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

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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 stage 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.

production details
USA | NBC – Glen A. Larson Prod. / 5×120 minutes 143×50 minutes / 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

cast
Jack Klugman as Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.
Robert Ito as Sam Fujiyama
Val Bisoglio as Danny Tovo
John S. Ragin as Dr. Robert Asten
Garry Walberg as Lt. Frank Monahan