The daytime soap opera "The Doctors" deserves note as the only TV anthology series to transform itself into a weekly daytime serial. It premiered with daily stories whose leads alternated between serious medical drama and daily intrigue. The series was set in Hope Memorial Hospital in the fictional town of Madison,somewhere in New England. The featured story lines had Dr. Powers as the head of operations at Hope Memorial Hospital. Also part of the hospital staff were between serious surgeon Dr. William Scott,happy-go-lucky internist Dr. Jerry Chandler,female pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Hayes,and hospital chaplain the Rev. Samuel Shafer. This was one of the best of the daytime serials to grace the 1960's and remain that way until its demise in the early 1980's.
"The Doctors" premiered on NBC-TV from April 1, 1963 until its final episode on December 31,1982. A total of 5,280 episodes were produced. The series ran for 19 years on the NBC Network. The sponsor for the program was the Colgate-Palmotive Company. The episodes that were produced in black and white ran from 1963 until 1967. The episodes that were in color ran from 1967 until 1982. Most of the story lines dealt with the physicians dealing with relationships while interacting with medical procedures dominated most of the episodes. During most of the mid-1960's through the entire decade of the 1970's,"The Doctors" performed near the top of the ratings,as did the other soap opera which shared the show's debut date,"General Hospital"(which was on ABC). But toward the end of the 1970's,the show's appeal waned,with time shifts perhaps hastening its demise. The program continued with some of its old plot lines. But viewers in 1982,found the show's losing its audience and was slipping in the ratings. Viewers much preferred "Family Feud" on ABC,so on December 31,1982,NBC pulled the plug on "The Doctors" on New Year's Eve just three months shy of its 20th anniversary. The show that replaced "The Doctors" in January of 1983 was another daytime serial "Search For Tomorrow",that moved in the same time slot on NBC's weekday afternoon schedule.
The show was a setting and a career boost for some of its alumni that were on this program including Kathleen Turner,Kim Zimmer,Julia Duffy, Jonathan Frakes,Nancy Stafford,Gil Gerard,Gerald S. O'Loughlin,along with Kathryn Harrold,Larry Riley,Jane Badler,Jock Gaynor,Lydia Bruce, Elizabeth Hubbard,Dorothy Fielding,James Pritchett,Glenn Corbett, Terry O'Quinn,James Rebhorn,Peggy Cass,and Alec Baldwin.
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