“Previously on St. Elsewhere”: A Tribute to one of tv’s most pioneering dramas.

Kendall Rivers
5 min readOct 7, 2023
Cast of St. Elsewhere-Image Source: Britannica

Some of you may have heard of this show. Hopefully some of you have watched this show, though many of you may not have. Either way St. Elsewhere was and still is one of the most important television dramas ever made and certainly a pioneer medical drama. Like Hill Street Blues with all modern cop shows, without St. Elsewhere there’d be no ER, no Chicago Hope, no Scrubs, no Grey’s Anatomy, no Private Practice, no House MD, no Scrubs, and no The Good Doctor. It is the father of all modern medical shows.

Image Source: amazon.com

Of course it wasn’t the first medical show ever made. There was Ben Casey, Dr. Killdare, Marcus Welby, MD etc. but St. Elsewhere was certainly the first of its kind and helped redefine the television medical drama. It was part medical drama, part wild satirical comedy, part character piece. It wore many hats and wore them well. The show garnered 13 emmys and a lot of critical acclaim during its 1982–1988 run. Allow me to show you why this show is still such a gem after all these years even if it’s often overlooked.

The Theme Song:

Composed by Dave Gustin, the charming opening theme of St. Elsewhere is truly one of the most memorable and just plain great. Perfectly illustrates the unique tone of the series, a real foot tapper:

The Cast:

Image Source: Fox News

What has to be one of the most elite ensemble cast in history, St. Elsewhere boasted the likes of Denzel Washington, David Morse, Mark Harmon, Ed Begley Jr, Howie Mandel, Christina Pickles, Alfre Woodard, Ed Flanders, William Daniels, Norman Lloyd, and Stephen Furst among others. An impressive group of actors only elevated the scripts to places the writers couldn’t…

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Kendall Rivers

Kendall is a screenwriter who’s a huge fan of classic tv and movies. He enjoys creating good stories and characters. https://www.facebook.com/kendall.rivers.3