CBS is advancing towards a reboot of the quirky ’90s dramedy Northern Exposure.
Rumours have swirled like Aleutian winds for a while now about a possible return to Cicely, Alaska, but the news—first reported in The Hollywood Reporter—that Northern Exposure‘s star Rob Morrow and series creators Joshua Brand and John Falsey are attached to the project has added a shiny veneer of truth to the story.
The reboot is said to revolve around Dr. Joel Fleischman’s return to Alaska for the funeral of a dear friend.
Several of the original series’ cast have expressed interest in reprising their roles at various points over the years. As recently as last year, during 25th anniversary celebrations with cast and crew at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, several cast members expressed interest in coming back to the show.
Darren E Burrows (who played aspiring filmmaker/medicine man-in-training Ed Chigliak) attempted to crowdfund new episodes in recent years as well.
Originally airing from 1990 to 1995, Northern Exposure followed the adventure of Dr. Fleischman, a Manhattan native, as he ventures off to begin his medical practice in the Alaskan wilderness in order to repay the state for footing the bill for his education. There, he meets a town full of strange and wonderful people, who in turns aggravate and inspire him.
Northern Exposure leaned heavily into the strange world of early-mid ’90s television experimentation, featuring extended dream sequences and several stories with supernatural twists and turns. At its heart, it was as much about community, about family and friendship and the blurred lines between the two, as it was about its sub-Arctic setting.
The show was nominated for 57 award nominations and won 27 of those, most prestigiously carrying away the 1992 Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.
Beloved by critics and fans alike, the show ended its 110-episode run shortly after Morrow left the show, forcing the writers to introduce a new town doctor in an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle for the second time. It didn’t take, and by the end of the 1994/1995 TV season, Northern Exposure was off the air.
If rebooted, Northern Exposure would join such venerable TV institutions as Murphy Brown, Hawaii Five-0, Roseanne, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Twin Peaks which have all seen high profile TV revivals in recent years. This, in addition to the hugely successful Riverdale—now in its third season—and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina—which had its glittering debut last month—makes it clear that our collective appetite for nostalgic television is far from sated.
The cast of Northern Exposure was rounded out by Barry Corbin (Maurice Minnified), Janine Turner (Maggie O’Connell), John Cullum (Holling Vincoeur), Cynthia Geary (Shelly Tambo), John Corbett (Chris Stevens), Elaine Miles (Marilyn Whirlwind), and Peg Phillips (who played Ruth-Anne Miller; she sadly passed away in 2002). It is unknown at this point which of the original cast members will be joining the CBS production.
If CBS does go ahead, whether they order a full season, a mini-series, or a TV movie, 25YL will be there to cover it! Until then, watch this space!
Check out the reunited cast during last year’s 25th anniversary celebratory circuit:
Catch up with the goings-on of the Alaskan Riviera with our coverage of Northern Exposure here!