quincy is hospitalized, Sam Fujiyama (Robert Ito), Quincy's faithful co-worker, takes the reins and finds something fishy about Quincy's condition when everyone else sees no need for suspicion. Hearing this, homicide detective Lt. Frank Monahan (Garry Walberg) says, "You're pullin' a Quincy on me, and you ain't Quincy!"Early seasons' episodes focused on criminal investigation; a typical episode would find Quincy determining the real murderer in a crime or the real cause of an unusual poisoning case. Later seasons' episodes began to introduce themes of social responsibility; Quincy would find himself involved with a police investigation that reveals situations such as a disreputable plastic surgeon and the reasons his poor surgeries are not stopped, flaws in drunk driving laws, problems caused by punk music, airline safety issues, dumping of hazardous waste, the proliferation of handguns, Tourette syndrome and anorexia among others. Quincy, M.E.
was one of the earlier dramatic series to use a format like this to further a social agenda. Although Quincy studies bodies in-depth at his laboratory, he also does plenty of police investigation work technically outside the role of a coroner for the purposes of the show. He could be considered a workaholic. In every episode where he goes on vacation, it is always interrupted by an intrigue that requires his skills. He then provides copious hours of free work to solve the case. He insists on being intensely thorough in all his work.A well-liked man, Quincy lived on a houseboat, frequents "Danny's" pub, and was popular with the ladies. He was married once before but lost his wife Helen to cancer. Near the end of the seventh season Quincy remarried (Dr. Emily Hanover) and sold the houseboat (Quincy's Wedding).The show was based on a Canadian television series, Wojeck
, broadcast by CBC Television in the 1960s, but had more immediate local inspiration in the person of Thomas Noguchi, Los Angeles's "coroner to the stars". [http://www.who2.com/thomasnoguchi.html]The first half of the first season of Quincy
was broadcast as 90-minute telefilms as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie
rotation in the fall of 1976 alongside Columbo
(formerly McMillan and Wife
). The series proved popular enough that midway through the 1976-77 season, Quincy
was spun-off into its own weekly one-hour series. The Mystery Movie
format was discontinued in the spring of 1977; Quincy
was the only one of the rotating series to continue. In 1978, writers Tony Lawrence and Lou Shaw received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the second-season episode "...The Thighbone's Connected to the Knee Bone..." (originally aired February 11, 1977).
Trivia Quincy's first name was never verbally mentioned during the entire Quincy, M.E. TV show run. The only clue to what it was appeared in Episode #33, "Accomplice To Murder", where his business card is seen with his name written as "Doctor R. Quincy". Jack Klugman says that the question he's most often asked by fans is, "What is Quincy's first name?". He answers, "Doctor!".
Quincy had a highly successful surgical practice of his own before joining the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office after the death of his first wife from a brain tumour.
Quincy was a captain in the United States Navy Reserve.
The phone number for "Danny's", the favorite hangout for the show's characters, was 213-555-3923.
Robert Ito previously appeared in an episode of Ironside as a SFPD medical examiner. Despite the similarites, his character was named "Harry" and not "Sam".
The pilot episode of The A-Team contains a car chase around the Universal Studios backlot. During this chase one of the cars crashes into a set which is supposed to be part of Quincy's house, the scene is repeated in the show's title sequence.
The series featured many actors who went on to find fame elsewhere, such as Jonathan Frakes, who appeared as a brash young doctor in the episode "Ghost of a Chance"; a young Jamie Lee Curtis in "Visitors in Paradise"; and Fred Ward, later of Southern Comfort and Tremors fame.
A number of Jack Klugman's co-stars in the highly regarded Sidney Lumet movie 12 Angry Men guest starred in the show. These included: Martin Balsam (Juror #1), Jack Warden (Juror #7 with the baseball tickets) and John Fiedler (the squeaky voiced Juror #2) and of course Robert Webber (salesman Juror #12)
Anita Gillette, the actress who plays Quincy's wife in the final season of the series, also played Quincy's first wife in an earlier episode where we see her for the only time.
On June 7, 2005, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD for the very first time in a 6-disc box set. It is unknown if the remaining seasons will be released at some point.
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