And the TV sequels continue. Thanks to the success of the revived Roseanne, Will & Grace, and Murphy Brown, we’ve gotten announcements of sequels to Designing Women, NYPD Blue, and, now, Northern Exposure, with Rob Morrow returning to reprise his starring role. Obviously, the ’90s aren’t going anywhere!
In Northern Exposure, which originally ran on CBS from 1990-95, Rob plays Columbia University medical school graduate Dr. Joel Fleischman, who, in order to pay back his tuition, is given the assignment of working in the small Alaskan town of Cicely. Notes google.com, “The location is remote, the people are weird, and Joel just wants to return to New York. And yet the people of Cicely — particularly pilot Maggie O’Connell [Janine Turner] — begin to grow on him.”
The concept of this new version, which is in the development stage, is that Joel will be returning to Cicely to attend the funeral of an old friend. While there, he will find himself quickly forming a connection with a group of new quirky characters while reuniting with some old ones.
Rob will serve as an executive producer on the show, which is interesting considering that his battle for a better contract during the production of the original series actually led to producers writing less for the Joel character and introducing new ones. Nonetheless, the actor, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter from last year, tried to explain the show’s massive appeal at the time. “It was highbrow and lowbrow,” he said. “You could be an intellectual and like it and be an idiot and like it, and that was really rare. It certainly on the page read like nothing I had ever read.”
In that same article, co-executive producer of Joshua Brand (who will be aboard the new version) said that Rob had actually been pushing for a revival for a number of years: “Rob has been working trying to get them to do it. We would love to see it, because I think it is of a time, but it’s also not of a time.”