TV US TV

Quincy M. E. (NBC 1976-1983 with Jack Klugman and Robert Ito)

USA / NBC – Glen A. Larson Prod. / 5×120 minute episode 143×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 3 October 1976 – 5 September 1983

Creators: Glen A. Larson, Lou Shaw / Executive Producer: Glen A. Larson / Producers: Lou Shaw, Peter Thompson, Michael Star, Robert F. O’Neill

Medical crime drama series that was initially part of the NBC Mystery Movie cycle of shows before moving to a Friday night weekly spot from it’s second season.

Quincy, a widower, (superbly played by Jack Klugman) has given up his private medical practice become part of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office as a Medical Examiner where he quickly learns that many supposedly normal deaths showed evidence of foul play. Emerging in the mid 1970’s Quincy is just fantastic, a clear fore runner to all the medical detective shows clogging up the airwaves today but with a better heart and better sensibilities of what makes good television than any of them.

Klugman as Quincy is brilliant and Quincy himself is never afraid to speak his mind, often brushing up against the by the book Dr Robert Asten in the process. Being heavily involved in the investigation process (Quincy was often more like a detective than the detectives) he also came up against the cops themselves.

The nonconformist Quincy (who was helped in all his cases by unsung hero Sam Fujiyama, Quincy’s right hand man in the office) lives on a houseboat and seems to spend much of his free time in the local bar Danny’s Place and in early episodes his main squeeze is the long suffering Lee Potter.

Incidentally Quincy’s first name is never revealed although at one tage a shot of I.D. card reveals that it starts with the letter R. In the 1983 series Quincy married a woman called Emily (who was actually played by Anita Gillette – the same actress who played Quincy’s first wife Helen.

cast
JACK KLUGMAN as Dr R. Quincy M.E
ROBERT ITO as Sam Fujiyama
VAL BISOGLIO as Danny Tovo
GARRY WALBERG as Lt Frank Morahan
LYNETTE METTEY as Lee Potter
JOHN S. RAGIN as Dr Robert J. Asten
JOSEPH S. ROMAN as Sergeant Brill
KAREN PHILIPP as Robin
MARC SCOTT TAYLOR as Marc
DIANE MARKOFF as Diane