‘Northern Publicity’ Stars Clarify “Groundbreaking” Components of CBS Sequence – Deadline
Northern Exposure stars Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin, Cynthia Geary and John Corbett met to kick off the annual Vulture Festival. During the Monday panel, the cast remembered their time on the CBS series, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.
“Your chance of having a successful television is probably as good as your chance of going into space and orbiting the earth,” said Corbin of Northern Exposure’s success. “The casting fit, the location fit, the music fit. Everything fits. “
Performing as the astronaut and retired Marine fighter pilot Maurice J. Minnifield, Corbin agreed with his colleagues that all of the elements behind Northern Exposure made for both a high performing series and a series that stood out from other shows at the time.
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When the Emmy-winning series blew up in 1990, Northern Exposure was all about young Dr. Joel Fleischman (Morrow) and his efforts to start a business in the small town of Cicely in Arrowhead County, Alaska. However, as the series progresses, Fleischman and his group of Cicely locals face the past, space, the apocalypse, and more.
“The madness came and went,” Morrow said of the show. “I never found it strange, it was just idiosyncratic.”
Janine Turner, who appeared as the ambitious Maggie O’Connell, called the show “intellectually stimulating” given the theme and presentation. Northern Exposure not only took viewers on various adventures through space and time, it also took risks and offered a new take on the roles women played on television. She said Maggie O’Connell broke traditional standards of beauty for women and showed that women can be more than housekeepers.
The actress added that given its summer slot, Northern Exposure didn’t feel the same pressure to fit in with the same primetime shows that were being presented at the time, and thus had more freedom to touch on weird subjects and subjects. Co-star Cynthia Geary agreed, noting that “everything on this show is groundbreaking,” from his dream sequences to Morrow’s character breaking the fourth wall.
John Corbett, whose Chris Stevens was DJ and ex-convict, said the curiosities and charm of Northern Exposure left viewers with a sense of humor that set them up for the week ahead. Northern Exposure’s ability to attract people from all walks of life, from well-paid doctors to “hillbillies,” added to its long-lasting effects, Corbett said.
“If you can get this group together to like a show, that was magical,” he said.
Northern Exposure was created by Josh Band and John Falsey. CBS announced in 2018 that a revival of the quirky series is in the works and Morrow will play his role again. Written by Brand, the resuscitation revolves around Dr. Joel Fleischman, played by Morrow, returning to Cicely, Alaska for the funeral of an old friend and finding a new set of quirky characters and reuniting with old series in this sequel to the classic.