powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes

Dec 2016
Dec 2015
Jul 2015
Dec 2013
Jun 2012
Dec 2010
Jan 2010
Dec 2009
Jun 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Dec 2008
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sep 2008
Aug 2008
Jul 2008
Jun 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Dec 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
Jul 2007
Jun 2007
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007
Dec 2006
Nov 2006

All-time top 10 TV docs

ER's medical license is about to expire on NBC. After 15 seasons of emotional and physical rescues, the longest running prime-time doctor drama in TV history bows out with a two-hour finale on Thursday, April 2nd. We mark the occasion with this list of top 10 TV practitioners, disclaimers included.

No. 1, the majority of your TV time has to be spent on the job. That disqualifies Dr. Cliff Huxtable of The Cosby Show, an obstetrician who mostly parented as best he could. Bob Hartley of The Bob Newhart Show also is ineligible. He was a psychologist, not a certified M.D. Day-timers likewise are out. Sorry, Dr. Phil. OK, now that we've established residency, these doctors are in.

10. Dr. James Kildare -- Prime-time's first heartthrob doctor strode into Blair General under the stewardship of Richard Chamberlain, who later became King of the TV Miniseries in epics such as Shogun and The Thorn Birds. NBC kept Dr. Kildare on duty from 1961-66, dueling with competing medical drama Ben Casey and its star, Vince Edwards, for most fan mag covers. At the height of their surgical powers, both Chamberlain and Edwards put out record albums, too.

9. Dr. J.D. Dorian -- Scrubs is his home base. And although never wildly popular, the NBC comedy invariably operates at a high level. Star Zach Braff and his Sacred Heart Hospital cronies have never met a surgical procedure they couldn't spoof. In time they'll be more appreciated.

8. Dr. Michaela Quinn -- This frontier sawbones, played by a somewhat de-glammed Jane Seymour, gave CBS a gainful Saturday night franchise from 1993-98. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman also worked a little hoop-skirted feminism into many of its storylines, with its title character also finding time to get married and have a baby girl.

7. Dr. Christian Troy -- Nip/Tuck's try-anything Lothario wields both a scalpel and an appendage that always seems to be fully operational during off-hours. As played by Julian McNamara, Dr. Troy never tires of stretching his limits -- or the various sagging body parts of his patients.

6. Dr. Mark Greene -- Never a looker, ER's unconventional leading man impressed with his oft-quiet, but ever-forceful presence. Actor Anthony Edwards made Mark Greene a poignant and, in the end, tragic figure who died of a brain tumor after saving countless lives. The ultimate Everyman doc -- in both sickness and in health.

5. Dr. Donald Westphall -- In the end we learned that he only played a doctor -- through the fertile imagination of his autistic son. No matter. Dr. Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders), the benevolent, harried chief of staff at bedraggled St. Eligius Hospital, provided strong medicine for a series that, like Scrubs, was always ratings-challenged. Still, it endured from 1982-88 on NBC, with a cast that also included newcomers Denzel Washington, Howie Mandel, David Morse and Ed Begley Jr. Westphall had all of their backs.

4. Dr. Doug Ross -- George Clooney stayed with ER for just its first five seasons before launching a big-time movie career. What an impression he made, though. A pediatrician by trade, Ross prompted female fans of the show to coo like little babies. He was a womanizer, but with a creamy nougat of a core, invariably answering to his better side. Not that he had a bad side. Shot in profile or head-on, Clooney's Ross always seemed to stir the drink and flutter the hearts.

3. Dr. Marcus Welby -- The title character, played by veteran actor Robert Young, was a genial, kindly Santa Monica general practitioner who, miracle of miracles, made house calls. Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969-76), was among prime-time's top 10 shows for its first three seasons in times when ABC otherwise had a paucity of hits. Goodly Dr. Welby operated in tandem with the higher-strung Dr. Steven Kiley (James Brolin). They had their differences, but the senior partner always had a buttery bromide to make things all better.

2. Dr. Gregory House -- Surly, sanctimonious, deadpan and with bed pan manners, Hugh Laurie's cane-accompanied medical genius is off-putting in the extreme -- unless you're dying, of course. Then he finds a way to save you, and never mind the niceties. House recently crossed its 100th episode milestone and looks good to go for at least 100 more. That increases the chances that its not-so-good doctor someday might mellow a bit or even find a true love other than himself. Then again, that would constitute a true medical miracle. Besides, we're now at home with who House is -- a jerk for all seasons and a shot in the arm at crunch time.

1. Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce -- M*A*S*H's snarky surgical idealist could riff like Groucho Marx one minute and ruminate over the folly of war the next. Alan Alda made Hawkeye a household name in a way that the same-named hit movie never could. He stayed for the entire 11-year run of the series, which ended with a two-and-a-half-hour finale that still ranks as the most-watched program in TV history more than a quarter century after its Feb. 28, 1983 air date.

Wisecracking Hawkeye had several capable docs in his entourage, including the also memorable "Trapper John" McIntyre (played by Wayne Rogers and later Pernell Roberts in a stand-alone hit drama series). But Hawkeye always stood out in this crowd, making M*A*S*H one of the most enduring, daring shows ever -- and still without equal in the medical field.

Top 10 TV stars whose real names bear no resemblance

What's in a name? Today it doesn't much matter. We're pretty much past the days when Volodymyr Palanyuk, for instance, had his name changed to Jack Palance by some Hollywood image-maker.

Today's stars can go au natural, which means that Mary Lynn Rajskub (Rice-Cub), who plays computer whiz Chloe O'Brian on 24, didn't have to be renamed Tempest Storm or something.

This list is made up of TV stars who underwent some pretty radical first and last name changes before making it big. This makes Malden Sekulovich ineligible, because he at least was allowed to keep his first-name -- which became his last name -- as Karl Malden of The Streets of San Francisco fame. OK, let's name some names.

10. Patsy McClenny -- The Dallas-born blonde doubled for Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde before a 1981 People magazine cover story asked provocatively, "Is She Too Sexy for TV?" The reference was to her starring role as scheming she-devil Constance Weldon Carlyle in NBC's steamy Flamingo Road. You know her better as Morgan Fairchild.

9. Kreker Ohanian -- He dispensed two-fisted justice as the title character of the long-running CBS series Mannix before throttling down a bit as agent Ben Slater on ABC's Today's FBI. His tough guy persona first took root in the 1959-'60 series Tightrope, where he starred as an unnamed undercover agent going about the weekly dangerous business of infiltrating organized crime. You know him better as Mike Connors.

8. Laurence Tureaud -- The former Chicago bar bouncer made a big splash in the 1980s as bejeweled, guttural Bosco "B.A." Baracus on NBC's The A-Team. His taglines range from "I pity the fool" to "You better watch out, sucker." He's bounced around in the 20 years since, but never fails to make a strong first impression. You know him better as Mr. T.

7. Thomas Morfit -- He was the name-in-the-title star of a successful variety hour that itself made a star of Carol Burnett during its 1958-'67 run on CBS. He also hosted the evergreen game shows I've Got A Secret and To Tell The Truth while appearing as a congenial celebrity panelist on other quizzes of that era. Burnett later returned the favor by having him as a guest on her landmark variety hour. You know him better as Garry Moore.

6. Nathan Birnbaum -- He first made his bones on the radio before co-hosting a long-running vintage TV variety show with his madcap wife, Gracie. Famous for a prominent cigar and deadpan demeanor, he also was the perfect guest on other big-name variety shows of that era and beyond. In the 1960s he became a recurring host of The Hollywood Palace, where many of Hollywood's biggest stars came to play. You know him better as George Burns.

5. Joyce Penelope Frankenburg -- She first made her mark in 1979's Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, the highest-rated made-for-TV movie of that season. Co-starring roles in two major miniseries, East of Eden and War and Remembrance put her in position to play the title role in CBS' last big Saturday night hit, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. She gamely hoofed and puffed in 2007 on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, braving both food poisoning and assorted heels. You know her better as Jane Seymour

4. Amos Jacobs -- His Make Room For Daddy sitcom, which later put his name in the title, endured from 1953 to '71. It ranked in prime-time's top 10 for six of those seasons after being moved from little-seen ABC to powerhouse CBS. He also sang, joked and kibbitzed on all of the reigning variety shows of that era. The Practice, not to be confused with the later legal drama series, gave him a modest hit in the mid-1970s as an old-school sawbones. He again resurfaced in 1980 as a cranky dentist in the ABC sitcom I'm A Big Girl Now. You know him better as Danny Thomas

3. John Sanford -- He became a TV superstar as the crotchety junkyard owner whose only son absorbed his guff. Wouldn't you know it was called Sanford and Son, a nod to his real-life surname. The series ran from 1972-'77 on NBC, ranking No. 2 behind only All In The Family in its first full season. It remained in the top 10 for three more years before contract squabbles helped to bring it down. The star of the show later died in the harness while rehearsing for an episode of The Royal Family, a 1991 CBS sitcom produced by Eddie Murphy. You know him better as Redd Foxx

Benjamin Kubelsky -- His doubletakes, ear-splitting violin playing and patented cheapness were perfected for radio audiences before he joined CBS' lineup in 1950 as host of his own variety show. It ran all the way until the mid-1960s, blending guest stars with a renowned repertory company that included Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Dennis Day and announcer Don Wilson. The star of the show often got huge laughs by saying nothing. Or by simply saying, "Well," with hand clasped to chin. Often imitated, never surpassed, you know him better as Jack Benny.

1. Eugene Orowitz -- Only a bare handful of TV stars have had three longrunning hit series. And he did it on a single network, NBC. Bonanza, second only to Gunsmoke among the small screen's all-time successful westerns, brought him to prominence as "Little Joe" Cartwright. It ran from 1959-'73, ranking as prime-time's No. 1-rated show for three of those seasons. It also landed in the top 10 for another six.

He then segued to another western, starring as patriarch Charles Ingalls from 1974-'83 on Little House on the Prairie. For two of those seasons it was NBC's lone Top 10 show.

Then immediately came Highway to Heaven, in which he played earth angel Jonathan Smith. It ran from 1984-'89, giving its mainstay an unprecedented and likely never to be surpassed 30 consecutive years of starring roles in one prime time series or another. You know him better as Michael Landon.