|Created by||James Komack|
|Starring|| Richard Chamberlain |
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||191 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Norman Felton|
|Running time||60 minutes (seasons 1–4)|
30 minutes (season 5)
|Production companies||Arena Productions|
|Picture format|| Black-and-white (1961–1965) |
|Original release||September 28, 1961 –|
August 30, 1966
Dr. Kildare is an NBC medical drama television series which originally ran from September 28, 1961, until August 30, 1966,for a total of 191 episodes over five seasons. Produced by MGM Television, it was based on fictional doctor characters originally created by author Max Brand in the 1930s and previously used by MGM in a popular film series and radio drama. The TV series quickly achieved success and made a star of Richard Chamberlain, who played the title role. Dr. Kildare (along with an ABC medical drama, Ben Casey , which premiered at the same time) inspired or influenced many later TV shows dealing with the medical field. Dr. Kildare aired on NBC affiliate stations on Thursday nights at 8:30–9:30 p.m. until September 1965, when the timeslot was changed to Monday and Tuesday nights at 8:30–9:00 p.m. through the end of the show's run.
Like the earlier MGM film series (1938–1942), the TV series initially told the story of young intern Dr. James Kildare (Richard Chamberlain) working at the fictional large metropolitan "Blair General Hospital" and trying to learn his profession, deal with patients' problems, and win the respect of the senior Dr. Leonard Gillespie (Raymond Massey). In the series' third episode, "Shining Image", Gillespie tells the earnest Kildare, "Our work is to keep people alive. We can't tell them how to live any more than how to die."Kildare ignores the advice, which provides the basis for stories over the next four seasons, many with a soap opera touch. By the third season, Dr. Kildare was promoted to resident and episodes began to focus less on him and his medical colleagues, and more on the stories of individual patients and their families.
In order to create realistic scripts, the series' first writer, E. Jack Neuman, spent several months working alongside interns in a large hospital. Episodes frequently highlighted diseases or medical conditions that had not been widely discussed on television, including drug addiction, sickle cell anemia and epilepsy. Episodes about venereal disease (personally requested by President Lyndon B. Johnson) and the birth control pill were written, but never produced due to network objections.Technical advice was provided by the American Medical Association, whose name appeared in the end credits of each episode.
The series was initially formatted as self-contained one-hour episodes, aired once per week. In later seasons, a trend towards serialized drama, inspired by the success of the prime time soap opera Peyton Place , caused the network to develop some Dr. Kildare storylines over multiple episodes and, in the final season, to air two separate half-hour episodes each week instead of a single one-hour episode.
An unsold and unaired pilot was shot in 1960 featuring Joseph Cronin as Dr. Kildare and Lew Ayres as Dr. Gillespie.As a younger man, Ayres had played the role of Kildare for many years in the earlier MGM film and radio series. Later, a second, successful pilot was made with Richard Chamberlain as Kildare and Raymond Massey as Gillespie.
Before the little-known Chamberlain was cast, the Kildare role was offered to William Shatner and James Franciscus, who both turned it down.The role catapulted Chamberlain to fame. In 2006, Chamberlain reprised the Kildare role in a parody of Grey's Anatomy (along with other famous TV doctors from Julia , St. Elsewhere , M*A*S*H and The Love Boat ) on the 2006 TV Land Awards .
Massey accepted the role of Dr. Gillespie thinking that it would last only one season, leaving him time to accept feature film roles. Instead, the time demands of appearing in a multiple-season hit series prevented Massey from appearing in any films for the duration of the series' run.
Supporting cast members with recurring roles included Ken Berry as Dr. John Kapish, Jean Inness as Nurse Beatrice Fain, Eddie Ryder as Dr. Simon Agurski, Jud Taylor (who also directed several episodes) as Dr. Thomas Gerson, Steve Bell as Dr. Quint Lowry, Clegg Hoyt as Mac, Jo Helton as Nurse Conant, and Lee Kurty as Nurse Zoe Lawton.
Over the years, numerous well-known or soon-to-be well-known actors appeared as guest stars, including:
The series quickly became a top ten hit in its first season, and remained in the top 20 during its second and third seasons, drawing as many as 12,000 fan letters each week.Its success spawned a number of merchandising tie-ins featuring the likeness or endorsement of Chamberlain as Kildare, including novels, comics, toys and games, candy bars, and records of Chamberlain singing songs featured on the show. Chamberlain had a hit single, "Theme from Dr. Kildare (Three Stars Will Shine Tonight)," in which he sang romantic lyrics set to the music from the show's familiar opening theme. Largely as a result of the show, Chamberlain became a teen idol during the 1960s.
The show's influence was so great that viewers would sometimes write to Chamberlain asking "Dr. Kildare" for medical advice.According to Mort Fleischmann, a former promotions executive for NBC, at one point the network promoted the show by having "Dr. Kildare" paged as if he were a real doctor on the public announcement system in airports, train stations, and bus stations across the United States.
In the later seasons of the series, a decline in ratings (possibly coupled with a high asking price for sponsor advertisements) led to the series' cancellation in 1966. Despite its cancellation, the Dr. Kildare series continued to influence many later television medical dramas.
Warner Bros. has released all five seasons on DVD-R in Region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection.These are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available via WBShop.com & Amazon.com.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete First Season||33||April 16, 2013|
|The Complete Second Season||34||January 28, 2014|
|The Complete Third Season||34||June 3, 2014|
|The Complete Fourth Season||34||April 28, 2015|
|The Complete Fifth Season||58||March 8, 2016|
The unaired 1960 pilot episode starring Lew Ayres was also released on DVD by Warners as an extra included with the DVD release of their "Dr. Kildare Movie Collection" (compiling all the MGM Kildare films) via Warner Archive Collection in 2014.
The DVD release of "Dr. Kildare: The Complete First Season" included, as an extra, the original never-aired pilot episode for the 1962 psychiatric medical drama series The Eleventh Hour , in which Dr. Kildare (Chamberlain) and Dr. Gillespie (Massey) appear assisting "Dr. Theodore Bassett" (a psychiatrist character played by Wendell Corey) in diagnosing patient Ann Costigan (played by guest star Vera Miles).The episode was initially meant to air as an episode of Dr. Kildare, but was instead reworked to cut out Chamberlain and Massey's parts and remove all Kildare and Gillespie references before airing on October 3, 1962 as the debut episode of The Eleventh Hour TV series, entitled "Ann Costigan: A Duel on a Field of White."
The series theme was composed by Jerry Goldsmith (credited here as Jerrald Goldsmith). In 2009 Film Score Monthly released a three-disc set of original music from the series, featuring Goldsmith's theme and his scores for the pilot and four season one episodes, plus further scores by Harry Sukman (the series' most frequent composer), Richard Markowitz, Morton Stevens, Lalo Schifrin and John Green. (Stevens' represented work includes his music for the three-part "Rome Will Never Leave You," which incorporates an original song composed by Burt Bacharach.) The album also includes music from the original unaired 1960 pilot adapted by Alexander Courage from Bronislau Kaper's theme for The Power and the Prize , and Richard Chamberlain's recording of "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight."
A second television series, titled Young Dr. Kildare , premiered in first-run syndication in 1972. Starring Mark Jenkins as Dr. Kildare and Gary Merrill as Dr. Gillespie, it lasted for only one season of 24 episodes.
Lewis Frederick Ayres III was an American actor whose film and television career spanned 65 years. He is best known for starring as German soldier Paul Bäumer in the film All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and for playing Dr. Kildare in nine movies. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Johnny Belinda (1948).
The Cosby Show is an American television sitcom co-created by and starring Bill Cosby, which aired Thursday nights for eight seasons on NBC between September 20, 1984, until April 30, 1992. The show focuses on an upper-class African-American family living in Brooklyn, New York.
ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist and physician Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994, to April 2, 2009, with a total of 331 episodes spanning 15 seasons. It was produced by Constant C Productions and Amblin Television, in association with Warner Bros. Television. ER follows the inner life of the emergency room (ER) of fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and various critical issues faced by the room's physicians and staff.
George Richard Chamberlain is an American actor and singer, who became a teen idol in the title role of the television show Dr. Kildare (1961–1966). He subsequently appeared in several TV mini-series, such as Shōgun (1980) and The Thorn Birds (1983) and was the first to play Jason Bourne in the 1988 made-for-TV movie The Bourne Identity. Chamberlain has also performed classical stage roles and worked in musical theatre.
Dr. James Kildare is a fictional American medical doctor, originally created in the 1930s by the author Frederick Schiller Faust under the pen name Max Brand. Shortly after the character's first appearance in a magazine story, Paramount Pictures used the story and character as the basis for the 1937 film Internes Can't Take Money, starring Joel McCrea as Jimmie Kildare. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) subsequently acquired the rights and featured Kildare as the primary character in a series of American theatrical films in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Several of these films were co-written by Faust, who also continued to write magazine stories and novels about the character until the early 1940s. Kildare was portrayed by Lew Ayres in nine MGM films.(Ayres was drafted in 1942 and served as a non-combatant medic until 1946.) Later films set in the same hospital featured Dr. Gillespie. Ayres returned to voice the Kildare character in an early 1950s radio series. The 1961-1966 Dr. Kildare television series made a star of Richard Chamberlain and gave birth to a comic book and comic strip based on the show. A short-lived reboot of the TV series, Young Doctor Kildare, debuted in 1972 and ran for 24 episodes.
My Favorite Martian is an American science fiction sitcom that aired on CBS from September 29, 1963 to May 1, 1966, for 107 episodes. The show stars Ray Walston as Uncle Martin and Bill Bixby as Tim O'Hara. The first two seasons, totaling 75 episodes, were in black and white, while the 32 episodes of season three were in color.
Ben Casey is an American medical drama series that aired on ABC from 1961 to 1966. The show was known for its opening titles, which consisted of a hand drawing the symbols "♂, ♀, ✳, †, ∞" on a chalkboard, as cast member Sam Jaffe uttered, "Man, woman, birth, death, infinity." Neurosurgeon Joseph Ransohoff served as a medical consultant for the show.
Eight Is Enough is an American television comedy-drama series that ran on ABC from March 15, 1977, until May 23, 1981. The show was modeled on the life of syndicated newspaper columnist Tom Braden, a real-life parent with eight children, who wrote a book by the same title.
Charles Van Dell Johnson was an American film, television, theatre and radio actor, singer, and dancer. He was a major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during and after World War II.
Young Dr. Kildare is a 1938 film directed by Harold S. Bucquet and starring Lew Ayres as Dr. James Kildare, an idealistic, freshly graduated medical intern, who benefits greatly from the wise counsel of his experienced mentor, Dr. Leonard Gillespie. The film was based on a story and characters created by author Frederick Schiller Faust, writing as Max Brand.
Medical Center is an American medical drama series that aired on CBS from 1969 to 1976. It was produced by MGM Television.
Harry O, sometimes spelled Harry-O, is an American private detective series that aired for two seasons on ABC from 1974 to 1976. The series starred David Janssen, and Jerry Thorpe was executive producer. Harry O followed the broadcast of two pilot films: firstly Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On and secondly Smile Jenny, You're Dead, both starring Janssen.
Internes Can't Take Money is a 1937 American drama film directed by Alfred Santell and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Lloyd Nolan, and Stanley Ridges. McCrea portrays Dr. Kildare in the character's first screen appearance. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer continued the Dr. Kildare series with Young Dr. Kildare (1938) starring Lew Ayres as Kildare and Laraine Day as a nurse in love with Kildare. The film was released in the United Kingdom as You Can't Take Money.
Dr. Kildare's Victory is a 1942 film directed by W. S. Van Dyke. It stars Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore. It is the ninth and last of the MGM Dr. Kildare movie series.
Dr. Kildare Goes Home is a 1940 American drama film directed by Harold S. Bucquet, starring Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore and Laraine Day. It is the fifth in the MGM series of nine films with Lew Ayres as Dr. Kildare made from 1938–1942.
Dr. Kildare's Crisis is a 1940 drama film directed by Harold S. Bucquet, starring Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore and Laraine Day. Mary Lamont's financier brother Douglas Lamont is subject to seizures, and it seems that he is suffering from hereditary epilepsy.
Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day is a 1941 American drama film directed by Harold S. Bucquet, starring Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, and Laraine Day. It is the eighth of a total of nine Dr. Kildare pictures made by the MGM studios. When MGM decided to move up-and-coming star Laraine Day out of the "Dr. Kildare" series, the studio did so in a startlingly dramatic fashion. Adding extra interest to this film in the Kildare series, Barrymore composed the music credited to the Cornelia Bartlett character, and actor Red Skelton provides comic relief.
Calling Dr. Kildare is a 1939 film in the Dr. Kildare series. Directed by Harold S. Bucquet, it stars Lew Ayres as the young Dr. Kildare and Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie, his mentor. The second of MGM's series of Kildare films, it introduces Laraine Day as nurse Mary Lamont, the love of Kildare's life.
Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case is a 1943 film in the Dr. Kildare series. Based on characters created by Max Brand. The third of MGM's Dr. Gillespie series to dispense with the services of Dr. Kildare after Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942).
Young Dr. Kildare is a syndicated medical drama television series which originally ran from September 21, 1972 for a total of 24 episodes. It was a remake of the Richard Chamberlain series Dr. Kildare which in turn was based on fictional doctor characters originally created by author Max Brand in the 1930s and previously used by MGM in a popular film series and radio drama.
TV's most beloved classic TV stars spoofed one of television's most popular dramas, Grey's Anatomy in a parody starring several classic TV stars -- several of whom appeared in popular medical dramas -- including Bernie Kopell, Chad Everett, Diahann Carroll, Ed Begley, Jr., Loretta Swit, Richard Chamberlain, Jane Seymour as well as Larry Hagman, Maureen McCormick and Jimmy 'JJ' Walker.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dr. Kildare .|