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Series / Chicago Hope

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Chicago Hope is an American Medical Drama created by David E. Kelley, which ran on CBS from 1994 to 2000. The cast included Adam Arkin, Mandy Patinkin, Héctor Elizondo, Mark Harmon, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Christine Lahti, Peter Berg, Peter MacNicol, Thomas Gibson, Rocky Carroll, Eric Stoltz, Stacy Edwards, Carla Gugino, Lauren Holly, Barbara Hershey, and, briefly, Maya Rudolph.

This series provides examples of:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The first season has "In Silence" as the theme song for the Japanese version and "Winter Fall for the second season.
  • And Starring:
    • Héctor Elizondo is credited at the end of the intro as "Hector Elizondo as Dr. Phillip Watters" throughout the entirety of the show's run, though it's only beginning in Season 2 that the "And" is officially added to his credit.
    • Mark Harmon is given the "With" credit for Seasons 3-5 before eventually getting bumped up to the start of the intro in Season 6, where he and Adam Arkin swap out who gets first and who gets second billing every episode.
    • Barbara Hershey is given the "With" credit for Season 6.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Dr. Jeffrey Geiger. Briliant cardiac surgeon, loyal friend, but unhinged because his mentally ill wife had drowned their infant son. Among his many eccentricities was a habit of locking himself in his office so that he could think procedures through — without his slacks(he considered the 'swishing' sound of his pant legs touching as he paced distracting).
  • Code Silver: A patient's brother demands a donor heart at gunpoint. The doctors manage to talk him down, but in desperation, he kills himself so that his brother can have his heart.
  • Crossover: With Early Edition (characters from Chicago Hope appearing in an episode of Early Edition) and Picket Fences (in both directions).
  • Disaster Dominoes: A patient comes in for a penile implant because he feels inadequate with his fiancee. The nurse injects lidocaine to numb up the area prior to the procedure. However, the nurse misses his documented allergy to lidocaine until the injection gives the man a heart attack. After angioplasty to remove the clot, the staff puts compression stockings on to prevent blood clots in his legs. He insists on standing up in the compression stockings; when the staff relents, he slips, falls and hits his head, resulting in a potentially deadly brain bleed. Fortunately, the staff is able to operate on his brain and repair the blood vessel with no lasting damage. A horrified Dr. Watters orders the man discharged as soon as possible "before we kill him."
  • Fridge Horror: A patient has a stroke that renders him unable to move or communicate. The staff tries an experimental procedure that involves implanting electrodes directly in his brain, allowing him to communicate via a computer with a voice generator. The surgery is a success and he can communicate with his family. However, he will still be unable to ever move or communicate normally again. Invoked in-universe when two doctors are walking by his bed later that night, casually talking about their dinner-and-a-movie plans for the evening. The patient (via his speech generator) begins repeating "Kill me. Kill me. Let me die. Let me die."
  • The Gambling Addict: Jack McNeil. Very realistically portrayed too—he struggles with it and frequently relapses, especially when stressed out.
  • The Mad Hatter: Dr. Geiger, justifying his own God-complex to a review board, explains that because he thinks he's God, he never gets distracted by self-doubt.
    "Who's kiddin' who? Personally, I'm a mess. Should you let your sister marry me? Not a chance. But if her heart stops, you want her on my table."
  • Medical Drama
  • Musical Episode: In the fourth-season episode "Brain Salad Surgery", Dr. Aaron Shutt suffered a brain aneurysm that caused him to hallucinate the rest of the hospital staff singing and dancing.
  • Orphaned Punchline:
    (elevator doors open)
    Dr. Shutt: There is no getting through to you! It's like that joke about the Pope, the penguin and the agnostic! (steps out of the elevator)
    Tom Wilmette: Um, I'm not familiar.
    Dr. Shutt: (looks at his watch, then gets back on the elevator) I'll tell it fast. Phone rings at the Vatican, pope picks it up...
    (elevator doors close)
  • Parody Episode: When the doctors of Chicago Hope get blamed for the death of a famous actor, the episode is shown as an Entertainnment Tonight exclusive.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Danny Nyland gets demoted from ER chief to ER underling for sleeping with a patient's fiancee. (The patient is very rich.) He then spends a season in open warfare with his replacement, alienating most of the staff. Finally he gets charged with murder and taken away in handcuffs when a gangbanger dies on his table. A later episode does show that he remained a free man and became a priest.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: The series' original trumpet-led theme was replaced by a more urgent one in the vein of ER, which was its competitor. It was changed again for the final season, along with the opening credits.
  • Shout-Out: Dr. Kathryn Austin was a recipient of the Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award, previously featured in St. Elsewhere.
  • Sleep Deprivation: Heart surgeon Kate Austen has spent extremely long hours operating. As a result, she inadvertently leaves an instrument inside a patient who later dies. Kate is crushed, and struggles whether to stay silent and protect both herself and the hospital, or tell the patient's parents.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Played with. A woman suffers a miscarriage and her husband dies of a heart attack on the same day. She convinces the doctors to artificially inseminate her with her husband's sperm before they too die off and she successfully becomes pregnant. That this is medically impossible(since once a miscarriage occurs, a woman's menstrual cycle starts again) is ignored.
  • Take That!:
    • The handful of zingers taken at the show ER and its cast—Dr. Shutt being constantly told he looks like George Clooney, and confusedly replying, "I don't know who that is."
    • At one point, a corporate executive made a promotional video for the hospital that was a straight ripoff of the ER opening credits, complete with ethereal music, a giant CH logo appearing on the screen repeatedly, and all of the cast members replicating the poses from the then-current ER opening credits. After the video was over, one member of the staff said "Hmmm. Looks familiar." Not to mention how thoroughly unimpressed they all are.
    • In one episode, a doctor suggests that a patient be taken to "the other hospital". Another doctor sharply rebukes him, stating, "We never discuss the other hospital."
    • Ironic considering that ER thoroughly trounced Chicago Hope in the ratings (and ran for more than twice as long), despite critics initially claiming the former show had no chance against the latter. CBS eventually gave in and moved Chicago Hope to Monday nights, where it enjoyed a respectable run.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal : Doctor Billy Kronk, a very manly hockey player, starts dating Mia Sara. When she informs that she has something to tell him, he says that he already knows... that she has fake boobs and he's fine with it, she informs him that she actually used to be his best friend and hockey teammate in high school.
  • Uptown Girl: The well off cardiac surgeon Kate Austin starts dating Danny, an electrician, after being stuck with him in an elevator for two hours. However, when Kate’s daughter Sara compares him to her father, an attorney who regularly argues cases in the Supreme Court, Danny feels a bit inadequate. Kate and Danny then argue about his career choices, which results in him punching the wall close to her face in anger note . The relationship ends after that.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In "Day of the Rope," Billy has to enter a hostage situation to treat one of the Western Terrorists. Diane is understandably nervous.
    Diane: Billy, don't be a hero.
    Billy: Chick song.