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Providence (1999–2002)

TV Series  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,332 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 2 critic

Dr. Sydney Hansen, a successful plastic surgeon in Hollywood, California, quits her private practice and returns to her hometown in Providence, Rhode Island after the sudden death of her ... See full summary »


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5   4   3   2   1  
2002   2001   2000   1999  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 13 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Dr. Sydney Hansen (96 episodes, 1999-2002)
 Robbie Hansen (96 episodes, 1999-2002)
 Dr. James Hansen (96 episodes, 1999-2002)
Paula Cale ...
 Joanie Hansen / ... (81 episodes, 1999-2002)
 Lynda Hansen (63 episodes, 1999-2002)
 Heather Tupperman (60 episodes, 1999-2002)
 Izzy Nunez / ... (53 episodes, 1999-2002)


Dr. Sydney Hansen, a successful plastic surgeon in Hollywood, California, quits her private practice and returns to her hometown in Providence, Rhode Island after the sudden death of her controlling, demanding mother Lynda, in order to keep her dysfunctional family together which a little help and advice from Lynda who gives advice from beyond the grave in helping Sydney deal with her new career as a doctor for the local free clinic and dealing with her distracted veterinarian father Jim, her mixed-up sister Joanie, and younger brother Robbie, a small-time hustler. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Syd came home for a saner life. Did we mention she talks to the dead?




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Official Sites:




Release Date:

8 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vain yksi elämä  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (96 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The town of Providence was founded by statesman Roger Williams in 1636. See more »


Sydney Hansen: Robbie's not here yet?
Lynda Hansen: Well, if he wants to live to see his own funeral, he'd better be.
See more »


In My Life
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Chantal Kreviazuk (as opening theme)
See more »

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User Reviews

A charming show about real family values and a little bit about Rhode Island.
30 October 1999 | by (rhode island) – See all my reviews

I believe that the strength of the tv show Providence is that it demonstrates real "family values" and not the traditional "family values". The "family values" i refer to are that members of the family accept one another no matter what they do "wrong" (one is a schemer and gets into trouble, another is a goody goody with excessive pride, and another is a klutz who also has a child out of wedlock... also the Dr. hires a worker who is a klutz and is accepting and nurturing of her - how symbolic that maybe the central theme of the show is the prototypical country veterinarian, taking in wounded animals and nurturing them to health), and they love one another no less when the day is through. They meet their challenges with seriousness and humor, when the situations can allow, and almost always kindness.

The show does not moralize so much as it shows people dealing with real situations (already, 2 major characters have perished)and they are lead by the strong but extremely gentle and understanding character that Mike Farrell portrays, "Dr. James Hansen". He provides an almost unnoticed moral center, strong but gentle.

One daughter forgoes a successful career in los angeles as a plastic surgeon to go home and live with her family and work in a charitable clinic. The other daughter forgoes a fortune if she had gone to Japan and promoted her accidentally invented recipe, to take care of her baby and be with her family. She nurtures a mentally ill man who happened to be the ideal employee for her, and helps him escape when the authorities are after him, the morality being that she cannot harbor him, but she cannot let him be incarcerated either. The son gets into trouble, but works on being good.

We see progressive ideas shown in a viable light. The show accepts gays, it loves people who make mistakes, have accidents, they take in runaways, work at a clinic, find the good in mobsters, mentally ill, take in stray animals, have no negative judgments on ethnic groups. There is very little against a single mother, other than she needs to take responsibilty. And so on... what will be next ? These are all strengths in my opinion, and i think the country and society in general has been waiting for something to show them about this, what i believe to be, inherent unconditional love that exists in all of us, but somehow gets lost at times within the scope of the hustle and bustle of society.

Of note, I also believe that while some people say providence is not really about providence, i believe that it does capture different elements of the area. I think it more pulls together the strengths of the community than focussing on a particular group, providing an amalgam of local people. The parents are suspiciously like my grandparents (who are real life providence lifetime natives), even their bedroom is almost exactly like the television set bedroom. Also, personally i had lived in los angeles ginally went there to be in medical / grad school], working as an actor, and returned to rhode island because a family member was on deaths door.

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