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Northern Exposure 

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A newly graduated doctor is required to set up his practice in an eccentric Alaskan town.
936 ( 13)




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1995   1994   1993   1992   1991   1990  
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 25 wins & 89 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Barry Corbin ...  Maurice J. Minnifield / ... 110 episodes, 1990-1995
Janine Turner ...  Maggie O'Connell / ... 110 episodes, 1990-1995
John Cullum ...  Holling Vincoeur / ... 110 episodes, 1990-1995
Darren E. Burrows ...  Ed Chigliak / ... 110 episodes, 1990-1995
John Corbett ...  Chris Stevens / ... 110 episodes, 1990-1995
Cynthia Geary ...  Shelly Marie Tambo / ... 110 episodes, 1990-1995
Elaine Miles ...  Marilyn Whirlwind / ... 110 episodes, 1990-1995
Peg Phillips Peg Phillips ...  Ruth-Anne Miller / ... 107 episodes, 1990-1995
Rob Morrow ...  Dr. Joel Fleischman / ... 102 episodes, 1990-1995
William J. White William J. White ...  Dave the Cook 49 episodes, 1991-1994


Dr. Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow) is fresh out of medical college, and fresh out of luck. Failing to read the fine print in his scholarship conditions, he finds he has no choice but to move to the remote and somewhat eccentric town of Cicely, Alaska. Once there, he is welcomed by the peculiar locals who are not keen to see him go, most especially Maurice J. Minnifield (Barry Corbin), the ex-N.A.S.A. astronaut. Despite Joel's adamant denials, one gets the impression that he enjoys life in Cicely more than he admits. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Did You Know?


In season five, there is an unexplained fact that Maurice hurt his leg. Barry Corbin, who played Maurice, fell off his horse and broke his left leg and left foot (Seattle Times, December 19, 1993). One must go back a few episodes to see how this is brought into the story without any explanation. Corbin's last scene before his leg injury was season five, episode fourteen, "A Bolt From the Blue". He was also not present in season five, episode fifteen, "Hello, I Love You", which was the Walt and Ruth-Anne trip. Maurice was originally supposed to take this trip with Ruth-Anne (minus the romance story). It could be argued that the arc of Walt's relationship with Ruth-Anne was made possible by Barry Corbin's real-life injury. The first mention of the injury is at Joel's dinner party, season five, episode sixteen, "Northern Hospitality", where it is remarked that Maurice couldn't make it "with his leg". Maurice/Corbin was not present for season five, episode sixteen, "Northern Hospitality". Interesting how he wasn't there for the debacle with Chris' radio show (on Maurice's radio station, KBHR) being argued to blame for Edgar Hankins' suicide. And that Maddam Mayor Hancock, who is rarely seen, is the one who calls this town meeting, instead of Maurice. Season five, episode seventeen, "Una Volta in L'inverno", still no Maurice and still no mention of his injury. Maurice/Barry Corbin didn't show back up until season five, episode eighteen, "Fish Story", where he jabs at Holling about his "paint by numbers" art. This is the same episode where Ruth-Anne takes her impromptu bike trip and Maurice calls a meeting about Ed re-opening the store. Maurice has two scenes here. One: at the Brick, where he is sitting, no crutches on view. Two: at the town meeting he called to order, and he is leaning on the lectern the entire time, with no crutches in sight. He is first seen with crutches beginning with season five, episode nineteen, "The Gift of the Maggie", and ending with season five, episode twenty-one, "I Feel the Earth Move". Viewers are left with no explanation of how he hurt his leg (in the Northern Exposure universe), or his absence for three whole episodes. See more »


Although Maurice is frequently described as a Mercury astronaut and talks about training with the Mercury astronauts, when a video tape of his launch is played, it shows a Gemini launch. Maurice has also stated that he wasn't one of the original seven, which would have precluded him being a Mercury astronaut. See more »


Ed Chigliak: Somebody stole Dr. Fleischman's radio.
Marilyn Whirlwind: White people. They get crazy.
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Alternate Versions

Only the first season retains the Universal Television logo on its DVD release, whereas further seasons edit out the logo. See more »


Referenced in Fresh Off the Boat: Driving Miss Jenny (2017) See more »

User Reviews

No other show has brought as much love to the TV screen.
16 February 1999 | by DicklesSee all my reviews

Northern Exposure has been one of very few shows that have brought both laughter and tears to my eyes within each and every episode. There has never been a series as consistent in warmth and love as this one. I'm not sure if the writers were the same on similar (later) series like "Key West" and "Going to Extremes" but these did not last as long and seem to be unavailable in syndication. Perhaps I lean toward enjoying eccentricity more than some, but throughout any given episode's "quirky" moments there will always be an undercurrent for the common man, and a generous one at that. Having been a college DJ myself, I particularly appreciate the thoughtful summaries at the conclusion of most episodes with Chris' venting his mellow thoughts to the cold wilds of the Cicely (sp?) night.

If you don't have a fireplace, curl up with a Northern Exposure hour, and the effect will be much the same.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Russian | Yiddish | Tlingit | Hebrew

Release Date:

12 July 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Northern Exposure See more »

Filming Locations:

Easton, Washington, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(110 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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