Could Dr. Joel Fleischman be making a comeback?
The cast and crew of the popular early '90s TV show reunited at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show's premiere.
This is the age of the revival series, so of course the question of a "Northern Exposure" return came up. The series ran for five years from 1990-1995, and aired more than 100 episodes.
"Rob [Morrow — who played Fleischman] has been working trying to get them to do it," co-creator Joshua Brand said. "We would love to see it because I think it is of a time but it's also not of a time."
Morrow isn't the only cast member working hard on a revival. Darren E. Burrows, who played Ed in the series, has also been pushing for a remake, as well as Cynthia Geary and Janine Turner, who played Shelly and Maggie, respectively.
"Write Universal. At least we got to get it streamed," Turner urged the crowd at ATX. "Northern Exposure" is not currently available to stream on any service, apart from a few unauthorized YouTube postings.
When the show was in its heyday, it had quite the cult following, and was a knockout during awards season. Over its five-year run, the show won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and one Directors Guild of America award, as well as countless nominations.
Even today, the cast and crew are still in shock that their little show made it so big.
"They didn’t think anyone would watch but they had to, they had to burn off an eight-episode series," Brand said of the original air deal between Universal Television and CBS. "The network didn't understand the show."
However, that quickly changed once the show gained a following.
"Once we knew that people did like this episode ['Aurora Borealis,' one of the more controversial episodes] we actually, my partner and I, we turned to each other and we said we can do anything we want on this show and it was incredibly liberating," Brand said. "We understood that the audience was willing to go on any ride we wanted to take them. . . . It opened up the whole show for us."
Now, the creators feel that the same reasons the show became popular in the '90s, would make a revival just as good.
"It was highbrow and lowbrow," Morrow said. "You could 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."
"It sounds like we all want it to happen," Geary said at ATX.
Universal, the ball's in your court.