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Chicago Hope
Chicago Hope.jpg
Chicago Hope cast photo
Created byDavid E. Kelley
Written by
Opening theme"Theme from Chicago Hope" by Mark Isham
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes141 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Los Angeles
Chicago, IL
CinematographyJames R. Bagdonas
Running timeapprox. 42–44 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor20th Television
Original networkCBS
Picture format
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1994 (1994-09-18) –
May 4, 2000 (2000-05-04)
Related showsPicket Fences

Chicago Hope is an American medical drama television series, created by David E. Kelley.[1] It originally aired on CBS from September 18, 1994, to May 4, 2000. The series is set in a fictional private charitable hospital in Chicago, Illinois.[2]


The show starred Mandy Patinkin as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger, a hot-shot surgeon with emotional issues stemming from the psychiatric condition of his wife (played by Kim Greist), who drowned their infant son. Adam Arkin plays Dr. Aaron Shutt, a world-renowned neurosurgeon and Dr. Geiger's best friend. Thomas Gibson played Dr. Daniel Nyland, a promiscuous ER doctor and trauma surgeon who was later suspended due to his having an affair with a patient's family member and later was injured in a car crash. Dr. Keith Wilkes played by Rocky Carroll, often clashed with Nyland and was known for his back-to-basics and rough demeanor. He was good friends with Peter Berg's character, Dr. Billy Kronk. Kronk was known for his cowboyish demeanor and known to be very cocky, as showed in an episode where he cuts off a man's injured leg with a chainsaw in a scene where Kronk helps out at an accident site. Peter MacNicol, Héctor Elizondo and Alan Rosenberg feature as the hospital's in-house attorney and chief of staff, respectively. Christine Lahti joined in the second season as a talented cardiac surgeon with a chip on her shoulder, vying with Geiger for the chief of surgery position. She was known fighting in a custody battle with her malicious ex-husband and businessman, Tommy Wilmette, played by Ron Silver. Mr. Wilmette did everything he could to get Austin to lose custody of their daughter. He purchased the hospital at the end of Season 2. Dr. Austin is suspended because she and her daughter go AWOL on a trip to New Zealand. Mr. Wilmette was upset because it took him three months to find his ex-wife and daughter. In Season 3, the doctors want Mr. Wilmette to sell the hospital and the doctors would run it. The doctors viewed that Wilmette didn't know how to run a hospital and cut too many costs that involved patient care. Mr. Wilmette later met with Senator Kennedy at the White House to talk about Healthcare Reform. In Season 2, Geiger resigns from Chicago Hope after trying to save Alan Birch from a deadly gunshot wound to his heart.

Geiger adopted Birch's baby daughter. Geiger later rejoins the doctors at the end of Season 5 when he becomes Chairman of the Board and fires half of the doctors. In Season 4, Dr. Shutt became a psychiatrist and temporarily loses his ability to operate after suffering from a brain aneurysm. In Season 6, Shutt returns to Neurosurgery and works alongside Carla Gugino's character, Dr. Gina Simon.[3]


Name Portrayed by Occupation Season
1 2 3 4 5 6
Aaron Shutt Adam Arkin Neurosurgeon Main
Phillip Watters Hector Elizondo Hospital Chief of Staff Main
Jeffrey Geiger Mandy Patinkin Surgeon Main Recurring Main
Billy Kronk Peter Berg[4] E.R. Doctor Guest Main
Dennis Hancock Vondie Curtis-Hall Clinic Physician Guest Main
Diane Grad Jayne Brook Internal Med/Research Scientist Guest Main
Danny Nyland Thomas Gibson E.R. Doctor Main
Camille Schutt Roxanne Hart Nurse Main
Alan Birch Peter MacNicol Hospital Attorney Main
Arthur Thurmond E.G. Marshall Main
Angela Giandamenicio Roma Maffia Main
Kate Austin Christine Lahti Cardiac surgeon Main
John Sutton Jamey Sheridan OB/GYN Main
Keith Wilkes Rocky Carroll E.R. Doctor Main
Jack McNeil Mark Harmon Orthopedic Surgeon Main
Lisa Catera Stacy Edwards Neurosurgeon Main
Robert Yeats Eric Stoltz Main
Gina Simon Carla Gugino Neurosurgeon Main
Francesca Alberghetti Barbara Hershey Cardiac Surgeon Main
Jeremy Hanlon Lauren Holly Plastic Surgeon Main
Stuart Brickman Alan Rosenberg Hospital Attorney Main


With the exception of some infrequent on-location scenes, the vast majority of Chicago Hope was filmed on sound stages at the studios of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, located in the Century City area of Los Angeles.


Chicago Hope ran six seasons, airing a total of 141 episodes.

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122September 18, 1994 (1994-09-18)May 22, 1995 (1995-05-22)
223September 18, 1995 (1995-09-18)May 20, 1996 (1996-05-20)
326September 16, 1996 (1996-09-16)May 19, 1997 (1997-05-19)
424October 1, 1997 (1997-10-01)May 13, 1998 (1998-05-13)
524September 30, 1998 (1998-09-30)May 19, 1999 (1999-05-19)
622September 23, 1999 (1999-09-23)May 4, 2000 (2000-05-04)


Fyvush Finkel and Kathy Baker appeared as their Picket Fences characters in the first season. Likewise, Mandy Patinkin and Hector Elizondo brought their Chicago Hope characters to Picket Fences that year. Both Adam Arkin and Lauren Holly had previously appeared on Picket Fences as a lawyer and as a deputy sheriff, respectively.

Mandy Patinkin appears in an uncredited role as Geiger in a 1995 episode of NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street. Chicago Hope producer John Tinker shot this footage as a favor to his St. Elsewhere colleague Tom Fontana.[citation needed]

Chicago Hope characters crossed over to Early Edition early in that show's run. Rocky Carroll, Jayne Brook, and Héctor Elizondo all guest-starred in scenes taking place in the hospital.


The pilot episode of Chicago Hope was broadcast the day before NBC's ER in a special Sunday, 8 p.m. time slot. After the first week, however, the two Chicago-based hospital dramas went "head to head" in their primetime 10 p.m. Thursday night slot. ER was the victor: its first season proved a ratings winner. Despite receiving critical acclaim, Chicago Hope was shifted to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and ultimately to Monday nights in 1995 in a bid for higher ratings, while ER remained in its time slot.

Chicago Hope remained in the Monday slot and performed well, with ratings peaking at 11.9, with a 20 share. In the second season, however, Kelley and Patinkin decided to leave the show. The show was moved to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. in 1997 to make room for the Steven Bochco drama, Brooklyn South, on Mondays. In 1999, both Kelley and Patinkin returned, with a revamped cast now including Barbara Hershey and Lauren Holly, but excluding Lahti, Peter Berg, Jayne Brook, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Stacy Edwards. CBS also moved the show back to Thursday nights, against NBC's Frasier and ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The show was canceled in May 2000.

In 2007, former co-stars Rocky Carroll (Dr. Keith Wilkes); Mark Harmon (Dr. Jack McNeil) and Lauren Holly (Dr. Jeremy Hanlon) worked together on the series NCIS. Holly left the show after three seasons, while Harmon and Carroll remain with the cast today. In addition, Carroll has a recurring role as his NCIS character, Director Leon Vance, on that series's spin off, NCIS: Los Angeles. Jayne Brook (Dr. Diane Grad) and Stacy Edwards have also guest starred on NCIS as well.

Thomas Gibson would later star alongside Patinkin in the highly successful Criminal Minds, as well as Shemar Moore who was a guest star on Chicago Hope during Season 4. Patinkin later left the show early in its third season.

Nielsen ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Chicago Hope.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

Season Timeslot[nb 1] Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions of households)
1st Thursday, 10:00 p.m. September 18, 1994 May 22, 1995 1994–1995 29 11.2[5]
2nd Monday 10:00 p.m. September 18, 1995 May 20, 1996 1995–1996 24 11.4[6]
3rd Monday 10:00 p.m. September 16, 1996 May 19, 1997 1996–1997 30 10.2[7]
4th Wednesday 10:00 p.m. October 1, 1997 May 13, 1998 1997–1998 39 8.9
5th Wednesday 10:00 p.m. September 30, 1998 May 19, 1999 1998–1999 73 9.9
6th Thursday 9:00 p.m. September 23, 1999 May 4, 2000 1999–2000 62 9.4

Home media

Revelation Films has released all 6 seasons of Chicago Hope on DVD in Region 2 (UK) for the very first time.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

DVD Name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season One 22 N/A March 5, 2012 N/A
Season Two 23 N/A July 23, 2012 N/A
Season Three 26 N/A November 5, 2012 N/A
Season Four 24 N/A March 18, 2013 N/A
Season Five 24 N/A September 16, 2013 N/A
Season Six 22 N/A July 21, 2014 N/A
The Complete Collection 141 N/A December 14, 2015[14] N/A


The series broke a network television taboo by showing a teenager's breast after her character underwent reconstructive surgery. This was generally seen as relevant to the subject matter and went relatively uncriticized.[15]

On November 18, 1998, Chicago Hope became the first regular series episode to be broadcast in HDTV.[16] The episode was entitled "The Other Cheek".

Mark Harmon's character uttered the word "shit" during a trauma. Little criticism was made.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations

Over its six seasons, Chicago Hope was nominated for many accolades and won several, including seven Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.

Emmy awards

Year Award Recipient Result
1995 Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Mandy Patinkin Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Hector Elizondo Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Lou Antonio for "Life Support" Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Series Tim Suhrstedt for the episode "Over The Rainbow" Won
Outstanding Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production Lori Jane Coleman for "Pilot" Nominated
Randy Roberts for "The Quarantine" Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series David Kirschner, Robert Appere, and Kenneth R. Burton for "Internal Affairs" Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Mark Isham Nominated
1996 Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Series Debi Manwiller Won
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Hector Elizondo Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Jeremy Kagan for the episode "Leave Of Absence" Won
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Richard Pryor Nominated
Michael Jeter Nominated
Rip Torn Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Carol Kane Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Series Kenneth Zunder for "Leave of Absence" Nominated
Outstanding Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production Jim Stewart for "Leave of Absence" Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series Mary Ann Valdes, Dione Taylor for "Right to Life" Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Series Norman T. Leavitt, Coree Lear, Bari Dreiband-Burman, & Thomas R. Burman for "Quiet Riot" Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Mark Isham Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series Russell C. Fager, R. Russell Smith, Greg Orloff for "Quiet Riot" Nominated
1997 Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Héctor Elizondo Won
Adam Arkin Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Alan Arkin Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Isabella Rossellini Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Series – Single Camera Production James R. Bagdonas for "A Time To Kill" Nominated
Outstanding Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production Alec Smight, Mark C. Baldwin, Augie Hess for "Days of the Rope" Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series Nominated
1998 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Won
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Bill D'Elia for "Brain Salad Surgery" Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Hector Elizondo Nominated
Outstanding Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production Alec Smight for "Brain Salad Surgery" Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Series – Single Camera Production James R. Bagdonas for "Brain Salad Surgery" Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series Russell C. Fager, R. Russell Smith, and William Freesh for the episode "Brain Salad Surgery" Won
1999 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Mandy Patinkin Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Series – Single Camera Production James R. Bagdonas for "Home Is Where The Heartache Is" Nominated

Golden Globe Awards

Year Award Recipient Result
1995 Best TV-Series – Drama Nominated
Best Actor in a Television Drama Series Mandy Patinkin Nominated
1996 Best TV-Series – Drama Nominated
1997 Best TV-Series – Drama Nominated
Best Actress in a Television Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated
1998 Best TV-Series – Drama Nominated
Best Actress in a Television Drama Series Christine Lahti Won

Screen Actors Guild Award

Year Award Recipient Result
1995 Outstanding Performance by an Emsemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Mandy Patinkin Nominated
Hector Elizondo Nominated
1996 Outstanding Performance by an Emsemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated
1997 Outstanding Performance by an Emsemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated
1998 Outstanding Performance by an Emsemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated
1999 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Christine Lahti Nominated

Other awards

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Work Result
1998 ALMA Awards Outstanding Individual Performance in a Television Series in a Crossover Role Hector Elizondo Nominated
1999 Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Individual Performance in a Television Series in a Crossover Role Hector Elizondo Nominated
2000 Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Hector Elizondo Won
1998 American Choreography Awards Outstanding Achievement in Television – Episodic Kenny Ortega Won
1995 American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited One-Hour Series for Television Lori Jane Coleman "Pilot" Won
1996 Alec Smight "Love and Hope" Nominated
Randy Roberts "The Quarantine" Nominated
1997 Randy Roberts "Transplanted Affection" Won
1999 Alec Smight "Gun With The Wind" Nominated
1995 American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series Tim Suhrstedt Nominated
1996 Kenneth Zunder "Leave of Absence" Nominated
1997 James R. Bagdonas "Time to Kill" Nominated
1998 James R. Bagdonas "Hope Against Hope" Nominated
1995 Casting Society of America Best Casting for TV, Dramatic Episodic Steve Jacobs Nominated
1996 Debi Manwiller Nominated
1997 Debi Manwiller Nominated
1997 Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Series Greg Orloff, R. Russell Smith, Russell C. Fager "Quiet Riot" Nominated
1998 R. Russell Smith, William Freesh, Russell C. Fager "Brain Salad Surgery" Won
1999 R. Russell Smith, William Freesh, Russell C. Fager "100 and One Damnations" Nominated
1995 Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series' Michael Pressman "Pilot" Nominated
1997 GLAAD Media Award Outstanding TV Drama Series Won
1999 Outstanding TV Drama Series Won
2001 Outstanding TV Individual Episode (In a Series Without A Regular Gay Character) "Boys Will Be Girls" Nominated
1997 Satellite Awards Best Television Series- Drama Nominated
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama Christine Lahti Won
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama Hector Elizondo Nominated
1999 YoungStar Award Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama TV Series Mae Whitman Nominated

International airings

In the UK, seasons 1 and 2 originally aired on BBC One. More recently, all seasons of the show have been shown on ITV3. Starting on September 3, 2007, it began airing on Zone Romantica in the UK and Ireland.It was also shown on Sky One in the UK and Ireland in its prime time slots. In Australia, the series originally aired on The Seven Network. In Germany the first seasons were shown in the 1990s. In Hungary, the series aired on Viasat3.
In Indonesia, the series originally aired on RCTI, starting from October 1998 ended from July 2002. As of November 2013 it is airing on UK Freeview/Freesat/Sky/Eutelsat 28A/Virgin Media/WightFibre television channel True Entertainment.


Reruns of Chicago Hope aired on TVGN from 2010 to 2012. OWN (as the now-defunct Discovery Health Channel) had aired reruns of Chicago Hope in a semi-regular basis.


  1. ^ Times listed are Eastern time


  1. ^ Pamela Warrick (1995-04-03). "Some say the exciting plots of 'Chicago Hope' lack medical accuracy. But the drama's creator says caution is exercised-and that people know too much to be fooled. : False Hope?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  2. ^ Howard Rosenberg (1994-09-17). "TV Reviews : 'Chicago Hope' a Medical Melodrama". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  3. ^ Howard Rosenberg (1994-10-13). "'ER' vs. 'Hope': Which Medicine Is Easier to Swallow?s". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  4. ^ Tom White (1995-04-08). "Peter Berg: A Man of Action and Words : Television: His dual life as actor and screenwriter has put him in a state of enjoyable overload. He is on 'Chicago Hope' and has a production deal for his screenplay". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  5. ^ "TV Ratings > 1900s". Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  6. ^ "TV Ratings > 1900s". Archived from the original on 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  7. ^ "TV Ratings > 1900s". Archived from the original on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  8. ^ "Chicago Hope- Season 1". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  9. ^ "Chicago Hope- Season 2". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  10. ^ "Chicago Hope- Season 3". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  11. ^ "Chicago Hope- Season 4". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  12. ^ "Chicago Hope- Season 5". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  13. ^ "Chicago Hope- Season 6". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  14. ^ Chicago Hope Complete, Revelation Films Ltd, 2015-12-14, retrieved 2020-01-04
  15. ^ Michael Blowen (1995-03-12). "Television censors use situational standards". The Baltimore Sun. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  16. ^ CEA: Digital America – HDTV Archived 2006-10-11 at the Wayback Machine

External links

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